T Nation

New to Training, Advice Needed

So I’ve put on a fair bit of weight recently and need to do something about it. I’ve read quite a bit on the subject recently but find myself with a lot of conflicting information.

Some people say not to do cardio as well as weights. Others say it can only help.

Same with the dieting aspect as people disagree over carbs and when to have them.

I’ll put up a couple of pics when I get a chance (They won’t be pretty) but I hope having them up will serve as motivation to change and I can update the thread as I go. It’ll be a long road but one I’m fully prepared to face.

I don’t have a specific time frame to achieve results by but I’ll still be setting myself goals. I’m hoping the people on here can give me a reasonable time frame to achieve my target after seeing the photos I put up.

I have a goal in mind and it is to be a similar build to http://northadelaidefitness.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/tom-hardy-in-warrior.jpg?w=629

Atm, I’m 238lbs at 5’10. I used to be in good shape and play rugby so I’m hoping that muscle memory plays a part in helping me get started.

Any advice is appreciated :slight_smile:

What is your lifting experience? What is your lifting plan (i.e. do you have a specific program in mind)?

In general, people looking to lose weight and get in shape should do a combination of weight training and cardio. Diet/nutrition is crucial as well. There are a lot of options, but if the immediate goal is fat loss I’d suggest 3 days / week of heavy lifting and light cardio at least 3 days / week as well. If diet is in check you can make steady progress and lower calories / increase cardio as necessary as time goes by.

I’ve done a bit of lifting before but it was more of doing what we wanted without any guidance. Used to play rugby so we’d go in the gym after training. I don’t have a specific plan atm but I’ll get something sorted in the next couple of days, I’ve been reading a bit about them and trying to decide what one is best.

I understand the dieting part and for the main I’m not eating badly. I’m trying to work out macros and work meals round them. I don’t mind eating the same thing every day for a while so I think that’s the easiest thing for me for now.

I’m hopefully going to have everything planned in order to jump right into after christmas.

[quote]winklepicker wrote:
I’ve read quite a bit on the subject recently but find myself with a lot of conflicting information.[/quote]
You’re always going to find conflicting points of view and the thing is, everybody’s right because there are tons of paths towards the same goal or, as the saying goes, ‘everything works… for about six weeks.’

Like Craze said, pretty much any plan that has you lifting 2-5 days a week and doing cardio 2-4 days a week will get you where you want to go. Pick almost any program from the archive here, follow it to the letter, and you should be set. Sounds like you’re on the right track with nutrition, which is really crucial. But I am wondering what your definition of “I’m not eating badly” is.

Definitely good that you’re setting some solid goals, but basic and effective goal-setting is S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-constrained). Setting some kind of timeframe puts things into some kind of context and prevents the “eh, any progress is still progress” mindset.

For example, dropping 20 pounds of fat by March 1st would be a short-term goal that gets you closer to your long-term goal.

[quote]I have a goal in mind and it is to be a similar build to http://northadelaidefitness.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/tom-hardy-in-warrior.jpg?w=629

Atm, I’m 238lbs at 5’10.[/quote]
For reference, Hardy is about your height and has said he was about 180 in that movie. Smart eating and a well-designed program that builds strength and muscle while dropping fat should get you working towards that. I’d consider taking weekly or bi-weekly progress pics (for your own reference or post them, your call) to make sure things stay on track.

Don’t wait for everything to be planned before starting or else you’ll always be waiting. I challenge you to do at least one full workout before Christmas. Could be 20 minutes of overhead presses and curls, whatever. Do something.

Not eating badly means I’m mostly eating chicken, salmon, veg, fruit, eggs but then I’ve been having takeaways when I’ve been out in town drinking. I’m going to hit the booze on the head for a few months which means I’ll not be tempted to eat rubbish as well though.

I’ve found a few more ideas for stuff to eat so I think I’ll be okay once I work out the macros. As I mentioned I’ll start off eating the same thing each day for a week or 2 so that’s it’s easier for me to play.

I popped along to the gym today and signed up, got shown round the place and then had a quick 45 minutes on my own. It’s a local gym which is open 24 hours so I have no excuse not to go.

I grabbed a few photos on my phone which I’ll upload in order to motivate me more :slight_smile:

[quote]winklepicker wrote:
Not eating badly means I’m mostly eating chicken, salmon, veg, fruit, eggs but then I’ve been having takeaways when I’ve been out in town drinking. I’m going to hit the booze on the head for a few months which means I’ll not be tempted to eat rubbish as well though.

I’ve found a few more ideas for stuff to eat so I think I’ll be okay once I work out the macros. As I mentioned I’ll start off eating the same thing each day for a week or 2 so that’s it’s easier for me to play.[/quote]
Nice. Yeah, consistency in what you’re eating can definitely simplify a nutrition plan. And dropping booze is obviously a good call when it comes to fat loss, especially if drinking usually coincides with junk food.

Good man. Sounds like you’re on track already. Keeping the ball rolling is the thing.

I was back home for Christmas and that’s me just back to my own place today. Although there were a few big family meals I did okay in the whole. I purchased a fair bit of training gear and some proper Asics running shoes so now it’s time to properly put it into action.

I’ve read a fair bit on dieting and think that a ketogenic diet would be best to start. Doesn’t seem to bad to plan and means I can still eat a lot of the stuff I usually do as well as adding cheese/bacon etc. I’m just not sure exactly how to do it but I’ve found this and tinkered with it a bit. Does it look okay are is there anything I should change? The overall calories look a bit low to me?

The numbers are Carbs/Fat/Protein/Calories

2 boiled eggs 10 1.2 12 156
100g chicken 13 0 25 219
100g chicken 13 0 25 219
100g brocolli 0.4 7 2.8 34
3 Tsp coconut oil 40.8 0 0 234
2 slices bacon 4.2 0.2 3.6 54
100g cheese 33 1.3 25 402
Tbsp peanut butter 8 3.1 4 94
100g avocado 15 9 2 160
10g macadamia 7.6 1.4 0.8 71

Looking at a calculator for what you aim for the overall Carb/Fat/Protein ratio looks spot on at 145/23.2/100.2 (Ideally 145/23/101?)

Wanting to get this sorted before I do a big shop and stick up on what I’ll be needing

[quote]winklepicker wrote:
Doesn’t seem to bad to plan and means I can still eat a lot of the stuff I usually do as well as adding cheese/bacon etc.[/quote]
One thing a lot of guys trip over is seeing low carb diets as a meat and cheese free-for-all. There’s a bit more to it than that. Just keep a heads up and stick to whatever plan you come up with. You still need to hit your macros if that’s what you’re shooting for.

The listed macros/calories would be very low for a guy your size, let alone one who’ll be training hard.

For fun, I rearranged the foods you just listed. Anything seem wrong here or does that look okay?
Breakfast ~440 Calories
2 boiled eggs
2 slices bacon
3 Tsp coconut oil

Lunch ~690 Calories
100g chicken
100g cheese
10g macadamia

Snack ~95 Calories
Tbsp peanut butter

Dinner ~410 Calories
100g chicken
100g avocado
100g brocolli

Why only 100g protein per day? I’d read through these for some ideas on how to set up a low carb, if not keto, plan:



Sorry, I don’t know how to quote individual bits of the post so I’ll just reply. Cheers for the help this far though

I realise it doesn’t give a free for all with cheese/meat etc and that’s why I don’t think what’s there is too bad. I need to add a bit more (perhaps another meal looking at what you’ve got worked out) and I should be good to go.

I didn’t pick the 100g protein, I simply found the food plan and looked to work out what was in it. Basically it looks like a 6/1/4 ratio whatever the total calories come to which seems to be in line with most calculators I’ve played with.

What sort of total calories should I be looking at then and I’ll have a further play about with the diet. At least I know it’s not totally on the wrong track so I can get shopping tomorrow :slight_smile:

Hey man,

I definitely agree that lower carb is the way to go. You could also do low glycemic carbs (carbs that do not spike your blood sugar annd insulin levels). For example, beans and humus and nuts would be low glycemic. High glycemic are all white foods (bread, pasta, rice, refined carbs etc.). This has worked really well for me and made it much easier for me to hit my macros.

In terms of total calorie count, if you want to lose weight then you want to be at slight caloric deficit (take in less calories than your body needs to maintain your weight). When this happens your body has other places it gathers energy from (your muscle and fat). You will want to only go 300 to 500 calories below maintenance. If you go farther than that, your body will target more of your muscles for short term energy than your fat. You will only want to lose 0.5 to 2 lbs a weeks (slow cut), to save as much muscle as possible. You can go to a calorie calculator to figure out your maintenance level. I assume for you it probably around 2500 to 3000 calories.

I hope this helps.

[quote]winklepicker wrote:
I didn’t pick the 100g protein, I simply found the food plan and looked to work out what was in it. Basically it looks like a 6/1/4 ratio whatever the total calories come to which seems to be in line with most calculators I’ve played with.

What sort of total calories should I be looking at then[/quote]
A rule of thumb is bodyweight x 10 as the minimum for calories and 1 gram per pound of bodyweight for protein intake. Cap carb intake at whatever (like 100g total) and plug in the rest with fats.

Or work off the percentages instead, no problem as long as they’re reasonable (for example, the Anabolic Diet is something like 65/35/5 F/P/C during the week with much higher carbs on the weekend). The key is to set up the nutrition guidelines ahead of time, like you’re doing, and tweak according to progress every few weeks.

Just over a week on a diet pretty close to what I posted above. Having the same thing each day is helping as I don’t need to figure out totals and know exactly what I am having and when. I’m sure in a few weeks it will get a bit boring so I’ll have to shake it up but for now it’s okay

Drinking a lot of water and generally feeling more alert. Seem to getting a better nights sleep although that’s probably more to do with working out than the diet itself.

Seeing burgers etc advertised is a bit of a downer but not too bad as I know I’m doing it for a reason.

Long road ahead but at least I’m on it and know where I’m headed. Going to weigh myself every fortnight for now, I know it’s not ideal to just be looking at weight but it should at least give me an indication that I’m heading in the right direction.

Been busy recently but just a quick update. Since the 3rd Jan I’ve lost 24lbs which is crazy. I’ve not lost any strength so it seems to be purely fat. My trousers are now falling off me so I’ve had to buy a few new pairs for the time being until I hit my eventual goal.

It has been hard at times but the constant progress is keeping me motivated. I had a pre-planned weekend in January drinking and eating whatever I wanted which also helped keep me going as I knew I had that coming up and kept telling myself it was a reward for the hard work so far. After that weekend I went straight back into the habits I’d developed this year and have continued since.

If I can do it then anyone can. I’ve got a couple of nights out over the next few months but I’m not going to worry about what I eat/drink on those nights as I’m once again considering them a reward for the hard work I’m putting in. It means I am even more strict in the lead up to them and keep pushing.

I have photos from the start and I’ll get a couple to compare side by side in the next few days.