T Nation

Newbie Needs Assistance with Goals

But I’m a 19 year old guy, 6’0 240, obviously a bit on the overweight side. I’ve got more than my fair share of body fat, last time I measured I was somewhere around 30%. I’ve got several things that have hampered me in my past attempts to get into shape.

I have difficulties with dieting – vegetables, for some reason, literally make me gag. Furthermore, my low back seems prone to injury, and my knees have a rather constant “loose” feeling. I work full time and go to school full time, so time is at a premium.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, I’m just terribly ignorant when it comes to what is and is not a good idea when it comes to diet and excercise.

That being said, I’ve got very modest goals for now. I’d like to get my body fat percentage down to around 10-15, and maybe pick up some muscle mass along the way. Any suggestions would be great, as I’m entirely willing to give any excercise program I can fit into my schedule a shot, and dieting, I can do to a point, though not to the extreme of the best of the best of you guys on this forum.

Thanks in advance for any help, I’m dedicated to getting my body into respectable shape.

Also, if anybody has supplement suggestions, I could certainly use those too.

[quote]branflakecereal wrote:
But I’m a 19 year old guy, 6’0 240, obviously a bit on the overweight side. I’ve got more than my fair share of body fat, last time I measured I was somewhere around 30%. I’ve got several things that have hampered me in my past attempts to get into shape.

I have difficulties with dieting – vegetables, for some reason, literally make me gag. Furthermore, my low back seems prone to injury, and my knees have a rather constant “loose” feeling. I work full time and go to school full time, so time is at a premium.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, I’m just terribly ignorant when it comes to what is and is not a good idea when it comes to diet and excercise.

That being said, I’ve got very modest goals for now. I’d like to get my body fat percentage down to around 10-15, and maybe pick up some muscle mass along the way. Any suggestions would be great, as I’m entirely willing to give any excercise program I can fit into my schedule a shot, and dieting, I can do to a point, though not to the extreme of the best of the best of you guys on this forum.

Thanks in advance for any help, I’m dedicated to getting my body into respectable shape.

Also, if anybody has supplement suggestions, I could certainly use those too.[/quote]

I like the attitude I hear from you in this post. I’m only going to say a couple things for now and maybe check back later sometime.

  1. Veggies making you gag—sounds kinda like a Dave Tate problem. Dave “fuckin’” Tate is an elite powerlifter that decided to get his health in check this past year before he died and widowed his wife and kids. He had a worse problem than yours–he’d try a clean diet for a day or two, get diahrea and vomiting, and then go back to his old diet.

Eventually he asked this brilliant guy by the name of Dr. John Berardi (who we just happen to have on this forum in the Locker Room) for help. JB got him to eat clean without any problems and got him to drop about 35-40lb of fat. I’d ask JB for help. As he is usually very busy, I’d also check out his articles on Dave Tate’s transformation.

2)Read the two stickies at the top of the beginner forum. They will point you in a lot of good directions. Also, they will help you avoid getting flamed too bad by showing you what to avoid saying, for the most part :).

  1. Knee/back–read what the other guys on this forum have to say, and also ask Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson in the Locker Room forum.

4)This is important–think “lifestyle” and not “diet”. Think “Fat loss” not “weight loss” b/c the two are NOT the same and you want to keep as much of your muscle as you can to help rev up your metabolism. If you lose too much muscle, your metabolism will crash, and eventually when you try to gain weight back you’ll end up gaining all your fat back. Keep your muscle!

  1. Besides Fish oil supps (try Flameout here at Biotest) and a protein powder for extra meals/protein, and a multivitamin, any other supp is more than likely just going to be a drain on your budget.

HOT-ROX is probably the best fat burner on the market (but I’m biased :)), but the thing you need before anything else is to build discipline and good habits of eating and good habits of lifting. When it all comes down to it, those are the only two things that are going to help you if you’re broke or short on time, or whatever. The only things you can count on. After you’ve got the basics going, look into other supps. Good luck.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
branflakecereal wrote:
But I’m a 19 year old guy, 6’0 240, obviously a bit on the overweight side. I’ve got more than my fair share of body fat, last time I measured I was somewhere around 30%. I’ve got several things that have hampered me in my past attempts to get into shape.

I have difficulties with dieting – vegetables, for some reason, literally make me gag. Furthermore, my low back seems prone to injury, and my knees have a rather constant “loose” feeling. I work full time and go to school full time, so time is at a premium.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, I’m just terribly ignorant when it comes to what is and is not a good idea when it comes to diet and excercise.

That being said, I’ve got very modest goals for now. I’d like to get my body fat percentage down to around 10-15, and maybe pick up some muscle mass along the way. Any suggestions would be great, as I’m entirely willing to give any excercise program I can fit into my schedule a shot, and dieting, I can do to a point, though not to the extreme of the best of the best of you guys on this forum.

Thanks in advance for any help, I’m dedicated to getting my body into respectable shape.

Also, if anybody has supplement suggestions, I could certainly use those too.

I like the attitude I hear from you in this post. I’m only going to say a couple things for now and maybe check back later sometime.

  1. Veggies making you gag—sounds kinda like a Dave Tate problem. Dave “fuckin’” Tate is an elite powerlifter that decided to get his health in check this past year before he died and widowed his wife and kids. He had a worse problem than yours–he’d try a clean diet for a day or two, get diahrea and vomiting, and then go back to his old diet.

Eventually he asked this brilliant guy by the name of Dr. John Berardi (who we just happen to have on this forum in the Locker Room) for help. JB got him to eat clean without any problems and got him to drop about 35-40lb of fat. I’d ask JB for help. As he is usually very busy, I’d also check out his articles on Dave Tate’s transformation.

2)Read the two stickies at the top of the beginner forum. They will point you in a lot of good directions. Also, they will help you avoid getting flamed too bad by showing you what to avoid saying, for the most part :).

  1. Knee/back–read what the other guys on this forum have to say, and also ask Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson in the Locker Room forum.

4)This is important–think “lifestyle” and not “diet”. Think “Fat loss” not “weight loss” b/c the two are NOT the same and you want to keep as much of your muscle as you can to help rev up your metabolism. If you lose too much muscle, your metabolism will crash, and eventually when you try to gain weight back you’ll end up gaining all your fat back. Keep your muscle!

  1. Besides Fish oil supps (try Flameout here at Biotest) and a protein powder for extra meals/protein, and a multivitamin, any other supp is more than likely just going to be a drain on your budget.

HOT-ROX is probably the best fat burner on the market (but I’m biased :)), but the thing you need before anything else is to build discipline and good habits of eating and good habits of lifting. When it all comes down to it, those are the only two things that are going to help you if you’re broke or short on time, or whatever. The only things you can count on. After you’ve got the basics going, look into other supps. Good luck.[/quote]

First of all, thanks for the reply. I’ve been an occasional lurker here every now and again, but I’ve finally gotten the initiative to try to figure out something that’ll work for me.

I’m quite aware of the effects of muscle mass on metabolism, which is why I am wary of anything along the lines of a crash diet, but at the same time, certainly don’t want to be adding any fat mass like you would in a typical muscle-build program.

Just as something to add – As far as my eating goes, I do what I can, but I’m still living at home, and while it sounds lame, it is rather difficult to eat properly as a result. When you’ve got a traditional, southern family wanting you to eat 3 meals a day, and trying to cook you fried chicken while you don’t pay rent, it can be difficult.

Another problem I’ve encountered that I failed to mention in my prior post is that I have a lot of trouble with cardio-based excercises as I have breathing issues that seem to stem from a near-constant inflammation of the membranes inside my nasal passages. Doctors haven’t really had much luck figuring that one out, either.

After some extensive digging, I’m definitely going to give some Flameout a shot for my back and knee and maybe even breathing issues, along with its other apparent benefeits. I might give some HOT-ROX a shot.

Now, I just have to ensure that I’m doing my excercises properly (which has always been something I’ve never been 100% sure on), and do my best to try to stick to better eating habits.

Are there any particular mutli’s or types of protein you would reccomend/stray away from? I’ve heard to stay away from soy at the very least, but I was curious if there were any other tricks to be had there.

Again, thanks for the suggestions, I’d like to think that with some effort, I can be on my way to a bit more of a healthy lifestyle.

[quote]branflakecereal wrote:

First of all, thanks for the reply. I’ve been an occasional lurker here every now and again, but I’ve finally gotten the initiative to try to figure out something that’ll work for me.

I’m quite aware of the effects of muscle mass on metabolism, which is why I am wary of anything along the lines of a crash diet, but at the same time, certainly don’t want to be adding any fat mass like you would in a typical muscle-build program.

Just as something to add – As far as my eating goes, I do what I can, but I’m still living at home, and while it sounds lame, it is rather difficult to eat properly as a result. When you’ve got a traditional, southern family wanting you to eat 3 meals a day, and trying to cook you fried chicken while you don’t pay rent, it can be difficult.

Another problem I’ve encountered that I failed to mention in my prior post is that I have a lot of trouble with cardio-based excercises as I have breathing issues that seem to stem from a near-constant inflammation of the membranes inside my nasal passages. Doctors haven’t really had much luck figuring that one out, either.

After some extensive digging, I’m definitely going to give some Flameout a shot for my back and knee and maybe even breathing issues, along with its other apparent benefeits. I might give some HOT-ROX a shot.

Now, I just have to ensure that I’m doing my excercises properly (which has always been something I’ve never been 100% sure on), and do my best to try to stick to better eating habits.

Are there any particular mutli’s or types of protein you would reccomend/stray away from? I’ve heard to stay away from soy at the very least, but I was curious if there were any other tricks to be had there.

Again, thanks for the suggestions, I’d like to think that with some effort, I can be on my way to a bit more of a healthy lifestyle.[/quote]

I’m pretty new to T-Nation, and only been lifting for about a year, but I know a thing or two about fat loss. I started out bigger than you and got down to 175. Within a year I was up around 205, got down to 195, started working out and maintained weight though I saw a big difference in my body and strength. Took a year off, somehow let myself get up to 227, and now I’m sitting around 210-215 and losing fat and gaining muscle.

I was in a “I’m cool with this” mindset during the times I gained weight because I know now I can drop it, but what I’ve always realized is it’s never easy when you’re starting out.

I don’t know how many people are going to agree with this, and I’m no professional, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but here’s my .02 cents.

I SERIOUSLY doubt that you CANNOT do any type of cardio because of some unexplained breathing problem. You’re overweight and out of shape, OF COURSE YOU CAN’T BREATHE!!! Take up some good habits, take it slow, and I’d bet money your “problem” disappears in a few months.

I think it’s possibly the same thing with your knees and back. They’re weak and just need you to work on them. If you take it slow you can find out for sure. You shouldn’t go out and try to run 3 miles anyway.

The way you eat shouldn’t be decided by how everyone else is eating. If you’ve got a job you can afford your own food. I’m from, you guessed it, The South, am a college student, work full-time, eat 5-6 meals a day, run 6-8 miles a week, am in the gym 4 days a week, and I still end up have time sitting around bored.lol

Now MANY people may disagree with me here, but at your level I don’t believe that ANY supplements are necessary(with the possible exception of multi-vitamins and vitamin C). If you get on a solid program you’re going to see huge differences even without them, people around here call “them newbie gains”, and I think that alot of people see supplements as something they’re not. Alot of (still fat) people thing that if they get on brand x supplement the pounds are just going to shed off of them. That kind of mentality is dangerous. You have to realize that it’s not going to be easy, it’s gonna take work, and sometimes it’s gonna hurt, but it’s not supposed to be easy. If it were you wouldn’t see obese people everywhere you go.

Finally, you CAN do it. You, just like everyone else, have a lot of potential, but you’ve got to get the right attitude that you’re going to do something positive for your life. Don’t try it, DO IT. Don’t make excuses, DO IT. If someone gets negative on you, DO IT, and make it into something positive.

That’s all I got.

Good for you for taking a can do attitude and setting a reasonable and positive goal.

After almost a year of not training (a new baby, finishing a degree, and my first serious career-based job left me with barely enough energy to eat, let alone train), I came back to the gym this past July at a soft 240 (at 5’10"), severely lacking in mobility, endurance, and to a lesser extent strength. So I realize how hard it can be going from no defined diet or exercise to getting back into shape.

The key is to make incremental lifestyle changes and ease into things so that each improvement is only a small step from the last. If you try to go balls out too soon you’ll feel like shit which kills motivation.

To start read Eric Cressey’s “Smart from the Start” it is a great beginner’s guide. Charles Staley also has a good one.

Personally, what really helped me was focusing on compound movements like squatting, pulling, rowing, and pressing. First worry about developing your range of motion and form. You’d be surprised at how much doing squats with great form (even with not much weight) can aid you terms of adding muscle and burning fat, especially in a beginner.

Also, Chris Shugart is the man when it comes to real-world practical advice for changing your lifestyle, especially his FFB stuff.