Newbie needs help

Hello everyone,

I’m new to this board, and I need some help.
Currently 5’11, 218lbs, 35" waist at 23.
I want to build more muscle while losing the fat I am currently carrying around my waist.
Further more I am going on a cruise in 38 days, and I need to look good for it.

Right now I go to the gym with no real great plan, so I need some help to get that straight.
I’m trying to keep track of my diet on

What is going to help me burn the most fat, while building more muscle to burn even more fat at rest?

This is an example of my workout last night.

3 sets of leg extensions
3 sets of leg press
3 sets of seated calf raises
3 sets of decline bench press (hammer machine)
3 sets of seated row (hammer machine)
3 sets of bent over DB row
2 sets of flat DB fly
2 sets of DB shoulder press
3 sets of rope push down
3 sets of standing DB curls
2 sets of lateral pull down
2 sets of seated fly

Time : 1:15

Is this too much too fast?

My dinner right after working out consisted of 2 large chicken breasts, 2 cups of yogart, 1 ear of corn.
1 serving of creatine.

What do I need to change to show better or some improvement?
I’m afraid of hitting a plateau, and not gaining anything.

Congrats on taking control and getting in the gym! Have you read the FAQ on the front page yet? Check out the “Dawg School” article and also the “Beginners Blast off” program, both great places to start. Keep up the hard work, and good luck!

38 days is to short to get to the mean and lean status

check your diet needs (check out appetite for construction for help)

omega fatty acids are your friends

stick with (bench,deads, squats)compound movements and stay away from the nautilus

jumping rope…if ya’ don’t know how, learn


Hi ttdmac,

Check out the Diet Manifesto article. It has a description and links to all of the various diets that have appeared in T-mag over the years. Peruse them and see which one seems right for you.

It’s very difficult to gain muscle while concurrently losing fat. Since you want to look good for your upcoming cruise, fat loss should probably be your primary concern right now. Although you’ll only be maintaining LBM, not adding to it, you will create the illusion of greater muscularity through improved definition and a smaller waist.

My advice would be to look into something like the T-dawg Diet 2.0, add some energy system work to your fitness routine if you don’t already, (check out CT’s Running Man article) and work at strengthening your transverse abdominus muscle as this will help tighten up your waist.

For your weightlifting routine, keep the sets around 20 a workout. Learn or start doing squats, deadlifts, lunges, chin-ups/pull-ups, and dips. A good rule of thumb is the less enjoyable an exercise, the better it is for you. You have much to learn, but with T-mag there is a world of information at your fingertips so dig into the archives and start reading.

Good Luck,

By all means research the site and see for yourself all of the helpful movements and programs. However, since you asked I will give you my quick and dirty analysis anyway:

  1. Drop the leg extensions! In fact, never do them again. If you live to be 120 never do them. No serously, I don’t want you to do them! And when you walk past the leg extension machine snear at it. You may also chuckle a little bit when you see others doing them…(don’t let them see you).

  2. Dump the leg press, they created something far better, it’s called the Barbell Squat! You will burn more calories (did I hear you say you wanted to lose fat?) and build more muscle doing Squats. You have that whole upper body deal working while you balance large amounts of weight across your shoulders. And…no…I am not going to tell you anymore here, look it up.

  3. Why do you do seated calf raises? Are going to be entering a body building contest? No? Then please skip them.

  4. Dump the decline bench movement with the hammer machine-Replace it with dips!

  5. Lose the seated row and do Barbell rows. Fat loss…that is what you want, right?

  6. Lose the rope pushdowns-Replace them with Standing barbell overhead Presses. Why not hit your delts, upper pecs, and stabilizer muscles in addition to hitting your Triceps? You want to lose fat right?

  7. Don’t do the standing dumbbell curls, or the Lat Pull (wasted of time machine) downs. Instead do Two sets of Pull-ups and two sets of Chin-ups. Why not hit the lats, biceps, front delts and all of the upper body stabilizer muscles? Did I hear someone say FAT LOSS?

  8. Why are you doing “seated flys?” Please don’t do those. I thank you in advance!

There you have it! You will thank me someday for this…Okay you can do it now if you want :slight_smile: (Kidding)

In all seriousness do the big movements! You will build more muscle lose more fat!

Good Luck, and welcome to T-mag forum, the hottest muscle building forum known to mondern man! (Serious)

What ZEB said…

Seriously, everything he said is right on, but let me add that I don’t believe that the strength training protocol has a lot to do with fat loss…in my opinion, most of the strength programs aimed primarily at stimulating fat loss (high reps, short rest prds, high neural drive and lactic acid buildup,) lead to an unacceptable loss of strength and lbm…

but i digress…yes, as ZEB said, do big movements, focus on preserving your strength in those movements, and understand that fat loss is a function of diet.

p.s. if it isn’t totally clear, I believe you should scrap your current program and pick something better from this site…plenty of good diet info here as well…

Best of luck

Great advice ZEB!

Ttdmac- do yourself a serious favor and listen to what ZEB, and others have said. Good luck.

Good post, Zeb.

Dan “Strength is sexy” McVicker

Agree with zeb too.
But now since you are doing more compound exercises you really need to remove some of them and put them on another day. Otherwise you will be training for too long and you will be too tired towards the end of the workout to get proper results.
If you were doing that routine 3 days a week, then pretty much split it in two and train 4 days a week. You really need more knowledge. Read as much as you can. Your very first exercise shows this ‘leg extensions’ and the fact that you are doing them first in your workout, let alone at all. Of course there are times when you can, but not for most people. Read read read. ‘If’ you can’t be bothered reading then why should people be bothered giving their time to help. I bend over backwards to help people who are trying to help themsleves, so hopefully you will do what you can.

the proper routine for you is:
What ZEB said + Deadlifts.
Summarizing: Squats,Deadlifts,push/pull vertical/horizontal. No isolation exercises, no direct arm work, no machines.

that ZEB, always giving helpful advice. okay, for the midsection fat loss, ABS DO ABS AND RUNNING/STAIRS. work on the lower abs more, because if you are like most people, this is where the most fat is. also, do big compound movements that will give you a full body workout. deadlifts always get me mad sweaty and tired, as well as cleans and clean and jerks.

hope that helped.

‘do lower abs more, because if you are like most people, this is where the most fat is…’


Bazence, have I missed something? What does training a specific muscle have to do with fat storage patterns? James, until someone can explain a statement like this, I would counsel you NOT to take this advice… just pick 3-5 big lifts and take a few months getting stronger… I don’t think you should concern yourself with any direct ab work at all… people who say shit like the above piss me off!!! Consider your own knowledge base before offering advice to someone else!!!