T Nation

Overweight - What to Do First?

Okay… So I am very overweight and I need to change that. I keep reading articles and I feel like there is soo much information and it is overwhelming.

I feel like the best thing for me to do it just get started… I am not going to start any crazy strict diet or anything like that but I am going to cut back on the soda and fatty foods. Try to eat whole foods and eat clean… Also, Im just going to have to get in the weight room and get started…

People say that you cant lose weight and gain muscle at the same time, that its either one or the other. Is this true with everyone or just the people already in the single digets of body fat?? Because currently, i am 6’ and around 315 pounds… I feel like I can do both… Maybe not though…

Also, how should I lift?? Should I try to gain as much muscle as possible since muscle burns more calories when you are resting? OR should I try to make my lifting cardio like??

I really want to try to lift heavy and build muscle first so that when I lose weight, the muscle is what shows…

Please help… Remember, I am trying to just get started. Also, I have a pretty good knowledge of lifting. Gain muscle first or lose the weight first??

I can see how all this stuff can be overwhelming. Honestly for the first year or so, just read the article to kind of expand your mind, they mostly pertain to people that have been training for years, decades.

To start, I’d recommend keeping it really simple. Like you said, cut back on all the SHIT you eat that made you fat in the first place.
Work out 4-5 times a week, if not more. You got plenty of fat fuel sitting around, it’d be hard to overtrain especially given how much cardio you have ahead of you.

Here’s what I’d do:
-15 min warm-up walking uphill on treadmill
-45 min weights, learn to feel your muscles, split your week into push/pull/legs
-30 min cardio at the end, may even be simple steady-state cardio

That’s simple enough, just 90 minutes, and should give you results fast, as long as you’re not being a Lazy McFatty Fat and eating shit.

Good luck, it won’t be easy.

Also, try the Beginners forum in here.

If you are shorter than 2.3 meters/6 feet 10 you will do both easily. You have to progress to avoid joints issues. Simple things like walking 40 minutes it can be in 1 to 4 sessions daily, a few minutes up-down stairs some swimming, cycling do add up. Fat will go down 3 pounds weekly just from proper eating eat items like carrot, onion, potatoe, lentils, not prepared/processed meals. Drink water period or a little green tea is fine plus the water.

Weights add volume/sets progressively take light weights to warmup keep them using short rests 20-50 sec. only compound exercises. Probably starting 6 times 20 min. weekly would be smart. never push too much the first 3 months.
All the best !

good luck brother glad to see someone making an effort to change their life.

Good luck man, there’s people always here for encouragement and advice whenever you need it

Read some of Dan John’s stuff. He does a great job of putting things into perspective. He also can simplify things that others seem to make way too complicated.

[quote]lbraga wrote:
I can see how all this stuff can be overwhelming. Honestly for the first year or so, just read the article to kind of expand your mind, they mostly pertain to people that have been training for years, decades.

To start, I’d recommend keeping it really simple. Like you said, cut back on all the SHIT you eat that made you fat in the first place.
Work out 4-5 times a week, if not more. You got plenty of fat fuel sitting around, it’d be hard to overtrain especially given how much cardio you have ahead of you.

Here’s what I’d do:
-15 min warm-up walking uphill on treadmill
-45 min weights, learn to feel your muscles, split your week into push/pull/legs
-30 min cardio at the end, may even be simple steady-state cardio

That’s simple enough, just 90 minutes, and should give you results fast, as long as you’re not being a Lazy McFatty Fat and eating shit.

Good luck, it won’t be easy.[/quote]

This is good advice. Your diet needs to be clean, this is the biggest factor, and keep your training simple but make sure you’re still getting the job done. Good luck.

[quote]The8thDeadlySin wrote:
Okay… So I am very overweight and I need to change that. I keep reading articles and I feel like there is soo much information and it is overwhelming.

I feel like the best thing for me to do it just get started… I am not going to start any crazy strict diet or anything like that but I am going to cut back on the soda and fatty foods. Try to eat whole foods and eat clean… Also, Im just going to have to get in the weight room and get started…

People say that you cant lose weight and gain muscle at the same time, that its either one or the other. Is this true with everyone or just the people already in the single digets of body fat?? Because currently, i am 6’ and around 315 pounds… I feel like I can do both… Maybe not though…

Also, how should I lift?? Should I try to gain as much muscle as possible since muscle burns more calories when you are resting? OR should I try to make my lifting cardio like??

I really want to try to lift heavy and build muscle first so that when I lose weight, the muscle is what shows…

Please help… Remember, I am trying to just get started. Also, I have a pretty good knowledge of lifting. Gain muscle first or lose the weight first??[/quote]

Also, as far as lifting, obviously keep it simple but as far as reps/sets wise I would say go for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps on compound lifts (squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, rows) to get a good base. Focus on form for now you will still be burning a good deal of extra calories and letting your body adapt hormonally. Maybe 2-4 exercises per day if you’re going with the push/pull/legs split. check out the beginners section.

when you are just getting going just about anything that involves better diet and more movement will yield some results. I think the advice above is pretty good. Good luck.

[quote]The8thDeadlySin wrote:
Okay… So I am very overweight and I need to change that. I keep reading articles and I feel like there is soo much information and it is overwhelming.

I feel like the best thing for me to do it just get started… I am not going to start any crazy strict diet or anything like that but I am going to cut back on the soda and fatty foods. Try to eat whole foods and eat clean… Also, Im just going to have to get in the weight room and get started…

People say that you cant lose weight and gain muscle at the same time, that its either one or the other. Is this true with everyone or just the people already in the single digets of body fat?? Because currently, i am 6’ and around 315 pounds… I feel like I can do both… Maybe not though…

Also, how should I lift?? Should I try to gain as much muscle as possible since muscle burns more calories when you are resting? OR should I try to make my lifting cardio like??

I really want to try to lift heavy and build muscle first so that when I lose weight, the muscle is what shows…

Please help… Remember, I am trying to just get started. Also, I have a pretty good knowledge of lifting. Gain muscle first or lose the weight first??[/quote]
NO to cardio. That name is given to low load, long duration exercise. Can you add muscle? Absolutely. You do a progressive weight training routine and your cardiac muscle will be working rather hard.
You will have to create a calorie deficit. That is not an option. By being heavy, my bet is you already have a good amount of muscle, especially in the thighs.

How many days per week are you willing to commit to training? Three would be the absolute minimum. I would not do body part splits just yet. I wouldn’t go into the routine that you will be using right away either. Ease in and begin progressing
Because of your size, your insulin sensitivity is most likely F’d up. You are wise to give up soda and fried food. Let’s be honest though…You have to lose a lot of mass, and some of it is going to be muscle. Minimize it by training smart.

Now a dose of reality. Muscle does burn calories, but it isn’t as impactful and worth it for you to want to gain muscle first without losing tonnage.
Afterburn is another indicator that some point to that isn’t as important as people say. You have to cut calories. Cut carbs a lot, cut saturated fats, cut fatty protein sources. Here is another bugaboo. The actual calories that you burn in exercise won’t amount to much as compared to the number you can cut with a diet induced calorie deficit. People that can tolerate huge calorie burns in the gym and other forms of training are typically people that don’t need to.

Then there is the broscience theory of frequent feedings. Better yet to focus on planned feedings and make those quality foods.
You’re going to have to do work. I would work on sets that last in the 40 seconds minimum duration. Don’t kill yourself when you start. Gradually add sets and/or exercises.
If you are an absolute beginner, you could start simple on Monday
10-15 minute walk
Leg press
Chest press
Machine Row. First workout could be 2 sets, as long as they last long enough. You could use a timer or just do 12-15 controlled reps.

take a day off of weights, but double on the walking time.
Wed work out again, add a set.
Saturday and Sunday, walk again.

Monday again you can add a set to 4. Wednesday 5. On each of these days, you can do the leg press first, then with the chest press and machine row, alternate between the two.
On Friday, add two sets shoulder press and narrow grip pulldown and a leg curl. these can be done in a rotation basis.

The timed sets may be too much. If it is, set a start and raise weight target range.
Maybe just between 8 - 12. When all sets of 12 in good form are completed, add weight. Enough to make it noticeable. At least get 8 at the new weight.

This will get tougher and tougher as you go on, and will be fine for at least 3 months. Whatever you do, like what you do. You need to or you won’t continue.

I haven’t taken a body comp test, but my belt size is smaller than 5 months ago, and my lifts are bigger. I think for beginners it’s probably doable (if they’re not already really lean).

I will say I lost more weight when doing cardio (walking, sometims running) than I am right now that I’m not doing it, so wouldn’t go too hard against it either. I hope to start doing cardio more again once the newborn is on a better sleep pattenr, but right now it’s all I can do to get through a day and lift 2 lifts 3x a week–I’m holdin ga crying infant while typing this actually, and am dead exhausted

OP
the first thing you need to do is ask yourself why you got overweight in the first place, and stop all those bad habbits… then start your beginner training program, consisting of great diet, training and sleep… good luck…