Set Me Straight

Here I’ll out line my specs, what im currently doing, what I want, and the questions that I have and id really appreciate any help anyone can give on any of the areas.

Im 23, 6’3, 221 lbs, 21% BF

At this moment I am running on a treadmill twice a day for 40 minutes which nets me about 630 calories burned per run.

I lift at the gym MWF however as ive been reading big noob mistake, I only use the machines, and ive only been training the waist up, which I know those two things need to change.

My diet info is taking HOT-ROX extreme twice a day. I Drink a Metabolic Drive super protein shake every 3 hours. After lifting at the gym I drink a Surge recovery shake. At night I usually eat whatever the family eats for dinner in a small portion.

My Questions:

  1. Being at 21% BF i’d really like to get that down to like 8% eventually and I read that you either pick fat loss or building muscle but not both. Any objections to me training to get down in BF% first instead of building muscle first?
  2. Cardio: I have been running a lot to get as high caloric deficit as possible, I read that this exercise could actually hurt muscle building. I also read that a lot of people think HIIT is better than longer jogs, but I just cant get that through my head, i have no problem running at those intensities and I did it for a while but my brain just cant comprehend how HIIT can be better than a longer workout with more calories burned. I also read some people say cardio isnt even needed. Question is, what should I do for cardio while getting my BF% down, what should I do for cardio when bulking up, or should I not even do cardio in one or many of those situations?
  3. My diet. I read that eating often and small portions increases metabolism etc. Does this work the same if the large majority of my calories come from the Metabolic Drive shakes? Am I selling myself short by using mostly just the shakes and not food? What should I do in this department or is just the shakes fine?

Im going to start using the free weights, doing the compound movements, pickup up one of the many great programs on this site, stop ignoring my lower body etc. I have no problem working hard running hard training hard etc, plus I have the time to fit it all in, I would just like to workout in optimum conditions as i can to know im doing it the best and fastest way that I can. My goal is to get my body in shape and doing well by the end of may. Thanks for any advice!

[quote]osirismdw wrote:
Here I’ll out line my specs, what im currently doing, what I want, and the questions that I have and id really appreciate any help anyone can give on any of the areas.

Im 23, 6’3, 221 lbs, 21% BF

At this moment I am running on a treadmill twice a day for 40 minutes which nets me about 630 calories burned per run.

I lift at the gym MWF however as ive been reading big noob mistake, I only use the machines, and ive only been training the waist up, which I know those two things need to change.

My diet info is taking HOT-ROX extreme twice a day. I Drink a Metabolic Drive super protein shake every 3 hours. After lifting at the gym I drink a Surge recovery shake. At night I usually eat whatever the family eats for dinner in a small portion.

My Questions:

  1. Being at 21% BF i’d really like to get that down to like 8% eventually and I read that you either pick fat loss or building muscle but not both. Any objections to me training to get down in BF% first instead of building muscle first?
  2. Cardio: I have been running a lot to get as high caloric deficit as possible, I read that this exercise could actually hurt muscle building. I also read that a lot of people think HIIT is better than longer jogs, but I just cant get that through my head, i have no problem running at those intensities and I did it for a while but my brain just cant comprehend how HIIT can be better than a longer workout with more calories burned. I also read some people say cardio isnt even needed. Question is, what should I do for cardio while getting my BF% down, what should I do for cardio when bulking up, or should I not even do cardio in one or many of those situations?
  3. My diet. I read that eating often and small portions increases metabolism etc. Does this work the same if the large majority of my calories come from the Metabolic Drive shakes? Am I selling myself short by using mostly just the shakes and not food? What should I do in this department or is just the shakes fine?

Im going to start using the free weights, doing the compound movements, pickup up one of the many great programs on this site, stop ignoring my lower body etc. I have no problem working hard running hard training hard etc, plus I have the time to fit it all in, I would just like to workout in optimum conditions as i can to know im doing it the best and fastest way that I can. My goal is to get my body in shape and doing well by the end of may. Thanks for any advice![/quote]

  1. food is always better than meal replacements(your shakes)
  2. Running twice a day is too much
  3. The velocity diet, which is all about losing fat, recommends walking on an incline and/or with a weighted vest. Running isn’t the only cardio you can be doing. If you diet is in order cardio really isn’t needed to lost fat, but it helps. Anything that gets your heart rate up and keeps it up for prolonged periods of time will work. IMO HIIT is better than long runs, but both will work. If you REALLY want to shed everything fast, hop in a pool.
  4. Why would you want to shred down twice? Why not bulk up now while watching your diet? You’ll begin to lose the fat and gain the muscle and then afterwards you’ll shred down. It’s the beginning of march, you don’t need the beach body quite yet.

All points derived from my non professional opinion, of course.
Go get 'em

In my opinion, it looks like you bought a bunch of supplements looking for a the quick fix or the easy way or whatever. Put the supplements down and start over.

Go to the gym and lift. Bust your ass and use free weights. You don’t need a perfect program, but hit all the major muscle groups. Prove to yourself that you can do this for an extended time before making any other lifestyle changes.

If you stay committed to lifting and working out. Start to get your diet in order. Learn to eat breakfast. Learn to eat 5 or 6 well-portioned meals a day. Use protein powder but don’t live off shakes. I would hold off on the HOT-ROX and wait until you see how far serious lifting and smart eating can get you.

Keep in mind that neither you workout program nor your diet need to be 100% perfect. As long as you are making a concentrated effort in both area, and stay fairly consistent with both, you will make gains. You can work on “perfecting” things over time as you learn how your body reacts to things.

In short, my advice is to go lift for a while and see how that works for you.

That’s a lot of detail. Is it working so far? If it isn’t, that is a pretty good indication that something should be changed.

Congrats on your decision to start hitting the free weights. If you stick with it, it will change your life.

But it sounds like you’re doing way too much cardio. Drop the cardio; pick up the free weights. When your goal is fat loss, weight training is actually more important than running on the treadmill. You can easily be in a caloric deficit without running. If you really want to do some running for general fitness, do twice a week tops. I hope you’ll take my word for it, but if you have the time, you can also investigate it yourself. Here’s an article about cardio by Alwyn Cosgrove:

http://alwyncosgrove.com/Energy-System-Training.html

The first time I ever dieted and got into “working out,” all I did was run. I ended up looking anorexic. I looked like Gandhi on ephedrine. Please don’t make the same mistake I did.

Instead, achieve your fat loss through a low carb diet, lifting weights, and the HOT-ROX. Some people will rag on you for jumping into the supplements so quickly, but I don’t see anything wrong with a beginner taking HOT-ROX as long as you realize it’s just the icing on the cake.

I’d recommend you diet slowly and preserve as much muscle as possible because that’s what makes you look good when the fat’s gone. At least to start, follow a specific diet plan (see the link below.) Don’t just wing it.

Go to this link, it has everything for beginners:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=640350

This diet may or may not be for you, but you might try the T-Dawg diet:

Good luck,

Ibid

Thanks for all the great replys so far.
Yeah youre right it doesnt make sense to cut down twice, ill switch gears more bulking up.

[quote]osirismdw wrote:
Thanks for all the great replys so far.
Yeah youre right it doesnt make sense to cut down twice, ill switch gears more bulking up.[/quote]

If you’re around 21%, I would recommend first getting your diet in order and eating at maintenance calories (search for the Harris Benedict equation as a starting point) for a couple of months and then re-evaluate your goals from that point (you’re likely to gain some muscle and lose some fat for a while if you add some free weight movements).
21% is too high to bulk from the get-go imo.