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Shedding This Scrawny Look


I'm a 26 year old male, about 5'10 and 150lbs.
And I want to get into shape, and shed this scrawny look I've been living with for my whole life. I'm not looking for a perfect body. A little fat never killed anyone LOL. I'm a big fan of food, cant beat a juicy steak or burger.

But what I'm looking to improve is size, strength, stamina, agility and reflexes. The only health issue that might affect my workout would be the ACL knee injury. That I would like to strengthen alot. Its a big concern of mine.
My knowledge of this is very limited. Just recently have I done some reading about nutrition, supplements and workouts.

Nutrition & Supplements
This is my biggest uncertainty. Because I don't know what my body needs and when it needs it. What I would like to do is create a menu for breakfast, snacks, lunch and supper that I can choose from. And add to the menu over time so I don't get bored with the food.

What I'm asking for is a good source for this menu. Like a good recipe book, or an online source for recipes, or any good suggestions. Id really appreciate a good place for barbecuing recipes aswell. And I assume to get the size I want id have to eat as much as I wanted with no real limit. More the better.

Ok for supplements I know a little, like whey protein, creatine and casein. But not sure when and how much. Except for casein, I heard the best time is before bed. Are there are any other supplements I need? Also I think it would B a good idea to take vitamins for days that I'm not getting everything I need. And I've broken alot of bones. So id like to get a good calcium supplement aswell. So if possible id like to get some suggestions on what to buy?

Training & Workouts
I have some experience with working out. But nothing compared to the experience of anyone on this forum LOL. So I need a workout program that will help me improve on size, strength, stamina, agility and reflexes. And I wouldn't mind incorporating some MMA style workouts to keep things interesting. Are there any premade workout programs tailored to my needs?

I was thinking about 1 hour a day. From monday to Friday and rest on the weekend. That time doesn't include cardio. Thats the other thing what should I do for cardio? And I was wondering, are wearing ankle and wrist weights bad for your joints if you wear them for 8 hours?

Since I'm starting from scratch, should what I eat and my workout begin differently and change over a couple months?
Im sure there are other questions that I have. But I cant think of any right now.

Every time I read anything about this subject I get discouraged cause it reminds me of how lost I feel. There just so much info to digest and so much to learn. And the combinations of workouts and supplements are just endless. Everyone seems to have different theories. I hope someone can help me simplify everything for me. Or at least guide me in the right direction. And if there are any past threads, good articles or a Website that can help let me know. If things where perfect someone would just give me a workout program and a food menu that I could follow religiously LOL

Thanks for any help.


Well, look up starting strength, very good workout plan for a beginner. There's also a ton of other good workout plans on this site, but starting strength seems to get mentioned a lot. As for diet, eat a lot. Lots of protein in each meal, at least 5 meals/day, try to only drink water or milk (and lots of it), avoid a lot of junk stuff. As for supplements, protein is good, creatine, fish oil, multivitamin are all solid choices, but you can make a lot of good gains without them.

Basically train hard, eat so that you're slowly gaining weight, sleep enough, and you'll see big changes.


go easy for the first week or 2. get a basic program to start with. eat oats for breakfast and oats before bed or a protein shake. casein is protein, it is slowly released, this is why it is good before bed so your muscle are slowly being fed during the night. stray away from doing to many isolated exercises, start with more compound type exercises.

squats or leg press
rows ( bent over, upright, seated)
finish each bodypart with an isolated excercise.

dont worry about counting calories protein or carbs just yet. this will only make you disinterested. just generally eat more. do this by making everything bigger. find the biggest bowl you have and use it. use the biggest spoon in the draw. use the biggest everything. try to eat or drink constantly through out the day. just say you eat every 2-3 hours? sip water between that 2 hours. eating more meals throughout the day will mean less chance of an insulin spike which would cuase you to store fats.

you MUST! always think big.
when you not eating you should be thinking about what your going to eat.

each training session. you MUST! from the time you walk in the gym you must be fully dedicated to the reason your there. never waste a set by not going to failure.

this will be hard in the first 4 weeks as you will be shakey and unfamiliar with the movements. your central nervous system will grow in the first 4 weeks. after this stage of development you will start to grow.

stick it out you will get there...


Is there a combat sports gym near you?

Find the baddest motherfucker there and express in words and deed your intent to take him out one day.

After I got my ass beat a few times in the ring, I found that was all the motivation I needed to trigger a change in position.

Get as deep in as possible. Nutrition, training, supplements.... these are the easy parts. Having the uncompromising discipline to achieve results is the hard part.

Read, read, read, listen, listen, listen, be honest with the results, be flexible enough to continue maximizing your progression through constant persistance.

First step, get in the gym. The rest will follow. You should be looking for a credible combat gym. A good solid start would be boxing and muay thai classes.


Ive tried too look for the starting strength thing but there are so many threads about it. I cant find the one with the routine your talking about.

You wouldn't have any good examples of some good meal ideas that incorporates oats would you? And what are isolated exercise?

Actually I really like that idea. But I'm living in a small town right now. With no combat gym. Maybe I could just go to the closest bar and find the baddest bouncer and do the same. lol.

What else, does anyone have to add? I could use some more info. Id like to plan out a good routine and figure out daily meal plans. Anyone got a good place can get instructions on doing different exercise? And what machines to use to do them on? Also what muscles it affects?

Thanks for the help so far


http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/starting_strength_the_guide There's a thread that explains all about starting strength.


This is actually really great advice.

Go somewhere in some sport or gym that you have a passion and go to the place with the best where you are the smallest weakest person at the passion you have and you will be sure to advance the quickest. Once you become the strongest leave and find anew place with people stronger then you.

Start to0day, take small steps in the right direction things you then make Habit. Better to take small steps then NONE or than big changes you wont stick to do to being over whelmed.

Train harder eat more and better a little everyday and they add up. Start by picking a solid program here of the many or hire a great coach, get in a training group, give it your all. Make dietary changes For gods sake dont start measuring exact macros and weighting food its NOT needed at this point and for most never needed, just start landing solid simple habits.

Give your steps your choices you ALL and you will get results even from small changes if you stick to them and dont constantly question and change them


I think you could benefit from the scrawny to brawny book by John Berardi and Mike Mejia.

I used the program in it when I was a beginner and made awesome progress. It answers every single question you asked above. I still refer to it quite often. It is actually designed for people starting from scratch too.

This site has everything you need to know, but for a beginner its probably overwhelming. imo books are best until you have some experience and actually know what you are reading and can seperate the crap from the good.

Starting Strength is also an awesome book and one I would recommend that every lifter owns. The thread is full of good information too.


With the goals you listed out above, it was inevitable that you were gonna be told to look up Starting Strength, and rightly so.
Do not, I repeat, do NOT attempt to piece together the Starting Strength programme from this site or various other sources. Buy the book for pete's sake, it's only $30 and I have yet to see anybody see they regret buying it, or even that they don't love it lots!
Here's the Amazon linlk to it-

(Buy the book, you will not get all the necessary information from any Starting Strength thread, awesome as Otep's one is)

Use the search function and look up Christian Thibadeau. Read his 'Training for Newbies', 'Nutrition for Newbies' and 'Supplementation for Newbies' articles.

Read this thread:

This will seem contradictory considering all the information I just suggested you research, but try not to overthink things. The most important thing you can do is stay committed to your training. Eat big, lift heavy, get at 9 or ten hours sleep a night and eat some more.

Best of luck


x2 greatest answer ever... whenever someone lifts more then me in a lift I care about, I think to myself, screw him, few more years and i can do that....