T Nation

Starting Out


ok im new to working out, last year on january 1st i started a diet and by july 16th i lost 140lbs, i went from 360 to 220. i have been maintaining my weight since then and now i started going to the gym on november 1st this year, i really need to tighten up and i want to build muscle. i was told to take supplements like thermo cuts or ripped fuel to help with my slower metabolism, so went and bought ripped fuel. should i be taking anything else? i dont need to gain weight i just need to convert the little bit of fat i have left. also anything i should be doing specifically while working out? any help would be greatly appreciated.


The best thing you can do is start reading.

There is all kinds of information on here about working out for various kinds of goals, nutritional strategies and supplementation.

Read the beginner threads and then hit the article libraries...

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I don't think you really need to worry about supplements yet. If you start hitting it hard in the gym, carrying more muscle around will change your metabolism all by itself. Also, eating 6 times or more a day will also speed up your metabolism. I agree with Vroom, just read ALL you can here, (I honestly wouldn't go anywhere else for information, or supps for that matter).

And oh yeah, you don't convert fat into muscle!!!


And oh yeah, you don't convert fat into muscle!!! [/quote]

This is right. Fat is stored energy that you can use to gain muscle, which could eventually replace the fat as lean body mass. The good mass. The mass you want. But there is know why in hell that fat can turn into muscle.


alright, thanks guys for the help thus far.......i have been in the gym for 6 weeks and i already notice a difference the only thing is my chest, stomach and quads are the places i need the most work.

i do about 50 crunches a night and ride from 5 to 10 miles on the bike a night, what can i do to flatten out my chest more?


i forgot to mention i lift as well as doing that other stuff.....


What do you mean when you say you want to flatten out your chest more??


although cardio is "good"... it is my opinion that muscle burns more fuel than cardio. keep doing the prime exercises: benches, squats... the whole shebang. don't stop crunches. do 'em every day. the stomach fat is the hardest to get rid of (i know 'cause that's all i have)

keep with it, you're doing an excellent job. congratulations.



This is something Berardi mentions and I think it is a great way to look at things. It seems like your goals are mostly asthetic which is fine, but a good way to achieve them is to work towards a performance goal and let your nutrition fix your body composition.

For instance, since you are obviously trying to lose weight, your goals might be cardio related. Go run two miles. Then, think about how much faster you'd be if you dropped 15 pounds of fat and work towards that. There's a very good chance that when you achieve that goal, you will have lost close to 15 pounds of fat. The scale is not the best indicator of body composition. I know I've gained 10# over the last 3 months but am leaner than ever. Keep that in mind as you start weight training.

Keep up the great work!


Welcome ~

I think that the supps aren't really necessary for you right now, but hey... you don't want to leave that bottle sitting around... lol. Lifting weights is really going to help you. Not sure what you mean about flattening out your stomach. Explain...please? You could start with an overall approach - lifting weights with your whole body... see how your stomach looks after 8-10 weeks. I think it would be a huge improvement; especially if you work as hard as you have already. Read the articles about good nutrition here... awesome!

You're getting there!!



How do you eat? How often? And what?

Crunches won't reduce the fat on your stomach. Spot reduction simply doesn't work. They'll make your abs stronger but the abs don't have much potential for growth. So if you want a six pack you'll have to loose fat.

btw, abs are a muscle like any other muscle. They shouldn't be trained every day, especially since your abs are a stabalising muscle in a lot of other exercices. Train abs once a week and obliques 3-4 days later.

Back to fat. Fat has a mind of its own however, it shows up first where it decides to show up (with men, this is usually the belly, the back and the chest, with women it's usually the hips, thighs and buttocks).

I would recommend a mix of weightlifting and cardio. And your diet is equally important. Get those 3 straight, and you'll loose that extra fat while building muscle.


Alright frist off thanks everyone for the pointers and what not, i dont know if my initial post was read or understood,the way i intended it(jtrinsey) i used to weigh 360lbs and in 6 months 15 days i lost 140lbs, im was down to 220lbs for the past year and a half, i have been in the gym for the past 6 weeks and i noticed the difference in my arms and legs and i have picked up 5 lbs. i eat very healthy, i just want to get ripped now.....the main thing i have is alot of excess skin, i dont know if i can tighten it up enough to ever look good, my doctor is telling me that there will always be excess skin around my stomach and that area.......the only way is plastic surgery for that i guess.......


If you have too much skin hanging around that probably means you lost a good amount of muscle,and/or lost the weight too fast.Skin is kinda like a rubber band.Once you lose 30 pounds,don't keep going.

Take a little break,stay at that weight for a month ,or a little longer, so your skin can shrink.Most people go on these keto diets and lose large amounts of muscle and wonder why they have extra skin.This might sound kinda weird,but if you want to get rid of the skin you might have to gain a little weight(8-15 pounds around your stomach),then SLOWLY lose it again.This has worked for quite a few people that I've helped out.
Good luck and congrats on the new you.


is there anything besides shrugs i can do to build my traps? my left side is huge and my right side is tiny......


forearm shot after 8 weeks, sorry no before shot but there was no muscle at all there.