T Nation

Trying to Get to 200


I'm fairly new to the training lifestyle. After years upon years of living a not so healthy lifestyle I am trying to get in better shape, (which is a gross understatement). I am currently at 285 lbs and I stand 5'9". I would like to lose 85 to 100 lbs while hopefully adding some muscle. Any help with a training regimen with greatly appreciated.

P.S. I do understand that diet and nutrition will play a major part in this as well as gym consistency, So I am fully committed to the cause of me.


For the immediate time being, get your diet in order and just go for a daily walk. You can probably get your first 20-30 lbs with that alone. At the same time, you can go to the gym a couple times a week to learn how to lift or even just do some bodyweight stuff to prepare for the gym. Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe has a lot of detail on how to perform the main lifts. From there you can pick a beginner program (Starting Strength, Stronglifts, Greyskull, or something else), and begin getting stronger while losing weight. This will only last a short time, though before the lifting gets more demanding and you have to decide on whether strength or fatloss is your goal.

After the initial water weight (5-10 lbs) is gone, try to lose 3 or so pounds per week for the first month. After that, you can taper it down to 2. Also, wrap a string around your waist, just below your bellybutton and cut it. You should be able to shorten that string every week.

You may also want to take a little break once you get around 250 or so and just hold that for a couple weeks to give your metabolism a rest. If you do the math, you’re looking at nearly a year to get the weight off. And at 5’9," you still won’t be “ripped,” but you will be healthier and stronger.

For fat loss, the trick, oddly, is to do as little as possible while still meeting your fatloss goals. This allows you to step up your efforts as needed to maintain progress.


Great. Congratulations on making the decision to change. All of what 1 Man said is good stuff.

I will add that mindset and determination is very, very important. This is a long process, and you need to find ways to fit positive changes into your life. Maybe you will bowl 300 and get everything right, but some missteps, bad days, bad weeks and even bad months may be in front of you. This is all okay, so long as you…


This simple and somewhat overplayed, cheesy one-liner may just be the most important element for success. I’ll add a few more.

  1. Find a way to lift weights that you enjoy. For me, that was heavy compounds with an emphasis on strength. Others have found joy with bodybuilding styles of lifting, others with pure power lifting, strongman, machines, bodyweight stuff, kettlebells, the options are plentiful. Finding that joy keeps you in the gym and keeps you consistent. The same applies to other forms of exercises. If you hate running you shouldn’t expect that you will run your way to your goal. Find things that you enjoy doing.

  2. Learn to cook and prepare meals and how to plan out your food consumption in advance. Keep healthy food on hands so you do not gravitate towards easy, unhealthy options on days where you are pressed for time. Consistent diet execution day-in, day-out is the ticket here. Four good days and three bad days per week doesn’t cut it for me. Damn if I don’t keep trying it, though.

  3. Consistency wins. Consistency in the gym is how you build the muscle and consistency in the kitchen governs everything. The latter has always been my biggest challenge.

  4. Read this website. Read everything you can and apply the proven principles that you can realistically fit into your life. Focus on content oriented towards beginners, which there is plenty of. You are not an advanced lifter, so you don’t need to sweat over the same type of details that someone who has been training for 10 years does. Keep it basic, keep it fun, keep it safe.

And don’t ever quit. This bears repeating.

Good luck!


Welcome, oops. Good luck.

twojarslave has already laid out the best advice I can give. Check out his log, it should resonate nicely with you and give you some food for thought!


I have some experience in this area, and am currently working my way back to an acceptable condition after about 8 years of neglecting my body and twojars advice sounds absolutely spot on. I can’t add anything except to repeat, never give up. Good luck.


For me getting off fast food helped a lot.

I agree find forms of exercise you like.


Your diet is more of a determining factor of how much you will weigh compared to your excercise regimen.


Just read pretty much any 10 articles on this site