T Nation

Very Confused About Goals


I have been reading these forums for about 1 month now, as well as the rest of T-Nation, and I have learned so much. I am also very confused.

I am 28 years old, am 5'10' and weigh 240 pounds. I recently started lifting and I am really enjoying myself and I seem to be making some true gains. My confusion comes about when I think about my goals. My primary goal is to lose weight (i.e get leaner by decreasing body fat and increasing muscle)

But I would also like to increase my strength (I seem to be way weaker than most people. i.e. I can't even hold my 2 year old son for more than a few minutes before "failing") and I would also like to "look" in shape. Are these 3 goals mutually exclusive? Do they have to be attacked in stages? I also train Muay Thai kickboxing. Is this detrimental to my goals? Is Muay thai considered Cardio? Is it HIIT?

Further, everyday on T-Nation it seems as if there are wildly divergent opinions on how to train. Some say only compound movements, some say isolation is key. Some say lift heavy for low reps, some say low weight for high reps. All in all I just don't have a clear picture of how I should be proceeding. I realize it will take time, but I am hoping to get some concrete direction for my journey.


Right now as a beginner, you can do all three. The longer you train, the more difficult it will be. Work on getting into good training and dietary habits. I would do Starr/Rippetoe's classic 5x5 program and adhere to Berardi's 7 Habits for nutrition.

Muay Thai may be cardio, but I dont think I would count it as HIIT.


Thanks for the advice stronghold. I am definitely going to check out your suggestions.
Anyone else have ideas?


I'm in the same boat as you, man. I'm a little older (35) and a little lighter.
What I've done is set up my diet to follow the "body for life" system. It's a little modified to reduce the amount of carbs I take in. That diet is consistent with the recent "nutrition for newbies" articles, and with most of the other nutrition articles I have read here.
For exercise, I started a program based on the destroying fat article. http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1499282

I hope this helps you. I'll also let you know my progress, if any.


I second this recommendation, that's essentially what I'm doing and it's working well.


Sounds like a great plan. How long are you planning on sticking to this routine. Is it until you reach your goal weight or size? Or, is it for a predetermined amount of time?


I'm going to give this 12 weeks, and then evaluate. Hopefully after that amount of time I will have been able to get my eating under control (I like to eat).