T Nation

Where Do I Start? (With Pics)


#1

Hey everyone, I’m 26 and 6’4" 230 lbs but its it’s not good weight… I’ve pretty much been living off my metabolism my entire life and I’ve realized that I need to take control of my body before it’s too late. Ive been through VERY brief spurts of working out but nothing even worth mentioning. Though I like to think I can at least lift without looking like an idiot but who knows lol anyway I’ve always been too embarrassed to put up pics and ask for guidance but I’m desperate at this point… my question is: what would you do if you suddenly had my body? I don’t want to be huge bodybuilder status, I just want strength and a good figure (think Ryan Reynolds or Chris Hemsworth). What should be my short term and long term focuses?


#2

Pick a sport.
Compete in that sport at some level
Train to improve in that sport and for balance

I think this is the best course for long term adherence- especially if you hate training at the beginning


#3

Set performance goals. They should be challenging but attainable. Then go after those goals. It could be simple, like running a 5k or squatting your body weight. Hell, it could be as simple as timing how long it takes you to walk around your neighborhood, writing it down, then trying to beat that time.

Consider yourself an athlete. Eventually your training and nutrition will fall into place around that mindset.


#4

Anecdote time: My internship was served under a coach that mostly worked with football players looking to either get to or get back to the NFL. A few were NFL guys for a game or three, but mostly they were guys that would be a training camp body at best.

Still, phenomenal athletes, faster and stronger than 99% of the population. Our equipment guy’s wife always packed him a care package of sweets, since he would be away from home for three-four months a year. Cookies, brownies, cakes, she could bake. Too much for him to finish, so he’d share with the training staff, equipment staff, and coaches.

One of the athletes came into the weight room early, a day before schedule and sat down in the office. He was a receiver, D2 school, undrafted, hoping to stay in shape in case some NFL team needed a punt returner for the preseason.

He was offered a brownie. He turned it down. Not because it would cover up his six-pack, but because he thought it would slow him down.

Now, we could argue the impact a 300 calorie brownie has in the grand scheme. I’m not one to deny myself one of my wife’s cookies or a burger from time to time. It is not about the nutritional value of a brownie, it is about the psychological value of thinking about your goals.

When you find that intrinsic motivation, it all falls into place.


#5

I actually played basketball my whole life up to high school but lost interest because I was forced to play. I enjoy going to the gym occasionally but now I’m ready to get serious. I’m more wondering what type of training I should do to get the quickest lean muscle gains and cut a little fat.


#6

I’d be feeling pretty optimistic because this is not a bad place to start.

Commit to 3-4 times per week at the gym - Lifting as my primary focus. Be consistent. You’ll look different in a year. There are good beginner programs and templates here. Chose one. Adding a day or two of some conditioning will speed things along, but if you only have 3-4 days always lift. Make sure you’re eating adequate protein so you can build muscle.

IF you just diet, and/or walk more and do some form of cardio, you may loose the love handles and see your waist go down, but you’ll essentially look like a smaller version of your current self. If you want to reshape your body to look more athletic, you have to lift.

People who eat more and DO more work, especially resistance training look better than people who eat less and do lots of cardio or just eat less and move less. Those methods will take some of the fat off of your mid-section but that’s about it.


#7

Thank you so much for the reply :slight_smile: I’ll definitely take this to heart. My goal is to not only lose the love handles/slight stomach purge, but also out put a little size on my shoulders, chest and arms.


#8

Going to echo @Powerpuff here. Pick a solid beginner routine. I like Starting Strength, but Greyskull and others are probably just as good. Pick one that appeals to you. Then, stick to that routine and be patient.

I know you are probably primarily concerned with aesthetics, and there is nothing wrong with that. Except that, I think, improvements are so subtle and come so slowly, that it is easy to get discouraged. With a good beginner strength training program, you will be setting PR’s and getting stronger every week, if not every work out.

Keep a log. It will make you accountable and remind you of how far you have come. I have one here and have gotten invaluable advice and encouragement. It’s priceless.

Make changes gradually and monitor the results with patience. Dropping caloric intake drastically, or working out twice a day suddenly, will set you up to fail. Realize that this is a long term change and process.

I am only beginning to realize that you don’t really build muscle - it accretes over time and that takes patience.

Good luck!


#9

Do a run of this template to get back in the swing of things…

Then after couple months do this to really get shredded…


#10

Your not one of those guys who is worried about getting too Big are you?


#11

No not worried about getting too big I just would prefer the more agile
look. I dont really want to look like The Rock. Just fit to where nothing
jiggles and a few lbs. Spread evenly on my upper body.


#12

Trust me, this isn’t a concern for the next three years, at least!


#13

You have about as much chance of looking like The Rock as you have of becoming as smart as Einstein.


#14

I’m not actually worried about looking like the rock nor do I think I could
achieve that. It was just for the sake of argument lol


#15

I would start by getting rid of this attitude. I understand you don’t want to be a competitive bodybuilder and that is 100% fine. However, think about what you would tell someone who said “I don’t want to learn this new subject for my degree TOO fast, I just want to sort of be able to have my degree” ? You would probably tell him that it is a fuckload easier to learn everything as fast and as hard as possible and then maintain for as long as you desire.

Same goes with physique stuff. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY ever woke up and went “Fucking bollocks! I got HUGE OVERNIGHT!”. Not even guys with great genetics. Look up the workouts Chris Hemsworth did to prep for his Thor role. Those might not be my idea of a perfect program but I guaranfuckingtee you they are not easy workouts. They’re hard as balls. Hemsworth basically trained like a pro athlete. You can’t make great results going into it mentally thinking “well, I don’t want to push myself too hard.” Nobody ever built a great body like that. I’m not just talking bodybuilding I’m talking sports, movies, you name it.

You are not going to go from 230 to 200 and ripped by sabotaging yourself mentally. I’ve never seen it happen, I’ve only seen a lot of people quit.

So don’t limit yourself. If you want results train with the effort you would put in if you wanted to be the next Heisman trophy winner or Mr. Olympia. Shit is easy to maintain.

Short term focus in order of importance: 1–healthy and organized eating habits 2–HARD training utilizing basics and covering all areas of the body, not just the mirror muscles 3–Good sleep. Everything starts from habits. If you don’t have them it is a house built on sand.

Long term goals: 1–Back strength 2–learning about how to train yourself so you are not as easily confused as others.


#16

This is the #1 reason that people who say “I don’t want to look like Mr. Olympia, I just want to look like Chris Hemsworth” fall off the wagon. Gaining muscle is fucking HARD. Even a little bit. Going into it with anything less than 100% commitment to the long haul is asking for defeat. Self sabotage.

I agree with everything in your post…except Starting Strength ;). But you knew that. Good post.


#17

Overall I think you have a lot of potential. Your primary pitfalls are going to be:

1–not planning ahead for rough schedules/times and not creating solid healthy habits. this is number 1 by a long distance.

2–short term mentality. you have to be committed to your goal…I don’t care what goal that is, just as long as you are driven. could by bicycling or rock climbing for all I care, whatever makes you happy.

3–focusing mostly on mirror muscles. that is typically a short road to chronic aches and pains, and slows progress. the half you can see in the mirror is only half your body. the other half gives you posture, balances, speed, power, health, and injury resistance.


#18

Wow… thank you for this… really this meant a lot to me. I guess I have a
lot to learn and a lot of improvement to make not only physically but
mentally as well… I’ll take this to heart.


#19

Yeah as much as I would like to take part in a sport my time is limited so
I think the gym would me the most effective use of it. I don’t feel weak or
anything and I’ve always been told I have the ideal frame for bodybuilding
but I’ve always had such a hard time STAYING consistent… I’m tired of
just looking “average.” I want my girlfriend and others to think “damn…
he looks good.” Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. People
like you and the ones who have responded to this post don’t get enough
credit for their thoughtfulness… So thank you. I look forward to reporting
on progress.


#20

what is your plan for your diet?