T Nation

Where to Begin?

Hello all!!

I’m 26 and just recently decided to work out. one of my buddies suggested I read up on here for some tips. I dunno if I should really try to get ripped or if I should just try to get lean or even bother, if u know what I mean… : )

Here is some backround info:

Stats:
age - 26
height - 5’8"
weight - 137 #
job: customer service
race: white
style: all american. yeah… I know its kinda played out but I wanna give you a clear image as to whether I should lift heavy or just get cut

My current diet is pretty healthy and I eat lotsa salad and stay away from trans fat and also sat fat. good right?

Experience: I tried the p90x but quit after 2 days. I also went to some Zumba classes, but stopped going after laziness. there were some hot chicks tho…

Anyway: what regimen do you recommend I start with?

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:Experience: I tried the p90x but quit after 2 days. I also went to some Zumba classes, but stopped going after laziness. there were some hot chicks tho…
[/quote]

Troll?

What’s up with the hating bro?

I recommend you start with today’s article by Contreras. Pay close attention to what he’s saying. After that, pick a program – there’s a ton of 'em on this site – and stick with it for at least two months. Consistency is king when it comes to results.

[quote]Northcott wrote:
I recommend you start with today’s article by Contreras. Pay close attention to what he’s saying. After that, pick a program – there’s a ton of 'em on this site – and stick with it for at least two months. Consistency is king when it comes to results. [/quote]

Thanks dude. I’ll check that out. But I doubt you can get jacked in only 2 months. My friend that lifts has been doing so for almost a year and he still looks the same to me. I don’t think he hits the juice though and prolly doesn’t eat right either. Dudes always at Taco Bell eating that garbage food.

You’re missing the point. You don’t get jacked in two months, no. But you’re never going to get jacked if you end up one of those guys who jumps programs every time he sees something interesting. Pick a program, follow it for at least two months. If you really feel a need to switch, do it after two months. If what you’re doing is working for you, then keep doing it until it stops.

Look for 5x5 (a Google search on Reg Park and/or Bill Starr should turn up results), pick up Wendler’s 5/3/1 here in the Biotest store, search this site for “West Side for Skinny Bastards”, pick up Rippetoe’s book “Starting Strength” (one of the best resources out there)… just pick something and stick with it.

If you look the same a year after starting training, you’re doing something wrong. Train hard, eat a metric fuckton of clean, healthy food, and make sure to get enough sleep. In a year, you can make a pretty dramatic transformation. Just don’t half-ass it.

I’m not sure exactly what the terms ‘ripped’ and ‘lean’ mean to you, but if your question is should you be gaining weight, the answer is yes. 137# at 5’8" is very light. To get a good physique you are going to be putting on some weight.

That said, body weight is not what you want to focus on. You need to add weight to your compound lifts. That will build strength and muscle. You’ll also need to eat a lot of good food.

As to your friend that hasn’t changed much in a year: while real gains are not going to happen overnight, if nothing happens in a year, you are doing it wrong. That doesn’t mean you’ll look like Arnold, but you should see real progress.

[quote]Silyak wrote:

As to your friend that hasn’t changed much in a year: while real gains are not going to happen overnight, if nothing happens in a year, you are doing it wrong. That doesn’t mean you’ll look like Arnold, but you should see real progress. [/quote]

I dunno… Dude benches at least twice a week and I think he does curls too. I think he’s a fatass mostly due to all the fast food he eats. All those damn chalupas and big macs will set you back. I mean I know protein intake is important, but you gotta do it with low fat meats. Either that or hit the juice.

[quote]Northcott wrote:
You’re missing the point. You don’t get jacked in two months, no. But you’re never going to get jacked if you end up one of those guys who jumps programs every time he sees something interesting. Pick a program, follow it for at least two months. If you really feel a need to switch, do it after two months. If what you’re doing is working for you, then keep doing it until it stops.

Look for 5x5 (a Google search on Reg Park and/or Bill Starr should turn up results), pick up Wendler’s 5/3/1 here in the Biotest store, search this site for “West Side for Skinny Bastards”, pick up Rippetoe’s book “Starting Strength” (one of the best resources out there)… just pick something and stick with it.

If you look the same a year after starting training, you’re doing something wrong. Train hard, eat a metric fuckton of clean, healthy food, and make sure to get enough sleep. In a year, you can make a pretty dramatic transformation. Just don’t half-ass it.[/quote]

Do you think for a lazy ass like me, doing p90x is a better idea? I mean, I wanna get cut but I think lifting is more extreme. I think with p90x I just do it for 90 days and watch what I eat going forward.

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:
Do you think for a lazy ass like me, doing p90x is a better idea? I mean, I wanna get cut but I think lifting is more extreme. I think with p90x I just do it for 90 days and watch what I eat going forward. [/quote]

(Gonna go with likely troll here, but…)

Do the extreme thing; lift for awhile, fix your diet. Then go hit on women in the Zumba class.

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:
Do you think for a lazy ass like me, doing p90x is a better idea? I mean, I wanna get cut but I think lifting is more extreme. I think with p90x I just do it for 90 days and watch what I eat going forward. [/quote]

(Gonna go with likely troll here, but…)

Do the extreme thing; lift for awhile, fix your diet. Then go hit on women in the Zumba class.[/quote]

Not trolling bro. I really don’t wanna spend too much time working out as I have a lot of classes and other school activities I participate in, I am enrolled in a masters program…

But I know I need to get in better shape. So I was curious about whether lifting of a program like p90x was better suited for my needs. I understand most of you guys probably aren’t in the same boat as I… But I still wanna get input as to the pros and cons of each.

And laugh all you want, chicks were hot in that zumba class.

Zumba and P90X (for my goals) : Terrible
Saturated Fat: Good

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:
Do you think for a lazy ass like me, doing p90x is a better idea? I mean, I wanna get cut but I think lifting is more extreme. I think with p90x I just do it for 90 days and watch what I eat going forward. [/quote]

(Gonna go with likely troll here, but…)

Do the extreme thing; lift for awhile, fix your diet. Then go hit on women in the Zumba class.[/quote]

Not trolling bro. I really don’t wanna spend too much time working out as I have a lot of classes and other school activities I participate in, I am enrolled in a masters program…

But I know I need to get in better shape. So I was curious about whether lifting of a program like p90x was better suited for my needs. I understand most of you guys probably aren’t in the same boat as I… But I still wanna get input as to the pros and cons of each.

And laugh all you want, chicks were hot in that zumba class.[/quote]

Oh, I believe you that they’re hot. The issue is, you’re probably not (yet).

And lifting heavy + good diet + adequate rest/recovery will probably get you there much faster than p90x, if it even does.

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:
Do you think for a lazy ass like me, doing p90x is a better idea? I mean, I wanna get cut but I think lifting is more extreme. I think with p90x I just do it for 90 days and watch what I eat going forward. [/quote]

(Gonna go with likely troll here, but…)

Do the extreme thing; lift for awhile, fix your diet. Then go hit on women in the Zumba class.[/quote]

Not trolling bro. I really don’t wanna spend too much time working out as I have a lot of classes and other school activities I participate in, I am enrolled in a masters program…

But I know I need to get in better shape. So I was curious about whether lifting of a program like p90x was better suited for my needs. I understand most of you guys probably aren’t in the same boat as I… But I still wanna get input as to the pros and cons of each.

And laugh all you want, chicks were hot in that zumba class.[/quote]

Oh, I believe you that they’re hot. The issue is, you’re probably not (yet).

And lifting heavy + good diet + adequate rest/recovery will probably get you there much faster than p90x, if it even does.[/quote]

Lol, I may not have the best body, but a good fashion sense gets me puss, brah…

But I agree that getting the right body will just make things much more easy

I did P90x. I didn’t get the full 6 workouts a week every week (mostly because by the end I just felt trashed) but I did some weeks and I did at least 4 workouts a week for the full 90 days. I’m not going to say it did nothing, but it didn’t burn as much fat or build as much muscle as I would have expected. Basically, I think I was working out too much in general (eventually I just really felt beat and sore a lot of the time) while not working out any specific muscle group often enough. Also, the rep counts in a given workout are very high so you really aren’t lifting enough weight.

I’ve been doing stronglifts 5x5 for 6 weeks now and have seen much better gains in terms of muscle size and fat loss, feel better, and am spending a lot less time and energy working out. This is mainly based on looking at myself in the mirror, looking at improvements in my lifts, and measuring my body with a tape measure.

Basically, I would say that P90x is a lot more extreme and time consuming than a basic weight training program and less likely to give you a good change in physique. I’m just starting out, and things may change as this progresses, of course.

I’d emphasize again that you shouldn’t worry about gaining weight. To get a good amount of muscle, you will have to gain some weight.

Thanks bro.

Side question: when you guys started lifting, did you have like a coach or partner to provide guidance? Or did you just kinda do things on your own and learn the ropes on a trial and error basis?

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:
Thanks dude. I’ll check that out. But I doubt you can get jacked in only 2 months. My friend that lifts has been doing so for almost a year and he still looks the same to me. I don’t think he hits the juice though and prolly doesn’t eat right either. Dudes always at Taco Bell eating that garbage food.[/quote]

I got to a strong and relatively lean 200lbs off of a shit load of McDonalds and Taco Bell. I’m dead serious. There is an old saying “you can’t out train a bad diet”. You can get pretty damn close though. If you work hard enough, eating “dirty” isn’t that big of a deal. And you don’t need fucking steroids for that either.

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:
Thanks bro.

Side question: when you guys started lifting, did you have like a coach or partner to provide guidance? Or did you just kinda do things on your own and learn the ropes on a trial and error basis?[/quote]

I used to work out with this guy named Oscar. He was pretty swole but a nice guy. He saw me struggling and decided to take me under his wing.

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:
Lol, I may not have the best body, but a good fashion sense gets me puss, brah…

But I agree that getting the right body will just make things much more easy[/quote]

Sounds like you got the more important thing figured out first. Fashion and conversation skills seem to be more important than looks in my opinion, at least past the first glance.

Anyway, yeah, good luck.

[quote]rookie lifter wrote:
Thanks bro.

Side question: when you guys started lifting, did you have like a coach or partner to provide guidance? Or did you just kinda do things on your own and learn the ropes on a trial and error basis?[/quote]

I went it solo – not by choice, but by circumstance. Having a good mentor/coach/etc can make the path a Hell of a lot smoother.

It’s a misconception that you need to spend your life in the gym to build muscle. Dorian Yates (Google the name, if you’re not familiar) Trained for only about 3-3.5 hours per week. Since you’re not looking to be a mass monster, I’m guessing 30-45 minutes 2-3 times a week will probably do you fine – if you’re willing to bust your ass in that time, and look to what you’re eating.

Throw this crap about low fat diets out the window, too. Low fat diets fuck with your hormonal profile. No man wants less testosterone. Eat healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, nuts, coconut oil, etc) and drop out the shit carbs (white bread, potatoes, etc). Again, use the search function here. This site has an insane amount of information.

More specifically, for your needs/preferences, do a search for Berardi and one for Waterbury. Read their articles. Learn and apply.