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Posted: 4/8/2010 9:02:26 PM EDT
Coming back to physical activity after years of inactivity.

Here's the dope:

45 y/o, 5'9" 170 lbs. No real gut, no fat really anywhere (possibly some between my ears). Former .mil; was at one point quite athletically well trained. Weak upper body, skinny, flailing girl-like arms capable of holding up to seventeen cotton balls for half-a-minute. Legs quite strong, and have been so since teen years; in 1983 I standing-broad-jumped a world record in my sister's kitchen (I am not making this up).

Not a runner for distance, but a great sprinter. Problems: Type II diabetes; blood sugars around 150 fasting. Docs allowing me to diet-control; unsuccessful. They tried one of their magic pills and it made me sicker than hell, irritable, fainting. Major neck injury resulting in arthritic spines pinching nerves in between C4-C5. Strength weak in military press. On statin and ACE inhibitor drugs due to high cholesterol numbers; drugs keep this in check. "Funny" heart beat, nobody's ever said I had a problem but docs scratch their heads trying to figure out the sounds. Poor endurance running; get winded very easily.

Resting HR jumps around between 78 - 90. While on stupid machine at gym can get 179 w/o any trouble or even feeling winded; If I run it may go over 200.

I feel like I am a rickety old fart who may totter over and die basically any second. If an aggressive 11-year-old girl scout wanted my lunch money, I couldn't outrun or out-wrestle her, much less a tough young street punk. I used to be kind of a tough customer, but that went away some 20 years back following a life of disappointment, bitterness, romantic failure, family tragedies, and personal course-changes. How did I become this strange person?

I've been in the gym a couple of weeks now and I am seeing some stabilization of my HR, so I have begun to do the thirty-minute zone exercise, followed by about 30 minutes of weight training on machines. While the cardio shit appears to be dragging me back from the brink of death, the weight stuff is just showcasing how pathetically weak and decayed I am. Seriously, if the SHTF, I'd probably break both my twigs holding up my carbine to reload.

So now that you've heard my horrible story, do you have any suggestions on where I can go to follow some kind of regimented plan? I feel like I may have better success if I know what is expected of me, and if I have some kind of goal for which to strive.
Link Posted: 4/9/2010 7:08:01 PM EDT
What is your diet like?

For gaining strength, Rippetoe's Starting Strength is an excellent starting point. There is a cardiovascular component to lifting weights, but if really want to add more work, you could also do some high intensity intervals once or twice a week.
Link Posted: 4/11/2010 2:09:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2010 2:10:50 PM EDT by samsong]

Originally Posted By Texas_Sig:
What is your diet like?

For gaining strength, Rippetoe's Starting Strength is an excellent starting point. There is a cardiovascular component to lifting weights, but if really want to add more work, you could also do some high intensity intervals once or twice a week.

I started Rippetoe's thing today. It works really well!

I'll be using this method from here on out. I am starting to get stronger, and a little firmer too.

I manage to keep my heart rate "in the zone" when I lift as I do it after the cardio. It's pretty easy when your heart's as shit-poor as mine is.

I'm still at 104 bpm and I finished working out 1.5 hrs ago.

On a good note, I was at 60 late last night. Maybe I'm making progress?

EDIT: My diet couldn't be worse if I tried. I have cast off the fast food, though. Still a lot of processed junk and snack foods between meals. I need them to keep my blood sugar up.
Link Posted: 4/11/2010 3:01:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By samsong:

I started Rippetoe's thing today. It works really well!

I'll be using this method from here on out. I am starting to get stronger, and a little firmer too.

I manage to keep my heart rate "in the zone" when I lift as I do it after the cardio. It's pretty easy when your heart's as shit-poor as mine is.

I'm still at 104 bpm and I finished working out 1.5 hrs ago.

On a good note, I was at 60 late last night. Maybe I'm making progress?

EDIT: My diet couldn't be worse if I tried. I have cast off the fast food, though. Still a lot of processed junk and snack foods between meals. I need them to keep my blood sugar up.


A few thoughts:

1) Do your weights before the cardio. Doing cardio first will tire your muscles and you don't want to be doing heavy squats when your muscles are fatigued.

2) Don't worry about your heart rate during lifting. As the weights go up, so will your heartrate

3) Concerning your diet, start simple. Get rid of the processed junk food. Snacks are fine as they keep your body from becoming hungry and storing fat. At least that is the latest theory. Just make sure they are healthy snacks. Apples, oranges, and milk all have a lot of sugar and are healthy for you. Organic is even better.
Link Posted: 4/12/2010 6:49:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Texas_Sig:
Originally Posted By samsong:

I started Rippetoe's thing today. It works really well!

I'll be using this method from here on out. I am starting to get stronger, and a little firmer too.

I manage to keep my heart rate "in the zone" when I lift as I do it after the cardio. It's pretty easy when your heart's as shit-poor as mine is.

I'm still at 104 bpm and I finished working out 1.5 hrs ago.

On a good note, I was at 60 late last night. Maybe I'm making progress?

EDIT: My diet couldn't be worse if I tried. I have cast off the fast food, though. Still a lot of processed junk and snack foods between meals. I need them to keep my blood sugar up.


A few thoughts:

1) Do your weights before the cardio. Doing cardio first will tire your muscles and you don't want to be doing heavy squats when your muscles are fatigued.

2) Don't worry about your heart rate during lifting. As the weights go up, so will your heartrate

3) Concerning your diet, start simple. Get rid of the processed junk food. Snacks are fine as they keep your body from becoming hungry and storing fat. At least that is the latest theory. Just make sure they are healthy snacks. Apples, oranges, and milk all have a lot of sugar and are healthy for you. Organic is even better.

Thank you - I respect your ideas and will give them an honest effort.

Link Posted: 4/12/2010 10:37:14 PM EDT
I concur with the advice thus far 100% . . .

Some additional help with the diabetes would be :

Eat every 2-3 hours

Complex carbs like baked potatoes help maintain a consitant bs

Fried foods raise insulin resitance

Polysaturated fats lower insulin resistance

Try a tsp of cinnamon with every meal . . . it helps get sugars into the cell (just like lifting weights) . . . a tsp contains as much antioxidants as a cup of blueberries which is very important with oxidative damage associated with dibetes .

Try to get 8 hrs of sleep , this is another thing that will help control the stress hormone cortisol (causes insulin resistance )

Since you're over 40 melatonin helps with testosterone , sleep , and is a good antioxidant . . . I generally look for a 1mg tablet vs the 3 mg that are more common

Hope this can be of some help .






Link Posted: 4/13/2010 11:37:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gdblair:
I concur with the advice thus far 100% . . .

Some additional help with the diabetes would be :

Eat every 2-3 hours

Complex carbs like baked potatoes help maintain a consitant bs

Fried foods raise insulin resitance

Polysaturated fats lower insulin resistance

Try a tsp of cinnamon with every meal . . . it helps get sugars into the cell (just like lifting weights) . . . a tsp contains as much antioxidants as a cup of blueberries which is very important with oxidative damage associated with dibetes .

Try to get 8 hrs of sleep , this is another thing that will help control the stress hormone cortisol (causes insulin resistance )

Since you're over 40 melatonin helps with testosterone , sleep , and is a good antioxidant . . . I generally look for a 1mg tablet vs the 3 mg that are more common

Hope this can be of some help .


This is great advice! You guys are really helping me.

I just came back from a much more successful and empowering workout in the gym this morning.

Things are getting better. My HR is down to 81 just 1 hr after leaving the gym, which for me is practically death. I feel quite good, too.

I'd love to have a resting HR at 65 or so. My chubby wife, Mrs. samsong (or as I am inclined to call her, IceBlond ) has a heart rate that rarely goes past 70. She hasn't run 5 feet in the entire time I've known her. She's not fit in any way, shape or form but will undoubtedly live to 99. I thus have no reason to get stuck into a coffin at age 50 because I am too lazy to work out.

V. interesting about the polyunsaturated fats decreasing insulin resistance. I avoid fried foods now pretty aggressively. The cinnamon thing is something I've heard a rumor about; I will research it to see if I can come up with a plan for taking it. The sleep issue has been a challenge since my wife got on evening shifts and I have been waiting up to see her. This will change since she has just begun day shifts yesterday!
Link Posted: 4/13/2010 10:47:02 PM EDT
RHR is 66!

Glory be!

I am wondering if I can get it to quickly get into the 60's say an hour or two after I get back from the gym.

I'd bet this would take me the better part of a year. I am going to keep after it; hopefully I can become healthy enough to where I don't just fall apart within 10 years and die like my parents did.
Link Posted: 4/17/2010 10:05:05 PM EDT
Now taking cinnamon 2 x 1000 mg/day, and bought some Jay Robb egg white protein powder. I started drinking this stuff after my workout.

From what I am reading, I should be taking on carbs 30+ mins before I hit the gym, is this correct?

I am doing Rippetoe's 5 sets of 3 reps, heaviest weight I can put up. Using machines right now and may graduate to free in a month. In the past, I was able to bench 180 declined @ 2 sets of 10 reps; I never could move past this point. So I put 150 on the machine today and was barely able to gin up the hate and discontent, but I got it done.

It's like some balding shriveled-up 90-y/o man has taken up residence in my body. This crossing-45-shit is for the birds.

Maybe I'll check my blood sugar and like what I see!
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