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Posted: 9/19/2009 1:25:33 AM EST
I'm looking to get into better shape while my wife is deployed to the sandbox. Right now I am 6' tall and weigh 208 lbs. I think I'm in the high 20's or really low 30's for body fat percentage. I'm trying to figure out a workout routine that I won't get burnt out on. I have a tendency to start things and over do it, that being said I've also never weight lifter before, and I mean NEVER. My goals aren't to get big, they are to loose fat, tone and strengthen muscle (maybe increase size in chest, shoulders, back and arms). Any suggestions? Also my daily meals look like:

1 serving of cereal with 1 cup of milk for breakfest

1 cup of coffee with cream and 3 sugar packets

Turkey or Sliced Chicken Breast Meat Sandwich with 1 slice of cheese and light mayo on whole wheat bread for lunch

Another cup of cofee, same as before

1 Boneless, skinless chicken breast, steamed veggies (broccoli, green beans, green peas) and steamed brown rice. For dinner

Thanks for the assitance in advance!
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 9:30:01 AM EST
Take a look at CrossFit

See if there's a gym in your area and make the investment of a couple months membership if you can. The changing workouts and group setting can be big motivators.

And get more protein in your diet. Eggs, beef, more chicken, whatever you can make a lot of and have available for 5-6 meals per day.

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 1:12:56 PM EST
Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 2:56:45 PM EST
Rippetoe's Starting Strength.

Workout in the AM before you eat.

Eat small frequent meals approximately every two hours

It looks like you are throttling back your metabolism with the diet you have described and you will slowly want to increase your calories from what looks like 1200-1500 to around 2000-2500 . Maybe try adding a little every 2 wks?

Good luck and I hope your wife stays safe.

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:55:51 AM EST
sounds like crossfit might be for you. Starting Strength is great, but it is a program for those that want to get big and strong, crossfit is for those that just want to be in overall good shape.

Your diet needs some work IMO, cut the cereal, sugar and bread. Sub with eggs, meat and veggies. All those processed carbs are giving you an insulin spike which creates insulin resistance and causes your body to hole on to fat. The only carbs you need you can get from fruit and veggies.

Off to go get some Crossfit....
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 7:59:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By RolandofGilead:
sounds like crossfit might be for you. Starting Strength is great, but it is a program for those that want to get big and strong, crossfit is for those that just want to be in overall good shape.



And while Starting Strength's Mark Rippetoe offers incredible detail in exercise form, it does not beat having a coach or trainer watch you lift and correct mistakes on the spot.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 8:45:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By snoopaloop:
Originally Posted By RolandofGilead:
sounds like crossfit might be for you. Starting Strength is great, but it is a program for those that want to get big and strong, crossfit is for those that just want to be in overall good shape.



And while Starting Strength's Mark Rippetoe offers incredible detail in exercise form, it does not beat having a coach or trainer watch you lift and correct mistakes on the spot.


Crossfit may indeed be a better program , my rational for suggesting startingstrength is just that , a starting point.

Not knowing much about the OP( like age) other than he is asking about routines, I assume ( maybe wrongly) that atleast for basics he needs to correct some metabolic deficiencies by adding a little muscle and changing diet to support some growth.Stress can come in many forms and eating well and lifting can combat most of them.

One good thing about starting out on a lifting only program , at least initially , is that it gives the tendons and ligaments a chance to strengthen before setting out on something higher in impact.It also helps provide good feedback on results to keep the motivation up .

In any case it's good that the OP is looking to do something as I imagine it must be hard dealing with his spouse being far away and potentially in harm's way.

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 9:05:42 AM EST
To the OP: How much can you squat and deadlift?

If you have decent numbers at those lifts, then Crossfit should be fine for you.

Otherwise, Starting Strength will make you stronger so you will be better at crossfit once you start.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 9:06:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By gdblair:
Originally Posted By snoopaloop:
Originally Posted By RolandofGilead:
sounds like crossfit might be for you. Starting Strength is great, but it is a program for those that want to get big and strong, crossfit is for those that just want to be in overall good shape.



And while Starting Strength's Mark Rippetoe offers incredible detail in exercise form, it does not beat having a coach or trainer watch you lift and correct mistakes on the spot.


Crossfit may indeed be a better program , my rational for suggesting startingstrength is just that , a starting point.

Not knowing much about the OP( like age) other than he is asking about routines, I assume ( maybe wrongly) that atleast for basics he needs to correct some metabolic deficiencies by adding a little muscle and changing diet to support some growth.Stress can come in many forms and eating well and lifting can combat most of them.

One good thing about starting out on a lifting only program , at least initially , is that it gives the tendons and ligaments a chance to strengthen before setting out on something higher in impact.It also helps provide good feedback on results to keep the motivation up .

In any case it's good that the OP is looking to do something as I imagine it must be hard dealing with his spouse being far away and potentially in harm's way.



The only reason I suggest Crossfit over SS for this particular person is because he's already has decent size.
That being said, he may be even better off doing SS for 6 weeks or so then transitioning into Xfit.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 12:22:33 PM EST
I've never done squats or deadlifts, this is honestly my first time getting into weight lifting. Roland are recommending something similar to the Atkin's diet or simply cut out the processed sugars and carbs/add more veggies and protein? I'm basically an overweight guy in his mid 20's. I run or do some form of cardio 3 times a week right now, but that hasn't done anything to improve my weight, or body composition. I know I need to build strenght, and lower my body fat percentage...those are my main goals, and the Rippetoe program looks like a good place for me to start building strength. Now I just need to know about how to eat right.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 12:46:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By DaisRajura:
I've never done squats or deadlifts, this is honestly my first time getting into weight lifting. Roland are recommending something similar to the Atkin's diet or simply cut out the processed sugars and carbs/add more veggies and protein? I'm basically an overweight guy in his mid 20's. I run or do some form of cardio 3 times a week right now, but that hasn't done anything to improve my weight, or body composition. I know I need to build strenght, and lower my body fat percentage...those are my main goals, and the Rippetoe program looks like a good place for me to start building strength. Now I just need to know about how to eat right.


If you've never lifted before, Starting Strength is the place to start. As you add muscle, it will make it easier to get rid of the fat in the long term.

As for your diet, SS is a hard program. A lot of people make the mistake of not eating enough on it. Don't be one of those people. As for your diet, get rid of soft drinks, junk food, and processed food. Drink lots of milk. Eat a lot of veggies, fruits, and meat. Take fish oil supplements. You may need a protein shake to get enough protein. If you still need more calories, take shots of olive oil (1 tablespoon = 120 calories). Like someone else here said, when you go shopping, get most of your food from around the perimeter of the store since this is where the healthy foods are located. Also, consider getting a reverse osmosis system to eliminate the anti-androgens and xenoestrogens in the drinking water. These will diminish your testosterone levels and make it harder to add muscle.

Don't worry about losing any weight for awhile. It's even okay to put on a few pounds. Your focus should be on adding muscle and increasing your squats and deadlifts. After a few months of this, it will be hard to not lose weight by changing your diet, if you desire.

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 1:16:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2009 1:19:48 PM EST by RolandofGilead]
Originally Posted By DaisRajura:
I've never done squats or deadlifts, this is honestly my first time getting into weight lifting. Roland are recommending something similar to the Atkin's diet or simply cut out the processed sugars and carbs/add more veggies and protein? I'm basically an overweight guy in his mid 20's. I run or do some form of cardio 3 times a week right now, but that hasn't done anything to improve my weight, or body composition. I know I need to build strenght, and lower my body fat percentage...those are my main goals, and the Rippetoe program looks like a good place for me to start building strength. Now I just need to know about how to eat right.


Not so much atkins or any other "program" just CLEAN eating. If it comes in a box or has any ingredients you can't read, don't eat it. If it wasn't alive recently (meat, fruit, nuts lots of veggies) don't eat it. This has the side effect of being low carb, which helps burn fat.

Texas-Sig isn't leading you wrong by any means here, SS is a great program and I think you'll be gtg going either SS then Crossfit or just starting out with Crossfit. He's also right about not worrying about weight, worry about fitness...that being said, you should worry about eating healthy right now and that will result in fat loss...

BTW- your 3 day a week cardio probably doesn't help because slow, long cardio won't do a whole lot....you need some INTENSITY!!!
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:15:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2009 3:25:43 PM EST by glockfan45]
Reps not weight. Too many guys put as much weight as they can possibly move on the bench and exhaust themselves after one rep. I recently started working out again after too much beer and time spent on my ass at work. Plus I spend a lot of time at the beach now so gotta look good. My routine is 7 days a week. I have a home bench and do these routines in the afternoon when I get home from work then whenever I find the time on the weekends.

Bench 150# 5x15

Curl Bar 100# 5x15

Pull ups 5x20

Sit ups 5x30

Alternate bench 15, curl 15, pullups 20, sit ups 30, bench 20, curl 20, etc.

I run 1.5 miles in the morning before my shower. I wish I could do more but its all I have time for unless I want to get up at five in the morning (I do not). Start off with just enough weight for resitance. As the work out becomes easier dont add weight add reps. Start off with what you can do without cramping. Such as 5x15 just dont over due it at first. This builds endurance. I can't help you with diet tips since I tend to eat whatever is in front of me. This routine works for me since it keeps me in better shape than probably 90% of the people out there and does not take a lot of time or burn me out.

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:30:42 PM EST
These guys here are more than likely a lot smarter than me. I believe the programs they are suggesting would work great. Having said that, My .02 is that you should at least look at p90x. I believe it will do everything you are trying to accomplish. I just finished the first 90 days a month ago and started my second round. I started at 6'2" and 218 lbs. Now I am down to 190. I've actually started to gain a little wt. the last couple weeks. I am pretty lean and feel great. If you've got an hour and fifteen minutes a day to workout this program really works. The other programs work just as well, but this one worked for me. The diet program with it is pretty good too. It pretty much lays it all out for you. Everyone thinks the program they are using is the best, I'm no different. Just look at all the programs and pick the one that fits you and that you are willing to stick with. Any exercise program will work, if you are willing to dedicate to it.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 4:34:55 PM EST
Originally Posted By glockfan45:
Reps not weight. Too many guys put as much weight as they can possibly move on the bench and exhaust themselves after one rep. I recently started working out again after too much beer and time spent on my ass at work. Plus I spend a lot of time at the beach now so gotta look good. My routine is 7 days a week. I have a home bench and do these routines in the afternoon when I get home from work then whenever I find the time on the weekends.

Bench 150# 5x15

Curl Bar 100# 5x15

Pull ups 5x20

Sit ups 5x30

Alternate bench 15, curl 15, pullups 20, sit ups 30, bench 20, curl 20, etc.

I run 1.5 miles in the morning before my shower. I wish I could do more but its all I have time for unless I want to get up at five in the morning (I do not). Start off with just enough weight for resitance. As the work out becomes easier dont add weight add reps. Start off with what you can do without cramping. Such as 5x15 just dont over due it at first. This builds endurance. I can't help you with diet tips since I tend to eat whatever is in front of me. This routine works for me since it keeps me in better shape than probably 90% of the people out there and does not take a lot of time or burn me out.



I don't want to start anything here, but this is really bad advice to give someone just starting out IMO. The reps are too high, heavy weights are GOOD provided it's not TOO much. If you can bench 150 5X15 times, you would see SO MUCH BETTER RESULTS by going 5X5 at 200 pounds. If you want to build muscle, which will in turn help burn fat you need to move some weight correctly and within your means.
Now, for an aerobic/metcon type workout there is a place for higher reps and lower weight, but that's a different story.

Further, you aren't working the biggest muscles in your body. Pullups and bench press is great, curls are a bit of a waste of time for a beginner IMO (especially when doing pullups) situps are ok too, but what about squats? Deadlifts? Cleans? Overhead press? You're neglecting so much of your body and suggesting a newbie do the same.
Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I would hate for the OP to adopt this program and get frustrated 2 months from now because he's not making the progress he really wants to make.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 4:36:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
These guys here are more than likely a lot smarter than me. I believe the programs they are suggesting would work great. Having said that, My .02 is that you should at least look at p90x. I believe it will do everything you are trying to accomplish. I just finished the first 90 days a month ago and started my second round. I started at 6'2" and 218 lbs. Now I am down to 190. I've actually started to gain a little wt. the last couple weeks. I am pretty lean and feel great. If you've got an hour and fifteen minutes a day to workout this program really works. The other programs work just as well, but this one worked for me. The diet program with it is pretty good too. It pretty much lays it all out for you. Everyone thinks the program they are using is the best, I'm no different. Just look at all the programs and pick the one that fits you and that you are willing to stick with. Any exercise program will work, if you are willing to dedicate to it.


P90x isn't for me personally since it doesn't align with my goals, but I have really heard nothing but good about it. It's certainly worth looking it to for sure.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 4:53:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By RolandofGilead:
Originally Posted By glockfan45:
Reps not weight. Too many guys put as much weight as they can possibly move on the bench and exhaust themselves after one rep. I recently started working out again after too much beer and time spent on my ass at work. Plus I spend a lot of time at the beach now so gotta look good. My routine is 7 days a week. I have a home bench and do these routines in the afternoon when I get home from work then whenever I find the time on the weekends.

Bench 150# 5x15

Curl Bar 100# 5x15

Pull ups 5x20

Sit ups 5x30

Alternate bench 15, curl 15, pullups 20, sit ups 30, bench 20, curl 20, etc.

I run 1.5 miles in the morning before my shower. I wish I could do more but its all I have time for unless I want to get up at five in the morning (I do not). Start off with just enough weight for resitance. As the work out becomes easier dont add weight add reps. Start off with what you can do without cramping. Such as 5x15 just dont over due it at first. This builds endurance. I can't help you with diet tips since I tend to eat whatever is in front of me. This routine works for me since it keeps me in better shape than probably 90% of the people out there and does not take a lot of time or burn me out.



I don't want to start anything here, but this is really bad advice to give someone just starting out IMO. The reps are too high, heavy weights are GOOD provided it's not TOO much. If you can bench 150 5X15 times, you would see SO MUCH BETTER RESULTS by going 5X5 at 200 pounds. If you want to build muscle, which will in turn help burn fat you need to move some weight correctly and within your means.
Now, for an aerobic/metcon type workout there is a place for higher reps and lower weight, but that's a different story.

Further, you aren't working the biggest muscles in your body. Pullups and bench press is great, curls are a bit of a waste of time for a beginner IMO (especially when doing pullups) situps are ok too, but what about squats? Deadlifts? Cleans? Overhead press? You're neglecting so much of your body and suggesting a newbie do the same.
Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I would hate for the OP to adopt this program and get frustrated 2 months from now because he's not making the progress he really wants to make.


It's what works for me. Perhaps I may move up to 200lbs x 5 however but reps are what always worked best for me. As I said for me it builds endurance. I am curious as to why you view curls as a waste of time though. I do my pull ups overhand and it certianly feels like I am working two different groups that way. Personaly I always viewed deadlifts as a waste and an easy way to mess up ones back. What I was pointing towards the most here is a solid routine.
Too many guys alternate so much that in the end no real results are ever gained.

Allow me to ask you as somebody with a basic setup (bench and bar) how would you suggest I modify my routine? Not trying to be snippy just curious.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 4:59:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By glockfan45: Personaly I always viewed deadlifts as a waste and an easy way to mess up ones back. What I was pointing towards the most here is a solid routine.


I'm more concerned about messing up my back by *not* doing deadlifts. Deadlifts not only work the back, but also the glutes, hamstrings, and traps. Even the forearms and wrists get some work from deadlifts.


Link Posted: 9/20/2009 5:15:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By glockfan45:
Originally Posted By RolandofGilead:
Originally Posted By glockfan45:
Reps not weight. Too many guys put as much weight as they can possibly move on the bench and exhaust themselves after one rep. I recently started working out again after too much beer and time spent on my ass at work. Plus I spend a lot of time at the beach now so gotta look good. My routine is 7 days a week. I have a home bench and do these routines in the afternoon when I get home from work then whenever I find the time on the weekends.

Bench 150# 5x15

Curl Bar 100# 5x15

Pull ups 5x20

Sit ups 5x30

Alternate bench 15, curl 15, pullups 20, sit ups 30, bench 20, curl 20, etc.

I run 1.5 miles in the morning before my shower. I wish I could do more but its all I have time for unless I want to get up at five in the morning (I do not). Start off with just enough weight for resitance. As the work out becomes easier dont add weight add reps. Start off with what you can do without cramping. Such as 5x15 just dont over due it at first. This builds endurance. I can't help you with diet tips since I tend to eat whatever is in front of me. This routine works for me since it keeps me in better shape than probably 90% of the people out there and does not take a lot of time or burn me out.



I don't want to start anything here, but this is really bad advice to give someone just starting out IMO. The reps are too high, heavy weights are GOOD provided it's not TOO much. If you can bench 150 5X15 times, you would see SO MUCH BETTER RESULTS by going 5X5 at 200 pounds. If you want to build muscle, which will in turn help burn fat you need to move some weight correctly and within your means.
Now, for an aerobic/metcon type workout there is a place for higher reps and lower weight, but that's a different story.

Further, you aren't working the biggest muscles in your body. Pullups and bench press is great, curls are a bit of a waste of time for a beginner IMO (especially when doing pullups) situps are ok too, but what about squats? Deadlifts? Cleans? Overhead press? You're neglecting so much of your body and suggesting a newbie do the same.
Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I would hate for the OP to adopt this program and get frustrated 2 months from now because he's not making the progress he really wants to make.


It's what works for me. Perhaps I may move up to 200lbs x 5 however but reps are what always worked best for me. As I said for me it builds endurance. I am curious as to why you view curls as a waste of time though. I do my pull ups overhand and it certianly feels like I am working two different groups that way. Personaly I always viewed deadlifts as a waste and an easy way to mess up ones back. What I was pointing towards the most here is a solid routine.
Too many guys alternate so much that in the end no real results are ever gained.

Allow me to ask you as somebody with a basic setup (bench and bar) how would you suggest I modify my routine? Not trying to be snippy just curious.


No worries, all valid questions.

What works....
Look at it this way, I could roller skate to work every day. It would "work" but there are better, more efficient options. I'm sure your program works, but there are better options that would work for you too...and you'd get better results.

Curls are all isolation. A better exercise for biceps is palms facing you pullups alternated with palms away of course, and weighted sometimes.

Deadlifts are one of THE BEST ways to ensure you have a strong back that is LESS likely to get injured as Texas Sig said. It builds core strength as well. You will NOT hurt yourself unless you do it wrong. Don't let your back round, really it's as simple as that. If your back rounds you can get hurt.
You don't need to move up to huge weights, but personally I believe that anyone that works out should incorporate squats and deadlifts to some extent.
You got a bar? It's all you 'need' really. Squats, deadlifts, overhead press, bench press, (I love cleans), pullups and front squats. Throw in some Metcons (high intensity low weight high rep, usually in the form of rounds with running 400s in between sometimes) and you got a badass workout regimen....that is startlingly similar to Crossfit....
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:23:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By Texas_Sig:
Originally Posted By glockfan45: Personaly I always viewed deadlifts as a waste and an easy way to mess up ones back. What I was pointing towards the most here is a solid routine.


I'm more concerned about messing up my back by *not* doing deadlifts. Deadlifts not only work the back, but also the glutes, hamstrings, and traps. Even the forearms and wrists get some work from deadlifts.




One of the things I point out to people who are overly concerned about their abs is that the waist line goes all the way around where you can't see.

Men that have a problem with handles often benefit from working the lower back as well as the lats which run all the way to the hips. Another factor is that when you work your lower body you are working the largest muscles in your body and will take off of abdominal fat substantially.

And as you are rotating muscle groups one will get a rest as you are working the other. The growth hormone you release to repair the section worked will also improve the rest of the body so it is all together synergistic.
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