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Seeking advice

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi all, Two weeks ago, a friend borrowed a shirt of mine. That shirt was a made-to-measure shirt, tailored to fit my body. He looked better in that shirt--a shirt tailored to fit ME--than I did. This really upset me. So I've decided that even with the best clothes in the world, I will not look the best I possibly can without substantial changes to my body. I am 22, overweight, but not obese. I am pretty heavy with fat on the chest, which can be embarassing. I'd like to slim down and tone my body. With regard to diet, what should I eat and what should i not eat? With regard to physical activity, what should I do (aerobics, weight-lifting or both?) What supplements should I eat--and when should I eat them? Thank you; I will be eternally grateful.
post #2 of 8
Gregory, Good to see you want to get serious about this.  It will take major dedication and a while for the results to show, so make sure the desire is there first, and everything else will fall in line. Getting rid of body fat - Now luckily I am the classical hardgainer so I can eat like a horse, which is what I have to do to gain weight, but consequently it is tough to put on muscle.  So I have never been in your situation, but I have read a lot and know what to do.  If you haven't been very active, you are going to want to start jogging 2-3 times a week for about 15-20 minutes.  Do this in the morning before you eat a thing and that will help you burn more of your bodyfat for energy.  As you get more accustomed you will want to work up to about 45 minute cardio sessions.  If you don't want to run you can do an elliptical trainer, stationary bike, stairs, there's a dozen options.  Now, you will want to couple all of that with a hardcore weight training program.  This will help you to gain msucle which will look good when you shed the fat, and muscle burns more calories than fat.  Check out Muscle and Fitness for some good workout routines or if you really want to get serious then check out Flex magazine (that is what I read).  You will want to do your cardio sessions on a seperate day if you can from your weight training, and if not then do them after the weights.  That way you won't be drained when it comes to lifting time.  You will want to do some light cardio before lifting, 8-10 minutes will do, and that will get the blood flowing and your joints loosened up for the pounding they are about to take.  That way your muscles will be warm so you can stretch before you lift.  NEVER stretch a cold muscle.  Bad news.   Diet - Since you mentioned that you read my post in the getting big section, you will remember I mentioned that diet is 95% of changing your body.  Commit to that first or nothing else will work.  Try to get a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, and the best ways to do that are with eggs, milk, chicken and beef.  Those are the best natural sources you can find.  Of course you will also want to supplement with protein powder unless you have the time/energy/money to get all your protien naturally.  You will want to watch your carbs later in the day, but when it comes to weight training all that Atkins crap goes out the window.  Your bodyfat will generally NOT fuel a hard cardio session and a hard workout.  You need carbs for that extra boost.  Also make sure you eat 5-6 meals a day, which keeps your body constantly supplied with nutrients and keeps your fat burning/muscle building at a constant level.  A meal can even be something as simple as a protein shake and a banana or cup of yogurt, just feed your body something every 2-4 hours depending on your appetite and schedule.  And try to drink a gallon of water a day.  Take a bottle with you everywhere and just sip on it and refill it all day.  Very important. Don't forget to watch your calories too.  It's very simple, take in less calories than you burn each day and you lose weight, take in more and you gain weight.  Just make sure it is the kind you want.      Supplements - Must use - multivitamin, protein powder, glutamine powder, extra vitamin C (500-2,000 mg) & E (400-800 I.U.'s and buy the natural kind) to suck up free radicals Recommended - creatine, HMB, ZMA, fat burner like Muscletech's Hydroxycut or similar (and don't believe the media b.s. either, you can take ephedra just make damn sure you know your body and how it will react to it, and don't take over the recommended dosage... if you can even find the stuff nowadays). That should get you started.  Take care. Kevin
post #3 of 8
F4 - that's some good info... great starting place for him... Gregory, why don't you post what your current diet is and how much time you have to devote to your new transformation? From there we can develop a solid workout schedule based upon how much time you have to devote... I'm tired but i'll respond in more detail tomorrow...
post #4 of 8
I agree that there's lot of good info in the first response. I would add a few caveats: - getting fit is not a short-term goal that can be checked off one's list upon completion. it's a lifestyle that can only be maintained through sustained effort. - it's easier if you can work out with someone else. it's even better if that person knows what he's doing. - aside from genetic outliers, developing a physique is a long process. you should expect results within weeks, but you should not expect to be on the cover of one of those silly muscle rags in weeks or even months. - i do not suggest starting a radical new exercise regimen, diet, supplements, etc. all at once. start slow, build some momentum, and implement those changes over a period of six to nine months. you gotta' walk before you can run, and jumping right into an intense regimen can stress your body beyond its ability to recover properly. - in my opinion, most muscle rags offer little value to those of us who are hardgainers. over time, you will find what works for you, and chances are, little of it will come from muscle and fitness. - if at all possible, find some form of exercise you enjoy. few people can consistently force themselves to endure workouts that they hate. why bother if you can find something comparable that you enjoy? over about 10 years or so of training, i've achieved a reasonable degree of success. what has worked best for me is much of what Stuart MacRoberts espouses in his book "Brawn." that may or may not work as well for you, but the principles MacRoberts describes in his book are a much better starting point than one of those iso-lateral-quad-negative-bionic routines you'll find on any newstand. best of luck, dan
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you all . With regard to the supplements that F4iryder14 recommended, am I to take all of them at once? BigJorge - I will post to your site and e-mail you soon. Meanwhile, to answer your question: Most days I just have brunch and dinner, some days I have breakfast, lunch and dinner. All I do now is light swimming (45 mins) twice a week. I am willing to spend as much time as needed -- ok, maybe under an hour a day -- to achieve results. I am however, not fond of hanging around the gym because the people there scare me.. Any possibility of achieving results in my own room? I guess not eh....
post #6 of 8
Quote:
- in my opinion, most muscle rags offer little value to those of us who are hardgainers.  over time, you will find what works for you, and chances are, little of it will come from muscle and fitness. what has worked best for me is much of what Stuart MacRoberts espouses in his book "Brawn."  that may or may not work as well for you, but the principles MacRoberts describes in his book are a much better starting point than one of those iso-lateral-quad-negative-bionic routines you'll find on any newstand. best of luck, dan
I think you are making some gross over-generalizations about the magazines that are out there.  You mentioned that the magazines have little to offer for hardgaines.  Well, you obviously haven't looked at Flex, one of the biggest and best magazines IMO that you can find on the market.  For the past year or so they have run regular articles titled H.U.G.E., which stand for hardgainers ultimate growth enhancement system, so they are not just catering to the genetic marvels of the bodybuilding world.  So make sure you know what is out there before you start bashing it.  And yes some of the books out there are good, but the bodybuilding market changes very rapidly with new developments in workout technique and supplementation.  And the best way to keep up with that is with a good magazine.  I admit some of them are crap, but don't lump them all together and make gregory think he should avoid them all. They can be chock full of cutting edge info on dieting and ways to switch up a workout to encourage your body to grow in new ways. Kevin
post #7 of 8
i haven't read flex so i concede that it may have useful information.  i just see too many people who resort to exercises of questionable value (often from magazines) because they expected results that would have been unrealistic based on their body types and lack of commitment to sustained effort.  neither get-rich-quick nor get-ripped-quick schemes work. regards, dan
post #8 of 8
Quote:
i haven't read flex so i concede that it may have useful information.  i just see too many people who resort to exercises of questionable value (often from magazines) because they expected results that would have been unrealistic based on their body types and lack of commitment to sustained effort.  neither get-rich-quick nor get-ripped-quick schemes work. regards, dan
I agree. Just didn't want you or gregory to discount them all out of hand. You have to have a skeptical eye when reading some of this stuff, especially since the market is getting glutted with everybody who pretends to know what they are talking about and that you can be ready for the pro ranks in 4 weeks... ... and you are right, it won't happen overnight. Any magazine that tells you it will is probably feeding you a line of garbage. Kevin
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