Total Newb Needs Help

  1. Total Newb Needs Help

    Hey everyone. It's been just over year that I decided to get off my ass and to get into shape. I stand at about 5'8". Back in March of 2008 I weighed at about 195lbs. Currently, after a months (on and off) of cardio, some weight training, and cutting back on calories (no I didn't starve myself) I've hit a plateau and can't seem to lose anymore weight (160lbs).

    Currently I try to go to the gym 3 times a week. There I head over to the weights section first and stay there for about an hour or so. Then I head over to the treadmill and run a 1-2 miles before hopping onto the elliptical and doing another 20 minutes of low-med intensity cardio. The biggest problem I have at the gym is that I am completely lost and have no idea what to do when it comes to weight lifting. I focus mostly on upper body exercises because my lower body is abnormally large (huge calves and thighs). The few exercises that I do are bicep curls, machine chest flies, bench press, and tricep pull downs. I have no clue how much weight I should be lifting at my size. Furthermore, the I do my bench press on a smith machine (because I have no one to spot me). When it comes to doing a free weight bench press, I have horrible form and can't seem to stabilize the bar without wobbling and almost dropping the bar on myself. Are there any exercises I can to fix this? Another question I have is whether I should continue doing cardio or just weight lift when I am at the gym. I don't know what my body fat percentage is, but I can still see that I have tons of fat on my chest and on my abdomen.

    In terms of my diet, I eat three unhealthy meals a day. Now that I am back at home for the summer, I don't watch what I eat like I do when I am away at college. For my diet, how many calories should I be consuming per day? Furthermore, should I be taking any protein supplements? If so, when do I take them, before or after workouts?

    Tried posting some pics but apparently I need to make some posts first.

    Thanks for all the help!

  2. you can't loose any more weight, you eat 3 unhealthy meals a day, and you're posting in the bulking section. i'm now as confused as you seem to be.

    clarification please...

  3. Haha sorry. So to clarify, I aiming to gain muscle mass and definition. The unhealthy meals will from stop after today. I plan on starting a new diet that consists of 6 meals a day that are low in fat. The biggest question I have then is, what kind of workout plan should I have at the gym is I plan on doing a 3-day split? What kind of exercises should I be doing for each day? And what kind of exercises should I be doing to eliminate my unstableness while doing a bench press? Thanks once again!

  4. if you're doing a 3 day split, then look into a few different workout styles and find out what's best for you :

    push/pull (bi's/back is pull, chest/tri's is push, legs and shoulders are push) other variations exist.
    total body - one compound movement per body part on MWF.
    westside barbell (can't remember if this is 3 or 4 days)
    5x5 (madcow or starting strength)

    as far as being unstable doing bench, its because your stabilizer muscles have never been challenged by doing smith or machine bench. all you can do is start at light weights on the barbell, and work your way up. there's no shame in learning how to do it right, and there's nothing more important than having your stabilizer muscles strong.

    i would think the 5x5 program will suit you best, but again, research what's best for you.

    anything else i can help with?

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