Where to begin? Looking for some advice...
- 05-20-2007, 04:36 PM
Where to begin? Looking for some advice...
Just joined the site today, and have been reading up a bit, and am learning a lot so far.
Here is my deal - I am 5'9" and *used to be* very skinny, scrawny would probably be a better description. In my younger years (16-20) I probably weighed around 150 lbs maybe 155 - I am on a small frame. Growing up I ate really well because my mom was strict about us not having junk food, and we always had good meals cook. Also I was pretty active, playing soccer/golf/riding bike...
Now I am 23, sit behind a desk all day, and weigh about 180 lbs. I still have stick thin arms and legs, and all of my weight has gone to my belly. I have let myself go and I am not happy with how I feel / look. It is time for me to get back in shape and I know that I need to significantly adjust how/when I eat.
My goal is to lose body fat, and get back to a more reasonable body weight of 160-ish lbs. I know how I look at that weight, and it is much more healthy, but still pathetically skinny. I have always been pretty weak too, so I want to build muscle and gain strength too, which I know requires a much different strategy.
Over the last 3 years I have not been very active, but I am making an effort to start doing more physical activity and running - and just signed up for my gym membership again on Friday.
I have been working on adjusting my diet (taking care of some of the obvious no no's) by not drinking soda (used to drink 3 a day) and have replaced pop with water (still not enough - maybe 2 liters on a good day).
What method do you folks suggest I take for either losing weight or gaining muscle, and which route is better to take first?
I know there is probably no perfect solution to lose weight and build muscle effectively, but what are some methods that you suggest I start with?
Also I know there is a separate thread for fitness suggestions, and I plan on getting a workout plan developed in the other part of the forum.
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!
Cliff Notes - help Chris ditch his fat gut, and build some muscles
- 05-20-2007, 05:10 PM
Well Chris you have come to the right place for the answers your looking for.
To begin with you have to make the decision if you want to bulk up a bit first or if you want to lean out a bit first. From the sounds of it it may be beneficial/to your own desiring to bulk up a bit first because not only will it make cutting easier with the added muscle on the body but it will also give you something to cut down to (I dont blame ya for not wanting to be the real skinny guy.) So if I may suggest I would reccomend bulking up a bit (either a lean bulk or a true bulk depending on if your fat level is truley too high for your likeing.) Now for the suggestions on how (before I give any suggestions I will say one thing, if its a possibility for you to use Bobo's services I would highly recomend doing so, from personal experience I can say he helped me cut down while at the same time put on noticable muscle mass.
Anyway though how you precede from here is dependent on which route you decide to go (cut, lean bulk, etc.) Either way your going to want to clean up and plan your diet out to the desired macro/micro breakdowns. Also since you havent been working out your progress has the potential to come very fast if done correctly.
Let us know which route you want to take and then we can offer up some more advice on how to go about it.
- 05-20-2007, 05:41 PM
Remember you don't necessarily want to lose weight, you want to lose bodyfat. If you are more or less starting from scratch, it is possible to burn fat and build some muscle simultaneously, although the number on the scale may not change much. Personally I would do a re-composition for a month or two then look at switching to a dedicated bulk or cut depending on your initial results.
The key to any weight management plan is to ensure that you take in an appropriate amount of calories with an appropriate protein, carbs, and fat (aka macronutrients) ratio to meet your goals. That means learning how to make up a meal plan and measure out your portions. It can be a pain at first but if you don't do this you will just be guessing. Sometimes you guess wrong and that wastes time and can lead to discouragement.
As mentioned, a consultant such as Bobo is worth it and can take care of all that and get you started right away. Otherwise learn the ropes by checking out fitday.com and reading up on some meal plans here at AM. Good luck.
05-20-2007, 11:02 PM
Well based on what I have been reading, I am gathering that it will be a lot harder for me to bulk up if I am down to a super light weight with no fat on my body. Considering that, It seems like the best path would be to bulk up so I can get some muscle on me first.
Also, I really don't care about my 'weight' so much as I dislike the gut hanging off my stomach. If I stayed at 180 lbs (i think this is a little much) and put on tons of muscle I would be happy as long as the gut disappears.
OCC - What do you meant by 'lean bulk' vs 'true bulk'
Nitrox - What is a re-composition?
Sorry I am very new to all the terminology involved in fitness haha, it hasn't been a top priority lately, but that is changing NOW! And to make sure I am understanding the rest of the terms we are throwing out there:
Bulk: Eating tons of <insert proper food here> and proper intervals with the purpose of giving your body lots of fuel to burn when weightlifting, but not trying to burn any fat specifically?
Cut: I assume this is eating a different type of food, at different intervals with the goal of cutting fat off of the body in order to decrease bodyfat?
05-20-2007, 11:30 PM
Re-composition = overall weight stays the same but with some loss fat and some muscle gain. Usually only possible with beginners or lots of drugs.
Bulk = overall weight gain with max muscle/min fat.
Cut = overall weight loss of max fat/min muscle.
Once you reach an intermediate or higher level of development it is difficult to build muscle without some gain in bodyfat. Conversely it is difficult to lose bodyfat without losing some muscle. That's why experience bodybuilders cycle bulking and cutting. It is sort of a 'two steps forward, one step back' process.
05-20-2007, 11:34 PM
Ok, thanks, that makes sense.
I am definitely a beginner, so considering that, what are the steps I should start taking to head towards re-composition, and when that stops being effective what should I change to switch to a bulking style plan.
And again, what are the differences between lean bulk and true bulk?
Lean = bulk with minimum fat?
True = bulk at the expense of more fat/weight?
05-20-2007, 11:51 PM
For a recomp you would eat your maintenance level of calories, for a cut you would eat less than that, and for a bulk you would eat more. One pound of bodyfat is worth 3500 calories. A 500 calorie daily deficit will lead to losing one pound of fat per week. Conversely if you eat a 500 calorie surplus you will gain one pound per week (a pound of muscle is a bit less than 3500 but it's close enough).
Get your theoretical calorie reqs figured out, make a meal plan to match your goals, and try it out for a couple weeks. Fine tune your intake up or down (or change your activity level) if your results don't match your theory.
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