First time working out...

  • CMScarBro

    Posts: 60

    Aug 04, 2010 8:59 PM GMT
    I recently just joined the gym at my school, and I've never really worked out before so I'm kind of at a loss on how to go about this.

    I used to be severely overweight (I'm 5'11 and I weighed 245-ish), but a couple of years ago I just started running intensely almost every day and I got down to 165 lbs. I've since then gone back up to almost 200 lbs, so I feel like it's time to get in the gym.



    What's the best way to lose body fat while still working on building lean muscle?



    I know very little about working out because I've never done it in my life aside from the running I did for four months. I've seen words used like circuits and stuff... Basically I just need someone who can help me understand all this stuff. I don't want to be working out ineffectively and get nowhere.



    Thanks to all.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Aug 04, 2010 9:25 PM GMT
    Congrats on the first step: asking questions when you don't know the answers. There's a lot of conflicting advice out there. Oddly enough, that doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong; different things can be best for different goals.

    Since you're very new to working with weights, I think you would benefit most from starting with a simple total-body workout that will hit all of the major muscle groups. I would leave things like the concept of splits or circuit training on the shelf for now -- there are times when you might want to use those, but starting from the basics is a good idea.

    One good place to start would be the Strength Foundation workout here (see the article here). It basically has you lifting weights 3 days a week, doing cardio work on the off days, and it has pictures and video tutorials of the different exercises. It was developed as an introduction to strength training, and relies on a relatively small number of types of exercises with equipment available at just about any gym.

    As one major piece of advice: don't let your ego get in the way of success. By being a novice, you probably haven't developed any bad habits in terms of working with weights. So, you don't have to unlearn anything. Particularly in the beginning, put all of your focus into following proper form: move the weights in a smooth, controlled fashion (rather than jerking them), make sure you're actually using the muscles you're supposed to (eg, when doing a bicep curl, don't rock back and forth to bring your back and shoulder into it just so you can lift more weight), and pay much less attention to the weight being used. If you lift properly, strength will come and you'll be able to progress to higher weights without breaking your form, and thus without setting yourself up for injury.

    And, if you have questions, *ask*. Ask us here on this site, or ask the trainers at your gym, or ask people you see who look like they know what they're doing (that is, are moving in smooth, controlled motions rather than just have the build you want).

    Good luck.
  • CMScarBro

    Posts: 60

    Aug 04, 2010 9:33 PM GMT
    Thanks I really appreciate that. icon_smile.gif I'll definitely start paying more attention to my form and I'm about to go right now to read that article.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 04, 2010 9:38 PM GMT
    First and foremost, get a baseline physical from your physician. This is for your safety most of all. You don't want some latent, unknown health factor to cause you to drop dead in the gym. That would be a buzz kill.

    Then, perform a baseline assessment of various dimensions of your fitness. You can find a variety of different factors to assess on various fitness websites. Dimensions can include, but not be limited to: body fat &; weight; measurements of various body aspects.

    Now, determine your fitness goals, and research what types of exercises and diet will help you to reasonably and appropriately attain your goals.

    Then, do the work, monitor and measure your progress. Patience and persistence is the key.

    Periodically, obtain outside, professional third-party assessment and advice to continuously improve your new lifestyle.

    Enjoy the new you! You've taken the most important step: You made a decision.

    Hope this helps.

    Aloha and Be Well!
    Alan
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Aug 04, 2010 9:59 PM GMT
    Good replies above. It helps to just approach the whole process as a life change. Exercise is just one facet of losing weight. But diet is just as important, if not more so. To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you take in. So, you need to pay attention to what you eat (nutritional level of the food, calories, etc.) and the size of the portions. Do you think a lot of soda? Do you eat a lot of fatty, sugary snacks? Everything contributes. It's okay to indulge in things you enjoy, but you need to know that their impact.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 04, 2010 10:02 PM GMT
    And don't forget about food intake! If you're eating bad getting results will take a lot longer. There are some great food plans on this site, http://www.realjock.com/nutrition/1037 But the basics, cut out all processed food (sugar, white flour/rice etc)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 04, 2010 10:51 PM GMT
    GAMRican saidFirst and foremost, get a baseline physical from your physician. This is for your safety most of all. You don't want some latent, unknown health factor to cause you to drop dead in the gym. That would be a buzz kill.

    Then, perform a baseline assessment of various dimensions of your fitness. You can find a variety of different factors to assess on various fitness websites. Dimensions can include, but not be limited to: body fat &; weight; measurements of various body aspects.


    I agree, and also do a food/exercise journal. If you have a smart phone there is a great free app called "lose it" that I've found very helpful.

    As for a workout I highly recommend the RJ Strong and Lean program on this site. It is killer but I'm seeing great improvement. Most of all I feel so much better. Using this premade routine has taken alot of the streess of figuring things out away.

    Lastly, work hard but don't beat yourself up if you hit bumps along the way. Just pick yourself up an keep trucking. Fitness is a lifestyle so it's more like a marathon than a sprint. Be well!
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Aug 05, 2010 1:00 AM GMT
    Congrats! I remember when I started working out. I took it as a class in college for PE credit and it was of the best decisions I've made in my life. I had a great teacher and the other students were amazing! They were the first ones to help me and started to shape of the man I knew I can be.

    Ask for help; hell! Take a class for credit. It helped me out a lot!
  • CMScarBro

    Posts: 60

    Aug 05, 2010 1:33 AM GMT
    Thanks guys I really appreciate all your help. All the different guides and programs are really helpful, especially since it helps me start when I have no idea what I'm really doing.
  • Regina_Guy

    Posts: 406

    Aug 05, 2010 1:43 AM GMT
    Bodybuilding.com has an awesome 12 week video training program that you should check out:
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/12_week_daily_video_trainer_overview.htm
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 05, 2010 12:31 PM GMT
    tcom saidAnd don't forget about food intake! If you're eating bad getting results will take a lot longer. There are some great food plans on this site, http://www.realjock.com/nutrition/1037 But the basics, cut out all processed food (sugar, white flour/rice etc)


    Actually, no. If you are eating badly you won´t get results. Diet is more important than exactly what exercises you do. Take it seriously from the start and you will progress much faster (most people nod that yes, sure it´s important and then don´t make changes. They work out for anything from 6 months to decades before they eventually realise that, hey, diet is actually more important than exactly what exercises you do. Learn from their stupidity)
  • CMScarBro

    Posts: 60

    Aug 06, 2010 1:08 AM GMT
    So at the suggestion of MSUBioNerd I started the Strength Foundation 12-week workout today, and I feel great. icon_biggrin.gif



    I'm prolonging week one so that it will end next Friday, since I started on an awkward Thursday.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 06, 2010 1:58 AM GMT
    The work out for establishing basic strength levels on this site is great. And the guys who spoke about a good diet--absolutely right on. Good luck.

    Wish me luck too as I begin week 7.
  • CMScarBro

    Posts: 60

    Aug 06, 2010 4:53 AM GMT
    MohaveDiverWish me luck too as I begin week 7.





    Definitely man good luck. Congratulations icon_smile.gif