I am so lost...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2007 5:21 PM GMT
    I have no clue whatsoever to about what to do at the gym. I have been going for like 3 years now, and I see very minimal results. I have been trying forever to find someone who knows what to do, but for some reason nobody is very helpful. If you look in my profile you will see a picture of what my body (sort of) looks like now. I am looking to lose fat and build tone, size is my last concern due to my noth european heritage. Can anyone help me out? Thank you so much in advance.
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    Feb 21, 2007 8:40 PM GMT
    You look great to me!
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    Feb 21, 2007 8:54 PM GMT
    I don't know what your routine is, but if you are looking to get built you have to lift heavy. It's that simple. If you are looking to get lean then lift lighter with more repetitions. You also have to take in enough carbs and protein to satisfy your body's needs as it grows. Usually it's 1.5 grams of protein per body pound and 1 gram of carb per body pound. So if you weigh 155 pounds, you need to take in about 230 grams of protein per day. I think that's how it works. Keep in mind 50% of fitness is genetic, that's the ugly truth. I can work on my calves all day, they aint gonna get much bigger than they are. But there's always implants. But that's another topic...
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    Feb 21, 2007 9:38 PM GMT
    I'm not sure what your concerns are. According to your pic, you look pretty good for 18 yrs old.

    However, if you're looking to increase size (which I'm currently doing - and I have a VERY hard time gaining mass)... here's what I'm doing:

    First, CUTEJOCKMASC was close, but the average male body can only digest, properly, about 100-150 grams of protein a day - the rest, stored as fat or released.

    Correct on weights though - you have to go heavy to force the muscles to grow - you also have to change your routine - average of every 3-4wks - to 'shock' your muscles and prompt new growth.

    And food - man, you have to eat and eat clean. By clean, I mean, no fried or fatty foods. And stay with foods high in protein, complex carbs and good fats. I'm currently taking in around 4000cals a day with a balance of 50/40/30 (protein/carbs/fats). Eat at least 5x a day - snack in between meals (fruits, etc.) And get about 20grams of protein at each meal.

    Supplements - at least a daily vitamin, maybe go with Creatine. You'll see an increase with Creatine (but it's mainly water weight.) I wouldn't try anything else at your age.

    If, after all that, you're still having problems. Seeks medical advice - you may have a medical issue that's causing you not to bulk - hyperthyroid for example. Could be anything. Good luck bud and keep pumpin'.

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    Feb 21, 2007 9:59 PM GMT
    cutejockmasc is right... you have to challenge yourself, you have to eat a lot - but you also need to eat the right things at the right times.

    protein supplements are a must, obviously... experimenting with other things like creatine can be beneficial.

    you won't grow big overnight... many guys lose motivation because they don't see instant results. You have to go at least 3 times a week or more, push yourself, and pay attention to what you're eating and when - its like having another job.


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    Feb 21, 2007 10:05 PM GMT
    mrsoftball - thanks for clarifying that...ive sometimes questioned the protein/body weight ratio...It makes sense the body can only handle so much protein a day since it takes more time to digest it... I assume thats why they say eat small balanced meals throughout the day, constantly feeding your body but not overwhelming it.
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    Feb 21, 2007 11:16 PM GMT
    Ok, thanks for all your advice so far. One thing though, I think I just worded it incorrectly, but I am NOT looking to gain size, I have no problem with that due to my genetics. I am looking to find good ways to really get tone, that is my big problem right now...

    Casey
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    Feb 22, 2007 10:38 AM GMT
    Right whoever said to get lean lift light and lots of reps gets a big fat gay slap!

    Diet defines what your body will look like at the end its not the amount of weight you throw around. Quite simply you eat a deficit you will burn the fat and get defined

    If you eat in excess you will gain bulk, probably with some fat.

    Bodies are made in the kitchen and defined in the gym.
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    Feb 22, 2007 1:40 PM GMT
    Good advice all around. One important thing, though. It isn't the amount of exercise one does but how effective that exercise is. Concentrate on the specific muscles to be used in each exercise. I'm sure you've seen guys doing bicep curls and swaying their bodies to lift the barbell. They are using other muscles and momentum. Same with crunches. You can accomplish much more in less time using only the muscle to be worked on. Form is more important than the number of reps. When form is compromised, stop. Also, vary the workout. Muscles get used to routines. Psych them out by changing the routine, the order of the routines. You should feel like you've had a workout when you are finished.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Feb 22, 2007 2:10 PM GMT
    Some good advice here and some misinfo.

    Pure protein can't gain you fat. It can't gain you fat because fat isn't made of amino acids. It's made of sugars and fatty acid. That said, most protein sources do contain some fat.

    Since you're not trying to gain size, but definition what you want is to eat lean. Complex, unprocessed, slow burning carbs for fuel. Lean, low fat protein.

    As for reps... you've seen the two opposing views, here's an attempt at an explanation.

    You're not trying to build muscle in this workout, so it's not essential to throw big weights. You do, however, want to keep those muscles from degrading. So, you do need to lift SOME weights. The reason for lifting the lighter weights is that if you're lifting heavier ones then you're tearing those muscles and trying to build. Building requires more protein and fat. Also you'll be burnin a lot of calories. While burning calories is good (since you want to burn off excess fat to get that definition) its easy for your muscles to start repairing and "building" themselves by cannibalizing your other muscle, which defeats the purpose.

    So... you can throw whatever weights you like, but the recommendation is for lower weights with more reps because you're working the muscles but tearing them less and so you run less risk of actually losing muscle mass during the process of definition. So, just pay attention and balance what you're doing.

    Best of luck, hope this helps.
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Feb 22, 2007 2:50 PM GMT
    Hi

    Some great advice here I think.

    But have you not thought of asking the training staff at your gym. Even without paying for a personal trainer, there should be people there who can help you with the latest advice and can look at what you are doing now and tell you what you should be doing to acheive the results you want.

    If you've been doing the same stuff for three years, chances are a fresh pair of eyes on your programme and a few changes will pay dividends.

    You look great at the moment, so I sure you don't need to do anything life-changing.

    Loz
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    Feb 22, 2007 3:43 PM GMT
    Light weights and lots of reps and cardio in the gym. Lay off the refined sugar, alcohol (converts to sugar), white starchy foods, and fat. Don't smoke pot (it gives most people the munchies). The rest is up to your Uncle LeRoy and your Greatgrandfather Herman. In other words, genetics is half the game. The other half is will power. At the gym, you might want to try taking a kickboxing class or something like that to make it more interesting. I hear pilates is good for getting lean and hard. Drink lots of cold water. Eat many small meals throughout the day. And if you get hungry between meals eat oatmeal or a low-sugar cereal. Hot tea can give you the feeling of being full too. But everyone is different and no one regimine works for everyone. You have to see what works for you.
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    Feb 22, 2007 4:13 PM GMT
    Yeah, I took a kickboxing class this fall and it took two inches off my waist, so I am going to be taking it again this spring because it was somthing I enjoyed that gave me great results. I basically do not eat fat. My whole family is on the south beach diet except for me, but I basically eat like I am due to the fact that we only have that kind of food at home. I have also taken a liking to running, which will be replaced by swimming when it gets warm enough so I can work on my tan ;)

    Casey
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 22, 2007 4:13 PM GMT
    Yeah, I took a kickboxing class this fall and it took two inches off my waist, so I am going to be taking it again this spring because it was somthing I enjoyed that gave me great results. I basically do not eat fat. My whole family is on the south beach diet except for me, but I basically eat like I am due to the fact that we only have that kind of food at home. I have also taken a liking to running, which will be replaced by swimming when it gets warm enough so I can work on my tan ;)

    Casey
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Feb 22, 2007 5:05 PM GMT
    I don't think you should worry much about it. If you can commit to going to the gym a few times a week because you've found things that you like to do, then you're already on the right track. There aren't a lot of eighteen-year-old guys who are built. I was probably in the same boat as you when I was your age, and in retrospect I believe that I was just too hard on myself.

    I see that your whole family is on the South Beach Diet. I've got a friend who has her whole household on the diet, too. I look at their lifestyles compared to mine and I can see why they're on diets. I can also see how her poor perception of herself became contagious, infecting her husband and her kids.

    So don't that bug get into your head. Keep going to the gym and keep doing things that make you go back. Be more active outside of the gym, too. You'll figure out what gives you the results you want after a while. Don't ever believe that you should see results overnight. That's the second-worst mindset anyone can get into; almost as bad as believing that you're never going to look good enough.
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    Feb 22, 2007 5:31 PM GMT
    Ha ha, then I have already fallen into the worst mindset...