I *can* do this. I just have to figure out how

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 10, 2008 1:02 PM GMT
    In January I weighted 104Kg and couldn't do anything physical. Now I weigh 94.5 Kg and can do some light free weight exercises. I want to get down to 10% body-fat and furthermore, I want to be buff. I know this is possible... I am young (23), I am intelligent, I am healthy and I have access to help, resources, nutrition, and so on.

    But the thing I don't have is ay sort of gauge.

    The weightloss is caused by diet. Diet and increased exercise, but I don't know if the exercise is doing any good. It's a reduction of 5000kJ from my daily food intake, and exercise 5 days a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do lower/upper/lower free weights. Tuesday and Thursday I used to walk, which has now been replaced by a mix of Wii Fit activities, including jogging (Which I can now do for 6 minutes in a row, a big improvement for me from 20 seconds).

    For lower body, I do three sets of squats, lunges, step-ups with a calf extention. Usually 10 reps. For upper, I do wall pushups, bicep curls (Got to have something for prettiness), flyes, and I'm still working out the details on the rest (Using exrx.net's templates and thinking of getting a bench).

    I'm not sure how useful my program is. I don't have the cash to get a personal trainer or join a gym, and I feel like I'd let myself down if I did... No-one but me made me fat, and no-one but me is going to fix that. Getting a trainer would sully the achievement for me, as silly as that sounds.

    But I can do the aforementioned exercises only badly. I tend to not find the forms at all comfortable (like lunges) or I feel like they're not actually doing anything (like squats). I can only do any of them with a maximum of 8kg dumbbells, one in each hand... I can't do flyes, steps or curls at anything like that weight.

    Suggestions I've recieved include only doing cardio, upping the weight till I can barely do three reps and doing no more then three sets of each exercise/muscle group, adding suppliments of questionable value, being told that no-one can lose weight and beef up without a personal trainer, been told to only do bodyweight, or only do whole-body workouts, and so on.

    My goal is fitness, health, and appearance, in that order, but I'd like to do it without pissing money against the fitness industry wall. Ideally, I could do it at home with my dumbbells, perhaps a bench, and in low amounts of time... I can spare up to 45 minutes a day, but any longer and my ability to keep it up regularly would deminish.

    I know I can do this. I've got a degree, a good job, a house. I can do other things, there's no reason I can't do this, even if sometimes I get frustrated and cry because my form is terrible and I can't fix it, even if I don't know if I should just add more weight and keep doing 4 reps then stopping, unable to continue. I can do it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 10, 2008 1:27 PM GMT
    Suck in your gut, like doing the Vacuum exercise. Measure your waist about belly button level. Your waist should be half your height.
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    Jun 10, 2008 1:33 PM GMT
    Caslon4000 saidSuck in your gut, like doing the Vacuum exercise. Measure your waist about belly button level. Your waist should be half your height.


    Caslon, we are going to change your screename to John Tesh.

    Thanks for the tip.
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    Jun 10, 2008 1:48 PM GMT
    Chasersprize said[quote][cite]Caslon4000 said[/cite]Suck in your gut, like doing the Vacuum exercise. Measure your waist about belly button level. Your waist should be half your height.

    Caslon, we are going to change your screename to John Tesh.

    Thanks for the tip.


    Ok, you lost me. I thought John Test was a musician.
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    Jun 10, 2008 4:03 PM GMT
    Caslon4000 said[quote][cite]Chasersprize said[/cite][quote][cite]Caslon4000 said[/cite]Suck in your gut, like doing the Vacuum exercise. Measure your waist about belly button level. Your waist should be half your height.

    Caslon, we are going to change your screename to John Tesh.

    Thanks for the tip.


    Ok, you lost me. I thought John Test was a musician.[/quote]

    He has a syndicated radio show "Healthy intelligence for your life", full of health tidbits like you share here with us.
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    Jun 10, 2008 4:05 PM GMT
    Chasersprize saidHe has a syndicated radio show "Healthy intelligence for your life", full of health tidbits like you share here with us.


    Oh, I got mine from...

    youonadiet.jpg
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jun 10, 2008 4:32 PM GMT
    Caslon4000 saidSuck in your gut, like doing the Vacuum exercise. Measure your waist about belly button level. Your waist should be half your height.


    Caslon, that doesn't make sense. At 5'5", half my height would be 32.5", which would make me overweight.

    Maybe this works when you're taller, but not shorter.
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    Jun 10, 2008 4:47 PM GMT
    EricLA said[quote][cite]Caslon4000 said[/cite]Suck in your gut, like doing the Vacuum exercise. Measure your waist about belly button level. Your waist should be half your height.

    Caslon, that doesn't make sense. At 5'5", half my height would be 32.5", which would make me overweight.

    Maybe this works when you're taller, but not shorter.


    I see your point. Maybe it should say "half your height or less."

    The idea is to suck in your gut. That removes the ab muscles as much as possible and just leaves the fat to be measured.

    Here's what the book actually says (pages 10 -11):

    Studies have shown that waist circumference, not overall weight, is the most important indicator of mortality related to being overweight. Of course you'll lose pounds on this plan, but we want you to switch your focus from a number that measures your weight to one that measures your waist. Because of its proximity to your organs, your belly fat is the most dangerous fat you can carry.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jun 10, 2008 5:18 PM GMT
    Good ordering of goals. Fitness is the most important of them, and it's refreshing to see that listed first.

    45 minutes a day is actually clearly enough time to do what you want to accomplish. It may take longer to get where you want to be than if you had more time to spend on it, but it's really more important to be consistent about your exercise and diet.

    I'm not a personal trainer, so take anything I say with a grain of salt, but in general:

    I'd recommend you alternate between cardio and strength training--one day of just one, one day of just the other--for the time being.

    For your cardio work, the goal is more about improving your heart and lung performance than merely burning calories. Mixing it up so that sometimes you're jogging, sometimes you're doing interval training (sprints interspersed in the jogs), sometimes you're climbing stairs, or doing aerobics, or heck now that it's summer sometimes you're swimming will keep it from becoming monotonous. The first goal is to try to move for that long. If you can currently jog for 6 minutes, great. Jog for 6 minutes and walk for the next 39. Or jog for 6, walk for 20, and see if you can jog again at that point. As you get into better shape, you'll find that you can run for longer portions of it and/or that your running is at a faster pace than it used to be.

    For the strength training, the first thing to care about is form. It's better to do 8 reps perfectly with 5 pounds than it is to do 10 haphazardly with 25. Doing this outside the gym might involve asking a friend for advice once in a while. There are videos a number of places that show the proper form of most exercises, including on this site, on youtube, and on men's health. Find the exercise you want to do, try to emulate the form, and then ask a friend to watch the video and then watch you and see if you're doing it right. You might also want to consider the really inexpensive equipment of a set of resistance bands and/or a chin up bar.

    Look for incremental improvements. See if you can hold the proper form and do, oh, 1 more rep than last time. Or drop your reps by 3 while also increasing the weight by 5 pounds. See if you can maintain your jogging speed for 15 more seconds than last time, or if you can climb one more flight of stairs before you feel winded.

    As far as the diet goes, whole shelves of books have been written on the subject. However, the basics are pretty simple: eat a little less than you burn, consistently, and watch the weight drop slowly but surely. Tricks to make that easier:

    - Eat slowly. It takes a while to recognize that you're full. If you eat slowly, you're less likely to eat more than you need.

    - Eat a larger number of smaller meals. Maintaining a consistent blood sugar will both cut down on cravings and reduce wide insulin variations. Especially important, do not skip breakfast.

    - Eat your calories, rather than drinking them.

    - Focus more on intentionally eating things which are good for you than not eating things which are bad for you. It'll keep you from feeling deprived.

    - Make the easy substitutions. 1% milk instead of 2%. Whole wheat bread rather than white bread. Long grain and wild rice instead of white rice. Eat a couple of oranges instead of having a glass of orange juice. Popcorn instead of potato chips. If you want a soda, make it a diet one, or consider something like iced tea. Use a nonstick cooking spray rather than a lot of vegetable oil. There are a lot of small things like this that add up to make a huge difference.

    - Pay attention to portion size rather than creating a list of banned foods. If you're one of those guys who really loves chocolate, see if you can satisfy the craving with a small square of dark chocolate, rather than several bars of milk chocolate.

    And finally: don't make anything do-or-die. There will be times you stumble. Pick yourself up and throw yourself right back into it, realizing that a setback does not mean you've failed.

    Good luck.