New to the gym....looking for some advice

  • tanlines

    Posts: 173

    Jan 09, 2013 5:19 PM GMT
    Ok, here's my dilemma...I'm in my 40's, been thin all my life and haven't ever worked out much. Now I am starting to get a little soft in the mid section.
    I just joined a gym and I hope to get into the groove of working out. What type of diet should I be following to suppliment my workouts? I basically want to bulk up my chest, arms, back and shoulders....oh, yeah...abs would me nice too. I know, I know...I want what all guys want. Is it too late at my age? And I assume that I should be eating alot, to fuel muscle growth...but what about the midsection I have already got...won't that just add to it? Never been a big fan of cardio in the past since I was skinny and avoided it like the plague or else I'd lose weight. Any suggestions would be appreciated guys!


  • Kwokpot

    Posts: 329

    Jan 09, 2013 6:47 PM GMT
    tanlines saidOk, here's my dilemma...I'm in my 40's, been thin all my life and haven't ever worked out much. Now I am starting to get a little soft in the mid section.
    I just joined a gym and I hope to get into the groove of working out. What type of diet should I be following to supplement my workouts? I basically want to bulk up my chest, arms, back and shoulders....oh, yeah...abs would me nice too. I know, I know...I want what all guys want. Is it too late at my age? And I assume that I should be eating alot, to fuel muscle growth...but what about the midsection I have already got...won't that just add to it? Never been a big fan of cardio in the past since I was skinny and avoided it like the plague or else I'd lose weight. Any suggestions would be appreciated guys!




    First of all, this is the start of a brand new life for you, so congrats on deciding to start this new journey! No, it's not too late; I was NEVER athletic and also started my life change in my 40's and if I knew now what it meant, I would have started out much, much earlier!

    First of all, you did not say whether you're using a trainer. If not, I would HIGHLY recommend getting a trainer for at least several weeks, have several sessions for him/her to point you in the correct direction in terms of what and how you need to do in terms of strength training. Once you have the proper techniques and the necessary exercises you can do it on your own.

    With regards to diet, PLEASE remember that it's a TOTAL change, and you should do it gradually. A good place to start is what you drink. Your goal would be to COMPLETELY ELIMINATE sweet, sugary drinks such as soda, both diet and regular, and most fruit juices. Learn to drink water and UNSWEETENED ice tea as your main beverages. Learn to eliminate adding sugar to teas and coffee. How do you do all this? GRADUALLY. You do a gradual elimination. If you drink 4 sodas a day, try only drinking 3 a day for 2 weeks, then 2 a day for 2 weeks, and so on. If you put 2 sugars in your coffee, try putting 1 1/2 for 2 weeks, then 1, etc. Will all this taste not right or have you craving more? Of course, but no one said that it would be easy.

    IF you drink whole milk, try to switch to skim milk. Gradually eliminate fried foods from your diet. Slowly add more fish, fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet. Gradually eliminate snack foods from your diet.

    MY personal opinion is that it's NOT NECESSARY to take any kind of shakes, protein supplements or any of that stuff to have a nice, fit appearance. If you eat the right foods and do the right amount of exercise, you will develop a nice, lean but proportioned physic that will be easier to maintain than anything you get from taking all those protein supplements. They cost money, and more importantly make you this bloated looking mess.

    I also DO NOT subscribe to this bulking/cutting phases BS. Maybe if you want to be a professional bodybuilder, but for the average person it's definitely NOT the right approach.

  • tanlines

    Posts: 173

    Jan 09, 2013 9:41 PM GMT
    Kwokpot, thanks for the tips! Already drink unsweetend ice tea instead of sodas most of the time, however...I do have my share of beers. Guess I will be needing to cut that stuff down. A buddy of mine owns a bar...so I can't say they will be gone completely.icon_twisted.gif I am also getting some training, so hopefully that will give me the kick in the ass that I need.
  • CanYouKeepUp

    Posts: 92

    Jan 09, 2013 10:40 PM GMT
    Just getting started backā€¦.
    The biggest effect over your exercise program will be your skill level.
    Due to the fact that you're either brand new to exercise or coming back the last thing you want to do is jump right into some advanced program -
    If you do happen to have some training background, maybe not with weight lifting specifically, but some other form of concentrated activity, then you may be able to handle something more advanced, but bear in mind it's vital that you learn proper form first before hand so that an injury does not get the best of you.
    Each person is going to have their own recovery ability and taking this into account will enable you to place yourself with the right workout program.
    If you're new to weight lifting and don't have any idea what your recovery ability is like - or even know what 'recovery ability' means (it's how fast your muscles repair themselves after a given workout), then use former exercise as a judge.
    At some point in your life you've likely been involved in some type of moderate to intense activity. After doing it, did you find you were really exhausted for a day or two, or were you fine to do more exercise the next day?
    While the level of fitness you possess will come into play with this, it can provide some degree of illustration on what your recovery is like. After you start on a workout program you'll also get a good idea of this quickly as you'll see whether or not you're able to complete the workouts on schedule or you need more down time between sessions that what's scheduled.
    Your age will also play a small role in this factor as well. Generally older individuals do take slightly longer to recover, but there are of course exceptions to this rule.
    If you're a very active older adult, your body is used to a higher volume of exercise so it won't be a restriction for you when selecting a workout program.
  • tanlines

    Posts: 173

    Jan 10, 2013 2:43 AM GMT
    Very helpful thanks! I have an appointment with a trainer tomorrow!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 10, 2013 2:50 AM GMT
    tanlines saidOk, here's my dilemma...I'm in my 40's, been thin all my life and haven't ever worked out much. Now I am starting to get a little soft in the mid section.
    Sucks to be you. I was overweight and mostly soft all my life, and now I'm starting to get a little tight in the mid section.
  • tanlines

    Posts: 173

    Jan 10, 2013 3:26 AM GMT
    haha...ok thanks Paul. From your pics I can tell thats a lie...pretty hot.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 10, 2013 3:40 AM GMT
    tanlines saidhaha...ok thanks Paul. From your pics I can tell thats a lie...pretty hot.
    Thanks! But it's true. I really was overweight (not bad, just 70 lbs heavier). And I have no pics of that weight cause I didn't wanna break my camera. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 10, 2013 7:35 AM GMT
    you dont have any pics posted?

    first of all, be realistic about your body type

    are you tall and thin?
    short and thin?
    long arms and legs?
    can you control your weight gain and loss?
    are you currently within the normal BMI index for your height/age?

    believe me, thin/tall people have a much harder time, depends on your goal, if your frame doesnt support a muscled up body, you may want toning up such as a swimmers build, if your shorter than 5' 8 and thin, you prob have a better chance at bulking up everywhere, i just wouldnt want you to get high expectations and be disappointed later, def talk to your trainer, wish good luck
  • tanlines

    Posts: 173

    Jan 10, 2013 12:40 PM GMT

    Yeah...still adding pics on here. There are some adult ones on here though. I am 5'11" and about 170lbs right now, so I am kind of tall. I can control the weight gain/loss pretty well if I am trying to be conscious about it. Up until now, I haven't had to worry about losing too much. Even now, its not really the number on the scale that bothers me....170 isn't bad for my height (infact I'd like to weigh more) but it is not the "best" 170 that I could be. Kinda soft, if you know what I mean. Maybe I can start posting pics that would show my progress. Thanks Scruff!
  • tanlines

    Posts: 173

    Jan 10, 2013 10:36 PM GMT
    A few before pics are now posted...they got labeled as adult though....icon_sad.gif
  • tanlines

    Posts: 173

    Feb 06, 2013 10:51 PM GMT
    1 month progress pic is posted....not sure I'm seeing anything yet. When should I expect to see some significant progress??
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 07, 2013 12:24 AM GMT
    1) Muscle isolation with low to mid weights instead of full body jerks with high weights.

    2) exhale on the push/pull

    3) squeeze muscles on the peak

    4) super sets, drop sets, burnout sets and blood pumping sets are your friends.

    5) think about your goals and how much you want to achieve them whenever you are on the weight floor. you know the work it is going to take. do not fear it, do not dread it. embrace it.



    Hope your progress is coming along, and remember just because you may not see a difference yet but if you are putting the work in, then there is definitely a difference. Keep up the good work buddy.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 07, 2013 12:55 AM GMT
    Progress is slow and steady I've found. You're looking good though!

    I'm no expert, but what I've found works well is swimming and rowing. Both provide good cardio(sounds like you're not looking for that though) and a great full body workout.

    I agree on the 'lower weight, more/slower reps' too.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Feb 07, 2013 12:59 AM GMT
    tanlines said
    Yeah...still adding pics on here. There are some adult ones on here though. I am 5'11" and about 170lbs right now, so I am kind of tall. I can control the weight gain/loss pretty well if I am trying to be conscious about it. Up until now, I haven't had to worry about losing too much. Even now, its not really the number on the scale that bothers me....170 isn't bad for my height (infact I'd like to weigh more) but it is not the "best" 170 that I could be. Kinda soft, if you know what I mean. Maybe I can start posting pics that would show my progress. Thanks Scruff!


    Your weight seems within reason for your height but height to weight ratio is not everything. It may be that there is no reason for your weight to change, but surely you can expect a redistribution as you work out; that could make an obvious difference in your appearance in less than three months.

    A good healthful diet is indicated, but I'd avoid fad diets. An occasional soda, perhaps once or twice per week, should do no harm, but many people have a few a day and that is definitely harmful; it may be an important contributor to the obesity epidemic. Regardless of claimed benefits of ingesting ethanol, I think that it is best to avoid it entirely.

    It is unclear whether supplements are really needed. If you have a good diet, you are already getting sufficient protein and other nutrients.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 08, 2013 7:55 AM GMT
    tanlines saidAny suggestions would be appreciated guys!
    IMO many people don't seem to comprehend that working out and sculpting a great body take DISCIPLINE. 90% of success is SHOWING UP which means GET TO THE GYM when work is over for the day.

    Every January for the first two weeks of the year, every gym all of a sudden becomes super crowded because so many people make it their new year's resolution to get into shape. Two weeks later? Gyms are back to business as usual because all those new year's resolutions people have given up completely.

    And I have seen SO many guys show up to the gym BUT instead of working out they head to the steamroom or jacuzzi looking for sex. DON'T make that same mistake. You MUST do your workout FIRST. The steamroom is your reward for completing a full proper workout.

    I've seen some really out of shape guys hanging out in the steamroom, their bellies look like a spare tire from a 1988 minivan. They never work out, just lounge out doing the fun stuff. And they wonder why they never get laid?