In college, very poor, hard to eat right, but i've got a free gym :D

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    Jun 15, 2007 11:26 AM GMT
    Ok so, I'm 23 and a senior in college, fulltime student. I want to get ripped! But I have a really busy schedule, i'm in school year round full time, with classes scattered all over the place so finding a job is hard. I've taken up freelance writing to make my money because i can do it between classes and around my schedule.

    This doesn't make me much money though, sometimes I can't write for a few weeks and I end up only being able to afford a bag of brown rice, which ends up being about 1 bowl a day.

    Ok my question is, is it possible to get ripped being as poor as I am? lol My university has a massive gym that's free (it even has a rock climbing wall!) I've actually never stepped foot in it because I get very anxious :( I'm not fat by any means, but i'm not in shape either.

    So, I went to walmart and spent the last of my money on a big thing of whey protein (heard it was good because it was a complete protein?), and I am determined to drag my ass to the gym and get in shape!

    I realize I can't eat as good as I should, but I just don't have the money to buy all that different food and eat it 6 times a day...basically my diet will be the protein shake, or so form of carbs (Brown rice, wheat bread, etc that is extremely cheap to buy and will last me). Will I still be able to get buff with this poor boys diet? I want to be ripped so bad. Also I really have no idea of what sort of workouts to do, where can I find a good solid workout plan? I pretty much need someone to hold my hand on this and show me the way because I'm clueless, but I WILL do this. Thanks ahead of time guys. :)
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    Jun 15, 2007 2:23 PM GMT
    Do cardio.

    Eat low fat.

    Eat cheap: tuna, rice, chicken on sale, beef on sale. Learn to be the FRUGAL SHOPPER. It's easy man.

    Many bodybuilders are constantly broke.

    Pull yourself up by your boot straps, watch those specials, and come up with inexpensive dishes.

    Take two cans of tuna, a cup of rice, and some asparagus, and don't call me in the morning. I'll be at the gym.

    You sure ain't the only poor starving wannabe hunk Babe.
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    Jun 15, 2007 2:24 PM GMT
    Oh, yeah.

    Fill out your profile, you lazy kid.

    Change that mindset from lazy to go, go, go, go.

    Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

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    Jun 16, 2007 4:33 AM GMT
    so inspirational! thank you chucky.. :P
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    Jun 16, 2007 5:14 AM GMT
    Time is the bigger factor than money. You can eat pretty inexpensively if you buy your food on sale--tuna and chicken both routinely go on sale for very little.

    Unless you're one of the really lucky ones, building visible muscle at the gym takes a good amount of time, and a dedicated schedule of showing up. But even if you're consistent in your routine, you should still expect your results to come in spurts. I know that when I first hit the gym, I ended up getting stronger very quickly at first, but it took about 4 months for any changes to be visible. Then I had a whole lot change in a short period of time, followed by a long interval of slow visible changes while continuing to become stronger even when going 6 days a week for an hour at a time.

    One major piece of at the start in particular is to give yourself clearly defined goals. "Getting ripped" is too vague, and so in those intervals when you don't see much visible progress you can feel like you're going nowhere. A mix of long-term goals (things along the lines of: be able to bench press your body weight, meet the ROTC physical fitness requirements, get your resting pulse beneath 60) and short term goals (next week, be able to do 9 reps at the weight you could only do 8 this week) will give you much more of a feeling of accomplishment.

    There are some reasonable workout plans available on this site. The Strong & Lean workout is a lot more demanding than it looks, and is probably too much to jump into right at the start. I've had some success with a modified version of the Fighting the Skinny Gene one (, but you don't have enough of your profile filled out for me to tell if you're skinny. At the start, go for some simple exercises which you can master the form of properly, and try to get something for each major muscle group. A bicep curl, a bench press, a back row, a squat, some solid core exercises, and throw in some push ups and chin ups might be a good way to start, but I am in no way an expert and defer immediately to those who are. Free weights are often better once you know how to use them; machines are a good option at the start when trying to figure out how much you can safely handle (dropping the machine handle is a lot less dangerous than dropping a barbell or dumbbell), learn the movement, or when you want to work at a high weight/low rep set and don't have someone to spot you.

    Finally, be realistic about your level of commitment, and don't try to overextend yourself. Starting with just 3 days a week, 30-45 minutes a time is probably a good idea if you're not in the habit of regular exercise. Get yourself used to that, and make it part of your normal life before you try to add more to it. Fundamentally, fitness is a lifetime thing. In much the same way that it's just a better idea to approach a diet as a series of small changes in what you eat which you can sustain indefinitely than it is to try to go cold turkey onto some really demanding regimen most people can't tolerate for more than a few weeks, it's a better idea to step up to an active lifestyle slowly but sustainably than it is to try to run 3 miles a day every day from a cold start. Demand too much of yourself too quickly and you set yourself up for failure; give yourself constant goals to push yourself to do just a bit more than last time, and you'll end up amazed at how far you can go.
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    Jun 16, 2007 6:43 AM GMT
    Dont be scared of the gym. Everyone in that gym started out at some point and can relate to a beginner. Bring a friend!!!

    A beginner routine should start with learning the basics. Try out a basic routine on this website or find a buddy who can teach you their routine. Almost anything is better than sitting in your dorm unless they have you lift too much too soon. Try out every exercise with a low weight and then figure out how much you can lift about 12 times before you feel like your muscles will collapse. Once you get the hang of it you can start getting more advise just like any other adventure.

    As for food, get a hot pot!! Any walmart, target, online store will have one. They may not be "acceptable" but no RA will take it from you. Get some pasta plus from Barilla. Its high protein, high omega 3s, and high fiber, What more could you want from a pasta?!?! Plus it has the carbs you NEEEED to workout. Your carb intake should be about 65% and the whey protein is great right AFTER a workout as an easily digested and available protein source along with a carn source. Before a workout: a dense protein and a dense carb. Pasta plus will do it about an hour prior to the workout. If you feel like you need more protein, stash some chicken cubes from the dining hall and throw them in. Or find something you can hydrate in the hot pot since I assume you dont have a fridge (watch the salt!!).

    Its hard to keep your calorie intake monitored in a dorm but get a can opener, canned beans, some 10 min brown rice in a bag, and some pasta plus and you should be able to fill in the empty spots in your diet between dining hall visits. And the gym... thats the easy part!! Just take a deep breath and walk in realizing every jock, nerd, girl, boy, sport star, and regular person had to do the same thing you are doing... taking the first step!!!
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    Jun 16, 2007 7:58 AM GMT
    Such fantastic, useful information! Thanks everyone :P OH and I don't live in a dorm hehe, I've got my own little appartment. I also do 90 situps and 50 pushups every other day, and I have car, but I choose to walk several miles a day to campus and back just to at least keep me active. But, I suppose I will suck it up and just go to that silly gym, once I get in there I know I'll be relaxed, happens that way with everything it seems.

    Thanks again guys! <3
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    Jun 23, 2007 3:55 AM GMT
    You can get ripped without spending a lot of money on superfoods...and the supplements cost far more than food. An egg has more protein than the shakes...for about 25 cents.!

    Do you have a meal plan?

    You can also do great exercises with just your own bodyweight or using some flexible tubing and a stability them right next to your typewriter.

    I work with many athletes..most of them can gain 8-12 lbs. in an eight week cycle doing a great routine called Heavy-Light-Medium...three days a heavy, one light, one medium..full everytime. Plus I put a nutrition plan together to support the program.

    Let me know if anyone is interested.