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Thread: Individual advice needed - routine, cardio, etc

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Individual advice needed - routine, cardio, etc

    Ok, so I'm about 280lbs @ 5'11, almost completely out of shape, but I recently found a wellspring of motivation and drive to improve myself, so I'm back at the gym and eating better lately...but I'm mostly wandering around aimless there, doing an exercise here and there. I need some advice, since most of the routines I've looked at really don't work for me.

    My (longterm) size-related goal is dropping bodyfat to the point definition is visible over the course of 18 months while maintaining strength and maintaining or (if possible) increasing my muscle mass. My other goal is recovering my heart health to the point where I can maintain a moderate to vigorous level of activity for 1-2 hours without feeling like I'm going to die. This I would like to achieve as soon as humanly possible (there's a woman I need to keep happy).

    Here are the restrictions hampering me:
    -I have no workout buddy, and cannot reasonably hope to get one (don't speak the local language). So I can't really do anything that absolutely requires a spotter to correct my form and assist when I work to failure.
    -Some of the fundamental movements suggested (squat, deadlift, shrug, chin-up) are out of my reach for flexibility/strength reasons.
    -My income is marginal and expenses great, so supplementation is out of the question. i take b complex, calcium, fish oil & multivitamin anyway.

    Here's what I have going for me:

    -membership to an awesome gym, with all the weight room stuff (machines, cable machines, freeweights, etc) and cardio room, pool, sauna, steam room, etc.
    -a ton of time. Weekends are right out for me (6 hour drive to see the girlfriend then back) but Monday-Friday I work a 9-5 and have no other commitments. I'm even considering working out twice a day simply to use up some of that free time.

    So...anyone have some exercises I can do? Also, is it ok for me to do maybe half an hour of HIIT cardio in the mornings if I work out after work? HIIT is supposed to be really brutal but I've discovered that my heart is so out of shape that even a normally "moderate" level of elliptical will push my heartrate into the high range (165-172 at age 25). I can do intervals like that every day really...

    I had another question, one of sauna/steam rooms. I read that the high heat stresses your system which increases your metabolism but also causes stress hormones like cortisol to shoot up. i also read that cortisol is something you want to reduce if you want to build muscle mass. Should I avoid the sauna then?
    Last edited by Lexx; 01-14-2010 at 10:02 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Clover's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I think the most important thing for you to figure out is your diet. Here is an article that will help you find your daily calories:

    Once you get that figured out, start working out and stretching with the goal of being able to eventually include squats and deadlifts into your workout.

  3. #3
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    I figured out my diet a while ago. That burn fat feed muscle book was useful. Diet's about 2200 cals a day (my bmr is 1919/day and average inactive is 2500/day est) split into 5 meals, with a roughly 40% protein 40% carbs 20% fat (by calories) divison. Of course most of the carbs are when i wake up and after I work out.

    It's the gym part I need help with.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Do you leave on Friday evening to visit your Girlfriend? (Are you able to train M-Th or M-Fri?)
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 235 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 515 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs


  5. #5
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    I leave Friday evenings but a 4-6pm workout is possible.

  6. #6
    Wannabebig New Member Steve Reeves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Reno, NV
    Hey there Lexx,

    Let me first address your concerns.

    1. Workout partner - I don't have one and I personally think that this is a good thing. I can remember back in the day when I was first trying to workout I had a partner but when he stopped going so did I. So I think its better to just rely on yourself. If you need a spotter and there is a language barrier I would learn the local saying for "can you please spot me".

    2. Core exercises - The exercises that you mentioned are very important. Let me tell you why. The reason that lifting weights is so great for fat loss is because when you increase your muscle size your body automatically burns more calories while you are RESTING.

    So now, the best exercises for increasing your muscle size are squats and deadlifts. Other than the fact that they work your biggest muscles they also help to release more testosterone and HGH into your body which promotes the growth of all of your muscles. So I would strongly suggest that you do these exercises no matter how light. As far as chin ups go, when I first started working out I couldn't even squeeze out one rep. If you have an assisted pull up machine at your gym great but if not don't worry about it.

    3. Supplements - The only thing that I would absolutely add to your supplement list is a good protein powder. As you know you are going to want to eat 5-6 small meals a day and this gets real inconvenient if your eating whole meals. Protein helps make this a great deal easier. If you can swing creatine great. If not oh well.

    Okay now, I think your on the right track with HIIT training. This has been proven to burn way more fat than steady state cardio and I've personally had great success with it. If 30 min is too much you can start at 15-20 min and work your way up.

    I've actually written an article on fat loss and if you'd like to read it just send me a PM and I'll send you the link.

    All right now if you follow the above advice your girl might be looking for ways to keep you happy instead of the other way around in just a few short months.

    So good luck.

    Take Care,
    Steve Reeves
    Last edited by Steve Reeves; 01-16-2010 at 12:34 PM.
    Current Favorite Quote.... "Thoughts Become Actions... Actions Create Habits... Habits Build Character... And Character Is Destiny".

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