I'm a n00b both here and to taking care of myself through exercise (hence the handle choice). I'm not real sure where to post this as it has several areas covered, so if I picked the wrong forum my apologies. I also apologize for the length, but I figure it's the only way to get an accurate analysis.
My starting fitness level is sad. I've been sedentary for years (being in IT and a computer nerd) so that has totally shot my cardio ability to smithereens. I used to be reasonably athletic, but while I'm reasonably trim my insides are pretty weak. I notice people post their "stats" so here's mine:
(I'm using a string and then measuring the length for the following)
Bodyfat (caliper) 21%
Former Bad Habits: Gave up smoking 4 weeks ago, (smoked for a year, quit for a year, started for a few months, gave it the boot for the last time)
Mon: Cardio + Lower Body
Tues: Cardio + Swim Laps
Wed: Cardio + Upper body
Thus: Cardio + Swim Laps
Fri: Full body
Sat/Sun : Rest or low intensity cardio (exercise bike for an hour)
Looking in a mirror, I look decent, but I could look better.
I'd like to bring my waist size back down to a 36 or smaller if I can and drop the body fat percentage. I'm hoping any fat I trade off is replaced by muscle so weight is not a big deal to me. Sides, with the amount of water I drink i can really skew the results . But, as I'm starting out I'm confused about what I put into my body might be counterproductive to where I want to go.
Obviously, for now, I'm in a conditioning phase. Since I've sat on my ass for so long and could barely run (6 mph) a quarter mile without having to stop, I figure I've got to bring myself up to a level before I can hit the weights seriously and start modding my body the way I've always wanted to.
Diet / Schedule:
Morning 7AM : Whey Tech (Vitamin Shoppe house brand) with 1 cup of milk, 6 strawberries and 1 bananna. Obliterate into a blender, drink on the way to work. 2 softgels of a thermogenic supplement recommended by my workout partner.
Lunch 12PM : Salad Bar at Jasons deli with sweet tea or one junior cheeseburger with water.
Snack 3PM: Oatmeal bar (not always, twice a week maybe)
Dinner 6PM: Ribeye steak OR one chicken breast grilled on toast with some mayo and peppercini OR naked hot wings (No batter, bout 10). Water or glass of milk to drink.
PreWorkout 7PM: Glass of water, 2 softgels of the thermogenic supplement
(Workout from 7:30PM to 9PM)
Post workout 10PM: 5 naked hotwings or can of tuna with some mayo and peppercini. Lots of water to drink.
Given my goals and current conditioning status, am I doing anything counterproductive? Or on the flipside, what am I doing right and shouldn't mess with?
I think you should get a routine and stick to it.
your routine doesn't seem intense enough. if you can bike for an hour, you're not going fast enough. if you can work out your whole body twice a week, you're either not lifting hard enough, or you're not giving your muscles recovery time. Read this:
and congratulations on quiting smoking. also try not to eat steak too much. it takes longer to digest than other meats.
"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."
- Timothy Ferriss
"Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity."
- Colin Powell
It certainly feels intense enough, During the week I'm pretty much taking myself to failure each night. I drive a stick and after the workouts it's hard as hell sometimes to shift properly.
My idea was that the biking on the weekend was to burn fat by just slightly elevating my heart rate. The way I was thinking was that it wasn't as hardcore as the cardio during the week so it was kinda like resting.
When going to the gym do I need to take myself to failure as fast as possible? Wouldn't that really short change me on endurance?
You should figure out what your goals are exactly then pick a routine that will help you achieve them. There's a lot of information on this site and a few others that you should read.
You can burn fat without catabolizing muscle by using HITT. There's a huge thread on HITT on this forum. However doing some good long low intensity cardio might be good for you to do considering your smoking. Within a few weeks after you start training it's going to be really hard/impossible to trade fat for muscle. You might want to use a moderate bulking diet to gain muscle then cut after to trim the fat, or you may want to cut first then bulk. IT depends on your priorities.
The WBB#1 Routine recommends going to failure and exercising each body part once a week. A routine like HST has a different approach (hypertrophy-specific). Both routines seem to work if you're disciplined. I think HST is generally considered better for gaining muscle mass while WBB#1 leads to faster strength gain. There's tons of debate on these however. Just do your homework and figure out what you want, then have discipline and stick to it.
Also there's nothing wrong with steak beng slow to digest.