I am not in shape, but would like to try.

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Jave D
chavey-dee
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I am not in shape, but would like to try.

Postby Jave D » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:22 am UTC

So I'm 33, 5'10'', somewhere in the neighborhood of 140-150 pounds. I've always been a skinny sort, and not too concerned about weight in general, and have always had a fairly high metabolism and been able to get away with it. As a result, I've basically never worked out or eaten healthy or anything, and I think it's time that changed, because I'm getting older and I've noticed that I have an unappetizing ring of fat around my midsection (especially when I sit) and when I tried to do some pushups just now, ten was all I could really manage. Arms were shaking, and I remember a time when I could do something like fifty with that much effort. (Back in my glorious teens.)

So basically I'd like to start working out just to look and be fit. Lean muscle, anyway, and not someone who shakes or strains just trying to lift things. It doesn't help that I'm a smoker, and I don't think that'll change anytime soon. I also have some pretty flat feet so I'm not really going to bother going with running or jogging much. And I don't like gyms and am not going to go to one, but I'm pretty certain I could do good enough for my modest needs with just some weights and free space right at home. Although pushups seemed like a good idea, I think I might have a ganglion cyst on my wrist which makes it painful to put weight on my hand (as doing a pushup, or pushing things in general) although I might be able to get around that (until I can get this cyst taken care of) by just doing it on my knuckles, or holding onto a dumbbell instead of flat on the floor.

And I don't eat healthy, like at all. Frozen burritos, fast food, occasionally some bananas or fruit. I've been moving generally towards drinking more water and less of anything else (i.e. energy drinks, which I used once to 'hydrate' myself almost exclusively!) Obviously all this is interconnected.

So, o forum gods of fitness, any tips on how to get started, bearing in mind that I know pretty much -nothing- about either eating right or exercising in general, would be extremely welcome. Otherwise this will be just my pathetic whining thread in which I moan about the worsening condition of my body, and nobody needs that.

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nightbird
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Re: I am not in shape, but would like to try.

Postby nightbird » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:50 am UTC

You'll find a lot of useful answers here:

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=109431

I'm a big fan of Al Kavadlo's bodyweight progressions and suggest that you start going through his youtube channel. At your point, pushups, pull ups, and bodyweight squats will take you very far. You won't need a gym, just a pull up bar (which should be a part of every home anyway).

Concerning diet... Make small changes. Start cooking yourself, pre-cooked meals are almost nver healthy. Again, implement things one at a time. Start eating healthy for breakfast, then start collecting recipes. And don't ask me what healthy means, it's common sense really. Fruits, vegetables,... Anything that doesn't come in a box and is full of sugar or cheap fat, really.
“Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom.”

wumpus
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Re: I am not in shape, but would like to try.

Postby wumpus » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:15 pm UTC

Basically, getting into shape requires two things: eating better and exercise.

I would recommend fixing you diet in stages. Find something that doesn't help you at all that you can easily lose and replace it with something you prefer. I managed to get surprising improvements by replacing a cereal-based breakfast with an egg based one (I also ride my bike/run enough not to feel it might be hard on my heart). This isn't something you need to do all at once. If you really are trying to feed your self with manufactured non-food, you might consider looking into soylent. It isn't for people who highly value dining, but should be ideal for someone trying to get their feeding needs under control. Yes, this violates both nightbird's and my suggestion about small changes (well, you could just use it for one meal, but that pretty much isn't the point. The idea is that it should be easier to modulate how much food you take in and that just doesn't work unless it makes up the majority of your "food").

A more reasonable suggestion is to figure out what type of meals you can reasonably cook that are healthy (and you would want to eat), and start cooking them. Maybe starting with just one meal (packing a better lunch, perhaps?), and then working form there.

As far as exercise goes, it does sound like nightbird's suggestion is what you are asking for. My solution [for myself] was to bike for an hour at least every other day. It was shocking just how big an improvement it made. The catch is that once I stopped improving that way, I really can't spend much more time on the bike. This is less of a problem as I am trying to mix in running as well (you can get better gains running per hour, but it is harder to suddenly run 30 minutes if you are the shape I was in).

cphite
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Re: I am not in shape, but would like to try.

Postby cphite » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:15 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:So I'm 33, 5'10'', somewhere in the neighborhood of 140-150 pounds. I've always been a skinny sort, and not too concerned about weight in general, and have always had a fairly high metabolism and been able to get away with it. As a result, I've basically never worked out or eaten healthy or anything, and I think it's time that changed, because I'm getting older and I've noticed that I have an unappetizing ring of fat around my midsection (especially when I sit) and when I tried to do some pushups just now, ten was all I could really manage. Arms were shaking, and I remember a time when I could do something like fifty with that much effort. (Back in my glorious teens.)


Oh yeah, that sounds familiar... All the way up until I was maybe 30 or so I was skinny as a rail despite having a terrible diet. I was all about burgers and fries and that sort of thing. At some point, usually in your early 30's or so, your body switches gears and suddenly you have to stop that, work out more, or (preferably) both.

A few months ago I noticed that I was 240 lbs and decided that was unacceptable. So, I've been eating healthier (and less) and upping my exercise, and after about nine weeks I am down to 225 - which is still not where I wanna be, but an improvement. I'm shooting for 190 or somewhere around that.

Tips... eat more stuff like fruits and veggies, less stuff that isn't one of those things. Keep drinking water. Eat smaller portions - more of them if necessary - for example, instead of breakfast-lunch-dinner try maybe five smaller meals.

As for exercise, start by finding something you like to do... walking, running, biking, lifting, whatever - the key is try to find something that you aren't going to dread doing and look for excuses not to do. For me, I love walking. I typically do six miles per day, and aside from exercise it's basically an hour to just listen to some tunes, chill out, and de-stress from the day. I also do martial arts; I've upped the number of nights as part of my "get away from 240" routine. Once I've lost a bit more, I'll switch from walking to jogging - right now my knees just aren't interested in that.

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duckshirt
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: I am not in shape, but would like to try.

Postby duckshirt » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:36 am UTC

What do flat feet have to do with running?
lol everything matters
-Ed

Soteria
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:18 pm UTC

Re: I am not in shape, but would like to try.

Postby Soteria » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:12 am UTC

As someone who has gotten into shape (and out of shape) multiple times, I can say that probably the two best ways to get in shape for me were crossfit and crew (rowing). Both emphasize using the entire body and core strength rather than big muscles. The ergometer, aka erg or rowing machine is the simplest way to get a full-body workout. And actually rowing on the water is an amazing feeling once you get the technique down. You'll never get big just from rowing, though.


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