Fitness for the fitness impaired

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Fancy
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Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby Fancy » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:07 am UTC

This isn't exactly my field of expertise, but I'll try and word my post in a reasonable way.

I want to lose some weight, lose some belly fat, and maintain (or minimize loss of) what little muscle I have got. Common goal, right?

Now here's the kicker: Right now it's summer, but otherwise I am in school. And my hobbies are all intellectual, none of them manual-labor intensive. My day consists of sitting around here and occasionally sitting around somewhere else.

Oh, did I say that was the kicker? Damned shame, I was lying. Here's the real kicker:
In mid May of this year, I was diagnosed with diabetes. As of now, the type is unconfirmed, but it seems to be type 1 considering several factors. It's under control, thankfully, through the use of two types of insulin. The injection are quite annoying, but they keep me alive. For now, an acceptable trade. As I'm sure some of you know, this means that for every "x" grams of carbs, I take a unit of insulin. So keeping carbs to a reasonable level would help, but isn't necessary. Although from what I understand, physical activity will help to lower my blood sugar.

I don't have a job, but might soon. I don't have access to a gym because no job...no money...no gym.
I assume the following might be relevant, so here I offer it.
17 years old, male, human being (unconfirmed, but likely) approx. 5' 8", 155 pounds.

I was 140 pounds as a side effect of diabetes, but it's going up now that my body has ceased eating all of it's fat for energy. I'd like to be back down around there, lose the loose stomach skin I have now and any that might come, and build at least a little bit of muscle either during or after this.

So, in summation: how to lose a little bit of weight, tighten some skin, and feel physically better?
With many little strokes a large tree is felled.
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nightbird
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby nightbird » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:55 am UTC

Losing extra skin is a matter of time and your skin's elasticity. I've heard that rubbing coconut oil on the areas may help, but take this with a grain of salt.

Feeling better... There are two factors, diet, cardio and strength training. Ideally, you'd go the low carb route but count calories (bodyweight in pounds x12 is a good starting point to lose weight), take an extended walk every day, and strength train 3x/week. What are your equipment options? If you don't have access to weight, simple calisthenics can still take you far if done properly.
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Fancy
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby Fancy » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:30 pm UTC

nightbird wrote:Losing extra skin is a matter of time and your skin's elasticity. I've heard that rubbing coconut oil on the areas may help, but take this with a grain of salt.

Feeling better... There are two factors, diet, cardio and strength training. Ideally, you'd go the low carb route but count calories (bodyweight in pounds x12 is a good starting point to lose weight), take an extended walk every day, and strength train 3x/week. What are your equipment options? If you don't have access to weight, simple calisthenics can still take you far if done properly.

My equipment options are nil at the moment. As mentioned, no money for a gym membership and purchasing weight for at home is out of the question.
Calisthenics was one of the things I considered, but I don;t know where to start. Pushups are understandable, situps are hell on my back (I understand they are like this for many people, too), and I don't know what else there is.
With many little strokes a large tree is felled.
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby poxic » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:29 pm UTC

Bodyweight workouts are popular, for all the reasons you've described. Here's a link to a beginner's workout. You can probably find more hunting around the net: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2009/12/09/beginner-body-weight-workout-burn-fat-build-muscle/.

Cardio can be as simple as walking at a smart pace for half an hour a day. (Start at a more casual speed for less time if you want to build up to it.) If you have a bike or can get a good cheap one, that works too.

Lack of motivation is usually the biggest demon to slay. And it has many, many heads. I've been able to keep myself on a mostly-regular workout schedule for a couple of years only because I'm old now, and no exercise = everything fucking hurts all the time. Before that it was six months on, five years off. :|

Finding a fitness community can be helpful. Reddit's fitness sub (http://www.reddit.com/r/Fitness/) is informative and a bit assholish, as you'd expect, but has some good threads.

Edit to add: the most important thing is to just pick something and do it for a while. There will be lots of things you don't like about it -- that's fine, you can fix a few things here and there as you go, or try a different thing every few months. It's way better to be doing it imperfectly than to avoid doing anything because it isn't ideal.
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Fancy
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby Fancy » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:07 pm UTC

poxic wrote:Bodyweight workouts are popular, for all the reasons you've described. Here's a link to a beginner's workout. You can probably find more hunting around the net: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2009/12/09/beginner-body-weight-workout-burn-fat-build-muscle/.

Cardio can be as simple as walking at a smart pace for half an hour a day. (Start at a more casual speed for less time if you want to build up to it.) If you have a bike or can get a good cheap one, that works too.

Lack of motivation is usually the biggest demon to slay. And it has many, many heads. I've been able to keep myself on a mostly-regular workout schedule for a couple of years only because I'm old now, and no exercise = everything fucking hurts all the time. Before that it was six months on, five years off. :|

Finding a fitness community can be helpful. Reddit's fitness sub (http://www.reddit.com/r/Fitness/) is informative and a bit assholish, as you'd expect, but has some good threads.

Edit to add: the most important thing is to just pick something and do it for a while. There will be lots of things you don't like about it -- that's fine, you can fix a few things here and there as you go, or try a different thing every few months. It's way better to be doing it imperfectly than to avoid doing anything because it isn't ideal.

I have tried before, and lack of motivation is a killer. As for finding a community, I'll just bug everyone here.
Thanks for the advice, now to get motivated to um...get out of this computer chair...and do stuff, I guess.
With many little strokes a large tree is felled.
-Japanese Proverb

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:17 pm UTC

Respectfully, motivation is really the only bottleneck here.
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby AngrySquirrel » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:09 pm UTC

Also, if going outside is not feasible for whatever reason, skipping rope is a good way to get some basic cardio in.
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby nightbird » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:47 am UTC

The best advice I can really give you for now is to go on amazon and buy Al Kavadlo's ebook 'pushing the limits'. Seriously, it's ten bucks and it'll keep you covered for a looooong time as far as zero equipment training goes.
“Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom.”

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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby Fancy » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:47 pm UTC

nightbird wrote:The best advice I can really give you for now is to go on amazon and buy Al Kavadlo's ebook 'pushing the limits'. Seriously, it's ten bucks and it'll keep you covered for a looooong time as far as zero equipment training goes.

This seems perfect to me, thanks. I have looked into books on bodyweight training before, such as "Convict Conditioning" but never really did work up enough motivation to go through with it.

Also, BW training is different from weight, right? I do it every day rather than some schedule with rest days inbetween?
With many little strokes a large tree is felled.
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philsov
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby philsov » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:10 pm UTC

Also, BW training is different from weight, right? I do it every day rather than some schedule with rest days inbetween?


Really depends on the routine. Any given muscle that gets heavily worked needs a rest day. If you're doing a full body routine (using either free weights or bodyweight) then there will be rest days regardless. If you're going something like upper body day 1, lower body day 2, then you can exercise daily.

Establishing the habit is an important key. If you need to do something daily, then work with that aspect. You can possibly even do something like heavy exercise M/W/F, and then cardio/light stuff T/T/S.

Have you logged your food intake so far? Like nightbird said, aim for 12x BW for calories. There's numerous apps (myfitnesspal) or websites that have caloric values listed. Ain't nothing some scratch paper and 4 function calc can't handle, if you're technologically lacking. If you really wanna get fancy -- don't get concerned with caloric intake juuuust yet. But log everything for a few days. Then you'll see how much you're consuming, and what can get reduced in portion size (or completely) to meet that ~1850 caloric daily caloric goal. No need to swap to whole grain everything and no cookies ever, that has a high rate of recidivism. The natural response to exercise is often hunger, after all. If you're looking to lose weight then you need to self regulate a bit.
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Fancy
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby Fancy » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:36 pm UTC

philsov wrote:
Also, BW training is different from weight, right? I do it every day rather than some schedule with rest days inbetween?


Really depends on the routine. Any given muscle that gets heavily worked needs a rest day. If you're doing a full body routine (using either free weights or bodyweight) then there will be rest days regardless. If you're going something like upper body day 1, lower body day 2, then you can exercise daily.

Establishing the habit is an important key. If you need to do something daily, then work with that aspect. You can possibly even do something like heavy exercise M/W/F, and then cardio/light stuff T/T/S.

Have you logged your food intake so far? Like nightbird said, aim for 12x BW for calories. There's numerous apps (myfitnesspal) or websites that have caloric values listed. Ain't nothing some scratch paper and 4 function calc can't handle, if you're technologically lacking. If you really wanna get fancy -- don't get concerned with caloric intake juuuust yet. But log everything for a few days. Then you'll see how much you're consuming, and what can get reduced in portion size (or completely) to meet that ~1850 caloric daily caloric goal. No need to swap to whole grain everything and no cookies ever, that has a high rate of recidivism. The natural response to exercise is often hunger, after all. If you're looking to lose weight then you need to self regulate a bit.

Well, I need to try and start eating a little bit differently because diabetes is shitty.
I don't keep any real records, but for example, I just ate 3 hot dogs and 3 buns. I think this falls somewhere at least 900 calories, if not more. I recognize this as bad, and do consider it before eating like this, but then my will jsut disappears and I say "screw it, fire up the grill."

In reference to a schedule, habit is hard. SInce I'm just doing some light pushups, situps, a little planking, and BW squats, I do them everyday. No real discomfort yet, I apparently need to start doing more.
With many little strokes a large tree is felled.
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:41 pm UTC

Perhaps you should think of 'fitness' as two separate ladders leading to the same destination. The first ladder is 'activity', and can be climbed by increasing your levels of activity. The second ladder is 'diet', and can be climbed by steadily improving your dietary intake.

Getting to your destination will actually require climbing both ladders. And it isn't a singular task to completion. Maybe you only want to be active three times a week. Maybe you still want to eat ice cream. That's fine. You need to figure out how high you want to climb, and you need to understand that the climb isn't invalidated for, say, missing a workout day or eating another slice of pizza.
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby philsov » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:59 pm UTC

I don't keep any real records


So start? Now?

Especially for stuff like hot dogs and buns. There a label on their package. You can look at those. It's very convenient.

(Your average-sized oscar meyer hotdog is ~150 calories, and a bun is ~110).

No real discomfort yet, I apparently need to start doing more.


fyi, soreness is not an indication of a good workout. There's progression you can do, if you look into the bodyweight routines. Where you place your hands, for example, will affect how many pushups you can do. Or if there's a textbook on your back. Eventually you'll be able to do bodyweight squats one-legged, for example.
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby Fancy » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:02 pm UTC

philsov wrote:
I don't keep any real records


So start? Now?

Especially for stuff like hot dogs and buns. There a label on their package. You can look at those. It's very convenient.

(Your average-sized oscar meyer hotdog is ~150 calories, and a bun is ~110).

No real discomfort yet, I apparently need to start doing more.


fyi, soreness is not an indication of a good workout. There's progression you can do, if you look into the bodyweight routines. Where you place your hands, for example, will affect how many pushups you can do. Or if there's a textbook on your back. Eventually you'll be able to do bodyweight squats one-legged, for example.

Some things like that are my distant goals. One legged squats, diamond pushups, holding a plank for however long is considered a while.

It's the start that kills me. I see no progress, I quit. I start again three months later, give it a few days, repeat.
With many little strokes a large tree is felled.
-Japanese Proverb

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:10 pm UTC

Then stop quitting? Start slower? Set short term goals?
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby philsov » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:15 pm UTC

I see no progress, I quit.


Which is also why I'm harping on this whole food log thing. Pending the precision of your bathroom scale, results are visible in less than two weeks. You-in-the-mirror changes don't really happen for about a month, and that's if you're looking for 'em. It's the nature of the beast. Just keep at it and the results come.

Set short term goals?


Yup. Going from a 43 second plank to a 45 second plank (or whatever) is progress. It's accomplished quickly; nowhere near "a while"
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:41 am UTC

Because of the diabetes I am putting this here, I seriously encourage you to watch it.
Having to take insulin is really not a good thing. But the alternative is worse.

Because of what he says, this guy can come across as a crackpot/nutter. So I feel a little bit of an introduction is necessary.

Timothy David Noakes (born 1949) is a South African professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town. He has run more than 70 marathons and ultramarathons, and is the author of several books on exercise and diet.

In 1980 Noakes was tasked to start a sports science course at the University of Cape Town. Noakes went on to head the Medical Research Council-funded Bioenergetics of Exercise Research Unit, which was later changed to the MRC/UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine.

In the early 1990s Noakes co-founded the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, with former South African rugby player Morne du Plessis. His unit's physiological research has produced over 370 scientific articles since 1996.

He is a leading researcher on the condition now known as Exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH). He first recognized this condition in a female runner during the 1984 Comrades Marathon, and published his findings in 1985 in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Noakes hosted the 1st International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference in Cape Town in May 2005.

Noakes is also known for renewing and elaborating the idea first proposed by the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine winner Archibald Hill that a central governor regulates exercise to protect body homeostasis.

In 2005 he undertook a series of pioneering experiments in the Arctic and Antarctic on South African (British-born) swimmer Lewis Gordon Pugh to understand the full range of human capability in extreme cold. He discovered that Pugh had the ability to raise his core body temperature before entering the water in anticipation of the cold and coined the phrase 'anticipatory thermo-genesis' to describe it. In 2007 he was the expedition doctor for Pugh’s one kilometre swim at the Geographic North Pole.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0GSSSE4l8U

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Sungura
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Re: Fitness for the fitness impaired

Postby Sungura » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:40 pm UTC

Spark People is an easy website to use for food tracking, it has most all restaurants and such too and their menus because anyone can add to the food database. It has a spot for exercise journals too. Perhaps being a quick online thing would help ya do it?
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