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Zach 12-01-2011 02:43 PM

Trying to get in better shape..
Hi name is Zach, I am very new to this forum and was recommended to start up a thread here and tell everyone where I am and what my goals are so here it goes.

I am 19 years old soon to be 20 in Feb. I started to workout oh about a year and 9 months ago. I started out at 190lbs at 5'7 never really thought about working out and getting into shape before. Always been the chubby little kid until one day I decided to change that. At first I really didn't know much about working out, I just wanted to be skinnier. So I started running everyday and changed my diet dramatically. Kept running for about a month or so and was seeing nice results in weight loss and started to get into lifting more. Nothing major just wanting to get in better shape. Well I stayed at it for around 9 months straight and was down to 136lbs. Then started dating this crazy girl and wasn't really able to do it much anymore. I stayed around the same weight and did workout some but nothing like I was. Left her around the end of this past October and started to workout again like I had been before. I am at 148lbs and my goal is to be around 160lbs by the end of June and completely cut up. Not crazy big but more of a athletic body type. I workout Monday thru Friday and rest on the weekends. As of now I eat high protein meals and after my workouts I do eat a high protein bar because I truly haven't figured out what supplements I should take for what I am wanting to accomplish. Before I was taking the GNC brand protein but wasn't seeing the results I was wanting. I am just looking for some good advice to help me reach my goal.

And sorry for the huge life long story I just figured it would be a good thing to tell about so that everyone knows my story and has a clear understanding of where I started and where I am now.

Thanks Zach

BendtheBar 12-01-2011 02:59 PM


Originally Posted by Zach (Post 193713)
And sorry for the huge life long story I just figured it would be a good thing to tell about so that everyone knows my story and has a clear understanding of where I started and where I am now.

Thanks Zach

No need to apologize. Every little bit of information helps.

You are looking at add about 12 pounds overall. Depending on your body composition this might require adding 20 pounds or more and then shedding some body fat.

First question I want to ask is how lean are you right now? Can you see your abs, or do you have a lean but somewhat flabby body type?

Second question...tell us about your gym, and some of the primary exercises you have been using.

Off Road 12-01-2011 03:16 PM

To add to what BtB asked, give us an idea of your daily eating habit (sample menu) and what other actrivities you're doing besides the weightlifting (like you mentioned running).

Zach 12-01-2011 03:43 PM

Ha my abs come and go. one day i can see the top ones and the next ya can't. and i guess im more lean but have that little lower section of lose skin over my lower abs that want go away.

And daily diet right now consists of:

Breakfast: consists of my own made up protein shake.
-carnation breakfast mix
-big spoon of peanut butter
-skim milk
-3 egg whites

Lunch- pretty nasty but high in protein
-chicken breast
-3 egg whites and one full egg

Supper- usually a salad
-egg whites
-mustard for the dressing

As my workout goes is usually all free weights. I'll go arms monday, then chest and midsection tues. then arms wednesday, so on and so forth. Haven't really worked on legs much I am starting to do more. I do run every afternoon that I am able to at least 2 miles. and right after my workout I eat a 30gram protein bar.

Hope that answers the questions lol

BendtheBar 12-01-2011 05:59 PM

Hi Zach,

I'll be back after dinner and will check out what you posted.

BendtheBar 12-01-2011 06:13 PM


Originally Posted by Zach (Post 193745)
Ha my abs come and go. one day i can see the top ones and the next ya can't. and i guess im more lean but have that little lower section of lose skin over my lower abs that want go away.

That's good. You aren't holding a lot of extra fat so that will help you along the way. Basically what you're looking at is adding about 15 pounds or so. This extra muscle will not make you look "massive", but it will make you look real athlete and muscular.

Do you currently work bench press, squats, overhead press, deadlift, barbell/dumbbell rows, dips or pullups? Just curious how comfortable you are with these lifts.

As far as diet, right now it appears you are eating a lot of lean foods and avoiding fat. This was probably good for cutting, but when building muscle you will be better off with whole eggs, beef and other quality protein foods that aren't super low fat or processed.

This might take a bit to help you zero in, so be patient with us.

Off Road 12-01-2011 07:26 PM

Your goal is to gain somewhere around 30 lbs of muscle and lose some bodyfat. Your current routine revolves around arms, chest, and abs. It is going to be very difficult to gain 30 lbs of muscle in your chest and arms. It will be much easier to gain 30 lbs of muscle throughout your entire body, and enlarging your back, shoulders and legs has the biggest visual impact; think about guys like the Rock or John Cena without their big backs and shoulders. The back and legs are the biggest muscles in the body and will make you look so much more impressive when built up. They are also responsible for a lot of strength and will make you more than just somebody that looks good, you'll also be functional. Lastly, working these big muscles tends to get the whole body growing (including arms) through the massive growth signal they send to the system. So what I'm saying is, if you really and truly want to build some muscle, and make the whole process easier, get ready to work the back and the legs along with your chest, abs, and arms. Any good routine we will suggest will be including things like squats, deadlifts, and rows to work these areas. Embrace it...Learn to love it... :)

Also, you metion protein powders like they will make a visual difference to your body when taking them. Protein powder is like powdered steak, it's just food with a high protein content. Taking protein powders will make no more visual difference than just eating eggs and meat. But, protein powders can make it easier to get your protein requirements for the day. They also help when trying to reduce fat because they are lower in calories than steak and egss and other protein sources. Just think of protein powders as food.

Now about the running. Running is a fine conditioning exercise as long as you don't go overboard with it. A lot of running signals the body to be conservative with energy, and that's the opposite of what you want if you are trying to build muscle. If you are weight training and running long distances then you are asking your body to do things that are total opposites and you will end up with mediocre results from both. If you are really set on running then by all means keep doing it. Otherwise we can suggest other conditioning exercises that better fit a muscle building goal.

I am sure you will get a ton of different routines to think about, diets ideas to mull over, and differing opinions on what will work best for you. Just remember that focussing on big exercises that allow big strength gains will have the fastest and biggest impact. Also remember that when you start out, simple is better. You want to start simple because you'll have to get more complicated as you progress and if you start out with something complicated there is no room to move up.

Lastly, you are lucky to be on this forum and asking your questions. This forum is full of guys that WILL NOT STEER YOU WRONG by giving you advice that isn't appropriate for your level of training. You are about to start on a great and fun journey, I'm almost a little jealous thinking about the fast progress you are about to make.

Zach 12-01-2011 10:09 PM

Thanks guys for your help. I kinda have a better knowledge of what I need to do. I do like to run but I would much rather do other things that will give me a better gain towards building muscle instead. And when it comes to bench press I just started lol and I suck but ya gotta start somewhere I guess. I do need to start working legs more, I have been doing some but not like I do my arms and chest. And I dips/ pull ups I do. But when it comes to my diet I really cant get it zeroed in on what I should eat and such. For breakfast that shake is really the only thing I will eat. Then it goes as followed in my previous post. And do I or do I not need any type of supplements to get where I am wanting to be. I get so many mixed opinions on that topic.

Kuytrider 12-02-2011 01:55 AM

I haven't much to add expect for the fact that you always need to look long-term. To paraphrase Jim Wendler, everyone wants a 12 week plan but how many people want to put the work into a two year plan? Think about how awesome you'll look on your 21st birthday, not what you'll look like in January.
As for your bench press sucking, you'll be amazed at how fast you can shoot up. Same goes for deadlifts, squats and all other compound movements. I envy you and wish I was the same age :D Listen well to the advice the guys on here give because as Off Road said, they will not steer you wrong. Good luck and welcome to the forum :)

Zach 12-02-2011 07:53 AM

Thanks once again! I really appreciate the help from all of you so far and for the future advice that I will be given. I am headed to the gym now actually for my morning workout to try some new stuff. Wish me luck

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