Beginner Help

Nov 9, 2008
198
0
16
38
Bee Cave, TX
#1
I was hoping you guys could point me in the right direction. I have never really lifted weights. I played golf in high school and college before it become a thing to workout as a golfer. I am now 37 and not happy with my body. I would describe myself as skinny fat (6’3” 185). I don’t have big muscles and too much fat around my chest and now starting around the waist. I want to do something to shed the fat and get stronger at the same time. Any suggestions on where to start? I know I need to eat cleaner and start some sort of exercise, but I am confused with so much out there. Should I try Stronglifts? Thanks in advance!
 
Jan 25, 2011
541
37
28
40
Silver City, New Mexico
#2
Look up Jeff Cavalier/AthleanX on YouTube, he puts out tons of good information on weight lifting to be athletic and nutrition for free. Easy to follow way to eat, no calories to count or fasting. He's a certified trainer and has trained professional athletes in different sports and his methods are backed by science.

I've been following his programs for over two years and I feel and look better now at almost 40 than I did at 30. I'm 6' and had chest and belly fat that I was tired of looking at. I went from 226 down to 206 and still making progress. Just understand that it's a process and you won't be given any magic advise but if you follow what is laid out, it'll be something you can do for the rest of your life without much effort.

If you do look him up, know that the guy is 5'10", 175lbs and 42yrs old. There are a bunch people and programs to follow, anything should work if you put in the effort. For me, I've paid for 3 of his work out programs that come with meal plans and it's simple to follow. His YouTube content is good enough that you don't even need to buy anything. Good luck in which ever direction you go.
 
Jun 3, 2017
127
22
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#3
Change your diet. You can lift till the cows come home but if you eat it crap you'll still have lots of fat. Eat real food, drop the processed crap. And workout out, You will get the best results that way. If you don't change your diet you'll have to work exponentially harder with little results which often results in people giving up.
 
Likes: MarinePMI
Jul 25, 2017
29
1
3
#4
I did “starting strength” off and on for a few years with a decent amount of success. You can pick up the book online for relatively little money. Find a gym that has a squat rack and get to work.

If you’re completely out of shape, the volume of programming in SS might be a bit overwhelming. Don’t get discouraged, just keep at it and the results will come.

If you’ve never really lifted, it would be wise to seek out a trainer who knows their stuff to coach you up on form and technique in the beginning as there’s a really high risk that you blow your body up doing something wrong.

***As a side note about weight and how you feel about your body***

Personally, I found that once I started lifting pretty regularly, I stopped looking at the scale as much. I graduated college at 165 and ballooned up to 195 within a few years. I looked and felt terrible. I started lifting and training for a few athletic endeavors a year to stay motivated and now tip the scales at 200-205 but I feel much better about how I look. I’ve only ever cut weight when I had a road race coming up and that was strictly so I wasn’t beating my knees up. Your mileage might vary, but know that if you’re lifting heavy, you are going to be building mass.

***edit regarding diet***

abs are made in the kitchen. I started lifting because I wanted to eat garbage sometimes. But when I’ve wanted to cut weight, it’s always happened with diet. I’ve had good luck with a high protein/high fat, low/zero carb diet along with cutting booze and snacks. But mostly I eat BBQ and pasta and lift so I can keep doing that.
 
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Likes: MarinePMI

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
1,940
371
83
San Diego, Ca
#5
Another vote for Starting Strength, just realize that it is a program that is about strength first, and aesthetics a very distant second. Focus on your numbers, and prepare for an ass kicking during the Novice Linear Progression stage. If you can make it through that, and build a baseline of solid strength, the aesthetics will follow with intermediate programming.

As TK said, the book Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training (ed. 3) is well worth getting. In fact, many colleges are now beginning to use it as a text book (that's how much, and how detailed, the information in that book is). It covers all the basic olympic lifts, the related mechanics as well as some mental cues to get your form down. It's quickly becoming the "bible" of barbell strength training.

Diet will follow accordingly as you progress; be prepared to eat a crap ton of food as you get near the end of the NLP. At 37 yrs old you're at the near the end of the optimal time to do this, so get it done now. Once you hit your mid-40's it's an uphill battle, and you'll likely never see your full genetic potential to be strong.
 

panzerr

Sergeant of the Hide
Jul 21, 2011
37
2
8
Minnesota
sixty-six.org
#6
I was hoping you guys could point me in the right direction. I have never really lifted weights. I played golf in high school and college before it become a thing to workout as a golfer. I am now 37 and not happy with my body. I would describe myself as skinny fat (6’3” 185). I don’t have big muscles and too much fat around my chest and now starting around the waist. I want to do something to shed the fat and get stronger at the same time. Any suggestions on where to start? I know I need to eat cleaner and start some sort of exercise, but I am confused with so much out there. Should I try Stronglifts? Thanks in advance!
Here is an overly simplistic answer:

If you have a Training for Warriors nearby, check it out. They combine exercise with eating changes in their program and are effective.

If you have the discipline to do work out on your own, get a membership at a 24/7 gym, start pushing weights and ask lots of questions. Starting Strength is legit and can help you with this.

Check out Vinnie Tortorich's podcast and website. He promotes what he calls "NSNG" or no sugar, no grain. Remember, it's about changing your eating habits, not going on a diet. This should be one step at a time and the first step is to start learning how to eat better by listening to Vinnie. I am a Physician and I have yet to find fault in Vinnie's methodology. Check him out.
 
Sep 16, 2017
134
37
28
El Campo, TX
#7
Op, Go to the gym and break a damn sweat. Make sure you do a few exercises to cover the whole body. Do a full body workout. Dont do any complicated split workouts. Push straight out, pull straight back, push straight up, pull straight down, some type of squat. This is your workout. There are many exercises that will fit in the catagory above. Find some that you like and work for your bodytype. High reps or low reps doesnt matter. Pick and weight and lift it until it gets hard. Jump back and forth between two or three exercises. Dont rest unless you need to breathe. Do 15 minutes of cardio before you lift weights. Not after. Eat meat and vegetables mostly. Three meals a day. No snacks. You will be a new man in a few months. Your welcome in advance.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
1,940
371
83
San Diego, Ca
#8
Op, Go to the gym and break a damn sweat. Make sure you do a few exercises to cover the whole body. Do a full body workout. Dont do any complicated split workouts. Push straight out, pull straight back, push straight up, pull straight down, some type of squat. This is your workout. There are many exercises that will fit in the catagory above. Find some that you like and work for your bodytype. High reps or low reps doesnt matter. Pick and weight and lift it until it gets hard. Jump back and forth between two or three exercises. Dont rest unless you need to breathe. Do 15 minutes of cardio before you lift weights. Not after. Eat meat and vegetables mostly. Three meals a day. No snacks. You will be a new man in a few months. Your welcome in advance.
Sorry, but this is some of the worst advice I have seen to date. Pick a program (Starting Strength, Strong Lists, Garage Gym Warrior, whatever...) and get your diet (macros) to match your program.

Just going and lifting shit, with no program, is a recipe for failure. Define a goal (BF %? Strength number; like squatting twice your body weight, or a desired weight) and then use that as a guide for selecting a program and a diet.

Just hopping around the gym, and doing stuff "that feels good" is not a successful strategy (or a worthwhile use of your time). You may as well be fishing the dark with that methodology (or lack thereof I should say).

Reps do matter.

Resting between sets does matter.

Form/exercises do matter.

And Programming definitely matters.

What the OP is talking about achieving requires training. What wade2big is talking about is exercise. There is a world of difference between the two, in both execution and end results.
 
Sep 16, 2017
134
37
28
El Campo, TX
#9
Sorry, but this is some of the worst advice I have seen to date. Pick a program (Starting Strength, Strong Lists, Garage Gym Warrior, whatever...) and get your diet (macros) to match your program.

Just going and lifting shit, with no program, is a recipe for failure. Define a goal (BF %? Strength number; like squatting twice your body weight, or a desired weight) and then use that as a guide for selecting a program and a diet.

Just hopping around the gym, and doing stuff "that feels good" is not a successful strategy (or a worthwhile use of your time). You may as well be fishing the dark with that methodology (or lack thereof I should say).

Reps do matter.

Resting between sets does matter.

Form/exercises do matter.

And Programming definitely matters.

What the OP is talking about achieving requires training. What wade2big is talking about is exercise. There is a world of difference between the two, in both execution and end results.
If your goal is to bench 400lbs then yes my advice isn't optimal. If your goal is to run a 4.20 second 40 then yes my advice isn't optimal. If your goal is to get in the best shape of your life (General Fitness) then my advice is definitely optimal and will work 100% of the time. Macros and all that diet advice bullshit is why people fail. It is not a longtime livable lifestyle to constantly weigh, measure, and count food constantly and to eat every so many hours according to the clock. My advice will get you in shape and looking good and is something that can be done for the long term. My advice is exactly what the OP needs and will meet the needs of 95% of everyone else. I have helped whip friends, family, and acquaintances into shape in just a matter of months. We are talking average people. Not bodybuilders looking to compete. If you want I am willing to post a modest picture of myself and let my results at 35 years old speak for themselves. Then if you would like you can do the same and we can compare. I have lost 55lbs doing what I said above. 41" waist to a 31" waist. Do not make this complicated but you do have to put in the work.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
1,940
371
83
San Diego, Ca
#10
That's nice.

I stand by my opinion.

And this is coming from a 47yr old, who's been around the block a few times.

The OP mentioned Strong Lifts. That's a program, not some nonsensical "go break a sweat" bullshit.

We both have made recommendations. One has logic and organized programming involved, the other is throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks.

I'll let the OP figure out who is full of shit, and how he wants to spend his time and effort. Seems pretty obvious to me...
 
Sep 16, 2017
134
37
28
El Campo, TX
#11
That's nice.

I stand by my opinion.

And this is coming from a 47yr old, who's been around the block a few times.

The OP mentioned Strong Lifts. That's a program, not some nonsensical "go break a sweat" bullshit.

We both have made recommendations. One has logic and organized programming involved, the other is throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks.

I'll let the OP figure out who is full of shit, and how he wants to spend his time and effort. Seems pretty obvious to me...
Its the way you came off that crossed me. You could have just as easily said you disagree with me and then stated your opinion. No problem. You said my advice is the worst advice to date and then went on. Of course that wouldn't go over smoothly. Learn how to debate with an open mind and how to speak to someone without degrading them. I don't even disagree with most of your advice. The OP said he is soft. My way will take care of that for sure. He will get stronger too of course. When he isn't soft anymore and wants to focus on strength or "get big" then the programs you listed would fit the bill. My diet advice would still be sound except much more food would need to be eaten. Pick a goal and achieve it then reassess your goals, switch direction, and achieve it. If a man is soft, then losing bodyfat should be step one.

Here is what my nonsense will do for you.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
1,940
371
83
San Diego, Ca
#12
I guess the issue is that your advice relies on genetics and age. Some folks (like yourself), and at your age, can easily gain muscle just by cleaning up their diet and lifting weights. Genetics determine the viability of that, not programming. I think in a few short years you will begin understand this (and I don't intend that to come across as condescending).

I apologize if I came across as a dick.

The OP stated he weighed 185lbs and was skinny fat. Coupled with that, he is 37. As a general rule, for the male population, 36-42yrs of age is when you physiologically hit middle age, and your body's ability to easily gain muscle and lose fat begins to diminish. BF becomes much harder to lose (especially around the abdomen for guys), testosterone and strength begin to decline, and recovery becomes an issue (degraded protein synthesis). Just lifting weights without a plan is not going to have as much effect, and is wasting valuable time and effort. Will it have some effect? Sure (vice not doing anything). But if he "wants to get in shape" at his age, all I'm saying is, it's going to require some planning and discipline. Also, generally speaking. that same age is when life tends to get in the way; work, kids, home. It limits most people's time available to spend working out. So, the question becomes not "how do I get in shape", it becomes "How do I get in shape given the amount of time I have available, and at my age?"

This is me at 165lbs

1 year progress.jpg
And this is me a few weeks ago at 185lbs (my back and legs have gotten quite large) 1.5 yr update.jpg

While I suppose I could go for the "shredded" look, my main goal is muscle mass. I have always been thin (165lbs at 6'3" was what I weighed when I got out of the Corps), but now that I'm looking at the latter half of life, I begin to contemplate the 5 things that aging faces us with.

Sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass)

Osteopenia (loss of bone density)

Polypharmacy (relying on multiple drugs; BP meds, diabetes, etc.)

Flexibility (loss of Range of Motion)

Balance

An organized, well thought out program allows all of these to be addressed (short of a genetic propensity for some malady like diabetes, or the sheer misfortune of contracting cancer).

For a guy who's about to turn 48 this fall, I think my results (also) speak for themselves.

Again, the opinions/options have been laid out for the OP. He'll just have to decide what best suits his desires and time available, coupled with his genetic disposition to gain muscle mass and lose body fat.
Best regards.
 
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Gray Squirrel

Protect the nuts.
Jun 30, 2012
123
39
28
North TX
#14
https://loadoutroom.com/42292/watch-defeat-threats-violent-nomad-workout/

I like this format, have used this mentality for years. It isn't restricted to a gym or certain equipment. I used it overseas on COPs and Patrol Bases where space and equipment was limited. Its also fun and doesn't have to take a long time.

I've never had any luck following a program, just not my thing. I know guys that swear to certain programs, if you need that structure, than that would probably be valuable for you.
 
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