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  1. #1
    Registered User Danimaltron's Avatar
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    Looking for critique of my draft routine

    Hello Everyone,

    I'm here because I let my weight slip the past couple of years. I've been very focused on my business to the point where a lot of other things went on the backburner, especially my fitness. I work a desk job so I was pretty much entirely sedentary. I actually ate healthy home cooked meals most of the time. However, my portions were too large, I would skip some meals, and occasionally binge eat and/or drink too much beer on the weekends. I put on about 20-30 pounds over the last 4 years because of this.

    I'm feeling very motivated to get back into shape and have already started with some cardio (treadmill) and basic bodyweight exercises at home, but I want to create a structured plan for myself because I am naturally a very unstructured person unless I make a conscious effort every day to stick to a plan.

    My goals are:
    • Lose weight / Burn bodyfat / lower BF %. I would like to lose 2-4lbs/fat per week if possible.
    • Increase strength for "classic" weightlifting exercises
    • Get toned / build a little muscle mass (I will focus on mass more after I drop some weight)

    I'm 5'10, 219lbs right now and my scale says 26.7% BF at the moment. I want to get down to 190lbs with a BF around 10%-15%.

    My understanding it's hard to build mass while simultaneously burning lots of fat. So, I'm comfortable primarily focusing on burning fat, with a secondary goal of getting stronger and building just some muscle.

    Notes:
    • I'm using Fitbit to track my general activity level. It's a motivator for me.
    • I'm using the Fitbit Aria scale to track my weight and BF %. BF % may not be accurate but it's consistent.
    • I will be using a heartrate monitor + Digifit iPhone app in order to track my fitness level and heart rate zone while doing my workouts, particularly cardio.
    • I'm a stocky guy. My legs have quite a bit of muscle underneath a layer of fat and are strong. They were always like this, but I used to bike a lot and still snowboard 1-2 / week in winter.
    • I think I could have proportionally really wide shoulders. When I was lifting weights 5 years ago they seemed to grow fast.
    • I sort of have bigger hips (bone structure) but my love handles make it even worse. This creates a shape that really bugs me.

    Requirements:

    Only one, really: I need to work out at home for now. I have a treadmill and will be getting a recumbent bike. I have some dumbbells, EZ curl bar and plan to get a flat bench and a straight bar + more weights.

    I want to play to my strengths if I can. I think if I can grow my shoulders, traps and lats, it'll even out my shape, especially as I lose my love handles.

    Diet:

    I've already been on a diet for about 1 week. I'm not eating way different than I was already, except I'm tracking things which means smaller portions (using MyFitnessPal app which sends data to Fitbit) and cutting a few problem foods. Specifically, I'm not binging on the weekends and reducing my alcohol intake to very little to none.

    I've been trying to keep my calories to around 1500 / day. I know this is pretty low, but I haven't started doing weights yet, and I really want to lose fat. I'm also not very active at all except for my exercise sessions. After a week I feel fine as well. At the end of the day I haven't felt hungry. Once I start lifting I may increase my calorie intake (if that's recommended), especially from lean protein sources.

    I'm eliminating or avoiding sugar as much as possible. I don't really like wheat in any form, so I'm avoiding it. I'm not a fan of cow's milk, so I'm avoiding it.

    Sample day:
    • Breakfast
    • 1 scoop Whey Gourmet + 1 cup almond milk + 1 banana. Bowl of oatmeal + raisins + 1/2 cup almond milk. Coffee with teaspoon half/half cream and teaspoon of honey.
    • Lunch
    • Salad (olive oil& balsamic dressing) with lean chicken breast + tomatoes, or, bowl of home made lean turkey chile, or, can of tuna + beans of some sort on the side
    • Dinner
    • turkey chile (2 bowls), or, turkey sausage + kale soup (2 or 3 bowls), or, lean chicken breast + steamed broccoli + baked sweet potato fries (just a little salt on them)
    • Snacks throughout day
    • Piece or two of fruit, handful of almonds, extra protein shake, cheese stick (low fat), chopped up vegies

    I'm drinking about 64-84oz of clean spring water per day depending on physical activity.

    Draft workout Routine:

    This is the routine I have drafted for myself. So far I've just been running/jogging on the treadmill. Last session I went 4 miles in about 55 minutes. I normally do 2 miles in about 30 minutes and then do some pushups. When on treadmill I normally cycle from 3.5 to 4.5 to 6 mp/h speeds.

    My planned routine is as follows:

    Monday: AM - low intensity cardio for 40 minutes. PM - Full body dumbbell workout A
    Tuesday: AM - low intensity cardio for 40 minutes. PM - Insanity / HIIT training.
    Wednesday: AM - low intensity cardio for 40 minutes. PM - Full body dumbbell workout B
    Thursday: AM - low intensity cardio for 40 minutes. PM - Insanity / HIIT training.
    Friday: AM - low intensity cardio for 40 minutes. PM - Full body dumbbell workout C
    Saturday: AM - low intensity cardio for 40 minutes. PM - Insanity / HIIT training. OR Snowboarding for ~5 hours.
    Sunday: AM - low intensity cardio for 40 minutes. Rest.

    My dumbbell workouts: ht*p://w*w.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbell-only-home-or-gym-fullbody-workout.html
    Insanity: ht*p://w*w.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/insanity.do

    (sorry can't post links yet)

    Basically, I'm using interval training with lower intensity cardio + a 3 day beginner weightlifting routine. The weightlifting routine is meant to help boost my metabolism, keep the muscle I already have and build a little more.

    Looking for feedback

    Does this plan look like it will help me achieve my goals? Is there any glaring issues with it? Is it fundamentally wrong for me? any tips on maximizing results or things to watch out for? Any tips specifically on home workouts?

    So far, I feel great after around 1 week and I've lost a little over 1 pound. My fitness is already improving on the treadmill.

    Thanks very much for looking. Sorry this is so detailed and let me know if I missed any critical things needed to provide a critique.
    Last edited by Danimaltron; 12-23-2012 at 04:11 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Zeitnot's Avatar
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    Not to be a damper on your mood, but all your post is is just a momentary burst of enthusiasm and optimism which led to you spending 1 hour on writing that whole thing up. I speak from experience because I've had it many, many times that I can recognize it like I can recognize a 6'9" basketball player wearing a santa claus hat at a little people social convention.

    My point is this; every time I experience something similar I have developed the good sense to look over what I did and scribble it out. Find a generic at home body weight only HIIT program, do it 4x a week for 20 minutes, be conscientious about what you eat and stick to it.

    That's all there is to it.

    Merry Christmas & Good Luck.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Danimaltron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Zeitnot View Post
    Not to be a damper on your mood, but all your post is is just a momentary burst of enthusiasm and optimism which led to you spending 1 hour on writing that whole thing up. I speak from experience because I've had it many, many times that I can recognize it like I can recognize a 6'9" basketball player wearing a santa claus hat at a little people social convention.

    My point is this; every time I experience something similar I have developed the good sense to look over what I did and scribble it out. Find a generic at home body weight only HIIT program, do it 4x a week for 20 minutes, be conscientious about what you eat and stick to it.

    That's all there is to it.

    Merry Christmas & Good Luck.
    Thanks. I appreciate the honesty. Although, it's not very useful either. I would rather determine if this plan is a good one, making the assumption I can stick with it. I wasn't asking for a psyche evaluation.

    Basically, your post boils down to: take it slower because you're just excited right now, and when you realize how hard it is you'll give up.

    You might be right. But you might not either, since you don't know me. You're personal determination and experience isn't necessarily the same as mine. Another thing to note is I have worked out before, when I was younger. I just didn't put much thought into what I was doing. But I sure put effort into it, and did so consistently for around 2 years until I got bored and distracted. In the meantime I got decent results, but they could have been better if I had better advice and did more research.

    With that said, I still do appreciate what your saying and I'm conscious of it and will monitor my enthusiasm and willingness to continue closely and adjust when needed. It's a good point.

    Beyond that, I would really like if someone experienced could let me know if this plan is a good one, making the assumption I'm capable of sticking with it.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Danimaltron's Avatar
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    Another thing I didn't mention: I'm ready to skip AM sessions depending on the morning. If I'm particularly tired or not motivated that day I think I can probably safely skip them. But waking up earlier and exercising is a habit I'm working hard on and actually have been for a few months already pretty successfully... but only doing a light bodyweight circuit for 15-20 minutes.

    The intention of this habit is not only for fat loss, but because it sets me up for a more productive work day. So far, it feels good and it's slowly becoming a habit I long for when I've missed it.

    I may also do the morning sessions for less time as well, depending on the day. But 40 minutes of low intensity was what I thought was a good target.
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  5. #5
    I am legend tazui1982's Avatar
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    You are indeed very motivated, I think your plan is good, your caloric intake is great for fat burning, keep up and i'm sure u can get to 15% bf with no problems, I did for me, the only a few things I would add to the plan is this: http://www.amazon.com/EatSmart-Preci...=digital+scale when you say your diet is 1500 calories, please weight your food up because losing fat is very tricky. You might miss those hidden calories too, so put everything on a scale.

    As for your workout part, those dumbells won't do it you need to lift heavy unless you are using 100 pound dumbells, checkout Starting Strength routine, if you have squat rack you could do weightlifting at home. http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=131379243

    Good luck,
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  6. #6
    Efforts & Passion HassanGym's Avatar
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    I just wanted to mention that as I opened to read this topic, the urge to do #2 in the bathroom hit me so I quickly took pictures of this topic with my android and went to read it as I was doing #2. :P

    Alright there's a few things I want to talk about first. First of all, your goal. 190 lbs with a BF% between 10% and 15%. Looking at your stats right now as we speak, this goal will not be achieved anytime soon [it will take a long time]. But I promise you with hard work and dedication, you will reach it. Now, as you understood, it is extremely hard to gain muscle while losing fat. I strongly advise you to first aim to lose the fat you are currently holding. You're currently 219, so I would aim to go down to ~175 pounds. After that, check up on your body fat %. You should definitely be lower than ~20%. I can't tell you how much time it'll take, but with a 2 lbs fat loss per week, it will take you about 22 weeks. But as you might know, you won't be losing 2 lbs per week after you're around 185 lbs. It'll be perhaps 1 lbs a week. So give or take, it should take you about 27-28 weeks.


    Once you lower your BF% and cut some fat, now it's time to aim to gain muscle with minimal fat gain. You'll have to upper your calories a little bit, but not too much. You'll have to do the trial-error method, meaning you will have to see for yourself how much food is enough and what not. After a solid 4-5 months of doing this, go back to cutting phase [reduce minimal of muscle].

    The hardest part = the beginning. It may sound easy to lose fat at first, but you will know the journey will get harder as you go on. You must stay dedicated & motivated brother. Listen to good music, think about those tough times, etc. You will get through it.

    As for your diet/workout, it seems you have control over your home-workout. I never trained @ home so I have to trust you on knowing what you're doing with the minimal accessories you have. And your current diet seems alright, but I would add in a little bit more carbohydrates [rice specifically]. You will need the energy [carbs = energy].

    I want to point out the cardio you are doing. 7 days cardio is too much, you will get burnt out way too quickly. Remember, you're in this for the long run. Reduce it to 5 days. I really want you to do this because I don't think it is good to do 40 minutes of cardio every single day of the week/month.

    Finally, it feels like you are motivated & ready for this. I can only wish you best of luck with the journey. Remember, the hardest step is the first step. After that, results start packing in and that alone drives you to your ultimate goal. Try to learn something new about dieting/working out everyday. Try switching up some food sources sometimes. Good luck brother, reply if you have any question.
    Never give up.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Danimaltron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HassanGym View Post
    I just wanted to mention that as I opened to read this topic, the urge to do #2 in the bathroom hit me so I quickly took pictures of this topic with my android and went to read it as I was doing #2. :P

    Alright there's a few things I want to talk about first. First of all, your goal. 190 lbs with a BF% between 10% and 15%. Looking at your stats right now as we speak, this goal will not be achieved anytime soon [it will take a long time]. But I promise you with hard work and dedication, you will reach it. Now, as you understood, it is extremely hard to gain muscle while losing fat. I strongly advise you to first aim to lose the fat you are currently holding. You're currently 219, so I would aim to go down to ~175 pounds. After that, check up on your body fat %. You should definitely be lower than ~20%. I can't tell you how much time it'll take, but with a 2 lbs fat loss per week, it will take you about 22 weeks. But as you might know, you won't be losing 2 lbs per week after you're around 185 lbs. It'll be perhaps 1 lbs a week. So give or take, it should take you about 27-28 weeks.


    Once you lower your BF% and cut some fat, now it's time to aim to gain muscle with minimal fat gain. You'll have to upper your calories a little bit, but not too much. You'll have to do the trial-error method, meaning you will have to see for yourself how much food is enough and what not. After a solid 4-5 months of doing this, go back to cutting phase [reduce minimal of muscle].

    The hardest part = the beginning. It may sound easy to lose fat at first, but you will know the journey will get harder as you go on. You must stay dedicated & motivated brother. Listen to good music, think about those tough times, etc. You will get through it.

    As for your diet/workout, it seems you have control over your home-workout. I never trained @ home so I have to trust you on knowing what you're doing with the minimal accessories you have. And your current diet seems alright, but I would add in a little bit more carbohydrates [rice specifically]. You will need the energy [carbs = energy].

    I want to point out the cardio you are doing. 7 days cardio is too much, you will get burnt out way too quickly. Remember, you're in this for the long run. Reduce it to 5 days. I really want you to do this because I don't think it is good to do 40 minutes of cardio every single day of the week/month.

    Finally, it feels like you are motivated & ready for this. I can only wish you best of luck with the journey. Remember, the hardest step is the first step. After that, results start packing in and that alone drives you to your ultimate goal. Try to learn something new about dieting/working out everyday. Try switching up some food sources sometimes. Good luck brother, reply if you have any question.
    You're totally right on the timing. I estimated it would take me to June - August to reach this goal. I'm glad you basically confirmed my estimate for me.

    In your opinion, should I bother with weights at all then?

    I read a ton of articles on here, Men's Health and other places and almost everyone says you should be lifting weights even if you want to burn fat. I've been told it'll help burn fat but also allow you to build a little muscle at the same time (not a lot of mass, but a bit). Do you agree with that thinking?

    Did you take a look at the link to that dumbbell / bodyweight workout? It seemed OK for a beginner routine but weight training is really not my strong point.

    Thanks a lot. Much appreciated.
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  8. #8
    Efforts & Passion HassanGym's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Danimaltron View Post
    You're totally right on the timing. I estimated it would take me to June - August to reach this goal. I'm glad you basically confirmed my estimate for me.

    In your opinion, should I bother with weights at all then?

    I read a ton of articles on here, Men's Health and other places and almost everyone says you should be lifting weights even if you want to burn fat. I've been told it'll help burn fat but also allow you to build a little muscle at the same time (not a lot of mass, but a bit). Do you agree with that thinking?

    Did you take a look at the link to that dumbbell / bodyweight workout? It seemed OK for a beginner routine but weight training is really not my strong point.

    Thanks a lot. Much appreciated.
    You have to definitely have to lift some weights to get to the 190 lbs and BF 10-15% goal. Cardio will melt the fat, but it won't help you build a significant amount of muscle. The reason why you should do some weightlifting along with your cardio is because as you lose some fat, you will gain some muscle too [as I said previously, your aim right now is to lose the fat but it doesn't mean you won't pack up some muscles]. You might be demoralized by seeing yourself in the mirror losing fat, but looking actually weaker [because you didn't weight lift, hence no muscle gain]. This is why I agree with those articles you read on Men's Health & elsewhere.


    The workout routine you provided seems reasonable. I took a look at it and it sounds like a decent routine. Definitely try it. No problem for the help buddy, anytime.
    Never give up.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Danimaltron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tazui1982 View Post
    As for your workout part, those dumbells won't do it you need to lift heavy unless you are using 100 pound dumbells, checkout Starting Strength routine, if you have squat rack you could do weightlifting at home.

    Good luck,
    Great, thanks for the feedback. Good tip on the scale, I was thinking about that too. I've measuring most things I eat using measuring cups, but a scale is probably better.

    Do you think that dumbbell/bodyweight routine would work in the beginning at least? I haven't touched weights in years and so I'm starting from the beginning in that regard.

    I'm a little confused why dumbbells wouldn't work if I'm lifting my max amount of weight possible? My strength is pretty low at the moment. On a flat bench, I think I could probably use 2 x 30lbs dumbbells for bench press to start (I'm using 20's laying on an exercise ball right now, but they're too small. Buying a bench + more dumbbells next couple weeks). I could then ramp up to 40, 50, etc. But I see your point that at some point (maybe a few months?) I'll need dumbbells that are probably impractical.

    At that point, I'll probably grab a bench press from Craigslist or something. I've seen a few squat racks on there as well.

    Thanks for the heads up. I'll need to plan those purchases as I progress.
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