I've finally decided to also log a journal here, to help me reflect on why and how I do things, to get input from others, and to help others doing the same thing by showing what to do and what to avoid by checking on what worked for me ((or didn't).
I'm now in week 8 of my 18 month plan.
My starting parameters:
Age = 42 (with 15 years in a sedentary job, no excercise whatsoever)
Height = 172cm / 5'8"
Starting Weight = 97.6kg / 215lbs
BF > 40%
Waist = 120cm / 47"
Chest = 123cm / 48"
Arms = 43cm / 17"
Max. Heartrate = 172 to 177 (when going that high for even a few seconds I'll get a bout of asthma which impacts me until the next day, so I avoid going near 170, and usually try to stay at 163 or below).
Why not post on any of the many Fitness/Diet/Weight Loss boards?
Well, I don't believe in Diets as temporary activities. The only thing which has permanent effect is a permanent change in lifestyle. Also, most fitness recommendations consist of more or less ridiculous diets (meaning to difficult to implement, or simply worthless), and loads and loads of cardio, especially jogging/running (which I definitely hate doing).
I do not wish to exchange "fat, weak & no endurance" for "flabby, weak & lots of endurance", which is IMHO the result of most cardio based fitness advise. My goal is to become stronger, more muscular ("stocky, strong, medium endurance"). Not becoming even weaker just for the sake of weight loss.
Why post here?
Because of the "Over 35" section. I already work a lot with adolescents and young adults, and I find that I have very little to gain from people without actual experience, who often mistake faith for knowledge, opinion for fact, and just as often exhibit a low tolerance to frustration.
Until some 12 years ago I was holding my weight at a pudgy 80kg / 176lbs. Then I met my girlfriend, and through cooking together it crawled over the next 6 years slowly up to 106kg / 234lbs. 6 years ago I changed my diet a lot to semi-vegetarion (no meat at home), no soft drinks, much more fat conscious, etc., most of the usual "eat better" routines. Still doing that.
Since that time I've been able to manage my weight to remain below 100kg, at some times as low as 90kg/198lbs. Over the past few months I was hovering steadily around 98kg/216lbs.
While I never had depressions or somesuch, I obviuously was not happy with by body (and anyone who's > 40% BF and tells that he is, lies IMHO) and it's tendency to simply remain fat besides me already eating quite health conscious (well, just to much, that's it. One can overdo even "healthy" calories...).
As you can imagine, I was sooo totally out of shape when I started (well I still am, but...) those two months ago. Intellectually, I was aware for quite some time that I'd have to change things radically to avoid diabetes, heart attack, stroke or similar issues within the next 15 years. However, there was always the issue of not finding time, motivation, convenient training location etc. Some of you will know the situation.
I also knew exactly what had to be changed (eat less & "better", add exercise), I simply didn't do it.
Now, those 8 weeks ago a brand new gym opened some 200 yards away from my door. It's one of the more expensive ones, but I know it was "now or never", and enrolled for 18 months, to see what I could achieve in that time (and yes, I know that I'm stubborn enough to pull this through if no major injury sets me back).
Funny thing is: while I always really really hated running & jogging (probably due to having asthma as a kid), I always loved strenuous physical activities, sweating and performing acts of physical strength and endurance (I call this my "Hunt the Mammoth" theory, as I believe such behavioural preferences may be leftover from the days we had to kill mammoths to live...).
In the past I found that I'd gain muscle/strength incredibly fast if working out even a little. Unfortunately I also just as easily gain fat, apparently just by looking at food...
They have a lot of cardio equipment (app. 40 machines of various types), a full set of the http://us.commercial.lifefitness.com....cfm/signature machines, and a full set of the http://www.technogymusa.com/_vti_g7_plsel.aspx machines for circuit training, as well as a few additional ones sprinkled here and there. They have a big collection of dummbells, and some benches (3 flat (one movable for the smith machine), 1 incline, 1 decline, 1 "segmented"), as well as some benches with "stuff" on them of which I don't get what they're good for.
They also have a complicated looking smith machine like thingy, but they don't have a power rack. They are offering lots of different courses (most of it cardio) as well, and have a few personal trainers on offer, but none of those seems to be specialized in strength/muscle building (mostly weight-loss, cardio, endurance, diet, etc. certificates).
First 6 weeks?
My initial goals for those first 6 weeks were:
-No weight increase over 100kg / 220lbs
-Stick with the training for 6 weeks to make it a habit instead of a chore
-Get some background information on exercises, nutrition etc.
-Find out what works for me (mindwise) and what doesn't
So far, that worked according to plan.
My new goals are (I am now in month 2):
-Do 10 unassisted Chins (4 months)
-Waist = 100cm / 39" (6 months)
-BF < 30% (9 months)
-Weight 90kg / 198 lbs (9 months)
-BF < 20% (18 months)
-Weight 80kg / 176 lbs (18 months)
Changes after the first 6 weeks:
-Increased workout frequency from 4/week to 6/week
-Improved diet by focusing more on protein intake etc.
-Added Xenadrine NRG as weightloss supplement. So far it doesn't seem to do anything at all, except maybe increase heartrate slightly during workout and make me sweat (even) more and longer.
What was the first thing I actually did?
I started by now always getting up 1 hour earlier than "before". This allows me to also get home from work 1 hour earlier, and in this additional time I squeeze my training. Was hard for the first few days, but I now have gotten used to it. Means that I get slightly less sleep than would probably be optimal.
Gains until now:
Weight: 97.3kg / 214.5lbs (-0.6kg / 1lbs)
BF: 39.3% (Below 40%. Finally!)
Waist: 115cm / 45" = (-5cm / -2")
Chest: 112cm / 44" (-11cm / -4")
Arms: 41cm / 16" (-2cm / -1")
Endurance: +68% (111 Watt avg. -> 186 Watt avg. increase when rowing 2000 yards at same heartrate: 163 peak).
Chest Press: +127% (55 x 6 -> 125 x 9)
Triceps Press: +112% (85 x 14 -> 180 x 13)
Shoulder Press: +89% (45 x 6 -> 85 x 7)
Biceps Curl: +82% (55 x 10 -> 100 x 9)
Pulldown: +129% (70 x 6 -> 160 x 8)
Fly: +123% (65 x 6 -> 145 x 12)
Lat Raise: +157% (35 x 6 -> 90 x 12)
Seated Leg Curl: +88% (85 x 6 -> 160 x 16)
Leg Extension: +108% (65 x 6 -> 135 x 15)
Seated Leg Press: +116% (125 x 6 -> 270 x 19)
Calf Extension: +53% (170 x 12 -> 260 x 25)
Glute: +65% (85 x 6 -> 140 x 16)
Hip Abduction: +43% (185 x 12 -> 265 x 20)
Hip Adduction: +118% (110 x 6 -> 240 x 24)
Abdominal Crunch: +71% (70 x 6 -> 120 x 10)
Back Extension: +84% (125 x 6 -> 230 x 25)
Torso Rotation: +44% (125 x 6 -> 180 x 16)
Assisted Chin: +49% (-136 x 15 -> -70 x 10)
Assisted Dip: +49% (-136 x 15 -> -70 x 10)
I have no idea if those gains for a fat old noob, without strictly reglemented diet and a wild training schedule, are above or below average. I like them, however. If it's only 80% of optimum I can easily live with that.
I have no training partner, and I am quite anxious to avoid injury, so I mostly still stay with the machines and avoid compound exercises with free weights for now. Also, the benches are occupied a lot of the time. I intend to hire a personal trainer for 3 sessions to show me how to work those in fine form in some weeks, though, when I feel secure enough.
Edit: missed some conversions from kg to lbs
Thread: Road to Perdition...