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  1. #1
    Registered User freefall79's Avatar
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    Wanting to say goodbye to my 'Dad bod'...

    I'm sure I'm going to hit most newbie cliches here, but I have read a lot of the stickies, and am looking for anything from a simple "hello, good luck!" in response to this, my first post, to anything constructive that can improve my plan.

    I'm 38, and for most of my life I've been quite skinny with a little muscle but nothing notable, never bothered me before, as I was fine with that look. I was active, sporty, and physically was content. But now l'm not quite as skinny as I used to be, nor as active. 2 kids, and dad bod later, I'm now wanting to change, but not just back to the type of body I had before.

    Body fat is probably about the 20% region based on image comparison and body fat caliper measurements; 5'7" and 158 lbs at the moment. Used to be about 144lbs when I was more active, pre-kids!

    A multitude of factors have given me a desire and drive to change my body for the better, with my goal being to drop body fat - to the 10% region or less would be great - and become athletically muscular. A six pack would be awesome, as I've never had one before.

    At the moment I'm wanting to focus on my upper body, and my current plan has the following:

    Weights: Dumbbell upper body and abs workout every other day
    Cardio: 2 days on, 1 day off, using something like the Insanity Max 30 program

    Nutrition wise, different calculators say I need to be having between 1659-1850 ish calories for fat loss, 2074-2250 ish for maintenance, using the "moderately active" multiplier.
    My calculations have me having approx 1670-1800 daily give or take a little, so hopefully I'll start to lose some of the fat soon (unless I'm doing other things wrong?)

    From reading the forums and stickies, I'm now realising I have to up my fat intake, as the current makeup of my calories is approx:
    170g protein, 155g carbs, 30g fat, 7g fibre. Based on my weight, I should be having nearer 70-80g?

    I've been doing this for about a week now so far, and have to admit I've been feeling a little hungry at times.

    So... how'd I do for 1) hitting the newbie cliches? 2) coming up with reasonable goals? 3) having a (decent) plan in place?

    Anything glaringly obvious that I should change?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
    Last edited by freefall79; 01-13-2018 at 04:17 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User MegaSloot's Avatar
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    The best thing getting started is to keep it up. Just getting to your gym every day is the best way to see results in the beginning. As time goes on you can fine tune your work out and make it fit you just right.
    Don't let yourself be hungry! Whole eggs are good for a snack.
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    Registered User LMS62's Avatar
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    The best advice I can give you is do not only focus on upper body. That is a trap many males fall into. It is just as important to train your legs as any other muscle group. Good luck!
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    Need to increase your fat to 70g-ish. Try one of the full body program (allpro and fierce 5 novice are stickied in the program section). Like LMS said, don’t skip lower body. You want a balanced look.

    As for you caloric in take, that could be a good starting point, but watch the scale, if you haven’t lost weight after a couple weeks, decrease even more. Or if you’re losing too much weight, then eat more. Get a food scale to weigh out your food, track everything (food and workout).

    Good luck!
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  5. #5
    Registered User wesleysh21's Avatar
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    As a newbie, you actually did a terrible job of hitting newbie cliche’s. You missed probably 80% of the buzz words. The most important you never talked about gaining “toned” muscle and not “bulky” muscle. LOL

    I definitely think you need to drop the carbs and increase fat intake. I’d also say you need to increase fiber, even if you have to resort to Metamucil to get there. Upper body is what everyone looks to get, but the largest muscles reside in the back and legs. Meaning, your key to getting lean is in your back and legs...like it or not.

    Good luck newbie.
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    I would say focus less on numbers probably? I mean at least initially. Develop some habits, have fun, keep consistent and dont make it to hard to stick to at first. Then fine tune it after a month or two. I see to many people giving up because they make it this really hard to stay on top of thing and they get frustrated when they fail. Just my two cents.
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  7. #7
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    I always like it when someone the same height and bodyweight range as me joins the forum.

    I started (again) at 42 at a weight of around 140+. I have before and after shots in my gallery as well as a "bulk" and "cut" shots so you can see an idea of what different weights and bodyfat percentages look like on a guy our size.

    Without any pictures it's hard to tell what your starting condition is or the general shape of your structure. But I can say that people often talk about gaining 30-50 pounds of muscle naturally...but I've only managed to add about 20 pounds of muscle to my frame...but at our size that makes quit a difference.

    Like others have said, it's very important NOT TO NEGLECT LEGS. Not only does it look stupid, but it creates imbalances in strength that could lead to injury. Also...most lower body compounds are extremely anabolic and this will help your upper body grow twice as fast.

    All the recommended Beginner strength programs are very good. They teach you how to properly perform important basic excercises and build a core foundation of muscle and strength. They also program your progressive resistance, which is the fundamental key to improvement.

    I think that is a good place to start. However, sme people don't think those programs "fun" or are more interested in aesthetics than strength. I like to recommend the program linked below. It has a nice mixture of strength and bodybuilding movements and a simple plan for progressive resistance.

    https://www.tigerfitness.com/article...rkout-routine/

    No matter what, the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do is attack your program with dedication, consistency, and effort. You can't skip workouts or excercises you don't like and you can't just "go through the motions".

    Good luck, hope this isn't some new year BS, and you stick around and make the change.

    Once you
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  8. #8
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    "...I've been doing this for about a week now so far, and have to admit I've been feeling a little hungry at times..."
    For me anyway it's hardest during the second week then starts to get slightly easier after that. Stay strong, it starts getting less difficult in a while, keep going.

    Now, be cautious of running especially, but to a certain extent all steady state cardio. It's a very good thing *But* it increases your appetite. Don't do lots of steady state cardio, especially don't do any running, until you are completely ingrained habit with the diet or the increased appetite might derail you. Once you have it nailed, sure... do cardio, running etc.
    Faith in Jesus first and faith in squats second.
    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
    BW on 29/09/2018 - 72 Kg , Target BW - 70 Kg / 154# (6kg down, 2 more to go, slowly does it).
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  9. #9
    Registered User freefall79's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TrinnieBuu View Post
    Need to increase your fat to 70g-ish. Try one of the full body program (allpro and fierce 5 novice are stickied in the program section). Like LMS said, don’t skip lower body. You want a balanced look.
    Thanks. I did have compeltely the wrong view on fat intake, so am now looking at things I can change my food plan with to get it up to about 70g ish. And thanks for the pointers towards the workout routines, unfortunately going to a gym for all my workouts isn't an option, and all I really have to use at the moments is a set of dumbbells at home, that can go up to 2x 25kg. The full 50kg won't fit on 1 dumbbell, so I'm not sure what the max is for 1.

    And based on yours and other comments, I won't skip the lower body now!

    Originally Posted by wesleysh21 View Post
    As a newbie, you actually did a terrible job of hitting newbie cliche’s. You missed probably 80% of the buzz words. The most important you never talked about gaining “toned” muscle and not “bulky” muscle. LOL

    I definitely think you need to drop the carbs and increase fat intake. I’d also say you need to increase fiber, even if you have to resort to Metamucil to get there. Upper body is what everyone looks to get, but the largest muscles reside in the back and legs. Meaning, your key to getting lean is in your back and legs...like it or not.
    Thanks. I'd have hit more cliches if I hadn't read quite a few of the posts on here first. My bad!

    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    I always like it when someone the same height and bodyweight range as me joins the forum.
    .
    .
    .
    No matter what, the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do is attack your program with dedication, consistency, and effort. You can't skip workouts or excercises you don't like and you can't just "go through the motions".

    Good luck, hope this isn't some new year BS, and you stick around and make the change.
    I hope it isn't some new year BS as well. I admit the new year is one of the factors that has inspired and motivated me to make a change, but it is not the only one and is far from the most important one. I fully intend to stick it out, I just hope my motivation stays in the long term.

    Cheers for the pointer towards the routine, but as stated above, getting to a gym to do it, isn't something that's on the cards for me. I've got a dumbbell set to work with at home, and that's it at this time.

    and I'm working on getting some "before" photos up. Gotta get, you know, the lighting etc just right... :-)

    Originally Posted by OldFartTom View Post
    "...I've been doing this for about a week now so far, and have to admit I've been feeling a little hungry at times..."
    For me anyway it's hardest during the second week then starts to get slightly easier after that. Stay strong, it starts getting less difficult in a while, keep going.

    Now, be cautious of running especially, but to a certain extent all steady state cardio. It's a very good thing *But* it increases your appetite. Don't do lots of steady state cardio, especially don't do any running, until you are completely ingrained habit with the diet or the increased appetite might derail you. Once you have it nailed, sure... do cardio, running etc.
    Running isn't likely to feature for me as, due to a stupid, bad decision, accident just over a year ago, my knees are not 100%. My MCLs are a little sensitive on twisting the knees, and my PCL on my right knee is probably still healing after being injured in the accident. It wasn't completely torn, and didn't require surgery, but it was hurt and I know it takes time to heal.

    I may have done some bike work, but I do get quite bored by that, although I can watch TV or soemthing while I do it, but have been liking the Insanity stuff. I did the original Insanity program 4 years ago, which was fun, but now with young kids I'm very time limited (all my workout stuff takes place at some point from 9pm onwards) so the Insanity Max 30 is my current choice for cardio stuff.

    I am however, likely to be taking a weights rest for a few days at the moment, and focussing on the cardio, as I think I may have injured my shoulder muscles a bit the other day! Outside of both my shoulders at the top of my arms are pretty sore, and also fairly numb, so I'm a little concerned it is more than just exercise aching.

    Anyway, thanks to everyone for the comments. I know at the moment I'm just another newbie who may, or may not, be around in another week or month, so taking the time to give me feedback is appreciated. I hope to stick with it, and hopefully get results... time will tell.
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  10. #10
    Bored drudixon's Avatar
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    I started off skinny fat at 34 years old. Dripping wet 148lbs. It can be done for sure.
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    If you can’t get to the gym and don’t have your own equipment, calisthenics are a great way to get started and build a base. I built to my avi in about ten months at age 48 with mainly Pull-ups, push-ups, handstand push-ups, and sprint intervals (on hills and flats) and strict dieting. Also lost a bunch of weight while doing it. Search for ‘progressive calisthenics’ and you’ll find lots of info on the subject, including exercises and routines.

    Disclaimer, I benefitted from muscle memory as I was in great shape as a young guy. If you’ve ever been in great shape, it’s easier to get back there than it is for someone who never has been. Since you mention having been in decent shape before, I reckon you’ll get back there without too much trouble. You’re younger than you think.

    I’m lifting weights now in addition to the calisthenics, but you can get a good physique with just bodyweight stuff. The only thing you need is a place to hang from (doorway pull-up bars are cheap, too).
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  12. #12
    Registered User freefall79's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by loggerboots View Post
    If you can’t get to the gym and don’t have your own equipment, calisthenics are a great way to get started and build a base. I built to my avi in about ten months at age 48 with mainly Pull-ups, push-ups, handstand push-ups, and sprint intervals (on hills and flats) and strict dieting. Also lost a bunch of weight while doing it. Search for ‘progressive calisthenics’ and you’ll find lots of info on the subject, including exercises and routines.

    Disclaimer, I benefitted from muscle memory as I was in great shape as a young guy. If you’ve ever been in great shape, it’s easier to get back there than it is for someone who never has been. Since you mention having been in decent shape before, I reckon you’ll get back there without too much trouble. You’re younger than you think.

    I’m lifting weights now in addition to the calisthenics, but you can get a good physique with just bodyweight stuff. The only thing you need is a place to hang from (doorway pull-up bars are cheap, too).
    Thanks. I had been thinking about incorporating some things like that into my workout.

    I imagine there's going to be a bit of trial and error over the next few months as I figure out the nutrition side of things, and see what is working from the workout side of things too.

    I was slim athletic when I was younger. Very sporty, good stamina/endurance, but never muscular or six packed. More a long distance runner sort of physique. So building muscle is definitely going to be a new thing for my body. But we'll see where I go.
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    Registered User freefall79's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    I started off skinny fat at 34 years old. Dripping wet 148lbs. It can be done for sure.
    That is good to know!!
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  14. #14
    Registered User freefall79's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TrinnieBuu View Post
    Try one of the full body program (allpro and fierce 5 novice are stickied in the program section). Like LMS said, don’t skip lower body. You want a balanced look.
    Well, I've now purchased more weights, barbell, bench, and a squat/bench rack with adjustable safety spotter bars, so I can feel comfortable I'm not going to accidentally crush myself if I can't get the bar back up, or drop it through the floor (my workout room is my home office on the 1st floor, above the lounge)!

    So I plan on starting one of the AllPro or Fierce5 programs once I've taken delivery of and put the squat/bench rack together.

    I've now also added photos of where I am (attached to this post and put on my profile). Not much to me, fat and barely any muscle!! I've estimated 18%bf...

    I'm one month in from when I started to focus on getting myself in better shape. Been doing a month of the Insanity Max 30 cardio program, and have been doing some weights, probably averaging once every 3 days.

    In the month I've lost 5lbs - from 158 to 153 lbs. Whether that's fat decrease, or muscle, or both, I don't know!!

    I've been eating a calorie deficit the whole time - averaging about 1650-1700 calories - with usually 150-170g protein, 50-75g fat, and the rest in carbs. Depending on which calculator I use, my maintenance is between 2000-2200 calories I think.

    My thinking has been to be on a deficit to lose the body fat, then once I'm happy with my bf levels, to eat a surplus to add some muscle, but from reading about, I'm now not sure if that's a decent idea or not? Should I be on a surplus now to add bulk at this stage under the body fat that I've currently got? Will I also lose fat at the same time if I do that? Or should I stay on a deficit? The nutrition side of things, is one area I am getting confused over, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I do miss snacking though. And chocolate. And processed sugar foods... On the flip side, I've eaten more veg in the last month than I probably did in the previous 6!
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    Texas Strong JonM81x's Avatar
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    I went into my fitness return 2 years ago and just focused on getting workouts in for serveral months and not focusing on diet... Eventually I made better diet choices automatically because I was addicted to the gym. Eat and train for a while. If you try to make diet and exercise perfect, you will get burned out fast...

    I would focus on strength now, you will burn some fat in the process. I like 5x5 type routines for this, but start pretty light to get mechanics correct and avoid injury!

    Good luck!
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  16. #16
    I'll Mod 'til I'm dead. ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by freefall79 View Post
    My thinking has been to be on a deficit to lose the body fat, then once I'm happy with my bf levels, to eat a surplus to add some muscle, but from reading about, I'm now not sure if that's a decent idea or not? Should I be on a surplus now to add bulk at this stage under the body fat that I've currently got? Will I also lose fat at the same time if I do that? Or should I stay on a deficit? The nutrition side of things, is one area I am getting confused over, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Looking at your pics, you're not overly fat, but you also don't have much muscle mass. As a beginner, however, you're in a position to be able to make progress on both fronts---dropping your body fat level while at the same time building some muscle. But to do so requires a close eye on your calorie intake by using a food scale to weigh/measure/track everything you eat/drink, and then sticking to a daily calorie level that, for now, maintains your current weight (IOW, neither a calorie deficit nor a surplus). You'll also have to be consistently weight training on a program of mostly compound lifts which keeps you working to progress your Squat, Deadlift, Bench, and Row poundages with good form over time.
    No brain, no gain.

    You can't out-train bad nutrition.

    Nothing good comes from negativity; where the mind goes, the body follows.

    Ironwill Gym---updated pics:
    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpost.php?p=629719403&postcount=3388


    Ironwill2008 Workout Journal:
    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=157459343&p=1145168733
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  17. #17
    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    dazlittle is offline
    Always good to have another Brit posting, welcome to the board old chap chin chin...

    You've received some good advice above, My 2 cents worth is, BE CONSISTENT (consistent with working out, consistent with eating, consistent with water intake, consistent with rest and recovery). I can guarantee you, if you are consistent you will see positive changes in your physique.

    Best of luck.
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  18. #18
    Chasing youth cryoung's Avatar
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    Good luck. Keep asking questions and worry about the mirror more than the scale.

    My transformation is linked in my sig line......patience and commitment were the keys for me.
    The pain is short term. The benefits are long term.

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    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/body-transformation-chuck-young-staged-a-comeback-at-49.html
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  19. #19
    The Cake Is A Lie! StressMonkey's Avatar
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    StressMonkey is offline
    Originally Posted by freefall79 View Post
    I fully intend to stick it out, I just hope my motivation stays in the long term.
    Motivation is overrated. Do or do not. There is no try. It took me years to finally make myself get started. Once I did I put myself into the mindset that failure was not an option.
    There will come a day when I tire of listening to 80's music. That day is not today.

    I Really Miss The Old BodySpace

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  20. #20
    كافر Entropia's Avatar
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    Entropia is offline
    The longer you do it, the less "motivation" you'll really require. Working out becomes second nature, just something you do. The motivation will still be there as you watch your body transform, but it won't be the catalyst that gets you into shape. Consistency is the catalyst.

    I may have missed it somewhere, but don't neglect compound lifts, especially the big three. I hated squats and deadlifts when I started out, now I'm learning to love them. Still a love/hate relationship, but I'd be lying if I said they weren't effective.

    Keep it up!
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  21. #21
    Registered User ryanhitsthegym's Avatar
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    ryanhitsthegym is offline
    Hey! At least you started, that's a big start! It took me a while to come to the conclusion that I needed to workout. And, believe it or not, it took me longer to realize I needed to hit the weights. My personal advice is that you sign up for a gym or find yourself a personal trainer that can help you evaluate your current condition and with your goals in mind help you find the right training plan for your needs. Trying to figure this out by yourself might end up in you hurting yourself and not being able to get rid of that dad bod.
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