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Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

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Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by Jon on Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:25 pm

Hey everyone, my name's Jon, and I'm Dave(.cyco)'s little brother. I'm looking forward to making some real progress, and I'm sure this place will help.

I'll be 27 really soon, and I wish I could say I was in the best shape of my life. I've been a bit of a nerd my whole life, and as such never really participated in sports, or for that matter, any activities that promote health and fitness. To make matters worse, I got a job in a pizza joint when I was 15, and continue to work there to this day (actually, I didn't work today, but you get the point). That was the case for pretty much my whole life up until around when I turned 23.

At that time, I decided I was tired of being out of shape, and slowly started making changes to my daily habits, and started learning about health and wellness. I remember taking a weekly workout routine out of a Men's Health magazine, and following it for a few months once I bought an exercise bench, and some dumbbells. I started to get stronger, and lose a little weight. It wasn't long before I stumbled onto P90X. In hindsight, it was WAY beyond my physical capacity, and also, I didn't have a pullup bar, so I did bent over rows instead. It got me rolling, and for the first time in my life, I exercised EVERYDAY. :) I didn't finish it though, because as I said, it was way beyond me. I continued to exercise fairly often, and tried to get through P90X a couple more times, but never succeeded.

Then, my girlfriend was in a pretty serious accident (which involved a skull fracture) causing her to be essentially bed-ridden for nearly a month. Even after that, there was a long period of recovery, and the doctors told her not to go back to work for a few months. During this time, I pretty much lived at her apartment, and I did very little in the way of exercise. It was a pretty stressful time, and a little more exercise would have proved very beneficial, but we all know how life can get in the way sometimes.

Anyways, fast-forward a few months. With her 95% recovered, my focus moved back towards fitness a little. I was 25 by this time. I got a membership at this awesome "hole in the wall" gym, and before long I decided that I needed to get some personal training. The co-owner/manager of the gym was the only personal trainer, and his rates were about half those of places like Gold's and Good Life, and I didn't need to sign up for a minimum number of appointments: it was pay-as-you-go. I saw him every week for about three months, and did some workouts on my own as well. It was at this period of time that I was in the best shape of my life. I actually had muscle definition, and pretty much no gut. It was amazing. Seriously, for a serious nerd like me, it was friggin' AMAZING. It was also around this time that I started to learn about the paleo/primal way of eating, and it made sense to me. So, I tried it out, and got into a little bit better shape still. I was about 210 lbs, with way more muscle on me then ever before. At 6'4", 210 is the least I've weighed since before I was 20.

Around this time I decided I wanted to go back to school. I had a pretty serious interest in science, and wanted to REALLY understand it. Only problem was that I'd done the bare minimum for math and science in high-school, so I had to start a square one. And that's when my health and fitness started to slowly decrease. And that brings me to now (more or less).

This past September, I started a college program which will give me all the basic calculus, physics, bio and chemistry knowledge/credits I need to go on to university. This is the first time I've been a full-time student in nearly a decade, and it's been tough. I'm working hard to get good grades, and more importantly, to understand and internalize what I'm being taught. Coping with full-time school while also working has been difficult for me, and that's left me no will to pick up where I left off with my fitness and health. In fact, I've undone all of the good I did in the last couple of years, and then some. I now weigh 240 lbs *ugh*, and I have to catch my breath after walking up the six flights of stairs to my apartment (if I don't take the elevator).

I've finally gotten good at being a student again, so now I'm determined to get fit again too. The best part is, I know that I can do, because I've already done it. I'm seriously tired of being a chubby dude. I want to be the leaner, fit guy I was when I was 25. I talk health with my healthy friends, and with my less healthy than me friends, because I have a pretty good knowledge base on the subject. I guess it's time to practice what I preach.

The Plan
The biggest change I'm going to make right now is to follow a paleo style eating plan. First order of business, eat way more veggies, and start supplementing with Omega-3s because I don't eat much in the way of fish or flax. I'm going to dramatically reduce the number of carbs I'm consuming, though increase them as my activity levels increase. I've already prepared food to take with me to school for the rest of the week.

As far as exercise is concerned, I'm going to begin with mostly classic body-weight exercises to get myself back in the groove. Most workouts will look something like this:

Pushup - Until close to failure. I can generally do in the area of 20, but want to get this number to 40 asap.
Bent-over Row - Heaviest dumbbell I've got is 40 lbs. Is there a better exercise I can do to prep for pullups? (My bar doesn't fit in any of my doorways)
Squat - Classic full squats. 30-40. I'll probably be adding weight soon. Work towards Bulgarian squats, and then single leg squats.
Dive Bomber- Working on good form right now, looking to accomplish 15-20 comfortably before moving on to shoulder-press pushups.
Plank - Hands 'n Feet working towards a solid 90 seconds. Side planks too. I'll be happy with half that time for side planks.

I'll repeat this two or three times for each workout. Given my schedule right now, I'll be happy to accomplish this workout 2-3 times a week. At least for now, until I build my confidence and strength back up, I want to keep it pretty simple like this. After a week or two, I'll define more concrete goals. I'm open to suggestions regarding workout routines as well.


Last edited by Jon on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by Journeyman on Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:33 pm

Cool--welcome!

So, what exactly do you plan on doing now, training-wise?
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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by Jon on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:08 pm

Good question. I'll edit the initial post to include a rough plan.

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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by TheMasterKey on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:16 pm

Welcome to the site Jon!
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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by Journeyman on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:24 pm

Jon wrote:
Pushup - Until close to failure. I can generally do in the area of 20, but want to get this number to 40 asap.
Bent-over Row - Heaviest dumbbell I've got is 40 lbs. Is there a better exercise I can do to prep for pullups? (My bar doesn't fit in any of my doorways)
Squat - Classic full squats. 30-40. I'll probably be adding weight soon. Work towards Bulgarian squats, and then single leg squats.
Dive Bomber- Working on good form right now, looking to accomplish 15-20 comfortably before moving on to shoulder-press pushups.
Plank - Hands 'n Feet working towards a solid 90 seconds. Side planks too. I'll be happy with half that time for side planks.

I'll repeat this two or three times for each workout. Given my schedule right now, I'll be happy to accomplish this workout 2-3 times a week. At least for now, until I build my confidence and strength back up, I want to keep it pretty simple like this. After a week or two, I'll define more concrete goals. I'm open to suggestions regarding workout routines as well.

Looks good. I'd suggest you add something for the low back/posterior chain (hyperextensions, bridging, supermans, etc.). As for the pullup assist, either do horizontal rows (broomstick between chairs?) or just do super high rep dumbbell rows with very strict form and a pause at the top. Maybe some hammer curls too.
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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by andre66 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:02 pm

It's nice to see you helped take care of your girlfriend after her accident. It reflects well on you.
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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by itlives on Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:05 am

Welcome Jon! It looks like you have your head on right. Do what you can -your plan looks good- until you can do more.
When I started BWE, I went down to the playground at night and did my measly 3 pull ups, and then did them again, again again... you get the idea.
If you have a table with legs you can get under it and pull yourself up. It's a horizontal row - good for training the pulls.
I would take your listed exercises and do them all as a circuit several times. Do them with numbers that are about 65%-75% to failure - and do the circuit at least 3X.
I agree with andre66.
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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by raver on Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:40 am

Welcome brother!
I too am quite the fitness nerd, and the best advice I can give you is to stop reading about it, and just DO stuff. All the time, when you have 5 minutes to your self, crank up some exercise and it will add up over time.
As for losing weight, HIIT and HIRT are really the best ways to go for it. It doesn't take much time (15 minutes) to get a really intense workout to help your goals.
Do full body workouts for starters every 2 days. I actually started with the Men's Health Spartacus workout which are 10 exercises for full body, most of them with your body weight and some with dumbells. They are awesome.
After a month of that I also got into P90x, but not the entire program. I picked from it and inserted into my training the Yoga, Kempo and Cardio dvds.
Come on, start your training log and add to it. It's a great way to follow through, as we'll be watching and judging. Kidding :D

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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by Dave on Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:42 am

Journeyman wrote:add something for the low back/posterior chain (hyperextensions, bridging), supermans, etc.). As for the pullup assist, either do horizontal rows (broomstick between chairs?) or just do super high rep dumbbell rows with very strict form and a pause at the top. Maybe some hammer curls too.

itlives wrote:If you have a table with legs you can get under it and pull yourself up. It's a horizontal row - good for training the pulls.
I would take your listed exercises and do them all as a circuit several times. Do them with numbers that are about 65%-75% to failure - and do the circuit at least 3X.

raver wrote:just DO stuff. All the time, when you have 5 minutes to your self, crank up some exercise and it will add up over time.
As for losing weight, HIIT and HIRT are really the best ways to go for it. It doesn't take much time (15 minutes) to get a really intense workout to help your goals.
Do full body workouts for starters every 2 days.


x 2 to all this good advice :^:

The nice thing about all this is you can make it fit in very well with the routine you planned.

andre66 wrote:It's nice to see you helped take care of your girlfriend after her accident. It reflects well on you.

That's my bro. :nod: :up:
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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by CheesedogTheFirst on Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:26 am

Welcome! Your basic plan looks good, just add the posterior chain stuff J-man mentioned and you'll be golden. Start a workout log and get to work! :sgt: :mrgreen:
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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by Iliander on Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:16 am

Welcome! Get to work! :sparta:
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Re: Fitness nerd looking to get fit.

Post by Avocadoshake on Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:19 am

Welcome Jon, nice to meet Dave's little brother.
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