I need help with starting off with the very basics!

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I need help with starting off with the very basics!

#1 Postby justcallmed » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:46 pm

Hi ladies and gentleman, here is my rather lengthy question(s). And I will take the time to apologize as well because I’m certain the questions that I am asking have probably been asked on this site dozens of times and many of you may be tired of hearing them! But anyway…

I’ve been going back and forth between trying to remain consistent with lifting and I always get discouraged because I never see results. I’ve narrowed it down to two things that are really holding me back to achieving a more lean and toned frame that I want. The problem is that I’m not sure exactly how to maintain and continue to progress once I’ve gotten the ball rolling.

I’ve begun to try and lose weight first off. I was told by various trainers and have read online that you’ll never be able to see any muscle unless you get your body fat % down. So far I’m down from about 247 to 232 (still really embarrassed about how much fat I have to lose!) and in case it’s needed I’m about 6’4. I don’t want to get so rail that muscle may be hard to put on. I was also told that because I am taller, that muscle building may be more difficult (is there any truth to this?).
I was fairly consistent when I was lifting ; maybe 4-5 times a week, an hour at a time with cardio mixed in and keeping track of what I was doing. The problem that I encountered there was simply I didn’t know what the hell I was doing! I know that certain exercises will increase muscle mass, but which ones or the best for a beginner like myself to start with? So far I’ve avoided doing heavy lifting (I never really did reach a terribly large amount of weight being lifted before, this may be because my diet wasn’t on track and I was expecting to gain more muscle or I kept myself at a plateau).
As of now I’m sticking with a lot more cardio to work off fat and try and lean myself out while trying to take in extra protein (lacto-ovo veg here so I will use whey and soy protein blends). Is that the correct thing to do?
My first part of my goal is to begin adding weight training into my routine in October: this gives me another month to safely lose some more weight. I’ve also just become burned out at the gym because I thought I knew what I was doing and (guess what!) clearly have no clue!!
I want to say I have the basics down: build yourself up to more weight slowly, record your progress and routine and allow your body to rest.

Any tips for a totally clueless but willing to learn wanna be like myself?

Thanks for taking the time to read this as well!

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Justin Morgan
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Re: I need help with starting off with the very basics!

#2 Postby Justin Morgan » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:02 am

I have a few tips that you can take or leave.

1, I'm 100% vegan and when compared to my experiences as a meat eater I can't say that my progress has slowed as a result of a low protein diet (approx 80g/day), high calorie diet (approx 4000+/day). The biggest thing that I do to slow progress is to not take in enough calories in general. I'm sure others have different perspectives, but that's just been my experience.

2. You mentioned "recording your progress and routine and allow your body to rest" and I think there's a lot of wisdom in that. If you aren't getting stronger, you aren't growing muscle. If you aren't growing muscle you are either 1. not giving yourself enough fuel, 2. you aren't pushing your body enough to demand muscle growth, or 3. you aren't giving yourself adequate time to recover from your workouts.

3. Food choices - stick to whole, unprocessed, natural foods. ie. fruits, vegetables, brown rice, potatoes, quinoa, sweet potatoes, whatever. If you choose to add other things in then that's up to you, but I can't personally advocate whey proteins and animal products for health. If you need them for some reason, then yes of course, take them. But if you just use them because someone convinced you that you need them then I would drop em like a bad habit.

Those are just a few of my very biased opinions. They are 1 part clinical findings, 2 parts bro science (personal experiences of mine and others).

What kind of routine do you follow?

If you are looking for reading information Robert Cheek has a book on vegan bodybuilding. Dusan Dudas has a book called "naturally amazing". Robert's book is about 1/2 the price of Dusan's book and is available on this site.

P.S. make sure to get enough sleep too. IMO, 8 hours is a minimum.

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Re: I need help with starting off with the very basics!

#3 Postby C.O. » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:10 am

I agree with a lot of what he said. Definitely on the sleep part too. Stress has been my biggest enemy with muscle building progress. Not getting enough sleep will definitely add to stress. Catch 22 though, too much stress will effect your sleep as well.


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