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 Post subject: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in shape
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Hey guys, my name is Chris... I am READY to get back in shape after several years of laziness. I joined this forum ages ago when I was a vegetarian. I turned vegan two days ago, and plan on staying vegan forever.

I need help, getting in shape.... shopping list, and routines.

I really need someone to guide me through all the steps. When I have tried workout plans in the past, I lost interest as I was not seeing any progress at all. Since turning vegan, I figured you guys could help me more than anyone. I can't afford a personal trainer nor a membership to the gym, and I have very moderate exercise equipment in a house I rent with friends.

Background info on me:
I'm 36, I weigh 155 pounds basically all the time. I'm 5'10". I live in the Philly suburbs (Ambler).

Equipment:
I have a dumbbell bench (flat/incline/90 degrees), lots of dumbbells, including ones I can put variable weight on... I also have a Tony Little Gazelle (I like it, low-impact cardio, like cross-country skiing motion)... and I have an Iron Gym that I hang in the door and can do reverse-grip pull-ups (I can't really do any regular-grip pull-ups).

My diet basically consists of this:

breakfast - a granola bar or oatmeal, plus a glass of soymilk

lunch - steam-in-bag veggies (half the bag), plus a vegan protein source (Gardein, usually- chicken scallopini or the orange mandarin chicken is my favorite), plus dry roasted edamame, and either water, or soymilk

post-lunch - some more edamame, maybe a peanut-butter sandwich on whole wheat, more water

at work (dinner, as I work 3-9 usually, I'm a music teacher) - I bring a container of the other half of the steam-in-bag veggies, plus another Gardein protein source. I usually am more hungry than that, so I'll add a Silk soy yogurt after I eat, or another vegan granola or chocolate bar (I try to buy low-sugar stuff).

at night (around 11pm, as I go to sleep around 1)... I'll try to eat more veggies or a piece of fruit, but usually it's a granola or sweet bar of some sort, plus soy milk.

I'll snack on granola bars, nuts, sunflower seeds (hulled), edamame (dry roasted) or bananas between meals.

I usually like to work out around 11am as I get up around 9... and what I've been doing for the past week is:

day 1 - 15-20 minutes of dumbbell stuff (military press, upright row, incline bench press), dips from my dumbbell bench, then about 15 minutes on the Gazelle machine. I can't really do much more since I'm so out of shape. Sometimes after work, I'll hit up the machine again and go for like 25-30 minutes depending on how tired I am.

day 2 - 15-20 minutes targeting the back and bis (curls, pull-ups on my Iron Gym)... 15-30 min on the Gazelle if I can handle it...

day 3 - just cardio (45 min on Gazelle if I can, and jumping jacks/shadowboxing/dancing around to music)

day 4 - I don't know what else to do.... don't have a barbell so I can't do squats, but I do body-weight squats even though I know they don't do much.

day 5 - more chest and tris, shoulders too if I can take it...

day 6 - cardio

day 7 - day off... "cheat" food day (something a little less healthy, as I read this is good to do, as it shocks your body).

My goals:

As everyone, I want to look good naked! I want to be more defined and built so I can finally get a damn attractive, busty girlfriend (it's been years... sadly, and yes, I'm a fan of the girls with curves). I'm pale, but I seriously want those shoulder curves, the back shape, the definition, the pecs... you name it. Like Ryan Reynolds (the actor), or anyone else who looks damn good, but is relatively small-framed like me. I want this potbelly GONE... so, so gone. I can't believe I'm actually posting photos of my fat potbelly, but it needs to be done because I am fully going to get rid of this in several months. It's embarrassing as hell, but... again, it will keep me going.

Ultimately, I get so confused about what to do... and how to reach my goals. I read so much on google that it becomes a huge mindf--k, and it makes me lose motivation. Everyone says different things. Eat this, don't eat that. Do this exercise, don't do that exercise. So I keep my routine simple because it's all I know how to do.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you all so much. :)

-Chris

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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Hey Chris, welcome back. I don't remember you from before but its awesome to see someone that was with us at the beginning return to the forum.
I think you are off too a good start. Search around on here. There are tons of workouts you can do without weights. There are a few threads dedicated to that subject I know, and also robert has a few weightless workout videos on this site and a ton on youtube.

-Dylan


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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:01 pm 
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Thanks Dylan... I'll be sure to search around. I know it's a long, long road... but dammit, I need it.


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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
Quote:
I don't have a barbell so I can't do squats, but I do body-weight squats even though I know they don't do much.


You can do high rep air squats - 50-100. You can add 20lb dumbells to each hand and aim for 25 x 3sets. You can do same with lunges. Or try piston squats (one legged) if you are looking for heavy weight and lower rep kind of work - trust me they are brutal!

If you can get a chin up bar... pullups are definitely a good thing to include since lats are a major muscle group. Also you may want to throw in more core work... plank holds, back extensions and sit ups. Deadlifts may be harder to do without a bar, but if you have heavy enough dumbells you could try a dumbell deadlift (google it!).

Aim for lower reps and heavier weight to build strength and muscle - if that is not what you are doing already. For some of your cardio routines, you may want to check out the Crossfit site. They do more HIT type workouts but the variety is good and often they are timed workouts so that can be motivational (to beat the time). You may have to modify if you don't have some of the equipment they use.

Your diet and workout plan overall looks good to me. Good luck. :)

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If it's important to you, you'll find a way. If it isn't, you'll find an excuse.


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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:26 pm 
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I should add that (based on my own experience only), you shouldn't need as much cardio as you are doing. 20 minutes is perfect if you are pushing yourself hard (ie. if the sweat is not dripping off your nose, then your not pushing yourself hard enough). If you do HIT style you will get it over with and will not be as likely to get bored with it as in past.

Overall, lifting heavy will be more important than cardio to change your body composition and show definition. Sorry.. i just noticed you said you are doing pull-ups so ignore my earlier comment about that.

Oh one other thing... you could replace the granola/chocolate bars with a protein bar. Costco sells the Cliff bars for less than I've seen elsewhere.

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If it's important to you, you'll find a way. If it isn't, you'll find an excuse.


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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 2:59 pm
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Thanks so much for the tips.... a couple questions-

1. Could I get the Ryan Reynolds body, with my body type (as seen in the photos)? It seems like I'm nearly the same build as he at least was...

2. The Clif bars.. not opposed to protein bars at all, and I usually do eat them but lately I've been trying to keep the saturated fat LOW... or none. I noticed the protein bars (no matter which one) always have a good amount of saturated fats in them, including the Clif builder bars. Something to try and avoid?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:38 pm 
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I'm not a trainer - just read a bunch and have been on and off at the gym and finally found what works for me. But my opinions (ie. my educated guesses) on your questions:

1) You do not look like a typical ectomorph to me, so I suspect working out (hard) should show some good results for you. How far you take it will depend on your determination and commitment levels.

2) I only suggested the Cliff bars because you mentioned you were eating chocolate bars and I think protein bars (despite saturated fat) would be a better bet. You could opt for a protein shake instead... but the bars are imo more convenient and less mess.

As a vegan I'm not sure how much you have to worry about a bit of saturated fat. But true, any process food is not ideal - Go whole food if/when you can. There are recipes to make your own protein bars (with no palm oil!), so you could do up a batch in bulk if you were so inclined.

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If it's important to you, you'll find a way. If it isn't, you'll find an excuse.


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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:48 am 
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Hey man, I'm also a music teacher, I teach piano.

I just plugged your diet into www.cronometer.com and it looks like you are only getting around 1600 calories/day. Only about 56% of your diet comes from carbs (174g), 25% comes from fat (44g), and 18% comes from protein (75g).
The amount of protein seems fine, the carbs seem pretty low, and I would say your fats might be a little on the high side at 155ibs, but you could probably leave it alone for now and see how your training progresses.

The real negative side though is that you are lacking in a lot of vitamins and minerals. (B1, B5, folate, C, D, E, K, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc).
You could take care of this problem very easily though by just adding in more fruit, potatoes, rice and green leafy vegetables.

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Justin Morgan

http://www.youtube.com/user/RawVegaCaliBB


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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:02 am 
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Actually I'm sorry, but after taking another look at cronometer, it seems like your amino acids (proteins) are really high on non-essential amino acids (ones that are manufactured in your body), and low on amino acids that are essential. the foods I mentioned above have those essential amino acids, though not in quantity, so adding them into your diet will help, but not solve the problem unless you eat them in much larger quantities than you probably desire.

So, if I'm trying to leave your diet exactly as it is, the only thing I would add to what I said above is maybe add some beans, lentils, or even whole wheat spaghetti w/tomatoes.

But I love what Stcalico said above about whole foods, foods that have not been manipulated from one form to another. If you are even remotely interested in adopting a whole foods diet, that is IMO the best thing for all humans, maybe even than abstaining from animal products. I just say that because I've seen sickly looking vegans, but I haven't seen a lot of people, even meat eaters that stick only to whole foods in sufficient quantities that looked to too bad of health. Of course, one could argue that the long term effects of a heavy meat eating diet are worse than the long term effects of an unhealthy vegan diet, but why compare. Eat a healthy, whole foods based, vegan diet and give your body the best.

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Justin Morgan

http://www.youtube.com/user/RawVegaCaliBB


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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:41 am 
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Hi Justin, thank you for researching further. I would love to try a whole food-based diet but I don't have time to prepare the food and I'm not really into the raw food diet, usually. I like the organic vegan frozen stuff (Gardein, etc). It helps me ween myself off of chicken and things (because I've gone most of my life NOT being vegan, and even going back to eating chicken regularly, over the last few years). The frozen stuff helps me make the transition easier.

How many calories should I be consuming daily if I want to gain lean muscle mass? Should I be doing more cardio?

I'm about to do legs and bis today... plus some cardio, before work.

All I had for breakfast today was a bowl of cereal with soy milk... plan on having a banana after workout, then more veggies and some lean protein (Gardein chicken scallopini) before work at 4.

I do take a multi, plus a B-12 daily, and sometimes a B-Complex... and I do rice from time to time, but I try to avoid the carbs in brown rice.... it's so hard to do low-carb, but I guess with my goal, I need more carbs, more protein... but I'm afraid it's all going to go to my belly (which it seems like it ALWAYS does, even when I go low-carb)....

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:39 pm 
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Why do you think that a low carb diet would be beneficial in fat loss? China, Kenya, Ireland and Isreal are known for diets based around Rice, millet, potatoes and bread and yet they don't suffer from being over weight. USA's staples though are mostly based around fat and protein and when we experience obesity the "NON" experts tell us to eat a lot more fat and protein to lose weight. Consequently we are also the fattest nation on the planet, yesterday 9/18/12 the newest reports were released with 60% of all Americans being overweight or obese.

Neither nutritional science nor the USDA advocates low carb diets for fat loss. A carbohydrate is Carbon and water (CH2 I think). But when we lower carbohydrates our bodies lose a great deal of water (no matter how much you drink), and therefore we lose a lot of weight very quickly. Unfortunately the "weight" that we lose is mostly water with little or no fat lose. So if you want to burn fat than you need to exercise which you are clearly doing, and eat a diet lower in fat with a calorie base that fits your needs. I generally get about 4000+ calories a day with less activity than you when I'm trying to build muscle. If I wanted to cut fat I might go down to around 3000 cals/day.
NO junk food is good for you. If you need it for emotional needs or whatever then that's fine, but don't eat cheat/junk food day's thinking that they are "good" for your body, they aren't.

I personally don't think much of multivitamins. If you ever have the chance to experiment between getting nutrients from a vitamin verses trying to equal the same nutrients just with food, I think you'll agree that there is a profound difference with the winner being food. But still yet, a multivitamin is better than nothing I suppose.

So I guess I don't really have anything further to add beyond what I said above really. Your cardio looks fine to me for the moment. Make sure you push yourself hard in your workouts and track your progress. You probably won't lose more than a pound of fat/week. That's the honest to God truth. Our bodies just don't give up fat any quicker than that. And if you start supplying your body with the needed carbs for energy then you will probably gain weight first for the same reason I mentioned above. Your muscles will be further supplied with water/nutrients. If you lose more than a pound (maybe two)/week then it's probably not fat lose.

For now if I were training you I would try to get a bass level for what you can do on a healthy diet and eating program. If you're eating sufficient calories (around 3000) and getting essential nutrients and you are not gaining muscle(getting stronger) than I would bump your calories up a little. If you are putting on more than a pound or two in a month then I might bump your calories back a little. Everyone has different needs and until you establish a base line for where you are at right now then you really can't say what does and doesn't work.

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Justin Morgan

http://www.youtube.com/user/RawVegaCaliBB


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 Post subject: Re: haven't logged in since 2006, but ready to get back in s
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:08 pm 
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I guess that's what confuses me the MOST... "low carb, no carb, eat carbs"....

I don't know what is true (see my first post).

All I want is more curves in my shoulders, puffy chest, good bis tris and legs... and definition (abs, the cuts in the arms, etc). Just like Ryan Reynolds in that Blade Trinity workout (and, similarly - his Green Lantern workout)...

I'm trying.... total calories so far today - about 1200... bowl of cereal, plus vegan chicken nuggets, broccoli, pita chips, two glasses of soy milk an hour after workout... (I worked out for about 90 minutes total - including 25 minutes on the elliptical)


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