Gym/Fitness thread

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#1 Edited by poveren (320 posts) -

Anybody into bodybuilding or general fitness? Newcomers looking for nutrition advice? Thoughts on Kevine Levrone going to Olympia at 52 y/o?! Crossfit jokes :)

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#2 Edited by personandstuff (649 posts) -

I've lost about 31 pounds over the course of three months. Overall goal is to lose 95 pounds. I get my exercise via a stationary bike, which is also how I play Overwatch most of the time. For the last month, I've also been using the Lose It app to count calories. App gave me a 2200 daily calorie budget but usually I try to stay a fair amount below that.

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#3 Posted by Cerberus3Dog (1029 posts) -

@personandstuff: exercising while playing games sounds awesome. how much did your setup cost? do you use a controller or mouse and keyboard?

I use MyFitnessPal on my iphone to count calories. It keeps track if the food I'm eating has a lot of fat, sugar, or too much sodium.

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#4 Posted by Humanity (18865 posts) -

I've been running 12k's exactly 3 times a week for the past year or so, and now I go to the gym to do strength training whenever I feel like it. Usually between my running days I just do a few sets of situps, pull ups and push ups. Through the running I've gotten pretty skinny. I dropped from a size 36 to a size 30 in the pants department. Now I'm trying to build some more muscle in order to not look like a bag of bones, but after all this time running and being on a fairly restrictive diet (like 1200 calories per day) I find it kind of difficult to get into the mindset of eating a lot more during each meal. By a lot more I mean like adding protein wherever I can in the form of Greek yogurt, nuts or just plain milk. After workout I'll drink a protein shake. I dunno it feels weird seeing the scale start moving back up, especially after I worked so hard to get it to come down. Feels like I'm screwing up or something, but I realize thats probably muscle growth.

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#5 Posted by TheMessiBeast (75 posts) -

The gym I'm at for the summer doesn't have barbells so I can't do any compound lifts. Been focussing a lot on dumbbell movements with bodyweight work thrown in and it's been alright. Sadly, the dumbbells top out at 50 lbs, so for things like bench press I'm trying to incorporate some new techniques to keep things challenging. For all other things, it gives me the goal to try and get up to those 50s.

Can't wait to return home soon and basically do just compounds and pull-ups for a bit. I've always wanted to simplify my training a bit, so when I get back I'm going to take the opportunity and focus on compound movements along with pull-ups. Funnily enough, I miss barbell overhead press the most.

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#6 Posted by hassun (10009 posts) -

I used to do a lot of sports and working out. At least 4 hours per day, some days closer to 7-8. Once I went to college it dropped a bit. A few years later I applied for a job with a lot of physical demands and I went into full gym mode for a while. A whole program of 6 days a week, at least 4 hours per day.

... Then I didn't get the job.

I completely quit any sort of working out and sports after that and haven't done even a minute of sports or working out since. And, interestingly enough, I feel no worse at all.

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#7 Edited by personandstuff (649 posts) -

@cerberus3dog: I have a fitdesk, which is a bike with a laptop tray and drawer, and I use a steam controller, connected to my desktop computer. Tray is probably too small for a mouse and keyboard but I think I could get an extension that would make it work. Fitdesk was $200 on Amazon.

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#8 Edited by Boss_Kowbel (153 posts) -

@humanity: A pound of muscle is smaller than a pound of fat and such, so as your chest, back, and arms start growing, it's not uncommon for your weight to skyrocket while building mass.

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#9 Posted by personandstuff (649 posts) -

@boss_kowbel: You might want to check your math on that one. Lol.

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#10 Edited by FlashFlood_29 (4447 posts) -

I was way into specific bodybuilding a few years back. Not for competition but rather just as a hobby, and I loved it. I was into nutrition back then as well but not as much as I am now. After taking my nutrition class recently and learning so much, I look back and think about how I thought I had it all figured out, only to be making drastic changes to my diet now. I love food, cooking, nutrition, the body, and all the science behind it. Just fascinating stuff that directly affects each of us personally which makes it enjoyable and rewarding. It's amazing how much more you can always learn. Once I'm done with nursing school (if I get in), I'm going to be entertaining the thought about becoming a nutritionist on the side.

At one point when i was bodybuilding at a very lean 180 lbs, I was eating 270g of protein per day with very little fat content, and looking back on that with the knowledge I have now, I'm embarrassed about what I was doing to my body. My most recent changes have been cutting back protein intake from 200 down to about 130-150g per day at 165 lbs (might even wane it down to 100g / day; we'll see) and increasing my fat intake. Next nutrition project is calculating out my insoluble:soluble ratio which at first glance seems to be pretty darn close to the 3:1 that's desired.

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#11 Posted by csl316 (14981 posts) -

I exercise all the time, when it's cool out I'll do my DDP Yoga, P90X, whatever I can find on Youtube. Not really into getting bulky, more about athleticism and staying fit. I'm 30 so I do what I can to stay active.

When the weather's super nice, all I do is bike and swim and play random sports. At this point, I just do it for fun and stress-relief than hitting any sort of goals.

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#12 Posted by BigSpoon (31 posts) -

I started lifting about 8 years ago. When I started I weighed 350lbs. I lost about 35lbs to start, then lost my job and the weight came back. I got a new job in 2009 and started losing again, but fell into some bad habits and the weight came back. I got another new job a few years ago and over the past 3 or so years I very slowly lost about 110lbs (I've been hovering in the 240s for a while). Its weird to think that at 33 years of age I am easily in the best shape of my life.
I run 5k at least a couple times a week, I'm faster and stronger than I've ever been, and I buy my clothes from somewhere other than the Big n Tall stores for the first time since grade school.

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#13 Posted by Boss_Kowbel (153 posts) -

@personandstuff: Yeah, I noticed that mistake a couple minutes after posting.

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#14 Posted by TheMessiBeast (75 posts) -

@flashflood_29: You mention how you've cut down your protein intake, is there a reason for that? Recently I've tried to keep mine around 190g per day (weight floats around 185), because a lot of reading seems to point to the idea that if you're bulking you should try and have about 1 gram per pound (some debate whether it's per pound of overall weight, or just lean muscle mass, so I guess I'm overcompensating just in case it's the former).

I'm curious to hear about your experiences and why you're cutting down on protein intake, and if you have any recommendations.

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#15 Posted by godzilla_sushi (1353 posts) -

Blueberries for breakfast, lunch with low sodium, boiled egg post-workout, avocado towards end of work, chicken and asparagus for dinner. It's boring as hell but that's how I do it.

I just try to avoid sugar that isn't naturally occurring in fruit. The weekend is pretty easy going, I do whatever then. I guess anything can work, I just decided to pick and choose the food and exercise from the programs.

I workout on an Air Force base gym as a civilian so I kind of steal techniques from those guys. Isolating muscles, focusing on quality reps with no slop from moving the body.

The most important thing is to play video games all the time. :P

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#16 Posted by 49th (3910 posts) -

I've been going to the gym 3-4 times a week since January. I don't really know what I'm doing to be honest. I definitely feel stronger and noticed that I look a little more defined, but I think if I was more focused I could have made a lot more progress by now. I eat pretty well and have big meals but I don't calorie count or anything and my routine is just kind of a full body thing. I should start cutting but I really don't feel like doing much cardio or eating less so for now I'm bulking forever.

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#17 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

I play basketball 5 times a week or more for an hour and a half or more. I will do some other exercise (free weights and jump rope mainly) but everything else has bored me. I either play with people or go get a good workout in solo, working on my game. End up playing in two or more leagues a year depending on what is available.

Love it to death. Really puts me at peace and I have gotten a lot of pride and inspiration from how I steadily have gotten better over the years, especially about 4 years ago when I really started doing a routine and having a more aggressive and confident attitude on the court. I really broke down my game and added to it, using inspiration from the pros and even NBA 2K. There have been times where it was my real only outlet and it kept me going.

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#18 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4447 posts) -

@themessibeast: Excessive protein intake increases the excretion of calcium, as well as other minerals which is a strain on the kidneys. The increased mineral concentration in urine means a greater risk of kidney stones. Right now I'm reducing down to 1lb per body weight (to slightly below just to be safe) because I've been consuming over my weight in lbs. Standard diet recommendation is 1g per kg of body weight so if building, I would want to be 1.5-2g/kg of body weight (especially if I have a muscle strain because increased protein helps with recovering from injury) but I'm absolutely never going to be approaching near the 1.5g/lb level again. The lower protein caloric intake also gives me more room for healthy fat intake which is necessary for the formation of hormones (such as steroids important to immune function and HGH) as well as HDL (which most nutrition buffs are familiar with as decreasing cholesterol levels). After recently learning all about the importance of fat intake, I became super embarrassed about my outrageously low fat intake in my past and am making sure to get it in from now on. Now, if you're gaining, you have a higher caloric intake needs so as long as you get your necessary fats in, you could still get plenty of protein as well. Just be sure not to skimp out on the carbs (which gainers shouldn't have a problem with at all) because carbs are very important in utilization of amino acids.

TL;DR - I'm just maintaining weight and more concerned about the health and nutrition of my body as a whole, which has led to a more balanced diet for me.

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#19 Posted by ninjalegend (562 posts) -

Not really anymore. I spend time by the pool in the Summer and jog up and down the beach. I think exercise without sports is boring. I found out last year that I can't play basketball at the level I once could. After dominating my co workers (who talked a bit too much smack) I could barley move the next week. Almost dropped my arch and my knees felt bad and a bit stressed. I do monitor what I eat for health, but I have stuck at 6' 185-190 lbs since high school.

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#20 Posted by AdequatelyPrepared (2522 posts) -

I go to gym 2-3 times a week and try to fit in a 2km swim or a few games of squash whenever I can.
I probably could have made more progress on gym by now, especially if I cared a bit more about eating properly, but I have pretty happy with the results. A few months ago I could barely bench 60kg, and that's now my warm-up weight. I usually have a protein shake a day, especially during holidays when I might go to gym every 2nd day.

It's a good thing I only drink water, otherwise my love of chocolate would have caught with me by now.

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#21 Posted by shorthair (114 posts) -

I used to help teach at a tae kwon do school for a few years but got way out of exercise for a long time. Started going to the gym regularly at the end of march. Since my second month I've been going to gym 4-5 days a week, sometimes twice a day for an odd cardio session or a muscle group I've neglected for that week or the week before.

I've not lost a lot of weight, but I'm down 3 belt loops and have gone from being able to deadlift and squat an empty 20kg bar to a 140kg deadlift set and 130kg squat set, along with a load of other numbers and crap.

I don't feel like I look any different. I was hoping people would notice something but seems not which is a little gutting (guess that my reasons for going to gym were a lot to do with self image stuff) but I feel amazingly stronger and certain parts of my body look more normal. Some of the muscles in my legs were way bigger than others, overcompensating for walking weird I guess, and now they look "normal".

Diet didn't really change, trying to have less sugar and fatty food. salad for lunch instead of a sandwich and porridge/oatmeal instead of regular cereal, but I am taking a protein supplement and trying to match the 1gm protein to 1 pound body weight and its helped a lot with muscle fatigue the next day and with strength improvement and clearly muscle mass given the small weight drop but inches lost

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#22 Posted by poveren (320 posts) -

@humanity said:

I've been running 12k's exactly 3 times a week for the past year or so, and now I go to the gym to do strength training whenever I feel like it. Usually between my running days I just do a few sets of situps, pull ups and push ups. Through the running I've gotten pretty skinny. I dropped from a size 36 to a size 30 in the pants department. Now I'm trying to build some more muscle in order to not look like a bag of bones, but after all this time running and being on a fairly restrictive diet (like 1200 calories per day) I find it kind of difficult to get into the mindset of eating a lot more during each meal. By a lot more I mean like adding protein wherever I can in the form of Greek yogurt, nuts or just plain milk. After workout I'll drink a protein shake. I dunno it feels weird seeing the scale start moving back up, especially after I worked so hard to get it to come down. Feels like I'm screwing up or something, but I realize thats probably muscle growth.

Don't bother using the scale, it's all about the mirror, weight can skyrocket from water retention alone, doesn't mean you gained an ounce of fat though. I personally can't run, too much impact on the joints.

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#23 Posted by Humanity (18865 posts) -

@poveren: that was actually my philosophy from the start. I didn't weigh myself at all and used an old pair of tight jeans as my "scale." If I can fit into these jeans then I've lost weight. I've only started using the scale recently since I've started to actually go to a gym. I don't own a scale at home so I use the gym one just to see where I'm at from time to time.

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#24 Posted by poveren (320 posts) -

@cerberus3dog: I have a fitdesk, which is a bike with a laptop tray and drawer, and I use a steam controller, connected to my desktop computer. Tray is probably too small for a mouse and keyboard but I think I could get an extension that would make it work. Fitdesk was $200 on Amazon.

This Fitdesk looks interesting, can you recommend it? Is it comfortable and built well?

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#25 Posted by Ben_H (4202 posts) -

I'm sort of into fitness. I should focus on nutrition more but I don't. I do mostly running, which is my favorite thing fitness-related. I have been adding more weights in lately as well. I train for half-marathons so that keeps me relatively healthy. I just came off a knee injury so I wasn't able to work out at all for about 3 weeks without a ton of pain. I decided to take that time off working out and gained 10 pounds so now I'm focusing on getting back down to the weight I like again.

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#26 Posted by personandstuff (649 posts) -

@poveren: Generally, yeah. Seat takes some getting used to and it started squeaking at one point but that went away. Also, folds up nicely and doesn't take up too much space. For $200, it's hard to beat.

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#28 Posted by The_Greg (543 posts) -

I've lost 13lbs in the last 16 days by reducing my daily calorie intake to 1400 and doing very light exercise once a day. I downloaded an app which calculates your calorie intake. I find that it's easier to keep motivated when I'm working with the numbers.

I wasn't particularly large to begin with but since I 'settled down' with my girlfriend in the last few years, I've piled a couple of stone on (I'm 6ft 1in). We had our first kid 10 months ago, and I don't want to be a chunky dad.

I've genuinely not felt this good in years.

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#30 Posted by The_Greg (543 posts) -

@rubiehadams: Download a food diary app on your phone. Everything you eat, put it into the app to count your calories. Once you're accountable to the app, you can't fail. It's working wonders for me.

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#31 Posted by nutter (2206 posts) -

Since we’re bumped anyhow, I’ve been working out for a handful of years. I had a major back injury about 11-12 years ago that had me pretty damned immobile for a couple of years. Once I healed up, we had kids.

Anyhow, just a few years ago I was floating around 235 and 35 years old. I’d diet here and there, do mail order meals, mainly with my wife as she did her thing. None of it stuck. I’d lose 20lbs Jan - Nov and put it all back on between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I got into heavy weights as eating less wasn’t feeling sustainable. That went well for a year or so, until I injured my back. I did pretty well with the weights and got as explosively strong as I had been in my life, if not any lighter.

After recovering from the injury and falling back down, I moved on to a little more cardio and a mix of heavy and light weights. I’m struggling with respecting rest/growth days, but I’m pretty good about it.

I’m down from 235 a year ago to 207 at last weigh-in. I’m looking about as good as I have since college (rowed crew in high school, which keeps you trim). I don’t have the explosive strength I had, but I’m feeling more in-shape and happy with general strength.

I’m trying to eat low fat, without piling on too much protein (enough for muscle health, but not so much that I damage my kidneys or anything). This is a bit of a struggle as my wife has gone keto. It works for her, but I can’t see myself cutting carbs from my life. Too many good foods I can’t see myself saying goodbye to.

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#32 Edited by nutter (2206 posts) -

@rubiehadams: I used to eat like Vinny’s Domino’s night on the last beastcast...frequently.

I ate until it hurt...took a five minute break...the ate more. I can’t fathom what my intake would have looked like on paper.

I’m eating about 1800-2000 calories these days. When I started tracking intake, I was at maybe 2,400 and it felt like I was starving myself.

I’m not a professional, but here’s my two cents:

Tracking is key. Get something like myFitnessPal (free is fine) just to get a handle on what you’re doing. Don’t cheat the app. Record it. Understand what you’re doing, then react.

I’d start by making sure you’re getting some protein in, not too much. Even if you’re not doing weights, it’s good for combating belly fat. Maybe target 20-25% of your intake. I wouldn’t go too high as excessive protein can have side effects.

With the rest of your intake, it’s kinda up to you. Stay away from trans fats. Don’t eat anything too terrible too frequently. Allow yourself a cheat day every week or two to stay on track, but maybe cut them down to only special occasions once you’re used to your new diet.

The big thing is to make what you’re doing sustainable. Look at it as a lifestyle, not a thing you’re doing for a few weeks or months. Try new things. Measure results. Find something you can stick with. Live like that.

Like anything in life; learn, experiment, retry, repeat.

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#36 Edited by TravisRex (819 posts) -

A few months back i stopped eating after 8 pm. I had a tendency to graze through the night. After about a month i stopped eating after dinner (between 4-6pm, varies because i work late sometimes). It was hell for about a month, going to bed quite hungry cuz i was used to eating so much. Thankfully, the pain went away.

I then started making breakfast for my wife and myself, 4 eggs split between us, scrambled, cuz scrambled is awesome :p. I found that it worked out great, i wasnt hungry at all until lunch time. Before i was eating nature valleys breakfast cookies mostly and was starving within an hour or two of eating them.

Finally, this last month i havent been going out of my way to eat something sweet, or sugar in general. I know this is probably hard for a lot of people. This was the biggest boost of motivation for me to continue though since it yielded the most noticeable results. My mental clarity and overall energy improved dramatically within a week or so, its really been amazing. All that being said if someone brings in a cake for an event ill eat some, i just dont go ham.

April of 2017 i was around 270 lbs, i think i widdled my weight down to around 250 (stopped drinking every weekend) between then and when i actively started eating better. Im 31, 6'0", and now down to 224 lbs. Im tracking about 2-3 lbs lost a week without exercising.

Good luck to everyone out there, the beginning is unpleasant but it really does get better!

Addendum - expect withdrawal effects if anyone does the no sugar thing. I was piiiisssssseeeed for a month or two off and on, to the point where i was genuinely concerned i had developed bipolar disorder and was considering seeing someone about it (my father has bipolar, hence the added concern).

Addendum ii - i had back and shoulder pain constantly for years, the dull achey kind. After quitting sugar all that stuff vanished, no joke. I can turn my head side to side now with little resistance, whereas it was real stiff before. Also used to get hypoglycemic a lot (tingles, dizziness), also gone.

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#37 Posted by jacjon (21 posts) -

have been powerlifting for a good bit now. Anyone else here powerlift?

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#38 Posted by nutter (2206 posts) -

@jacjon: I had done some powerlifting for a while. Wound up going too low on a squat and messing up my back (still an issue three years later).

Being able to workout kinda quickly, less reps, and having higher calorie needs were all appealing. That back injury left me pretty imobile for two weeks and sidelined fitness for six months.

I’m doing SOME heavy weights, but mostly doing work with 30-50 pound dumbbells, depending on how various muscle groups are doing. More reps, left rest, with some cardio at the begining (and the end, if there’s time). Even the heavy weights that I am using, it’s less weight. I was doing 300 pound + deadlifts, squats, and 200s? Overhead presses were lower, for sure. It was basically as much as I could progress to before hurting myself.

I’ve grown to love working out for 60-90 minutes at a time, sometimes getting two hour sessions in.

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#39 Posted by TravisRex (819 posts) -

@nutter: you have any experience with kettle bells? I always hear joe rogan talking about them, would be nice to hear someone elses opinion of them.

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#40 Posted by nutter (2206 posts) -

@travisrex: Congrats on the weight loss!

I’m going to assume there was no trauma associated with that pain? Years ago my left hip started to ache. I had this awesome doctor who said “you’re too fat, lose 15 pounds and come back if it still hurts.”

That fixed it.

I have other injuries tied to specific traumas. While having less weight on my frame helps with them, it won’t fix them.

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#41 Posted by nutter (2206 posts) -

@travisrex: Sorry, no. I spent the time I was doing heavy weights just using a barbell with iron and rubber plates and a rack in my basement. It was simple, but it was enough to learn form and increase load.

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#42 Edited by TravisRex (819 posts) -

@nutter: thanks for the congratulations.

The pain i assume was from weight plus just trying to "young stud" everything physical. Ive heard sugar is naturally an inflammatory so assumed it was because of that, but it very well couldve been from losing weight. Im a mailman so my right shoulder and elbow are kinda jacked up but its because it wont heal due to repeated stress. Ill probably end up having to take a month or so off work, i was also in a pretty gnarly car accident when i was in my early 20s (drunk driver rear-ended us going about 50mph while we were stopped at a red light), always figured my back pain was due to that as well.

Edit - I seem to assume a lot.

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#43 Edited by shorap (431 posts) -

@travisrex: kettle and regular dumbbells are just as viable as barbells and probably better for beginners and intermediates. It forces each arm to work independently so no muscle imbalances occur.

One thing barbells have over them though is you’ll eventually reach a ceiling in dumbbell/kettlebell weights (kettlebells more so) and be forced to go to barbells. A decent amount of gyms have dumbbells over 100 pounds which means that you’ll be damn strong by then as 100 lb dumbbells would be equivalent to doing about 233 lb in barbell weight.

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#44 Edited by Deathstriker (1177 posts) -

Nutrition: Really, just limit man made carbs (chips, bread, pasta) to a very low amount, zero if possible. The same goes for sugar (including fruit). That's really about all it takes, it's hard to do since our bodies are used to and are addicted to sugar and bootleg carbs, but if you stick to meat and vegetables the fat will drop off and that's healthy for you, so basically "paleo" if someone is looking for something specific to look up. I'm not into fad stuff like egg diets, juicing only, etc since people do that stuff for days, weeks, or months and they when they stop a lot of people just go back to how they were before, since a "diet" like that is only going to be for a limited amount time.

Fitness: This is hard to say since someone could be150 pounds with no muscle or 350 with a lot of fat. In general, I'd say go to the gym or workout at least 4 times a week. Everyone should do weights and try to get muscle regardless of gender or whether they're skinny or fat, since for the latter person, muscle is going to help burn fat. Cardio is good, but being the type who goes to the gym and walks on the treadmill the entire time then goes home isn't a great use of time. Complex exercises with weights will burn fat faster. I'd recommendAthlean X on Youtube he's very knowledge and can help avoid common mistakes. I'd also recommend planning what you're going to do, for example Monday is arms, Tuesday legs, Wednesday chest, etc it's easy to walk around the gym and think "I'll do whatever machine I feel like or see available", but planning what you're going to do ahead of time is more effective as I've learned myself.

Misconceptions or things easy to miss: Don't look at your weight that much. How many pounds you weigh doesn't really matter unless someone is an athlete where they need to be light such as a cyclist. You might workout for a month, burn fat and add muscle but weigh the same or weigh more, since muscle weigh more than fat. Looking at how your clothes fit you or doing a pinch test or measurements where you're chunky will tell you more than a scale. You can get your body fat percentage measured, but a dunk tank sounds like the only accurate way from what I've heard. It's hard (if not impossible) to get fit on a bad sleep schedule - your sleep and stress levels can make you gain weight regardless of your nutrition and you working out,

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#45 Posted by nutter (2206 posts) -

@deathstriker: This is all great advice. Nutrition is the biggest one for me. Diet is your eating habit. It’s not a thing you do as a New Years Resolution, it’s not a thing you do to prepare for beach season or a vacation, it’s how you sustain yourself.

Do what you can. Make better choices. Your body will get used to less junk and more good food.

Diet soda is my current vice, though I’m drinking FAR less (a couple of cans a day, down from at least a 12 pack a day). My plan is to cut it out as a daily drink. I hope to just switch to water and reward myself with a glass of wine or two over dinner...we’ll see...

Also, I’d say don’t obsess over numbers beyond weight. BMI is notoriously iffy, constantly adding weight can lead to sidelining your workouts due to injury, and weight is a poor metric compared to how you feel.

I do like numbers for intake metrics in general (calories and content), but just as a guideline and create a habit of awareness. It’s another thing I may stop doing as my habits (eat, sleep, workouts) improve and I can trust myself to make the right choices more frequently without an app as a crutch.

Oh, and if you’re doing weights for anything beyond making cardio a little tougher, for God’s sake, take rest days between workouts. You need to work muscles, feed muscles (protein and water), and give muscles time to grow (rest days). If you’re not doing all of these things, you’re working too hard in the gym for what you’re going to get out of it.

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#46 Edited by TravisRex (819 posts) -
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#47 Edited by militantfreudian (686 posts) -

I keep track of macronutrients, try to eat more alkalinizing foods and just generally healthier stuff. I also fast 14-18 hours a day, mostly to make better use of my time during the day. Not needing to make breakfast in the morning and pack a snack is a major time-saver!

I try to exercise 5 days a week for 30 to 45 minutes, mostly from home. I mainly do different variations of pushups, planks and squats. My dad owns one of those (possibly useless?) multi-gyms, which I use a few times a week.

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#48 Posted by shorap (431 posts) -

A general rule I’ll mention is on overtraining and the old adage that sometimes less is more. If you ever feel wiped out or lose your appetite then you need to dial back the training and get more rest.

At best, overtraining will lead to stagnation in your gains and at worse injury and/or sickness since your body isn’t given time to recover and get stronger. Muscles get stronger while recovering from exertion, not from the exertion itself.

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#49 Posted by nutter (2206 posts) -

@shorap: I believe the way it works is that exertion actually causes tiny tears in your muscles. Rest days allow time for those tears to heal, resulting in larger muscles.

Thinking about it in those terms makes rest days and really just NOT killing yourself much easier to do, in my experience.

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#50 Edited by Rahf (517 posts) -

@nutter: That is one part of recovery and adaptation. But the body also adjusts neuromuscular responses, improves mitochondrial activity, creates sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, etc. One may be completely recovered in the muscle fibers themselves, but completely wiped out in the central nervous system. It is never as simple as one may think, but simple ways to approach resistance training are usually very effective.

PS: current scientific consensus places aspartame as not harmful. That is with peer-reviewed studies and decades of research considered. So diet soda is, essentially, flavored water.