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Re: I could use some opinions on my planned exercise program (32 year old male who has never exercised in his life)

Re: I could use some opinions on my planned exercise program (32 year old male who has never exercised in his life)

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Posted by emily on September 24, 2000 at 16:32:07:

In Reply to: I could use some opinions on my planned exercise program (32 year old male who has never exercised in his life) posted by Procrastinator on August 31, 2000 at 06:15:30:

: Hi- Sorry about the long note- I am a 32 year old male, 6 feet tall and currently weight about 210 pounds. I am a occassional smoker- maybe 2-5 cigs a day. My weight tends to yo-yo quite a bit without conscious dieting- a few years ago I dropped to 140 from about 200 and then gained it all back again in about a month. The reason I lose then gain weight like this is I only eat when I feel hungry and never at any set time- I can eat my main meal of the day anywhere from 12 pm to 4 am. I also tend to eat 1 big meal (usually all meat) and snack thru-out the day. Some months I just dont feel hungry much and thus eat very little. I realize my eating habits are very bad and I am very much out of shape.

: Whats strange is I have always been quite muscular despite the fact that I have never done any exercise in my life, except for gym class a few years ago in college. My upper body looks big- that is, my biceps and deltoids are very big and noticeable (when flexed), my chest is flabby but solid when flexed- and the rest of me is somewhat flabby, though solid when flexed too, including my gut which looks disgutingly like a spare tire when unflexed, but when I flex it and pose, people think I work out and say I look big. My legs by the way look like chicken legs, though I never wear shorts anyways. By the way, even though I look big, Im not very strong- I can lift something heavy the average guy could life, but for example when moving furniture, my muscles get sore and exhausted real quick and just moving a few big items will tire me to the point where I cant even life a 50 pound box. Needless to say this can be embarrassing.

: I have a few questions- first about diet. Most of my life I have eaten pure junk food- my normal meal could consist of 4 big macks or one 2 pound steak with nothing else. Ive been know to eat a block of chedder cheese or half a cake as a meal too (I know- terrible).
: Ive decided to change my diet drastically- I purchesed some generic health shakes from K mart which are pretty much the same as slim-fast and am using the vitamin A and D fortified 0% milk as the base (they recommend 1% milk, is there a reason why 1% would be better than 0 fat milk?) I now premake these shakes and drink them when I am hungry- though I drink 16oz at a time- double their recommended 8oz before I get full. I also tend to drink a shake more than twice a day maybe 3 or 4 times a day. I am thinking I can get most of my calories from these shakes and then eat a smaller meal or even no meal somedays and snack thru out the day on carrots, celery, fruit and maybe whole grain cerial with 0 fat milk like wheaties. Maybe a few times a week when I go out I will go all out and eat a 24 oz prime rib. Does this sound ok? It would really cut down drastically on my fat consumption- not to mention calories- even though I am drinking over 5X the recommended consumption of the shakes and because of this I am getting 200%+ of the recommended vitamin a and d and calcium & iron. Is this bad?

: Another question I have is about fluid consumption. I heard the recommendations to drink lots of water, but I dont like water and drink that 5 calorie crystal lite (raspberry and peach tea) just about exclusivly- along with a few diet sodas a day. Is crystal lite ok to substitute for water since it has virtually no calories and no sugar?

: I also want to start some kind of exercise program as though I look fit in clothes, I am in terrible shape. I get winded and sweaty just climbing a flight of stairs. I am thinking of getting that orbitack machine and doing that for 20-30 minutes every other day using a heart rate minitor to keep me at about 70% of target heart rate. First- has anyone heard anything about the orbitrack? Is anything better. I live in a small apartment and have very limited space. Also, is 70% using the standard generic scale for my age that everyone recommends ok for me? My own resting heart rate is approx. 90 beats a minute or 15 beats every 10 seconds.

: I also just got a total gym 1000, though I havent really used it yet, just played round with it a bit so far. Though I know it wont make me huge, since the resistance is limited- right now for upper body like curls- I cant do much more than 10 reps at the highest incline. I do have some old free weights lying around too- about 200 pounds worth and one big bar and 2 small curl bars, never really used them- I just hate lifting weights and I am lazy. My main question here is if the total gym- just doing maybe curls, flys, and the bench type simulation and maybe overhead press of some kind- is enough to compensate for no streching or flexibility routine? Also, any other quick exercises that are good to add in with my freeweights? Im already pretty big now having never worked out in my life except for gym class in school and even then I started getting noticeable veins in my arms and defined in just 1 semester of weight training doing a half assed workout when the teacher was monitoring us. I anticipate I will make some decent gains just doing a few basic resistance things on the total gym even though I wont be working out to muscle fatigue. Would it be ok to curl on the total gym for like 30 reps till I couldnt get another curl in or would I just be wasting effort?

: Thanks for reading thru this note- I dont expect you to answer all these questions- but if a few of them you know the answers to, please respond. Any comments would be appricieted, even critical- I wont be offended :). I dont really want to exercise any more than 30 minutes every other day total (cardio and resistance) because I know myself and will quit any kind of routine that is too long or tough. My goals are pretty modest- get rid of some bodyfat, tone up a bit and not look like a fool when I meet some girl and get totally winded and sweat drenched after 5 minutes on the dance floor (which isnt often cause I avoid that kind of embarrassment).


Just a few things to tell you. (I do have quite a bit of diet and exercise knowledge. I am an avid runner and nutrition and diet are my main hobby. I minored in it in college)I'm glad you have decided to make this step in your life. You are right about a lot of things. You need to cut calories and exercise to lose the weight and tone up. You can easily get in better shape exercising 30 min. 3 days a week. Once you start to get into shape, you will want to and will be able to exercise more. I reccommend buying some health magazines such a Mens' Health to give you exercise tips. Some womens magazines have good tips for guys too. My husband likes to read mine. Fit, Health, Shape, and Fitness are the better ones.
As for your diet....Your snacks are great and eating on a regular basis will bring your hunger back, but you CAN'T drink diet shakes for the rest of your life. You will eventually go back to a regular diet, and unless you've taught yourself HOW to eat, other than just shakes, the weight will go back on once you quit drinking shakes. You need to have three healthy meals a day. ONE of those meals can be a shake. The others can be low fat foods that have the nutrition you need. You can also have 2 to 3 healthy snacks a day. I know guys resist to the suggestion, but try buying Weight Watchers magazine for GREAT meals that will fit into you diet. They even have different portions for men so you don't feel starved. You can eat quite a bit if you just choose the right foods.

Last but not least...you do need to drink 8 8oz glasses of PURE water a day in addition to the Crystal Light. You need just pure water and nothing can replace it. I would also limit yourself to ONE diet soda per day because they are not great for you either.

Leave me a message and I can go into further detail for you. I love teaching others about exercise and nutrition. I wish my hubby was as motivated as you are.

Good Luck!


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