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Bowman0246 01-17-2008 10:21 PM

Need help making changes
I haven't worked out in years. I'm about 5'10, currently weighing at 213 lbs and I want to shed off 30-40 lbs. I can't afford a gym, so that leaves me with pushups, crunches and squats. I can always jog for an hour too.

How many sets/reps would you say is good enough for me to start out with? How long should I keep at it before increasing sets? What are some other ways to build muscle?

I also need suggestions on maintaining my diet. I know it's better to eat several small meals everyday. I'm having a little trouble breaking out of the three big-meal routine; I'm always eating and waiting until the next time I'm hungry. Some examples on what you eat and when would be helpful. Thanks.

Naxis 01-18-2008 01:28 PM

Re: Need help making changes
Jogging in the morning (or whenever you can fit it in) is a great start. Every day that you're able to is okay to do cardio. You might want to look into a jump rope or some aerobic DVDs for some variety and to have an option if for any reason you can't go outside for cardio. For strength training, you actually have a lot of options even without a gym. If you want to get a set of resistance bands, you're variety greatly increases.

How many pushups and squats can you do in 1 set now? Do you have any bar/ledge you can do pullups on? You'll only want to do 3 days a week of strength training so your muscles have an opportunity to recover between sessions, but you really need to stress them in order to see progress in strength and mass.

Diet might be a bit tougher. Planning out and timing each meal and snack and pre-packing each portion might help. If you can figure out roughly how many calories you need to be eating to lose weight, ideally you should fairly evenly divide those calories into each meal, or do 3 "squares" a little more and the snacks a little smaller so you don't feel like you're just nibbing all day. I don't know what will work for you, but smaller main meals and snacks of things like raw nuts, jerky, vegetables, low fat cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, protein shakes, fruit or even a small portion of beans and rice will work fine. You can even split a meal like a sandwich in two so you have half for lunch and half as a snack. There's a lot of room to fit your tastes and lifestyle.

Bowman0246 01-18-2008 09:06 PM

Re: Need help making changes
I don't do that well on my pushups. I think at the most, I can do ten or fifteen in a set, but the number of sets is a different matter. Before I would try going for 100 pushups in total by the end of the day, but I usually take way too much time off inbetween each set.

I think I'm pretty good at squats though. In one set, I normally shoot for 30, and the time between sets is a lot shorter (around 1-2min.). I don't have a bar for pull ups or anything like it. I never was that good at pull ups anyway.

Now resistance bands do sound like a great idea. Maybe I can benefit by jogging in those? I'll have to shop around for those soon.

Naxis 01-18-2008 09:53 PM

Re: Need help making changes
You can't jog in resistance bands. Well you can, but that's complicating things. Resistance bands are basically a cheap replacement for weights to do strength training with. And the reason I bring up pullups is because you need to keep a balance of strength in pushing and pulling muscles (chest and back). If you dont have anything to do pullups with, some kind of rowing will suffice - which can be done with the bands.

For pushups, aim for as many as you can do for 3-6 sets with no more than 90 seconds between sets. When that gets too easy, start propping your your feet higher. Since you can do high reps with squats, you should consider adding some weight. Holding books or milk jugs or anything easy to hold and still squat will increase the intensity and effectiveness of the squats. Again, as many as you can do for 3-6 sets. Same for crunches and any king of rowing exercise you can do for back.

Bowman0246 01-18-2008 10:03 PM

Re: Need help making changes
Great. I'll try those and see how it works out. Thanks for the help.

trg247 01-21-2008 08:20 PM

Re: Need help making changes
I was basically in the same position as you so I decided to change it. I bought a set of resistance bands and a stability ball with this equipment I am able to make a complete body workout. <removed> The stability ball is such a marvelous tool as it makes all your smaller muscles work along with the main ones that the exercise is intended for. With the workout I have lost maybe five pounds but my body fat percentage has gone down a whole heck of a lot which means more to me then actual poundage lost. <removed>

take care

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