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WiiFitBalanceBoard

I need some help starting a routine. Thanks in advance!

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Hey everyone!

 

Some time has opened up for me and I'm planning on shaping up.

Six months from now I want to be as healthy as possible - I don't really have any specific figures (if you want to suggest some that'd be awesome!) in mind but I do want to look/ feel better than ever before. Time is not a huge concern for fitness - so getting up super early/ joining a new sports club/ spending more than 2hrs on working out is fine; honestly, whatever gets the best results!

Here's what I have at my disposal. Some of it is equipment around my house and most is at a nearby (really close, commute is not a issue) gym:

 

  • Treadmill
  • Weights
  • Trampoline
  • Yoga Mat/ ball
  • Pull-up stand
  • Whole Body Vibration Machine
  • Olympic sized Swimming pool
  • Nice outside area for running (Alabama climate)
  • Probably more equipment I haven't seen at the gym

 

Most mornings I have two hard-boiled eggs, a piece of toast, glass of orange juice and maybe a piece of fruit. Lunches and dinners vary but I rarely eat out and mostly craft homecooked meals. I try not to snack but if I do it can range from dried fruit/ nuts to funsize candy/crisps (though cutting down on these is obviously a priority).

I'm mostly okay with my diet and am really just looking for help getting an exercise routine started, but still willing to take advice there too. Even if you can just link me to other threads you think can help that would be muy apreciado. Thank you :lemo:.

 

160lb 173cm (5ft,7~) 19yr old Male.

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On 2/10/2019 at 11:47 AM, WiiFitBalanceBoard said:

Some time has opened up for me and I'm planning on shaping up.

Six months from now I want to be as healthy as possible - I don't really have any specific figures (if you want to suggest some that'd be awesome!) in mind but I do want to look/ feel better than ever before.

Welcome! So, let's be honest here - is there a specific health goal you're worried about (eg. blood sugar, blood pressure, etc.), or are you wanting to look good in a swimsuit? ;) The latter answer is totally ok! But without knowing what you're wanting to do (build endurance, add some muscle, lost a bit of fat, improve specific biomarkers, etc), it's kinda hard to make any recommendations. I'm also going to start out with a quick disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, fitness professional, health professional, or expert on this subject by any stretch of the imagination - I just read too much on the internet. Feel free ignore anything here you don't like, and do your own research to figure out what works best for YOU!

 

 

I'm going to make some assumptions here, and work on the premise that you'd like to add a bit of muscle, lose a bit of fat, and just generally get a bit more fit. To that end, if it were me (and I didn't want to get super overwhelmed right off the bat), for the first two weeks I'd probably start with spending 3-4hrs in the pool a week (in 30-45min sessions) swimming laps, and then try to hit up the NF bodyweight workout routine 3-4xweek as well, and in a perfect world you'll also get a chance to walk outside for 30-60min/day. That gets you moving, and gently eases your body into being more active without making you hate life due to DOMS (soreness). Sounds like you are in an optimal position to make pretty rapid progress (young, male, beginner, with time to spare) - which should hopefully make the next 6 months super fun! 

 

In addition to working out, you REALLY NEED TO* also pay attention to both nutrition and recovery, to speed things along and keep yourself healthy:

 

I'd probably be aiming for 2,500-3,000kcal / day for total intake (eg. less on slower days, more on days where you're working out balls to the wall); if your tummy starts to get softer, eat less - if you start to see abs, keep on keeping on!

And a minimum of 150g of protein/day (wouldn't hurt to get more than that, but that should be the base level that you must hit every day).

Ideally you'll get some veg in there too.

This may require you to create something of a meal plan (either for 2-3 days that you repeat, or for the whole week so you can do one big day of meal prep). Lots of resources online about this, but feel free to ask around the forums if you need ideas!

 

You also want to be sleeping AT LEAST 8-10hrs/night (the recommendation is typically a minimum of 8, but teenagers' physiologies tends to require a bit more),

 

*You don't actually 'need' to do anything, but optimising your nutrition and recovery strategies will give you the best results in the shortest amount of time, and help prevent burnout.

 

After those first two weeks, you'll have had a chance to get into the habit of working out, hopefully will have ironed out the details for your daily food needs, and organised your life to get enough sleep. NOW you're ready to jump in the deep end and start ramping up.

 

 

Here are a few thoughts on designing a weight lifting routine to help you lose a bit of fat, and put on some decent muscle (copied/modified from some of my older posts):

 

To help you understand how to select exercises, I generally like to think of them as pulling and pushing for upper body (both vertical ie. overhead and horizontal ie. arms in front of you), knee dominant or hip dominant for your lower body (the two major joints for your lower body, AKA squat v deadlift), and some folks also like to add some isolation exercises for areas that need some extra attention. Note: you could waste time on bicep curls, or you could use a bigger multi-joint movement like rowing to hit more body parts at once - even with time to spare, there's no sense in being inefficient with your workout design (and yes, I'm biased ;)). But that's pretty much it! Find some safe/fun lifts, work out consistently, and you're away to the races. Some more info: https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/how-to-build-your-own-workout-routine/ 

 

The other movement I'd add to the list would be loaded carries - which is to say, picking up something heavy and walking a distance with it - mostly because that mimics the most common day-to-day strength we need in real life! Plenty of folks also like to add core work as a specific category, which is cool - but your core will also be used to stabilise lots of the movements detailed below. Up to you, but here are a few more ideas if you want!

 

For beginners, full body workouts (rather than focusing on different body parts on different days) give you the chance to exercise each muscle group 3-4 times a week, which helps you to improve movement patterns and optimise initial strength gains. Essentially, beginners aren't strong enough to stress out their muscles to the point that they need to split things up, at least to start with. I also like to err on the side of less technical movements, especially when you're working out alone at home - the fewer things that can be done incorrectly, the better!

 

To that end, here are my favourite beginner movements: For each workout, pick one from each 'column' of movements (horiz push, horiz pull, vert push, vert pull, knee dominant, hip dominant, core, loaded carry) - you can vary these from day to day if you'd like to stave off boredom, or keep with the same couple of movement to make progress easier to track. The order you do them in doesn't REALLY matter, so you can pick whichever out of convenience/gym availability, or prioritise the muscles you care more about by doing them at the beginning of the workout when you're freshest.

 

WARM UP: 5-10min of skip rope, burpees, rowing, or jumping jacks AND 2 sets of Sun Salutation for EACH SIDE (4 total, lots of variations around, I prefer the ones that include a lunge movement/stretch for your hips)

 

OR the NF Warmup if you prefer that over my yoga tomfoolery suggestion ;) 

 

Then:

  • Goblet squat or Split Squat (lower body; knee dominant) - kettlebells are NOT essential, you can start with just bodyweight or use dumbbells (or even just hold a weight plate)
  • Hip Thrust or Practice the Hinge (lower body; hip dominant) - add weight when you can do at least 15 bodyweight reps in a row; don't deadlift until you have a good hinge. This is a bit alarmist on my part - lots of people really enjoy deadlifting, and see fast progress on it when they start out; personally, I prefer to build the base movement patterns first, but if you're curious about DLs there are plenty of experienced lifters (which I am NOT) available on the forum to help you out.
  • Inverted Row or Dumbbell Row (upper horizontal pull; pick one per workout) - keep your back straight, don't let your shoulders cave in! Seated cable rows are also great.
  • Pull Downs with bands or cable weights (upper vertical pull; pick one per workout) - lighter weights to start with, you should focus on feeling it in your back, not your arms (this movement will eventually progress to pull-ups, but those are really hard for most of us to star out with). If you can do pull-ups, do those instead!
  • Pushups or Dumbbell Bench Press (upper horizontal push; pick one per workout) - regress as needed to keep good form
  • Headstand Pushups (upper vertical push) - DB presses are another option, but DON'T do any overhead pressing with weights if you have poor thoracic (upper back) mobility or shoulder stability. Another great option would be landmine presses, which can help you add weight while keeping your shoulders/back safe & happy.
  • RKC Plank or Auxillary Core Movements (core) - time and reps don't matter if you're not doing them properly; slow & good form for 15sec is better than bad form for 60s
  • Farmer's Walk or Similar Variations (loaded carries) - also acts as a 'metabolic finisher' for the workout

 

COOL DOWN: Walk for 15min, 2 more Sun Salutations (one per side) OR do some foam rolling if that's your jam

 

RE: Rep & set schemes - I prefer the rep goal system

Aim for a minimum of at least 25 reps per movement, starting at a weight that you can just lift for 5 reps, and then every set is as many reps as possible. The progression would be increasing how many reps I can do in a row, but ALWAYS needing to finish at least 25. Once you can hit at least 3 sets of 8 reps, it's back to the beginning. 

 

eg. goblet squat with 40lbs

workouts 1-3: 5-5-5-4-3

workouts 4-5: 6-5-5-4-4-3

workout 6: 6-6-5-5-4

workouts 7-8: 7-7-5-4-4

workouts 9-10: 8-7-6-5

workout 11: 8-8-7-6

workouts 12: 9-8-8

Increase weight to new 5 rep max next workout!

 

I prefer this kind of periodisation because A: it's easier to remember what weight you're lifting because it doesn't change as often (eg. it's the same weight for 2-3 weeks in the example above, but you're still practicing progressive overloading), B: it simulates a natural progression from strength to endurance, which also helps connective tissue catch up to the muscle, and C: it ensures that volume is consistent, regardless of the rep range you're using. It's ALSO pretty handy because it takes less time when you're first starting out to figure out how much weight is appropriate for each lift

 

Your first week with weights will likely see your workouts taking longer, just because you're still learning the movements and figuring out the weights. Once you're in a groove though, ideally your workout (including warmup) will take you less than an hour to finish. Any longer than that and you'll start to fatigue.

 

That's your workout! Do it 3-4 times a week, and stick with the swimming (alternate with running if you prefer that) for a total of 3-4hrs a week with 30-45min sessions. If you're lifting & doing 'cardio/endurance' work on the same day, do the weight training FIRST. Ideally you'll leave 6-8hrs in between the two workouts, but it's also ok to jump in the pool right after your lifting session - just do your cool down after laps.

 

WRITE DOWN YOUR WORKOUT, so it's easy to remember/follow along, as well to track your progress. You may feel like a dweeb, but tracking your workouts is the best way to ensure regular and consistent progress.

 

You can also ignore all of the above, and try a pre-existing beginner program like Starting Strength or something similar. Personally, I prefer being able to customise to my own needs & preferences, but I also understand the appeal of a simple 'do that, this way, for that long' routine. :D

 

 

TL:DR - eat enough protein, get some veggies in, sleep lots, lift heavy stuff, be safe, have fun!

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On 2/10/2019 at 4:36 PM, Defining said:

Welcome! So, let's be honest here - is there a specific health goal you're worried about (eg. blood sugar, blood pressure, etc.), or are you wanting to look good in a swimsuit? ;) The latter answer is totally ok! But without knowing what you're wanting to do (build endurance, add some muscle, lost a bit of fat, improve specific biomarkers, etc), it's kinda hard to make any recommendations. I'm also going to start out with a quick disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, fitness professional, health professional, or expert on this subject by any stretch of the imagination - I just read too much on the internet. Feel free ignore anything here you don't like, and do your own research to figure out what works best for YOU!

 

Dude, I can not thank you enough for such a comprehensive answer - it's better than anything I could have ever expected!

 

You've hit the nail right on the head for your premise; I'm going to run headfirst into the two-week opening routine tomorrow morning. I was locked out of Nerd Fitness so apologies I couldn't get back sooner, but this really changed how I'll operate for the next few months. I honestly can't thank you enough; any progress I make will be because of your generosity in providing me with a detailed guide to work with - I have half a mind to print it out and re-read every morning!

 

If you're ever in Northern Ireland and need a favor, let me know - I owe you one!

 

Thank you so much, have a good day :D

 

P.S. First time responding on NF so I hope I've sent my comment to the right place!

 

 

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No worries, glad it helped! Don't forget to do some of your own research as well - my word is most definitely not gospel on the subject. ;) Now, if you ever have questions about beer, those I can answer as an expert. 

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