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Hi community :)

 

I'm a rookie around here. I must admit the first time I heard of Nerd Fitness was probably 5 or 6 years ago... At the time I did subscribe to the newsletters and LOVED every email, and even acted upon them, but for a very short time, and eventually I forgot about NF and only ended up following it (and Staci Ardison!) on instagram. I was trying to accomplish something, physically speaking, but was also very disoriented about the overload of routines and types of exercise to do, so I just forgot all about it!

 

Well, I'm back now, ready to level up my life ONCE AND FOR ALL! *yeah, yeah, let's do this, yeah*.

 

I'm 28 years old. I weight 54,5 kg and am 172 cm tall.

I'm underweight and couldn't be in worse shape. Let me (try to) explain to you how in such bad shape I am:

 

  • I cannot hold my breath for more than 10 seconds without discomfort.
  • I get dizzy after climbing a 20-step stairs, spitting out a lung, my legs feeling like a hammer.
  • I cannot touch my tiptoes with my legs stretched (I have the worst flexibility. It's embarassing, actually - absolutely no-one I know is like this.)
  • If I rotate my shoulders, you can actually hear every type of snap on my back. It's like my body it's disassembling itself!

 

I asked my husband to describe my health condition in one-word and he simply said: deplorable.
I asked him to put that in a sentence, and he replied: extremely deplorable.

 

Now, I'm not sedentary - I commute, walking at least a kilometer every day (well, not now, because #stayathome). And I have contemporary dance lessons once a week (but not at the moment, because, again, #stayathome). But this is clearly not enough, as I don't feel good about my health and my body overall, and I still can't accomplish simple things that most people do.

 

I don't have any habits jeopardising my health, or so I believe. I don't smoke, drink alcohol or beverages (except for the social glass of wine), nor let stress consume me out (although I do bite my nails). My nutriton could be a lot better, but I don't have the habit of indulging in junk food and processed food overall. I eat my fruit and vegetables, but also lots of bread and cheese (hmm cheeeeese).

 

I'm attaching some pics of my body. Notice how my upper body is disturbingly skinny, and my lower is fatty in comparison. I have cellulite on my legs, thighs and butt. I'm so displeased about this that I have developed a habit of always contracting my butt. It's true. Don't know why I do this - maybe I believe that, by contracting, the cellulite won't win all my butt space. It's so stupid, I know. But I'm contracting all. the. time.

 

My goals around here are:

  • put on some weight. I want to reach 62kg, and see how does that feel like.
  • get stronger. Not Staci Ardison strong 😂, but I surely look up to her as a role model.
  • get more flexible. I want to be able to touch my tiptoes without effort, for god's sake! And I want to be able to do all sort of movements with my body, like Kalin Andrews shows on her instagram.
  • have sufficient lung capacity to run a marathon.  RUN A MARATHON. This is bold for someone like me, I know - I even laughed writing that out 😂
  • get rid of cellulite on my butt, or at least minimize it.
  • improve my body posture. I've developed some escoliosis that is getting worse over time. 

 

I believe I have all the equipment on me. I have dumbbells, ball bodytone, step platform, rubber bands... And the will :) I'm sick of this little figure of myself, ugh.

 

Now, I will be exploring the threads around, but I'm looking for some guidance on how and where to start. Would you help out this gangly human being? :)

 

Thank you in advance, and excited for joining this community - at last!

 

Oh and sorry for my poor English, is not my native language.

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Still more changes to come, afore we've done with changes. − Charles Dickens, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

 

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mmmm

 

just an initial observation

 

2 hours ago, monawilca said:

 

I asked my husband to describe my health condition in one-word and he simply said: deplorable.
I asked him to put that in a sentence, and he replied: extremely deplorable.

 

.....

  • have sufficient lung capacity to run a marathon.  RUN A MARATHON. This is bold for someone like me, I know - I even laughed writing that out 😂
  •  

 

mmmm

"extremely deplorable" is not a sentence. (?)

 

if I were you I would throw a towell at him (when he says this) and say "behave"

 

Srsly.... your NOT that bad, at all.

 

as you say You're not even sedentary exactly.  but perhaps, yes. you have work to do.  I see nothing wrong with the pics; but if your not exercising regularly your body is not in the good fit shape it ought to be in. (and when you Are in shape- there are SO many great benefits beyond what you look like!).

 

regarding the MARATHON.

 

I am training for my first marathon much later in the year.  how much running have you done?

 

its great you have a good big goal- but the 26.2mile run is a major, massive accomplishment and you'll no doubt need to break that down to may littlier goals to get there.

 

welcome to the forums!

 

assuming your not a runner, then staring a program is job number one.

 

there are many approaches but generally

  • You need a regular time to run
  • You need a place where you can regularly run
  • You need a program to go from the walking place you are now to running, my recommendation is c25k
  • Nearly all programs have you alternate between walking and running...
  • and Lastly you need to slowly run more and more; so you get endurance in your running
  • Lastly, I'll recommend a shorter initial race.  I did a 5k (first) then a half marathon.  Even then- leaping from the half to the whole marathon is a lot.
  • Good luck and be sure to tell your husband to appreciate the great body you have. ;)

...

PS I'd recommend that additional to the running you do some bodyweight strength exercises. it will help you avoid injuries and make you stronger.  Running by itself doesn't quite make someone completely fit.

 

but at the same time and I have been recently saying to other people.  don't do too much all at once, either. that doesn't work.  you need to build your routine from small and simple to bigger and more comprehensive.

 

then when you Really are ready to invest a lot of time per week for it- you increase your running mileage to make your marathon dreams plausable.

 

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Hi and welcome! 

I'm not sure it's going to be easy to train for a marathon AND get strong/gain muscle weight at the same time. Is one of these more important to you? Which would you like to prioritise? 

If you want to gain muscle/strength, I think you should choose a few compound exercises that cover the main movement types of pressing, pulling, hip hinge and squat. That way you can be sure of working out the whole body. For examples, you can use dumbbells for overhead press, floor press, bent over dumbbell rows (a pull), single leg deadlifts (a hip hinge), and goblet squats. I don't really know what you can do with balls and bands, though, sorry. I wouldn't do every exercise on every day, either. I'd pick one press, one pull, and one lower body movement for each workout. Then I'd do a different press, pull and lower body movement for the next workout. Then alternate, with 2-4 rest days per week. This is just one possible starting point, not the only way to go. Then, of course, eat enough to feel satisfied and have energy, include a source of protein with most meals (that means meat,  fish, eggs, dairy, tofu, beans or lentils, etc...) and don't restrict carbs. 

You can't get rid of cellulite that easily. Cellulite is just fat pressing through the connective tissue. Men don't get it because their connective tissue has a different pattern. Losing fat can make it less visible (though the connective tissue will still be there). But you said you want to gain weight, not lose it. Cellulite is an absolutely normal feature of female bodies, and I think your best option is to come to terms with the tiny, tiny, tiny amount that you have. 

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@Harriet

you know I love your posts, they are SO informative and I appreciate that. TY

but...mm

 

I am doing it.  I both running and Weight lifting and I have vowed that they can be done at the same time if someone really Want to do it.

 

moreover, there's some actual benefits of both weight lifting And running at the same time.  turns out that becoming stronger helps remarkably to avoid injury and injury is a real problem that many runners have.

 

also weight lifting and Running at the same time builds both strength and endurance.

 

when you do this (or ... I do this ), you will probably have a little less performance in your running.  perhaps you are running slower because your routine is intense enough you can't schedule those fast tempo runs and intervals.  less hill sprints. etc

 

It holds you back a bit- I'm sure of it.

 

OTOH;  would you rather get a 4:45 marathon with less fitness or a 5:15 marathon and you're strong literally from head to toe?

----'

if I read the OP right she is a long ways away from a program big enough to do a marathon.  but I would urge her to consider strength training in addition to her running dreams.  I know of several running guru's that strongly emphasize this.

 

but if this is her dream; provided she is slow and patient, I think she can go for both running and lifting...

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https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/116426-im-awake/

the "NEW" normal is good with me! as Life was Never really Normal anyways....

 

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The other thing to consider is that when you’re brand-new to fitness anything makes you better at everything. Dan John uses the example of a newbie going biking and having his bench go up. Enjoy the newbie gains.

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17 minutes ago, TGP said:

you know I love your posts, they are SO informative and I appreciate that. TY

 

but if this is her dream; provided she is slow and patient, I think she can go for both running and lifting...


Aww, thank you. I agree with you actually. OP is naturally underweight and wants to put on 8kg, so I think intense cardio training could interfere with that goal--she's going to have to eat more than she's used to anyway. But you're right that since she's so far away from doing a marathon, she could start some beginner cardio/running right now and it wouldn't be intense enough to significantly interfere with her strength training. 

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Hi @TGP!

 

19 hours ago, TGP said:

mmmm

 

just an initial observation

 

 

mmmm

"extremely deplorable" is not a sentence. (?)

 

if I were you I would throw a towell at him (when he says this) and say "behave"

 

Srsly.... your NOT that bad, at all.

 

ahahah
that was just for the joke. Although my husband finds my health condition deplorable (in terms of strenght, resistance, etc.), he actually loves and worships my body, let that be clear! :D He was actually upset that I said such a thing about him so open for misinterpretation. Fixed :D

 

19 hours ago, TGP said:

regarding the MARATHON.

 

I am training for my first marathon much later in the year.  how much running have you done?

 

its great you have a good big goal- but the 26.2mile run is a major, massive accomplishment and you'll no doubt need to break that down to may littlier goals to get there.

 

welcome to the forums!

 

assuming your not a runner, then staring a program is job number one.

 

Yeah, running a marathon is quite ambitious of me. It's a very long, loooong-term goal. I should start with a small one like "running 100 meters without feeling dizzy", because that is actually where I'm starting from. I have gag reflex if I run a sprint, for example.

 

c25k - I didn't know that concept/running program. Very nice :) Will dig in.

 

Thank you for all the recommendations! Very appreciated :)

Still more changes to come, afore we've done with changes. − Charles Dickens, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

 

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Hi @Harriet !

 

Thank you for the routine recommendation! I will be noting it down. :)
I will definitely prioritise getting stronger for now, with the casual running in between. I need to build me some rib cage, can't overlook that. I think running has the major impact on building endurance.

 

16 hours ago, Harriet said:

You can't get rid of cellulite that easily. Cellulite is just fat pressing through the connective tissue. Men don't get it because their connective tissue has a different pattern. Losing fat can make it less visible (though the connective tissue will still be there). But you said you want to gain weight, not lose it. Cellulite is an absolutely normal feature of female bodies, and I think your best option is to come to terms with the tiny, tiny, tiny amount that you have. 

 

Oh, that is quite a neat perspective on cellulite.  I've never heard it on those terms - very rational and biologic. :) 
Yeah, I don't really know how I am going to reconcile the goals of getting stronger and lose fat at the same time. Well, I want  I really want to is:

  • gain muscle and fat on my upper body (I don't want to get bulky)
  • gain muscle and lose fat on my lower body.

 

Are these two goals possible at the same time, having in mind that I want to gain weight?

 

Thanks for the tips :) 

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16 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

The other thing to consider is that when you’re brand-new to fitness anything makes you better at everything. Dan John uses the example of a newbie going biking and having his bench go up. Enjoy the newbie gains.

 

Oh, wow, that is indeed motivating :)

Thank you, @Sloth the Enduring!

Still more changes to come, afore we've done with changes. − Charles Dickens, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

 

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9 minutes ago, monawilca said:

Hi @Harriet !

 

Thank you for the routine recommendation! I will be noting it down. :)
I will definitely prioritise getting stronger for now, with the casual running in between. I need to build me some rib cage, can't overlook that. I think running has the major impact on building endurance.

 

 

Oh, that is quite a neat perspective on cellulite.  I've never heard it on those terms - very rational and biologic. :) 
Yeah, I don't really know how I am going to reconcile the goals of getting stronger and lose fat at the same time. Well, I want  I really want to is:

  • gain muscle and fat on my upper body (I don't want to get bulky)
  • gain muscle and lose fat on my lower body.

 

Are these two goals possible at the same time, having in mind that I want to gain weight?

 

Thanks for the tips :) 

ok

as far as I know;

 

you can't choose Where your body will put its fat. sorry.  that's just the way it is (as I understand it). 

 

I reiterate what I said about you; you have a lovely body.

 

"body dysmorphia" is where you have real anxiety about the way you look.* 

 

my advise is to go back to your other goals...

more muscle, more fitness, and the ability to be strong and do things like running and climbing stairs without passing out.  those are great goals and when you get in better shape; they will be even more benefits for you. (mentally and physically).

 

 

*not that I'm saying you have this.

its always a little difficult to know where someone is (mentally) from what they say online. (like what you are pointing out about your husband).  if you simply mean that its not how you would prefer to look; thats true of a lot of people including myself. OTOH; perhaps it really is a point of great stress and anxiety.  

https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/116426-im-awake/

the "NEW" normal is good with me! as Life was Never really Normal anyways....

 

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Hi fellow newbie!

 

I do want to just add before I go on that I think that you have a perfectly normal body (I know, I know it's easy for me to say this as if I wasn't just stood at the mirror poking at my stomach fat myself), but you have a good set of goals to reach for! 😊

 

I second using C25K, I have used it in the past and it's very good. For flexibility I wholeheartedly recommend Brad Terrell, if you scroll through his Instagram archives you can see that he posts flexibility tutorials like this Daily Spinal Mobility post (although I have also heard fantastic things about Yoga with Adrienne)  

 

Good luck with your journey! 😄

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I've said SO much on your thread I hesitate to add anything.  (let someone ELSE speak up, tgp!) ha

 

but I have to point something else I noticed

 

you said you wanted enough "lung capacity" to run a marathon. that is interesting. why?

 

because back before I took up running; ANY running made me gasp very badly for breath.  I used to wonder about that very much.  I think that I have less breathing efficiency than other people (?)

 

but.... but 

 

I really Don't think it has anything to do with capacity (it might! but I doubt it). its prolly just how my head is wired.  the googling I have done suggests that there is a very complex system that tells you lung to start hyperventilating when your body requires more oxygen. perhaps ours is just set a little too low; IOW, it freaks out before it should.

 

I am , def a Runner now- having run the half-marathon with only a little agony.

 

 

prolly the biggest thing I want to say about that; from someone that  gasps easy to another.  "running" isn't really strictly about overcoming that feeling/problem.  meaning that NOW If get short on breath, I can be totally fine! I can truly and sincerely run through it.

 

  • I wouldn't view Running fitness as a "test" to see if you still have issues with this problem. once you run for a while (sadly) there will be new issues that pop up. Don't run further than you can.  You can be hurt by running too much!  you should gradually ramp up your running "volume" and have patience.  that is why the c25k is slow and steady about adding running to your walks.
  • As with ANY physical limitation. progress can be slow.  like Sloth says Newbie gains tend to be big.  but I think there's an exception to something the body struggles with.  common sense suggests that something that comes easily to you will improve rapidly with practice.  OTOH, if I'm naturally struggling with something- progress might be agonizing even FOR a beginner.  I have seen this in all the things I have done (in my life)
  • Don't and PLEASE don't let this limitation define you!  run ! climb stairs! you can do it.
  • Running is a wonderful thing and It took me some time to enjoy it.  No one likes gasping for breath and this really dampened my enthusiasm for running for a long, long time.  but the Magic difference was "the RUNNERS high"!  I use to get it quite a lot (when I was a beginner) and I like to think that it was Newb gift my body gave me to get me in running shape
  • it feels...... Wonderful, Awesome and great!  I hope you experience it; it is very motivational. 
  • Mostly if you read nothing else. have patience and know that your not alone in having a shortness of breath during exercise; it isn't Even a sign that your in terrible shape! it just is something to work through.

ha! sorry for littering your thread up with so much advise.

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the "NEW" normal is good with me! as Life was Never really Normal anyways....

 

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37 minutes ago, TGP said:

ok

as far as I know;

 

you can't choose Where your body will put its fat. sorry.  that's just the way it is (as I understand it). 

 

 

Hmm then maybe what I want to achieve is to burn more calories on my lower body that on my upper, while gaining muscle.

 

38 minutes ago, TGP said:

I reiterate what I said about you; you have a lovely body.

 

"body dysmorphia" is where you have real anxiety about the way you look.* 

 

my advise is to go back to your other goals...

more muscle, more fitness, and the ability to be strong and do things like running and climbing stairs without passing out.  those are great goals and when you get in better shape; they will be even more benefits for you. (mentally and physically).

 

Oh, thank you! :)

I don't think I suffer from body dysmorphia - even though I do not like what I see in the mirror, I think that it's more out of a normal concern than a pathologic one. I do am underweight, and can't do lots of things with my body that a 'normal' person can. 

 

'Running and climbing stairs without passing out.' Yes, that's my exact goal for starters! :D I should and will be modest about it.

 

27 minutes ago, TGP said:

 

 

you said you wanted enough "lung capacity" to run a marathon. that is interesting. why?

 

because back before I took up running; ANY running made me gasp very badly for breath.  I used to wonder about that very much.  I think that I have less breathing efficiency than other people (?)

 

but.... but 

 

I really Don't think it has anything to do with capacity (it might! but I doubt it). its prolly just how my head is wired.  the googling I have done suggests that there is a very complex system that tells you lung to start hyperventilating when your body requires more oxygen. perhaps ours is just set a little too low; IOW, it freaks out before it should.

 

Yeah I always thought that, about my 'breathing efficiency' being different that other people. In the past I had swim lessons for 5 months (2 times a week) and even after that I struggled with catching my breath -- I was a *little* better at it, but not significantly better as I was hoping for.

 

I will be kind to myself when running, I'm aware that a lot of people get injured easily whily running because they tend to push too hard.

 

35 minutes ago, TGP said:

ha! sorry for littering your thread up with so much advise.

 

Ah, there is no such thing as too much advise for a rookie like me when it comes to exercise :) I appreciate your words thoroughly. I really crave for this kind of advise and motivation.

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1 hour ago, MsAllegraFox said:

Hi fellow newbie!

 

I do want to just add before I go on that I think that you have a perfectly normal body (I know, I know it's easy for me to say this as if I wasn't just stood at the mirror poking at my stomach fat myself), but you have a good set of goals to reach for! 😊

 

I second using C25K, I have used it in the past and it's very good. For flexibility I wholeheartedly recommend Brad Terrell, if you scroll through his Instagram archives you can see that he posts flexibility tutorials like this Daily Spinal Mobility post (although I have also heard fantastic things about Yoga with Adrienne)  

 

Good luck with your journey! 😄

 

Hi @MsAllegraFox !

 

Thank you for the encouraging words.

Just followed Brad Terrell instagram account :) 

Still more changes to come, afore we've done with changes. − Charles Dickens, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

 

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4 hours ago, monawilca said:

 

  • gain muscle and fat on my upper body (I don't want to get bulky)
  • gain muscle and lose fat on my lower body.

 

Are these two goals possible at the same time, having in mind that I want to gain weight?


Nope!

 

2 hours ago, monawilca said:

Hmm then maybe what I want to achieve is to burn more calories on my lower body that on my upper, while gaining muscle.

 

And also nope! Sorry. You burn calories as a whole system, not as body parts. You can either lose fat, gain fat, or maintain your fat levels. You cannot lose and gain fat simultaneously, and you cannot choose where you will lose/gain it (that is a matter of genetics and hormones), with the caveat that some lifestyle factors (stress, lack of sleep, poor diet) might lead people to store more on the belly than they otherwise would.


You CAN choose where you put on muscle, however. Personally, I think you should focus on putting muscle on everywhere, because strong legs will help you walk, run, and climb stairs more easily. You clearly have slim legs already. Losing fat right now would just make you thinner all over, so I just wouldn't worry about that right now... 

 

P.S. muscle can change how the body looks, even with a layer of fat on top. Sometimes adding muscle can make us look less soft and more shapely even if we don't lose fat. So maybe build up some muscle and see if you like how it looks. Then if you don't like it, you could scale down the leg training and focus on gaining more muscle in your upper body. 

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:

...
You CAN choose where you put on muscle, however. Personally, I think you should focus on putting muscle on everywhere, because strong legs will help you walk, run, and climb stairs more easily. You clearly have slim legs already. Losing fat right now would just make you thinner all over, so I just wouldn't worry about that right now... 

 

P.S. muscle can change how the body looks, even with a layer of fat on top. Sometimes adding muscle can make us look less soft and more shapely even if we don't lose fat. So maybe build up some muscle and see if you like how it looks. Then if you don't like it, you could scale down the leg training and focus on gaining more muscle in your upper body. 

 

That sounds interesting! Will try out that road :)

 

I've devised a daily plan, by this order:

  •  running the c25k (~25min, walking+running)
  • full body stretching and/or some yoga exercises (~7min)
  • body weight exercises -- the ones you mentioned: overhead press, floor press, squats,... with dumbbells. Alternating daily. (~10m).

 

Is this a good starting routine? With 1-day/week of rest, maybe. Is the c25k program supposed to be taken everyday, with no rest day?

 

Thanks -- already loving this community and I still have so many testimonies and challenges to read!

 

:: EDITED :: discovered this program on bodyweight on a thread here. Very nice, will be looking at how can I fit it into my daily plan.

Still more changes to come, afore we've done with changes. − Charles Dickens, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

 

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2 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

The C25K program is 3 runs a week. Typically people would alternate running and strength training and have one day off.

Have fun.

 

Right, I missed that part 😊

Thanks!

Still more changes to come, afore we've done with changes. − Charles Dickens, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

 

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