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(Finally) Joining The Rebellion

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Hello, fellow Rebels. Agent thesnarkygent (finally) reporting in. I had planned on getting things rolling here sooner, but some over-commitments in my spring semester had plans fall by the wayside. I'm a 22-year-old guy attending community college in Colorado Springs. Aside from the obvious interest in fitness, I'm an avid reader, nerd, and coffee obsessive. I stumbled on Nerdfitness ages ago, and have been reading the fantastic articles here since. But it's time to join up for real.
I'm definitely what I've heard described as a "hard gainer." I've been scrawny all my life. I'm not weak - I can bust out several pull-ups on the fly, and I can sprint hard - but I currently weigh 122 lbs. Even at 5'6", this is still non-optimal. Also frustrating is the belly fat I have - it's like a single pound that never seem to go away. I spent about 9 months in a gap-year where I worked out with the group each morning, but there was a lot of cardio, and I'm not a big eater, so my physique remained the same. I hit a max point during those months where my improvement stopped, and this time my goal is to get past it. I want to actually reach a point where I can see improvement and break past old limits.
I'll be travelling to a friend's wedding in early August, and I'd like to be in better condition by then. Not ripped per se, but "hey, I can go to the pool without wearing a shirt or subconciously holding my stomach in," though if I can't improve safely in such limited time, so be it. I'm trying to develop a solid workout schedule, and since "you can't outrun your fork," I'm going to start calorie tracking via MyFitnessPal. But I'm still not sure what exactly to do, so advice from my fellow Rebels would be welcome.
Excited to finally count myself a part of this community. Let's go break some eggs.

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” - Socrates


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Hey, Snarky, welcome to the Rebellion. 


It sounds like you have conflicting goals: dieting to lose the tum while exercising to build muscle. Thing is, the body needs something to build the muscle out of, and that means eating more than you need to maintain your current weight. 


Most newbies are so out of shape that it doesn't matter what they do - anything is an improvement - but it sounds like you're well past that point. You'll need to make a choice. Given that your body type is so resistant to gaining muscle, you might want to target that first. The hard work required to gain 5-10 pounds of muscle will probably take care of the tummy as well - look at what happened to Staci when she started intentionally putting on muscle!


I don't have more specific advice for you, so I refer you to the Warriors. They are the local experts in lifting heavy things and eating cleanly to gain muscle rather than fat.


Good luck on your journey!


"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin



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Thanks for the welcome, Bookish Badger.


I'm definitely looking to improve strength training - though I may be more inclined towards the Ranger guild, as I still like things like intensive intervals, and my desired capabilities are a bit more "all of the above", which I feel they specialize in. Thanks for the advice on improving body composition. Glad to know I won't have to worry about cutting much (if at all) to improve at the moment.


Hope to see you around.

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” - Socrates


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