Looking to get in better shape, need some help

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by BJT, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. BJT

    BJT New Member

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    First off the basics I guess. I am a 20 year old college student, 5'5" about 120-130 lbs I would like to get in shape. Particularily my upper body, I bike about 1 mile a day to and from classes. I also take longer rides about once a week, usually try to go for an hour or so just for the work out and enjoy the weather. Sadly winter is coming quickly so I might not be able to use that much longer. My lower body is in pretty good shape from lots of biking and walking with my family over the summer, its my upper body which needs the help.

    Ok little background which will effect some things. I've had numerous (20+) operations to my upper body, resulting in lots of scars. The worst of which is about 14 inches and goes all the way across my stomach at about the bottom of my rib cage. There is some internal scaring over my abs which bugs the hell out of me. My diet is a bit unusual in that I need about 8000 calories to maintain my weight thanks to a VERY inneficient digestive tract. I eat 5 or 6 average to large size meals a day during the week and aim for 8 on weekends to make up for what I miss during the week. It is very hard for me to gain mass because of this. I also drink 2L of water a day to stay hydrated and 3-4 if I am active. I get dehydrated REALLY easy.

    I usually have 3-6 eggs for breakfast scrambled with some seasoning salt, a piece of toast and a glass of orange juice. Lunch is usually the crappy meal of the day, usually half a frozen pizza(4 meat or pepperoni and sausage), hot dogs or a ham and turkey sandwich. Or eggs again if we are out of food, like today. Dinner varies but I try to have a 1/2+ lb burger once a week or more, 96% lean meat cooked on the grill. Sometimes have chicken breast on the grill or the occasional deli meat sandwich or a frozen pizza. I think I need a lot of work in this area.

    My brother is in football and just upgraded his weight system so I have his Weider Pro 9925 setup here now. Looks alot like the machine shown here http://iconfitness.speedera.net/www.iconfitness.com/icon/weider/v4/images/WESY2633_lrg.jpg Have a couple dumbbells as well. Thats about it for equipment but I am willing to spend a little on equipment if it needed.

    Now I suppose my goal would be good. I don't know if it is possible for me to get much if any mass but I would like to tone up I guess. If I could put on 20 pounds of muscle I would be thrilled. Right now my arms are skinny, chest is flat and my abs are invisible. Last year I started a 100/600 routine which consisted of 100 crunches, 20 pushups, 100 crunches, 20 pushups, 100 crunches, 20 pushups, 100 crunches, 20 pushups, 100 crunches, 20 pushups, 100 crunches. As well as some dumbbell stuff, I fell out of this when summer came around and I was working all the time. I think I am going to start this back up as well as add to it. I would like definition in my chest, back, bigger arms and possibly be able to see my abs a bit. I know they are there and in good shape but I want to SEE them.

    Ok that was a lot longer than I thought it would be. Thanks ahead of time to those that read it all and give me some help.
     
  2. Lordpendragon

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    Swim - it also relaxes the mind. Breaststroke (if you can live with that :smile: ) is probably the best for upper body strength/muscle tone.
     
  3. BJT

    BJT New Member

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    Time to see if my university has open pool hours...and if its heated. Have always enjoyed swimming. Good idea
     
  4. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Actually, if you're doing many lengths (which I would think you hope to do eventually), you might find an unheated pool better.
    All I'm saying is, don't let the fact the pool may turn out to be unheated stop you from swimming.

    Have you had instruction on use of the Weider Pro? Do you know how to achieve good form in using each part of it?
    Maybe you need instruction.

    You may also find free weights are more effective.

    If your body uses nutrients so inefficiently, I wonder if you might benefit from protein supplements.

    One good thing is that, with your apparent leanness, you should develop real definition in any musculature you build up.

    You probably know all of this anyway.
     
  5. SpeedoGuy

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    All I can say is what worked for me:

    When I started swimming regularly, I soon blew out of all my size "M" shirts and had to buy size "L" shirts. Over about a year I was astonished at the increase in the size of my chest, neck, back, and arms.

    Swim training is a marvelous way to simultaneously tone, build strength, add aerobic endurance and increase some bulk as well. Take a class in proper technique from an experienced swim coach and work out regularly. (And I agree with rubirosa that colder water is better for long, hard workouts).

    Good luck!
     
  6. D_Herin_Ghan

    D_Herin_Ghan Account Disabled

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    I agree with the others above me. My gallery pic is me about 3 months ago, I've put on some considerable size since then while keeping my abs. Gym 3 times a week and I get to the pool around twice a week. It's honestly the best full body workout there is. So I agree with the others...swim.
     
  7. quercusone

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    I was going to suggest swimming, especially with your dehydration issues. But don't quit cycling just because its cold. With the right clothing, you can ride in very cold weather. And it is very exhilarating!

    LOL! Just saw you are in Minnesota. Maybe it is too cold to ride there! Try some spin classes!
     
  8. BJT

    BJT New Member

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    Interesting swimming came up so much, I was thinking last night that I want a "swimmers" body. Wonder how you get that... On the lookout for a pool


    On the issue of cycling my uncle has already sent a pair of studded bicycle tires. Not sure if I am brave enough to test them in MN winters but I might have to. I think I would miss riding otherwise.
     
  9. D_Odipherous Pitts

    D_Odipherous Pitts Account Disabled

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    8000 calories per day??? My gawd... that's a lot... and you're still not putting on weight? I was going to suggest eating more because diet is thee important thing for gaining muscle mass or losing fat. Since you seem to have such a fast metabolism it doesn't sound like you have to eat real lean.

    To gain muscle mass I would strongly suggest eating a lot of protein. Upwards of 200-250 grams per day for the weight that you are now. And start training with heavy free weights if you can. Your body has no reason to grow if you don't give it a reason. Your biking and walking has trained your legs for endurance but not for strength. Have you ever seen a long distance runner with big legs? No. Sprinters may have big legs, but not long distance runners.

    Use weight that you can only do 6-8 reps with (after fully warming up the muscle with some lighter sets). If you want to get big you have to learn to eat and train big. If it was easy everyone would be walking around looking huge and buff.

    And btw... I am also from Minnesota

    nuff said...
     
  10. BJT

    BJT New Member

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    A bit of a follow up since I saw this had a new reply since last time.

    I started using freeweights and the homegym. Still looking for a pool that has reasonable hours and isn't too far away. I'm doing 3 sets of 6 with the weights after a warmup up stretching and about 20 reps at low weight.

    Tried a Ab lounge sport when I was home for the weekend...wow is all I can say. I usually do 600-1000 crunches when I wake up and don't get sore until the last 50 or so. I did 200 on the lounge and I felt it after about 50 crunches. Might pick one up eventually but for now I plan on just sticking with doing lots of crunches.

    I've been working on my fiber and am having trouble. I am getting taste fatigue and starting to get real sick of eggs. I think I will get a thing of the whey protein powder next time I am near a GNC for a little boost.
     
  11. JMeister

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    Sounds like you are certain it's digestive inefficiency... The reason I ask is a know a guy who had allergies so he was a thin as a rail until he moved to another part of the country to go to college. Allergies were gone and the weight piled on.

    Try taking some digestive enzymes and probiotics, HSO, SBO etc, and see if that helps the digestive efficiency.

    It's aslo possible that changing your diet might help. Pick your favorite type (blood type, metabolic type, muscle testing type) and give it a try for a few months.
     
  12. BJT

    BJT New Member

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    Ya I am certain its digestive, thats one of the side effects of a transplant. Very inefficient systems, my doc warned me putting on weight would be hard.

    I'll look into adjusting for a different type of diet as well. Might be worth calling the transplant dietician to see what she can tell me
     
  13. davidjh7

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    Especially given your medical history, you DEFINATELY need to consult with your doc before you make any major diet and/or excercise changes. If they say go for whatever you want, great--but you don't want any nasty surprises.
     
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