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How could I get in shape?


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Okay, so here's my situation: Most of my life I had been very overweight up until I was about 17 and a half. I guess I overate a lot because I have a bit of an oral fixation. I say that because I dropped a huge amount of weight when I started smoking at 17, so instead of eating, I would smoke. I'm currently getting ready to quit smoking and in addition to nicotine gum, I've started working out. I have low self confidence with girls that stems from my body issues and spending most of my Jr. High and High School life as a fatass.

 

While I'm nowhere near as overweight as I was when I was a teenager, I still have a little bit of excess flab that I'd like to get rid of. I would also like to tone my abs and lower body (I'll just say it outright...I want to have a cute butt for girls to check out), and I'd like to build my arms and chest up. So pretty much you get the idea.

 

I basically want to, for the first time in my life, look good with my shirt off. This is where you come in, all you fitness affectionados. What works for you? In your experience, given my situation, what is the best way to go about achieving my goals?

 

Thanks for your time folks!

 

Edit: Thanks for your responses so far. I'd like to add that I also, if at all possible would like to accomplish looking fit by around June/July (pool season), and if anybody has any tips on quitting smoking, I'd appreciate that as well.

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Drop fat= cardiovascular excercise.

 

Build muscle= lift heavy crap a lot and like it.

 

 

I'll let the guys who know more go into non-common-sense details. I only have one piece of ultra-valuable advice for you...

 

Know what the best excercise is?

 

...

 

The one you'll do.

 

 

I love biking, so I used to do that in my spare time for a workout. I found it most enjoyable when riding on sidewalks as opposed to streets, so I affectionately took to the pedestrian slabs to play curbside slalom. Even with loud heavy metal blasting in my earbuds, riding on the street without constant obstacles and relatively short waypoints to keep my mind occupied proved tedious and unpleasant. The point to the story is to adapt your excercise to what fits your level of enjoyment. If it's not pleasant you won't want to continue with it.

 

Now I put down time on a treadmill. It sits in the livingroom next to my 32" TV (I'm single, yes) so I don't have to stare at my navel while walking/running. I can watch TV, listen to music, stare at .jpeg slideshows, or stare at the icons on my desktop all whilst running. As well, thanks to voice-recognition software [Dragon Naturally Speaking v.10 - yay!] I can write letters, record thoughts or ramble out poetry without my hands tied to a thing. Essentially it's excercise without the tedium, which is what makes it feel less like work and more life-like.

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work 6 and 6 weeks of intensity if you want it to happen faster and don't be afraid to push yourself really hard.

 

3+ times a week doing 1hr of heavy cardio and small weights high reps for 6 weeks, then 3+ times a week doing heavier weights less reps and cardio as a warmup/cooldown.

 

Mix it up every so often with a swim if you can.

 

Don't run if you can't - and by that I mean if it starts to hurt your shins just go slower, do less, try something else for a bit -- running is high impact on your joints and if you're not used to it you can hurt yourself. Try instead a tread climber, a stairmaster or any elliptical trainers - start off doing 5minutes on each and gradually working up to 20mins on each (maybe do an extra 30secs a day or something)

 

Blablabla...

 

Oh most importantly - if you don't know what you're doing - ASK!! Nobody will think any less of you.

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link removed is a very good site to get to know more about working out. squats will give you that cute butt for the girls to stare. diet is very important! so don't forget to eat clean and eat a lot if you want to gain muscle!

 

Excellent point that is often overlooked.

 

If you aren't eating right, then most of your hard work will be wasted.

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The best way? Go balls to the wall.

 

Seriously..make sure your diet is in check above all. Next is cardio, muscle wont show up under fat/wont remove fat. Last is hitting the weights. As someone else mentioned, check out link removed. You can browse a bunch of different workouts there, beginner-moderate.

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How hard you go at it is up to you, but NEVER forget to get an adequate amount of rest and recoup. Exercise isn't good for you; it's damaging. You rip muscles and tax your immune system and basically put your body through hell it's not used to. That isn't what makes you stronger; it's giving your body adequate time [and nourishment] to regenerate after the tough stuff. It has to build muscle, regenerate cells, re-energize and etc... if you're like me and are going from too early in the AM to way past your bedtime in the PM without time to catch up on rest, adding overt exercise will just be adding nails to your coffin.

 

Don't get me wrong, though; exercise releases huge amounts of endorphins and 'happy chemicals' into our brain's neural network, creating a profound emotional 'high' that can last up to four hours after exercise has ceased (iirc). It doesn't have to be an unpleasant experience; it's just that it's taxing just like any activity [twister; sex; carpentry; grocery shopping at a Westfair outlet; etc ]

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Know what the best excercise is?

 

...

 

The one you'll do.

 

Yes! The one you love to do...

 

Try some new things until you find some that you love. Try wall climbing, rowing, mountain biking, hiking...

 

And you'll probably want to try to bulk up so that the additional muscle can burn the calories you used to burn from smoking. You body actually uses calories to get rid of the poison in the cigarettes, which is why many people gain 5-7 lbs when they quit.

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