Workout/Diet Recommendations

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    • Thread Starter


    So recently(ish) I decided to get fitter. I'm basically as weak as you could imagine with very little muscle content having avoided anything physical for pretty much ever. In terms of weight etc I'm 5ft5, weighing about 8st3 (yes, skinny, but my muscle is woeful ). For meals:

    Breakfast: Porridge (using semi-skimmed milk - will try changing to whole fat at some point)
    Lunch: Sandwich (egg & bacon if at school, if at home generally beef/chicken)
    Snack before 'workout': Apple, banana and ~15g dark chocolate
    Snack after: Some grapes
    Dinner: Whatever's cooked! Generally has meat, potatoes and vegetables in some form.

    I'm currently trying to lose a little (not much - I'm aware I'm fairly skinny especially with BMI around 19) weight before putting on muscle.

    In terms of workout as I'm trying to lose weight it's generally alternate days running/HIIT (C25K/cycling respectively). I don't have the snack before/after workout if it isn't a day where I am doing cardio (although often I have something like an apple and a couple of grapes anyway).

    I'm aiming to become much better generally fitness-wise. I don't have specific goals but to feel much better with my body through running particularly

    What I need help with:
    1) Ways to improve diet. This applies to both now (given that I'm losing weight) and recommendations for changes when I put on muscle.

    2) Knowing when to start to put on muscle rather than lose weight. I was thinking around the 7st10 mark but I really can't tell, and that weight does seem quite skinny!

    3) Exercises for muscle gain. I've spoken to a guy who knows a fair bit about this stuff and recommended 3x10 press ups with 60s rest (editing rest/difficulty of press up as I progress) alongside running (I insisted I wanted to continue with it, since I plan on making running something pretty regular).

    4) General feedback as to ways to improve!

    Thanks a lot!

    Edit: Oh and 5) Would it work fine if I upped my running to daily for the meantime and then later changed it to alternate days with the other days being muscle gain when that time comes? C25K recommends a day's rest, but at the moment I don't tend to feel like I need it, although I probably ought to try the next week before I say it seems fine)

    If you're below average strength for someone your size then you should get on a strength program. There are many out there, I've found results with starting strength. Eat 3000cals a day, about 150g protein a day and run less, it's not helping with your size. Your cardio is I assume, very good, but you're lagging in strength and size so lay off it for now.
    You may need to work up to 3000cals over a week or two if you're not used to eating that much.
    • Thread Starter

    My cardio isn't very good at this point - I started it about 4 weeks ago having, once again, been avoiding exercise. I think maybe it'd be a good idea to finish C25K first then?

    I'm 5ft4 and 66kg- so 10stone 4? I have a healthy body fat and a reasonable amount of muscle though my body fat could do with being a bit lower. I'm not even close to looking big. My point being put on weight now. There's **** all of you as it is. While you'll add some fat while gaining muscle you are skinny enough that the extra fat isn't going to be unmanageable.

    Start eat and start lifting heavy 3xweek. Don't piss around doing pushups, go to a gym and do starting strength or stronglifts.

    I eat 3000 calories a day to gain weight so if you stop running so much then you could probably eat less than that- say 2700. But if you keep running so much then it might even need to be over 3000. If you aren't sure of calories then use something like My Plate on Live Strong to track but just use it to calorie count, don't use their marcronutrition advice because you need more protein. Get something substantial in your snacks, fruits all well and good but you need something with it. Make sure your porridge is a large bowl. Have a second dinner if need be.

    ETA since didn't see your second post before: if you must run then do it first but you won't get bigger. Try to maintain your current weight rather than loosing anymore, there's no point. But if you do start working on putting on weight then you are likely to be doing less cardio so it'll probably go down hill a bit. I think you need to pick what you want most and properly go for it- good cardio or good size- rather than ending up doing both half arsed. I'm not saying doing both isn;t possible but for a fitness noob there's practically no point trying

    I would personally ditch C25K, for now.

    need moar protein


    Biceps Curl
    Step 1
    Hold a medium-heavy weight in each hand and stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.

    Step 2
    Breathe in and curl the palms in toward your chest, flexing your biceps muscles.

    Step 3
    Exhale and lower the arms slowly to return to your starting position. Repeat the exercise eight to 12 times to gain muscle mass in the arms. Repeat for two additional sets.

    Shoulder Press
    Step 1
    Hold a medium-weight dumbbell in each hand and raise the arms to shoulder height, bending at the elbows to make a 90-degree angle. Face the palms toward the wall in front of you.

    Step 2
    Inhale to raise the arms, working the shoulders to build muscle. Stop straightening the arms right before you feel the elbows lock.

    Step 3
    Lower the arms to align with the shoulders. Repeat the exercise eight to 12 times. Rest and repeat for two sets.

    Step 1
    Take a heavy dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

    Step 2
    Lower your buttocks to the ground, refraining from putting the knees over the feet, which can cause injury. Stop before your thighs are parallel with your knees.

    Step 3
    Straighten the legs to return to your starting position. Repeat eight to 12 times for two to three sets. You can increase the intensity of this exercise by adding a bicep curl, shoulder press or front raise, where you lift the arms to align with the shoulders as your rise from the squat.

    Triceps Kickback
    Step 1
    Take a light- to medium-weight dumbbell in one hand and lean over a bench or chair, placing the hand without the weight on the chair for support. Keep the back flat.

    Step 2
    Lift the arm at the elbow to bring the top portion of the arm with your shoulder. Create a 90-degree angle with the arm.

    Step 3
    Turn the palm in toward the body and lift the arm to straighten it. You should feel your triceps working.

    Step 4
    Bend the arm to return to the 90-degree angle position. Rest, then repeat eight to 12 times for two additional sets.

    Tips and Warnings
    The proper dumbbell weight is one that can be lifted for a set of eight to 12 repetitions to the point of muscle failure. You should barely be able to perform the last repetition. If you can perform more, the weight is too light. The weight is too heavy if you cannot perform at least eight repetitions.

    Things You'll Need
    Light dumbbells -- 3 to 5 lbs.
    Medium dumbbells -- 5 to 10 lbs.
    Heavy dumbbells -- 10 to 20 lbs.
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