[ Q ] My name is Travis and I live in Indiana. I am 20 yrs old and always feel like I am 80. I know that I am overweight and very much out of shape, but I know nothing about how to get started with getting into better shape and quite frankly, I don't have the money to join a gym or get a personal trainer. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. So please Chris I am begging you for help.
A: Your question is common. I would first recommend taking a look at your overall diet. Is your diet reliant on high fat and high sugar foods? Are you regularly consuming soft drinks, loads of fruit juices, and other similar foods/drinks?
Start with adding some fruits and vegetables, switching refined foods to whole grains (whole grain breads, oatmeal, oat bran, whole wheat pasta, etc), lean proteins (fish, chicken, turkey, etc), and healthy fats (walnuts, almonds, flax oil, fish, etc).
You say you don't have money to join a gym or get a personal trainer. While both of these could help, you can get started at home with exercises like pushups, walking lunges, sit-ups, etc. Walking doesn't require special equipment, which is a good basic simple exercise if you're "overweight and very much out of shape," like you said.
Remember that the first and hardest step is getting started. Good luck!
[ Q ] I am a track athlete who lifts before practice. I have about 15-20 minutes between when I lift and when I start practice. Since I am running at practice what supplements do you advise I take after a lifting session that will not make me sick when I'm running? It's almost 2 hours after I lift until I eat again. What do you suggest?
A: I would suggest a cup of chocolate milk or a supplement on the market that offers a 2-4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, such as Ultragen or Endurox. You need something that's quickly absorbed and also provides some carbs for energy and protein to prevent catabolism and help with recovery.
You don't want the drink to be sitting in your stomach when you train, so don't overdo it and never try anything new before a competition; try everything during practice. This way, if it has a negative effect on your body, it won't hurt competition, but just practice-of course practice is important too, but it would be best to try different things during this time.
Make sure you also have a meal with a similar carb:protein ratio after you run to help your body recover for the next day when you'll be training again. I suggest checking out Nutrient Timing by John Ivy and Robert Portman. This is loaded with solid information about proper timing of food consumption throughout the day.
[ Q ] Dr. Mohr, I am a college student looking for a little advice on transforming my body. I am 21 years old, 5'10" and 167 lbs. I have been working out for around year and a half now and have just recently decided to slim down and cut up. My early mission was to gain weight.
Being really skinny, I was determined to gain as much muscle as I could as fast as possible. I shot up to about 185 lbs. a lot of it body fat through weight gainer and sloppy eating. Looking forward to summer, though, I am hoping to get my six pack showing.
I have started cardio 4 times a week at about 6.5 mph steady for 20-25 min and work out 3 times for 2 1/2 months now and have dropped down to about 177. I have tried to keep my diet as clean as possible, but I am not too educated on exactly what a proper cutting diet consists of.
I know, lots of water. I drink 3 protein shakes mixed in water a day, and try to eat eggs in the morning, 2 roast beef sandwiches for lunch, chicken for mid-day, and chicken or meat for dinner with vegetables. I have motivation and will power, but just need the direction. Any advice as far as training, supplements, and diet will be much appreciated!
A: Well congratulations on your success thus far! Keep in mind that it's difficult to provide too much information without knowing more about you, the total amount of calories you're eating, etc. First, the only vegetables you eat are at night and I didn't see any mention of fruits in those foods you said you eat.
Try blending some frozen fruit into your protein shakes; it's a great way to add more nutrients to those meals. So, I want you to at least add 1 fruit each day to start and build from there. Remember that fruits and vegetables should make up a major component of your meals; they are great for healthy weight loss and important for muscle gain because of all the nutrients they provide.
I would like you to start recording what you eat so you can monitor your portion sizes and nutrient intake. Hopefully the chicken and other meat you're eating is baked, not fried.
As for your training, you definitely need to add some resistance training. I personally believe weight training is crucial for fat loss; focus on full body movements, such as chins, pullups, bench press, dips, squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc and limit your rest between sets to keep your heart rate elevated. Best of luck and keep up the hard work!
About The Author
Chris Mohr is the President of Mohr Results. Due to the abundance of email he receives, he is unable to answer all questions. Check back often, though, as he tries to answer many of them in this very column. Many of your fat loss and muscle gain questions can be found in his two latest projects, www.WeaponsforMass.com and www.HumanInferno.com.