Before - 1999(?) - up to 235 lbs
After- Jan 2001 - 170 lbs
*new lifestyle began June 2000
Stop giving me shit about the header caption, I meant it as a joke. If you want to be fit, spend 20 minutes running or jogging three times a week. If you do anymore than that, you are just being vain. I am one of the vain. I work out to be diesel and to get laid :)
I was a fat bastard in high school, but in my junior and senior years I slimmed down a little thanks to swimming. I opted out of gym class to go to the swimming pool in the basement level. I also skipped lunch to swim. It was fun and most times I got to swim with an all-girl class, which was spectacular. After that things got bad. When I went off to college I gained weight back, and when I got into the corporate world I gained even more! Sitting at a desk all day really messes you up.
About four years ago my company upgraded its facilities and opened a gym, and since I lived two blocks away I capitalized on the convenience. I was really paying for it anyway - what else would I explain my salary? I started an aggressive diet and excercise schedule. Now I've lost weight and feel great! Hehehehe... But really, I'm pretty diesel now, if I do say so myself.
There's no routine that works for everybody, so each individual has to develop his or her own optimized program. The best piece of advice is to keep at it and attack it from all fronts - physcially and nutritionally. If you're gonna do something, don't do it half-assed. Dieting must go hand-in-hand with excercise - and supplements don't hurt, either. In fact, supplements will help a lot if you want to be a hulk. Stay away from steroids, though. The acne may go away and your balls may grow back when you're finished with the juice, but if you grow female breast tissue, that doesn't go away without surgery!
Warming up, cooling down, and stretching
It is absolutely a must that you warm up and stretch before excercising and stretch while cooling down afterwards. If you don't do this then your workout will be ineffective. Just spend a few minutes stretching, then do a very short cardio workout to get your heartrate up, and you should be all set. Jumping rope is a great way to get your heart rate up fast. The treadmill or the elliptical machine will be fine as well. Just as important, stretch all of the muscles you worked on after your workout. It breaks them down a little more and may help the soreness as your muscles recover.
Yes, your body will be sore! What do you expect when you tear your muscle apart? It's a good feeling to me. If you don't like it you're gonna have to get used to it. The worst of the soreness will be between one and two days after your workout. If you're getting the soreness on the second day then you're doing an excellent job!
This is what I like to do most of the time because what you wanna do is increase your mass to your tastes first, then tone and shape your muscles at that mass. For now I still want to bulk up. I lift weights three times a week, each time on a different set of muscles. This works out each group of muscles during the week, giving them a week of rest time so that they can regenerate. The object is to tear up your muscle tissue so that it grows back bigger and stronger. During a workout session, I do 2 excercises on each focused muscle group, 4 in total. I do 3 sets each of these excercises, 8 reps per set, with 90 seconds of rest in between sets. For example, on the day that I do my chest and triceps(upper arm, in the back), I do 3 sets of 8 lifts on two different chest machines, and I do the same on two tricep machines. You're supposed to do the 8 reps at a weight in which you are completely exhausted the 8th time. If you can do 10 of them, then you're not using enough weight. The other days I would do legs and shoulders, and then back and biceps. Every month or so, it is good to change the pairings of the muscles you work on. That way your body does not get used to the routine. If it does, then your muscle-building progress will substantially diminish. As for cardio I do less of it when I am bulking up. In fact, I usually skip it, though I really shouldn't. I have trouble making the time for it.
Once you're at the size you want, a toning routine will shape and define your muscles. This method involves breaking down a different part of your muscle than the building routine, and is aimed at increasing muscle endurance. During a workout session, I would do 3 or 4 sets each of 4 different excercises. For each set, I want to do 20 or 25 reps of the excercise. By the time I get to that 20th or 25th rep, I shouldn't be able to do any more. When on the toning program I do cardio workouts more regularly, since losing fat also does wonders in defining muscle tone. The program is a pain, but it's necessary of you want to look "cut." It's not that important to me because I'm just fine with bulk and some definition, but it's always good to switch things up, so every few months I do the toning routine. When there's something coming up like a school reunion I tend to switch back to bulking up so I can look huge for my old classmates. If they are really my friends it shouldn't matter, but I am shallow. I guess we all have a little growing to do.