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Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/11/21 8:58 a.m.

Let me start by saying I'm not going to go to a gym. It's not happening. 

I'm now at 6'2" and 337 pounds as of this morning. Diet is apparently a short-term fix for me. I was down to 265 before the Covids hit. Unfortunately, I'm pretty much stuck at a desk now and have been getting little to no exercise. The weight has been steadily climbing and it's time to stop it.

The problem is I really like food. Not sweets or snacks, but good food. I mean really like it. A salad is a nice precursor to a meal but it will seldom be my main course except for the occasional lunch. I'm a meat and potatoes kind of guy and honestly, it's probably killing me.  

That means it's time to start thinking about exercise. My current home exercise equipment consists of a ProForm Elliptical that I hate with a burning in my legs and back, and a treadmill I picked up off the side of the road. They both work fairly well, I just hate them.

I'm thinking of adding a home gym to the mix. I think I would prefer strength training more than I would aerobic exercise. I'm thinking of hitting the elliptical for 10-15 minutes when I get home to get the heart rate up and the blood flowing, and then lift for another 30-45. A little extra strength would also benefit moving my fat ass around. By the time I slide under a car, getting back off the ground is hard work. 

Do you gents have any thoughts about them? Use one that works better than others? How much weight do you need? Most of the machines have around 150-200 pounds of weight. Is that enough to not outgrow the machine in a year or two? 

The ones I have been looking at are the stack weight machines like this. I don't have room for dedicated equipment so I'm going to have to have a do-all machine. 

 

Any info is appreciated. Thanks.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/11/21 9:08 a.m.

So in all honesty, at that size you just need to walk. You have enough body weight, And I'm not saying this as shaming I'm saying this from a resistance training standpoint, that you can do all of the resistance and weight related work without adding additional weight or resistance. You can do squats and you will greatly strengthen your quads and glutes without needing any additional weight. However squat rack and an Olympic bar and even just two 45 lb plates wouldn't hurt. Your quads and glutes are two of your largest muscle groups so you'll get the benefit of having them active making moving less strenuous and having them burn more calories at rest. 

 

But the biggest thing is just walk. No hurry no pace expectations no jogging. But start at just a mile a day or half hour. No over the top fancy shoes just something comfortable that fits well and decent socks and a half hour of walking. If you want to throw in earbuds or headphones and listen to a podcast or stream music go for it. I'd encourage stress unit to two to three miles once you get broken in and your body fully adjust to the one mile routine for a half hour after 3 weeks, but that may rock the boat with regards to schedule as then you're devoting an hour to 90 minutes a day instead of a half hour. And the important thing is consistency and it continuing to get done. If you want to occasionally stretch it out to two or three miles or an hour or 90 minutes go for it, but you don't need to change the expectation of 30 minutes or 1 mile. So for now 1/2 hour or 1 mi of walking and whatever comes first and at home body weight resistance exercises with no equipment needed if you want to get equipment get resistance bands or some pulley set ups, but there's no reason to get machines. 

 

 

I'm going to add beyond those recommendations. 

It's going to sound crazy It's going to seem foolish and you have to commit to the posture breathing and not over tightening but putting the right amount of internal pressure and resistance upon the groups being focused on, but Tai Chi. If you buy into and do Tai chi for 3 weeks the posture and how you sit in your chair when you're working will completely change You will also burn more calories at rest and you will move much easier. 

 

If you have access to a pool I would also add in swimming or using a kickboard or even floating and floating in different positions on your back with either arms extended arms crossed your chest legs extended legs tucked in with the bottom of your feet touching. All of which requires breathing while holding your core and spine within alignment building your core strength and improving your posture. You can substitute swimming for walking and it's way more effective. If you have access to a pool and you can adapt Tai chi into the pool that's even the best yet. I can honestly say in getting my body back to a functional level that aquatic tai chi saved my life. I admittedly stray away from it too often now, but even if I only get back to doing it once every two weeks it's like putting on a most comfortable article of clothing or shoes and I feel better for three or four days afterwards. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
10/11/21 9:14 a.m.

So much is possible with bodyweight exercise that I don't see myself adding to my current equipment, which consists of a pull-up bar.   And a bicycle.  I've owned a bench and weights, but never used them enough to justify the space they occupied.  If you have the luxury of a spare room, then you might be good, but as you say, you don't.

Beware cheap.  Cheap equipment is no fun to work out on, and it wears out fast and breaks.  Buy the absolute best you can afford.  Buy what you see in the health clubs.  Consumer-grade workout equipment is crap.  The manufacturer is betting you'll lose interest and quit before their E36 M3 breaks, but not by much. 

I'm currently a member at the Y and my son and I get there 3 times a week or so.  The thing that's going to make or break your routine is a workout partner, unless you have immensely strong determination.  I've seen gains since my son and I started at the Y.  By myself, at home, was more like maintenance. 

Edit:  Don't neglect the diet aspect.  I don't believe you can exercise yourself to meaningful weight loss.  I've put on a few pounds since I started working out in earnest, but that isn't a concern for me.  Point is, exercise and muscle mass will encourage apetite.  As the Cap'n said above, you'd probably be well served by focusing more on cardio than weight-lifting.  Practice portion control, don't eat late, etc. etc. 

You are worth it!

STM317
STM317 UberDork
10/11/21 9:40 a.m.

Personally, I prefer to train with dumbells because they offer more varied range of motion which can help you to lift in a proper motion for your body rather than whatever the machine has baked in. They also keep one side of your body from compensating for the other and developing imbalances. The right set is compact and takes up very little space, and highly flexible to allow you to build some flexibility into your routine to avoid monotony. They'll allow you to do way more than a machine like the one you posted. My ideal home gym would have a squat rack and some free weights, but honestly I could probably do pretty much everything I'd want to do with an adjustable bench and a set of adjustable dumbells.

 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
10/11/21 9:42 a.m.

At your weight. I'd walk and get a bike or a stationary bike. 
 

Just get moving and find something you enjoy doing while moving.  This is why bicycles work.  Get a couple abs go ride with your wife. It's a low stress date.  My wife and I like to go ride a bike path near here thst ends in a coffee shop.  So ride 6-7 miles go get a coffee, ride 6-7 miles back.  
 

super fun. 

a note about gyms.   I got a full rack and 400lbs of bumpers, and various machines in the basement   I still prefer to go to a gym where I have a good community of folks I like to sweat with.   If you can find that community, it makes it easier  

 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
10/11/21 9:55 a.m.

re: walking

I'd suggest a variation on that... specifically stairs.  I got a lot of use out of walking stairs this winter/spring before we moved back.  A major benefit of it, over "walking on a road", is two fold:  1) it's really easy to calculate 'work output' (it's basically a potential energy calculation);  2) it's very easy to adjust 'how hard' by changing the speed you do 'rounds'.

I ended up working up to being able to do about 4000ft of elevation change over an hour, while listening to podcasts; and it was a major source of a 12% weight reduction over 5 months.

the challenge I have now, is figuring out how to perform similar work output (200-300watts between 30 and 60minutes, for 1kW of work/day and up to 6kW of work per week) that's easily 'accounted for'.  ymmv.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/11/21 10:04 a.m.

You're carrying all the resistance needed. Walk and do lunges. ASAP. Document your journey here for support and encouragement, and accountability. Get healthy. You can do this.

jharry3
jharry3 GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/11/21 10:08 a.m.

The answer is simple to state and hard to execute. 

Diet and exercise.   Aerobic exercise is what you need, like riding a bike or stationary bike an hour a day.  If you lift weight use a weight you can do a lot of repetition with so you burn calories.   After you lose 140 lbs maybe go the low rep/higher weight route.

And seriously cut out sugar and complex carbs from your diet.   Bread, rice and pasta are not your friend. Stay away from foods with a high glycemic index.   

High Fructose corn syrup is the worst.  Its in lots of canned food, soft drinks, just everywhere.  My ex-wife is a doctor who has treated people with diabetes for years.  She thinks the introduction of high fructose corn syrup into the American diet is the single thing that is causing the surge in Type 2 Diabetes.   Her opinion but its shared by many.

    Eat vegetables and meat.  Cook the veggies in olive oil.   Snack on fruit and nuts.  No soft drinks or coffee filled with sugar, etc.  

The danger to yourself, if you keep this weight and eating habits, are Type 2 diabetes and heart issues. 

 Your BMI is 43.3.  It should be under 25.   Which means weighing under 190 lbs to achieve a BMI that is considered healthy.    

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
10/11/21 10:09 a.m.

I agree with the Captain here. Your best bet is to get some time dedicated to getting out and walking, or maybe riding a bicycle if you're into that. The sort of exercise machine you're looking at is more for building muscle than burning calories.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
10/11/21 10:17 a.m.

Getting back to cycling did wonders for me.

Intermittent fasting too.

Good luck man, we're all pulling for you.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
10/11/21 10:32 a.m.

I hate running. I'll bike, but for transport, and I'll swim, but I have to go somewhere to do it, so I never keep with it. 

I like a rower, and want a much better one than I have, but it isn't in the budget right now. If you go that route, get a Concept2 if you can swing it. It is a tremendous overall body workout, part strength part cardio. Other than that... Weight training is great, as muscle will burn more calories than fat, but it isn't going to get you to your goal. You'll need some cardio - walking, running, swimming, whatever, get some cardio in for 30 minutes - even if it is just a walk before work or at lunch. 

 

But ultimately, you're not going to outrun/outlift your fork. Start counting calories. For you to maintain your current weight with light activity 1-3 times a week, you need about 3300-3400 calories. To lose a pound a week, roughly 2800 calories a day. 

I recommend tracking it on a weekly goal, so that if you blow up your calories one day, you can take the next 6 to make up for it. Get enough protein. Probably 150g minimum for you, but you may want to consult a dietitian.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/11/21 10:37 a.m.

I don't think too many people who buy home gyms get their monies worth as there is no real incentive for you to use it at home and too many excuses not to. 

 I go to a local gym regularly and there are plenty of overweight people there not getting a second glance from me or anyone else. Unless there are other reasons for not wanting to go, it really is a good way to go and sweat with like minded people. But don't go to what we call roid monkey gyms. Find a rec center or something low key that is more geared to people wanting to lose weight or get back in shape rather than those full of grunting muscle freaks. And if you look you might find a local group where you can go together for moral support. There is a lady at my gym who has been coming for several years. She gets huge respect because of how hard she works and how she has transformed herself. People who go regularly know just how hard it is and will respect you just for showing up as most people don't even get that far. But mostly, go and do your thing and don't worry about other people because they are honestly not looking at you. 

RossD
RossD MegaDork
10/11/21 10:41 a.m.

Not just sugar but fake sugars. Just because you cant burn them and measure a caloric value doesnt mean its a freebee. Salt doesnt have a caloric value either and everyone is aware that it still effects your body.

Juice is soda without the fizz; skip that too.

Dont think about a "diet". Think that you dont eat garbage. If something looks like a plant or an animal is probably ok to eat a reasonable portion of it. If it needs to list ingredients its starting to be garbage. If there is ingredients that arent food (ie things to maintain freshness.), its reached full garbage status and shouldnt be consumed.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
10/11/21 10:42 a.m.
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

 I go to a local gym regularly and there are plenty of overweight people there not getting a second glance from me or anyone else. Unless there are other reasons for not wanting to go, it really is a good way to go and sweat with like minded people. But don't go to what we call roid monkey gyms. Find a rec center or something low key that is more geared to people wanting to lose weight or get back in shape rather than those full of grunting muscle freaks. And if you look you might find a local group where you can go together for moral support. There is a lady at my gym who has been coming for several years. She gets huge respect because of how hard she works and how she has transformed herself. People who go regularly know just how hard it is and will respect you just for showing up as most people don't even get that far. But mostly, go and do your thing and don't worry about other people because they are honestly not looking at you. 

That's the nice thing about our local Y--old, young, fit, fat, and everything in between.  Nobody's there to judge.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/11/21 10:57 a.m.

We do have a bit of a home gym setup. Basically a stationary bike (mostly for me, as it helps with my iffy knees), an elliptical which both my wife and I use, plus an adjustable weight kettle bell for strength training. I prefer the kettle bell for strength training as I like the wider range of movements but then again, for me it's about stopping the slide into office worker decrepitude and not getting to the point where I can bench press several hundred pounds.

As someone who's not exactly a gym rat, having the equipment at home helps because using it is a lot less friction than going to the gym - basically just change and go downstairs instead of a deer dodging half hour round trip every time I want to go to the local gym.

I'm more of an expert at avoiding exercise though so take this with a suitable amount of salt .

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/11/21 11:19 a.m.
1988RedT2 said:
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) said:

 I go to a local gym regularly and there are plenty of overweight people there not getting a second glance from me or anyone else. Unless there are other reasons for not wanting to go, it really is a good way to go and sweat with like minded people. But don't go to what we call roid monkey gyms. Find a rec center or something low key that is more geared to people wanting to lose weight or get back in shape rather than those full of grunting muscle freaks. And if you look you might find a local group where you can go together for moral support. There is a lady at my gym who has been coming for several years. She gets huge respect because of how hard she works and how she has transformed herself. People who go regularly know just how hard it is and will respect you just for showing up as most people don't even get that far. But mostly, go and do your thing and don't worry about other people because they are honestly not looking at you. 

That's the nice thing about our local Y--old, young, fit, fat, and everything in between.  Nobody's there to judge.

Zero concerns about being seen in public as a fat man. I do it every day, it doesn't bother me. I don't wear fat clothes. I walk my neighborhood in shorts and a T-shirt and probably look like a sweaty beached whale while I'm doing it. NFG.

I do know that if I have to drive somewhere to exercise it won't happen. I have a hard enough time talking myself into walking upstairs to where my machines are set up. Mostly because I hate using them. I also really don't like people for the most part. I don't want to commiserate, hang out, compete, or deal with people.

My last weight loss was the Keto diet. I dropped 40 pounds in a reasonable amount of time. But I like cream and sugar in my coffee, I like mashed potatoes and rice and a glass of cold milk. I'm also not convinced that the sheer amount of fat in that diet wouldn't stop my heart before being overweight did. 

So, what I'm looking for is something that I would possibly enjoy doing on a daily or semi-daily basis that would help with being in better shape. It's less about being 337 pounds than the 337 pounds being a bunch of gut fat that makes it hard to breathe when I'm putting on my shoes. It's not even the exercise that sucks. I ran a shovel for 5 hours last week and sort of enjoyed it. I can split wood for a couple of hours and enjoy it, but 15 minutes on the elliptical feels like a complete waste of energy. Bikes and treadmills aren't much better and bikes around here will get you killed. 

Alas, there is probably no easy button. 

 

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/11/21 11:25 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

Tell me more about the kettlebell. That sounds interesting. I had considered a set of adjustable dumbells but thought a machine would work better. 

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/11/21 11:27 a.m.

Maybe I just need to bring home a big load of logs to bust down into firewood and sell. 

STM317
STM317 UberDork
10/11/21 11:38 a.m.
Toyman01 + Sized and said:

Maybe I just need to bring home a big load of logs to bust down into firewood and sell. 

I've moved about 45 tons of landscape stone around my property. The vast majority of it has been done with a scoop shovel and wheelbarrow. I think it's excellent that you recognize what you're more likely to do or what you're more likely to avoid. Activity is the real key here, so if weights are just going to collect dust, but chopping wood is something you do for an hour per week or so, then chopping wood seems like the best path. Other suggestions have fallen in a similar vein (walking stairs, riding bikes, swimming, etc). Easily accessible activities that you can enjoy, or at least tolerate will do tons more for you than a new piece of exercise equipment that gets ignored.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/11/21 11:42 a.m.

We have a semi-professional elliptical machine at home and I have done 2  miles 2x per week for the past 8 months. Also walk 3-4mi most Saturday and Sundays. I hate the Elliptical but it is a good excuse to stop working at 5:30 every Tu/Th. 
 

I also want to share a "get fit slow" plan that has worked pretty well for me: 

I set a goal in December 2020 to be able to do 12 pull-ups by end of 2021. I couldn't do one pull-up at the time but I decided I would do this by trying to add one more to my total each month. By the end of January I was on my way and through end of August I was on track and up to 8 pull-ups.. but then I had an injury setback (pulled muscle in back playing disk golf) in September.. that I have re-injured twice now so I've had to take a break on that activity. Definitely will get back to doing it soon as I can do it without pain. 
 

You can do whatever you set your mind to. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
10/11/21 11:43 a.m.
Toyman01 + Sized and said:

Maybe I just need to bring home a big load of logs to bust down into firewood and sell. 

This would be a good idea for you. You would actually do it, because of the carrot at the end of the stick. Just don't get a log splitter. That'd be cheating.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/11/21 12:34 p.m.

The easy button to me is just eat more. But before you eat the tasty stuff fill your stomach with something with no calories. Tonight is our big Canadian thanksgiving turkey feast so before dinner I will eat two or three big raw carrots and have a few glasses of water. Then I will just not be able to cram as much gravy and pumpkin pie in but I will still feel stuffed.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
10/11/21 12:49 p.m.

How serious do you want to get and how many sq. ft. do you want to dedicate?  Whats the budget?  How much TIME do you want to dedicate (1 hour/day? if I am reading that right)?  Is this something you will be doing for enjoyment as well as health?

I've had a variety of home gym setups, and they all have their pros and cons.  All of them were less than about 25 sq ft.

 

My personal preference is strength training, with a little bodybuilding.  Building muscle burns calories even when you are sleeping, whereas cardio only burns while you are doing it.  There are significant health benefits to both though.

 

 

 

I can outlift my fork.  I track calories and protein to make sure I am getting enough of them.

 

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/11/21 1:20 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

Let's say semi-serious. I don't want to spend 3 hours a day on it, I don't want another hobby. 1 to 1.5 hours a day would be about perfect. I really want to enjoy it because if I don't I have a hard time getting motivated.

Budget? Let's say under $2k unless absolutely necessary to get a better machine. Space? I have a room over my garage that is my home office. Currently, it's full of bookcases, clocks, my ginormous desk, 3d printer, couch, a treadmill, an elliptical, and 3 chairs. My plan was to pitch a couple of chairs, move the couch and stick the machine in front of the windows and dedicate 1/3 to 1/2 the room to exercise. 25 sq ft would not be a problem.

My thought was a little cardio with the elliptical to get the heart pumping and then weights to regain/restrengthen some of the muscle I've lost in my upper body. If I could move some of the weight from fat to muscle that would be great too. I'm probably a little old to do any serious bodybuilding without running into joint issues. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/11/21 1:48 p.m.

I'd still stay away from weights unless investing in a trainer. And I'm not saying that suggesting that form wouldn't be done properly but when we push ourselves because we want the gratification of the work and effort that we put forth we all deviate the ideal form in an effort to set personal records. You can get all the resistance you need in squats lunges and planks, and there's no crime in starting doing planks from your knees instead of your feet. 

 

I would do 2/3 to 3/4 of your time on quote unquote cardio, whether that be walking or swimming or I'll even include half of that being tai chi as you do have to focus on breathing and posture. Rowing was mentioned earlier, That is an excellent option that will naturally combine resistance with cardio, as will swimming. If you were going to invest in a piece of equipment a good rowing machine would be where I would go, and to give you an idea of how capable they are, Pastrana has one in his basement, he used to have a simple competitive test for anybody who visits and chose to take part, and the pressure to take part was very real. The contest was simply who can burn the most calories in 3 minutes. Three simple short minutes. You can go from 0 to vomit on a rowing machine in 3 minutes, even if your conditioned well enough that you had completed a half Ironman less than 3 weeks prior, ask me how I know...

 

I appreciate the desire to want to do weight and resistance training, but with any lifestyle change one of the important things that needs to be considered is doing no harm. If you tweak a small back muscle that you won't even know is there until it's tweaked using kettlebells, and I love kettlebells and have seven of them in my basement, you're going to be on the shelf for 5 to 8 weeks. Set goals for yourself that allow you to add equipment to keep things from getting stale as you progress and reach goals along the way if you're at 337 right now, allow yourself to get kettlebells and lightweight ones do not go above 10lb each as a pair when you hit 315, then 15lb when you get to 300 and a pair of 20lb when you hit 285. 

 

That will do two things, it'll create motivation, It will give you a reward when you hit targets, And it will keep your activities from getting boring because you will be mixing up your workouts as you hit certain goals. And then the weights will also provide an additional challenge as they increase especially as you slim down. Which is good because your natural body weight resistance is going to be decreasing so if you will need to increase weight as that occurs. 

 

That's strongly the direction I would go instead of dumping your budget on something now. I also would look into some of the pulley resistance and strap resistance and systems such as TRX, I wouldn't jump into TRX with both feet until you've been doing other stuff for 90 to 120 days though because it is very serious stuff and as it is with a lot of very serious stuff I can go sideways pretty quickly. 

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