Weightlifting & Exercise/Beginning in Fitness


I'm trying to start a new fitness/nutrition plan for 2015.  I am a call center manager and I sit at my desk basically all day long.  I live in a rural area and am very car dependent.  Over the last 20 years, I've gone from 120 to 180 lbs.  I am still 5'7 I should add so that's more than I want to be.

I want to reduce my weight, and eventually increase my strength and flexibility.  I have access to a good gym through work for free - so I have optimal access to equipment before, during or after work.  I know very little about the right way to use equipment, which muscle groups to target, etc.  I would ask that you be very basic.

What are some great resources to help me get started on a plan?

Hi Matthew,
Good for you for starting a plan to gain fitness and eat better!

Since you sit most of the day and have gained 60 pounds in 20 years, you will benefit from moving more. I suggest you start your venture by doing some research from good, credible, accurate websites. There are many credible sources of nutrition and fitness on the internet. One is my blog http://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog

I wrote an article on finding good information and in this article you will find more links to great sites with resources that will help you. http://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/finding-credible-nutrition-information/

The most dependable sources of health evidence tend to be hospitals, government agencies, universities, and major public health and health advocacy organizations, such as the American Cancer Society. These groups use information thatís gone over by renowned experts and updated often. There are several clues as to whether a site can be considered credible. First look at the website URL address of the site. The domain suffix provides some information about the site. In general, websites that end in .edu (meaning an educational institution) or .gov (meaning government agencies) tend to be the most credible sources of nutrition information. Websites ending in .org (meaning organizations, often nonprofit) also can be a good source of information. For instance, Harvard has some great information here: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/ and the National Heart Lung Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/eat/index.htm

As far as a fitness plan, you will need to have a balanced plan. Meaning a fitness plan that includes cardio, weight training and stretching.to view some general guidelines go here:  http://www.myactivenutrition.com/blog/2008-physical-activity-guidelines-for-amer

The exact plan for you should be individualized using the Activity Guidelines I mentioned above. A personal trainer can instruct you on a program. Select a qualified trainer. This is a good article on selecting a qualified trainer. I recommend only working with a trainer who has a FOUR year college degree and certified by one of the agencies listed in the article. There are many unqualified trainers out there. http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/trainer.html

Regarding nutrition plan, if you think after reading some of the information from the credible sites, that your diet is fairly close to or that you feel confident that you can plan you meals, then proceed. If you feel that you eat a terrible diet and still not sure what to eat, seek the help of a Registered Dietitian. You want an RD, since they are the most educated to help you. See this article for the difference between a nutritionist and an RD. All RDs can call themselves a nutritionist but not all nutritionists can call themselves an RD.   http://www.myactivenutrition.com/seattle-issaquah-dietitian.php

One last thought, it can be helpful to log your food and exercise using a site like MyFitnessPal.com

Good luck Matthew!

Weightlifting & Exercise

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Maria Faires, RD, Certified Personal Trainer


I can answer questions related to any of the following areas general fitness, athletics, strength/weight training, flexibility, aerobic training, balance training, corrective/rehab training, personal trainers, personal training, health and wellness, diet/nutrition, weight/fat loss, dietary supplements, body composition improvement, uses of free weights, medicine balls, and stability balls. Please no questions regarding specific injuries. I would need more information then what you can provide in an email to answer these questions accurately. You must be 18 years or older to ask me a question. Please don't ask me to give you a workout to do. I can't give individualized workouts over this forum. If you need more in depth help or would like help with your specific workout plans please visit my website. I offer online or phone consultations. http://www.MyActiveNutrition.com


Maria Faires, RD has the remarkable distinction of being a Certified Personal Trainer, Registered Dietitian and Clinical Exercise Specialist with over twenty years in the Health and Fitness Industry. As the owner of Active Nutrition, her fitness and consulting private practice, she provides highly personalized nutrition services and personal training for her in-home clients and in her private studio. Maria offers a personal, practical approach for all levels of experience. Her programs integrate nutrition, cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility training into individually-tailored plans to help develop and maintain a body full of energy and free from unnecessary injury. Through her scientifically oriented consulting practice, Maria provides a variety of cutting-edge nutrition and fitness services such as fitness hikes and grocery store tours, all designed to improve individualsí quality of life and help them achieve optimal health. Maria acts as a consultant to her client community, authors nutrition and fitness articles and speaks to the community to offer her expertise and broad based support. Mariaís focus on delivering scientifically-based nutrition and fitness services continues to be a very timely and popular interest by individuals and corporations alike, making her a sought-after expert source for speaking engagements. Maria has become a highly regarded medical expert within the health care community on issues such as nutrition, weight management, fitness and wellness. Maria has worked as a Sports Nutritionist for several health clubs, as Chief Nutrition Educator for Group Health, Director of Clinical Nutrition and Food Services for a medical facility, and as Nutrition Specialist for NutriSystem Weight Loss Clinic. Her experiences in private practice include counseling for cardiac disease and prevention, sports nutrition, pediatric nutrition, clinical nutrition, diabetes education and weight-loss.

American Dietitic Association American Council on Exercise

Maria earned a Bachelorís degree from Whitworth College in Food and Nutrition Science and is a Cum Laude graduate of Eastern Washington University with a second Bachelorís degree in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics. She is certified as a Personal Trainer and Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist by the highly regarded American Council on Exercise, and is CPR and ĎMountain Outdoor First Aidí certified by the Seattle Mountaineers and American Red Cross.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.