I'm 6'2" and 270lbs. I'm not all fat, for some reason, but I've never worked out before. I've just decided that I'm going to be joining a local gym and was wondering if there was a tool online that would build a 30 minute (or should I be doing more?) workout based on my goals/metric.

I found that Gold Gym has one, but I tried putting several different metrics and usually got the same workout ... so I'm not sure how reliable it is.

Alternatively, what kind of workout should I be doing? My goal is to lose weight and get healthier. I was thinking two 30 minute workouts per week along with playing soccer and basketball on a intramural team. Is that a lot or not enough?

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    Have you made any effort, at all, towards answering your own question? And if you aren't going to be satisfied with Gold's Gym's answer, what is going to satisfy you? – masonk Jan 14 '13 at 18:24
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    Welcome to the site. If you want to lose weight, fix your diet. It would help if you could describe the training plan you already have, what you dislike and what you like so we could really help you. The question if it is enough can't really be answered by anyone other than you, it sure is more than you did before thus it is good, and only you can answer if you can and want to do more. – Baarn Jan 14 '13 at 18:28
  • Is your question, "Given that my goal is weight loss and that I'm already playing soccer and basketball, what should I do in two 30 minute workouts per week?" – user4644 Jan 14 '13 at 18:56
  • I would also caution against jumping in to basketball and soccer. Unless the rest of the team is in the same shape, both require a fairly high level of cardio fitness, and a lot of back and forth/sharp stops/turns kind of motions, which is high injury risk if you are not used to it. – JohnP Jan 14 '13 at 19:09
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    There have been 3 downvotes on this question, but not one comment explaining why it is a bad question or how to improve it. Could someone elaborate on this? As for @informaficker's notes, the answers all appear to be in the question: he has never worked out before and has no plan, tried the gold gyms program generator but their efficacy was rightly called into question based off the output. – Moses Jan 15 '13 at 4:04

Based on population average metrics, you are obese and your body fat % is a clear and present danger to your health. Therefore any responsible system for programming is going to give you its weightloss program first regardless of what the inputs are, until your weight is no longer a risk indicator for serious diseases. Then you could be programmed to start branching out into sport-specific or goal-specific types of training.

I have been as high as 255lbs in my life at ~5'11", which is about the same size as you given height difference, and never "looked fat" either on account of not getting a "chubby face" and my body distributing it evenly up and down my legs and back. Fortunately for me, I accepted just how high my BF% was regardless of looks and got my act together before developing Diabetes and needing new knees. It is good you have done the same.

30 Minute Workout: Time does not tell us anything, honestly. If you do intense circuit training with no rests for 30 minutes, that is a lot of working out. If you do one set of vanity lifts followed by a three minute rest for 30 minutes, you will not accomplish much.

To accomplish as much as possible towards "general fitness" with only 30 minutes to work, two good options are circuits or complexes.

  1. Circuit: Instead of doing N sets of one exercise before moving to the next, you set up a bunch of exercises in a row and do them in a loop. Cuts down on rest time and setup-takedown time and allows you to maintain an elevated heart rate continuously for longer. Biggest problem for you is likely that it's hard to get 4-5+ exercise stations to yourself in a crowded gym, and gyms are crowded this time of year.

  2. Complex: Perform a series of connected movements all with the same barbell or dumbbells without putting them down between exercises. My favorite: take a barbell loaded with a weight I can comfortably overhead press at least 10X, then do

    • 6 Romanian Deadlifts, lean forward and do
    • 6 Bent Over Rows, then clean it up and
    • Front Squat it 6 times, then do
    • 6 Overhead Presses.
      Doing that as many times as you can in 20 minutes keeps the entire body working and no time lost changing plates/waiting for equipment. After you've done it a few times you'll be able to choose a weight that lets you keep it up for the amount of time desired with reasonable between-set breaks.

NB: These are advanced movements that require practice to perform safely. Please try to find a capable person in real life to teach them to you.

Just out of consideration for your time driving to and from and changing clothes, 30 minutes seems like a short program at a commercial gym!

My goal is to lose weight and get healthier: This is all about what you eat. You can slog on the treadmill for two hours and if you finish it with a 32oz gatorade and a powerbar, or go out in the evening and put away 6 beers, not much progress will be made. Fix your diet and any activity will be plenty to lose weight. Just the team sports would be fine if you're eating properly.

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    I just want to add that calling the deadlift, squat, etc "advanced movements" is perhaps overstating things. If you can find someone knowledgeable to teach you, that can be very helpful. If not, just start with light weights, watch as many videos demonstrating the form as you can, and stop if a movement is actually painful. – Doc Faustus Jan 14 '13 at 20:49

There are two ways you could approach this, and both are equally fine.

The first approach would be sticking 100% to your goal of losing weight. Doing 30 minutes of cardio at the gym, best case scenario you would be burning around 500 kcal / session or 1000 kcal / week. This is roughly equivalent to a medium sized Big Mac meal. I'm not sure what your diet looks like or how often you do basketball/soccer, so I cannot speak to whether or not this gym time will be enough for you to actually lose weight. Suffice it to say, you should always make sure you have a healthy, balanced diet that leaves you at an appropriate caloric deficit for your weight loss goals.

The second approach would be to use your time at the gym to improve your strength/power so that you perform better in your favorite activities (basketball/soccer). Example exercises include burpees, squats, deadlifts, box jumping. Personally I would recommend following the Starting Strength program, and supplementing the program with some additional exercises like burpees or box jumping.

Both approaches are equally valid and really depend on how you want to prioritize your goals. Personally, I feel the latter approach would have the best reward for you, but ultimately it is up to you.

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