So to cut a long story short, over the past 3 years, I've gone from being 16 stone (around 220lbs), training in Muay Thai, working out every other day with KBs etc, to being close to 23 stone (320lbs) and none of the above.
Some of this was due to a bad ankle fracture that took a long time to clean up and a long move to the UK which got me right out of any good habits eating wise, etc.
Excuses aside, it's high time I got back into this, but I need to ask... how?
I still have my (12 and 16kg) kettlebells, some old dumbbells, and a Krav Maga membership. But I want to check what do you guys think is the best way to get back on the horse? I'm exceptionally unfit these days, so don't want to do damage from not easing into it.
I find that the people who are most in danger of putting on massive amounts of weight are those who previously were very active. In high school, I was on sports teams year-round. When I went to college I joined the Judo team and that kept me in shape. After college, I ballooned up by 40 lbs. because I continued to eat like I was active but spent most of my day strolling around a classroom then vegetating on the couch after work.
The point being that you should probably look at your food intake first. Get the carbs and calories down and start light on the exercise. At a high weight anything in water is good... Also, never underestimate the effect of a daily stroll around the neighborhood.
Do just what you said, ease into it. I've been on a hiatus (again) from the gym due to scheduling conflicts with work and my childrens' schedules. I never seem to have time to hit the weights.
However, you should pick a time to go to the gym and then go. Start small and light for the first couple of weeks (more if you're very out of shape and/or older), get your body used to the activity at that certain time. Increase slowly over time.
Start a strength training program with light weights and gradually increase over time.
Carb Backloading (http://www.athlete.io)
I Agree with the eating, but sometimes that alone is not enough. However, it is a great start. Past that you might want to focus on works outs designed to burn fat vs gain muscle. I'm returning to being an avid cyclist, and I know there are TONS of positive stories of people losing weight on a bike. While it may not seem manly, they are great forms of transportation, good work out, you'll see some cool sights, and meet some neat people. Its also, and very importantly, low impact so you are probably not going to injure yourself by riding too much, etc.
Past that, I've found that when I was younger it was easier to go out and do things, now my tv and iPad get way too much attention. So I have a schedule of nights where I work out, and others that I relax. I think it is important to have a schedule and make sure you stick to it.
Gaining muscle or burning fat is more a difference of how much and what you're eating. My understanding is that it's important to keep lifting heavy white cutting weight in order to minimize the portion of lost mass that is muscle.
I'm no fan of cycling (or any long distance endurance sport for that matter), but I can't deny the benefits, and it's less miserable than running.
Extended steady state cardio kills muscle.
Low calorie dieting kills muscle.
Low fat dieting kills muscle.
Low calorie low fat dieting with extended steady state cardio kills lots and lots of muscle.
My post above, though brief, points to a solution that will allow the OP to build muscle, burn fat, and be generally physically prepared to engage in whatever martial art he pleases.
"Gaining muscle or burning fat is more a difference of how much and what you're eating" - True if you're lifting heavy. Not true if you're doing excessive steady state cardio, Insanity, P90X, Crossfit, etc.
"...It's important to keep lifting heavy while cutting weight in order to minimize [losing muscle]" - 100% absolutely true.
OP - combine a ketogenic diet with specifically timed insulin spikes using high GI carbs (as outlined in the Carb Backloading book and the Carb Nite Solution, found at http://athlete.io) with a progressive overload barbell based strength training program (such as Starting Strength, http://www.startingstrength.com, or using the Shockwave Protocol http://athlete.io that accompanies CBL and CNS) will get you where you want to be.
"Extended steady state cardio kills muscle."
The 'cardio kills your gains' thing is a bit of a myth. It's going to take me some time to hunt it down, but I think I remember that the study that allegedly proved that was done on ultra-marathoners, and they actually lost very little muscle mass compared to fat.
EDIT: Links Ahoy
HIIT will do you good. Extended steady state will kill the muscle. Keep in mind that ultramarathoners already have minimal muscle mass, so losing any of it would be really hard, and they're not trying to gain any.
If you're worried about injury, maybe you should look into training a lower impact martial art like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, since at any point in rolling you can tap out if you feel too uncomfortable. You can't exactly tap your way out of receiving a leg kick or throw that you're worried about.
You can do some good stuff with the kettlebells and dumbbells, but to me, there's nothing better than a trusty barbell set, either your own or one at a gym. It's mostly a matter of reestablishing good habits, and I think you know that. Good luck, man.
Since February I've been able to drop about 40 lbs via a combination of diet change and exercise. I generally have 2 hardboiled eggs for breakfast, an Atkins shake for lunch and dinner is meat with salad and lots of veggies. I cut out the bread, desserts obviously, and other high-carb, high-glycemic foods. With the time saved at lunch I went for a 1/2 hour walk (about 1.25 miles). For the past 4 weeks I've added a 20-minute walk before and after work by skipping the subway after the train gets me to Boston, so I'm walking about 3 miles.
So I have to agree with the other men here...change the diet and start exercising. There was a great post a while ago about push-ups, and while I'm still no good at it, there were some good ideas about working up to it which I've been using as well.
As you progress, consider making a weekly 6-8 hour window to use high GI carbs to awaken your metabolic functions. 4-10 PM works best (must end close to bed time). Jess Levens above mentions that a keto diet is not a long term solution. People think that because over time your metabolism slows (as with any caloric deficit diet) to adjust (the body doesn't like change, it wants to keep what it has). But it can be a long term solution if properly supplemented by timed insulin responses.
Google "Carb Nite Solution." It was designed for the general population.
Can you get the NIH to pay for a few sessions with a nutritionist? And ask your GP how he recommends you lose weight.
In the States, you can well on the right track with a few sessions with a personal trainer for under $200.