T Nation

Advice On My Training & Diet

I’m a beginner, and currently I’m attempting to lose a good portion of my body fat before I begin any form of “bulking.” I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice or criticism regarding my current training and diet, or if there’s any portion of either that I could improve upon.

I’m 21 years old, and I am currently at 220 lbs at an estimated 16% body fat; I’ve lost approximately 25 lbs over the course of three months, while making modest muscle gains.

With regard to my diet, this is what I am currently consuming each day:

First meal:
3 egg whites
1/2 serving of whey protein
one serving of skim milk
one serving of Fiber One
one tablespoon flax seed oil
TOTAL:
366 calories
14.5 g fat
36 g carbohydrates
33.5 g protein

Second meal:
one serving raw oats
one serving skim milk
1/2 serving whey protein
TOTAL:
285 calories
3g fat
39g carbohydrates
24.5 g protein

Third meal (post-training shake)
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons raw honey
one serving skim milk
one serving whey protein
TOTAL:
361 calories
1.5 g fat
45 g carbohydrates
43 g protein

Fourth meal (post-training meal)
skinless chicken breast
baked sweet potato
one teaspoon flax seed oil
TOTAL:
353 calories
11.5g fat
24g carbohydrates
39 g protein

Fifth meal
One can of tuna, approx. 2.5 servings
TOTAL
125 calories
2.5 g fat
0 g carbohydrates
27 g protein

Sixth and last meal:
3 egg whites
one serving whey protein
one serving skim milk
TOTAL:
241 calories
1.5 g fat
11 g carbohydrates
43 g protein

TOTAL intake:
1731-1800 (occasional extra calories from protein or complex carbs)
34.5 g fat
155 g carbohydrates
210 g protein

If I feel as though my training was especially intense, I sometimes consume extra complex carbohydrates to recover; not over 170 g total, however.

I also do an occasional low-carb day in conjunction with cardio, through my caloric intake and protein remains consistent.

Most of my protein intake comes from lean meat (chicken and tuna), milk, and egg whites because they are much slower acting than whey; and most of my carbohydrates are from complex sources, except for my post-shake, at which point I use raw honey to boost insulin and suppress cortisol levels.

My training is a full body routine, three days per week, utilizing compound movements; generally three exercises per muscle group, and 2 sets per exercise yielding six sets per muscle group. My exact routine is as follows, and the weight is such that I can perform 8-12 repetitions per set:

Barbell lateral raise: 2 sets
Behind neck press: 2 sets
Rear lateral raise: 2 sets

Barbell bench press: 2 sets
Incline dumbbell bench press: 2 sets
Dumbbell flyes: 2 sets

Behind neck pulldown: 2 sets
Seated row: 2 sets
Barbell row: 2 sets

Barbell curl: 2 sets
Incline dumbbell curl: 2 sets
High pulley curl: 2 sets

Tricep pushdown: 2 sets
Standing tricep extension: 2 sets
Tricep bench extension: 2 sets

Squat: 6 sets (three sets full squat, three sets wide-stance squat)
Hamstring curl: 3 sets
Calve raise: 1 set, 20 reps

Hyperextension: 2 sets, 10-20 reps each
Neck flexions: 2 sets, 12 reps each with 10 lbs weight.

If I feel as though I haven’t stressed a muscle group to its fullest, I sometimes go for three sets per muscle group; but this is usually for my chest, biceps and triceps. I also focus on the negative portion of each movement as much as the positive, taking two to three seconds for each portion.

My cardio is three to four times a week, though lately I have been walking a mile in addition to my cardio each day. I try to burn around 400-500 calories per cardio session, and I’m thinking of employing HIIT for more efficient fat burning without prolonging the duration of my cardio.

My goal is of course to reduce my body fat while maintaining muscle mass, and given that I am a relative newcomer to this area, I would like to do so without excess low-carb dieting.

After I reach a satisfactory body fat level, I’d like to begin by slightly increasing my calories to around 2100 and focus on building mass, adding 100 calories per month according to my results, but not exceeding 500 calories over my maintenance level.

Sorry for the long post; if anyone has any recommendations, criticism or advice, I’d be more than glad to hear it.

Nathan

Your routine sucks. Im sorry.

Youre doing in the neighborhood of 44 sets per workout, and youre doing it three times per week. If youre going to be training each muscle group at a higher frequency, you need to turn the volume down a bit. Check out some of Waterbury’s programs if you are interested in high frequency training.

You are also going wayy wayy wayy too low on you calories. Even for fat loss, at 220 lbs, you need to be eating a lot more than 1800 calories per day. Your body is starving.

I am also going to say that, as a beginner, as long as your weight is not a health concern, I dont think you should be attempting to lose weight first. Having more muscle mass will make it easier to lose the fat that you have accumulated on your body later on.

Ya I’m gonna have to agree you’re eating like a mouse. I eat around 3000 a day to gain mostly muscle and I weigh 130 right now. Even if you’re trying to lose fat there’s no way you should be eating 1800-1900. Hell, that’ll probably make it harder because your body won’t want to divert any nutrients to your muscles that it needs to keep your organs running.

Sorry for double post but on squats why can’t you do full squats with a wide stance? It should be easier. If your abducters are weak then reduce the weight and get your ass down to your calves.

Also, 1 set of 20 on calves isn’t very effective. Your calves walk around with your body weight of 220 all day long. Unless you do like 5 seconds both way with double your weight or some shit like that you’re not getting the volume. Calves are stubborn you need to train high intensity high reps with them. At least most people do.

[quote]fightingtiger wrote:
Your routine sucks. Im sorry.

Youre doing in the neighborhood of 44 sets per workout, and youre doing it three times per week. If youre going to be training each muscle group at a higher frequency, you need to turn the volume down a bit. Check out some of Waterbury’s programs if you are interested in high frequency training.

You are also going wayy wayy wayy too low on you calories. Even for fat loss, at 220 lbs, you need to be eating a lot more than 1800 calories per day. Your body is starving.

I am also going to say that, as a beginner, as long as your weight is not a health concern, I dont think you should be attempting to lose weight first. Having more muscle mass will make it easier to lose the fat that you have accumulated on your body later on.[/quote]

That pretty much sums up the training.

you dont have to do every exercise every day. Pick a few and really DO them

Diet like above said low over all but sickly low in fats, and whats up and how the heck do you get 1.2 servings of Whey??

Id hit up the Are You A beginner thread above and the links. and come back with any questions

Phill

With regard to my calve training, I’m only doing one set of 20 because I don’t want my calves to become out of proportion with my overall physique. I know calves and other muscle groups are a bit stubborn for most, but it isn’t that difficult for me to add mass at any given time. My measurements are as follows:

Height: 5 ft 10 in.
Neck: 17 in
Shoulders: 20 inches
Chest: 47 inches
Forearm: 13 inches
Bicep/upper arm: 16.5 inches
Waist: 36 inches
Thigh: 27 inches
Calves: 18 inches

I’d like to eventually cause my upper arms, neck, and calves to become equal; generally in the area of 17 to 18 inches.

As far as my current caloric intake is concerned, I’m well aware that it appears much lower than normal; and this has caused me considerable confusion, given that I’ve never eaten much more than 2,000 calories, even at 245 lbs. During my three months of training, I’ve lost 25 lbs while gaining an inch on my thighs, an inch on my chest, an inch on my forearms, an inch on my neck, an inch on my calves, an inch on my shoulders, and a half an inch on my upper arms.

If I begin to consume more calories than I have at any point in my life now, the extra carbohydrate intake will most likely cause me to gain weight, afterward and my weight will remain steady for some time while my system becomes accustomed to the added intake.

Since what I’m doing currently is working rather well, I’d like to stay with it until I begin my “bulking” phase, at which point I can strive for a higher calorie intake.

On a side note, can anyone explain in any detail how I was able to maintain 245 lbs at 2,000 calories per day, and how I am able to gain muscle (albeit inefficiently) and lose body fat while “eating like a mouse?” I understand perfectly well that my basal metabolic rate should place me at around 2,300 calories per day, without taking into account additional physical activity; but my previous experience and my experience now tends to fly in the face of these numbers.

If I were to increase my calories now, what types of changes would my body go through before fat loss would begin once more?

Thanks again,
Nathan