T Nation

Critique My Diet and Training


Hello members of T-Nation,
I have been lurking here for a while, and finally got over the inertia. For a short introduction, I am 25, about 5' 6.5" and ate like crap most of my life, and weigh 183 lb with almost zero muscle. (Michelin man?). I have been reading article and the forums here for a couple of weeks, and have made some changes to my lifestyle and started lifting. Here is what I do now:
5 -6 meals on non training days and 6-7 on training days (including PWO shake)
Meal1: 1 cup oatmeal+2.5 cups milk + whey (655 kcal, 43 g P)
meal2,3,4 - 45 Almonds + 12g Whey or 50 peanuts + 12g Whey (365-375 kcal, 25g P)
Meal 5: 3 eggs + 12g whey (36g P, 300 kcal)
If I decide to be awake longer, I eat a little cottage cheese + whey for the last meal.

Plus an Apple/peach/orange every day, and veggies (onions, cilantro, tomato) in the night and occasional steamed cauliflower/broccoli.

On days that I train, I have a 60g Carb + 40g PWO shake right after my workout, and have a baked sweet potato + whey about 90 min later instead of the 5th meal I listed above.

Supplements - Fish oil, Tribulus (I have them, and I am certain carrying this much fat for this long certainly fucked up my hormones), and vitamin C.

Training -
I lifted a little, about a couple of years ago. Trying to get back and stay with it from now on. A friend, (A member of T-Nation too) suggested a bastardized version of Bill Starr's 5x5 and Rippetoe:
A- 5x5 back squat, 5x5 flat DB press, 5x5 deadlift
B- 5x5 back squat, 5x5 standing shoulder press, 5x5 barbell rows

I hit the weights three times a week, and right now I am trying to gain some of my previous strength and drop some fat at the same time while the "newbie gains" work.
I started out at 183 lb, and in about 1.5 weeks, dropped 3 lb (I know, it means nothing, may be just water).
I plan to add some meat to my diet and am working on grilling/baking chicken (was a vegetarian till a short while ago, so I need to learn these).
I do some steady state cardio (for now) every day I dont lift.

My goal is to drop some fat and work on the basic lifts and get "some" strength for now, and then try and put on mass later. Any suggestions (about anything) will be extremely helpful.

Thanks for your patience guys, for reading through yet another beginner's post.


Looking at your diet I would suggest eating more whole foods. Unless I was reading it wrong (which i could have been) most of your protein is coming from shakes? If you're going to go that route you might look into the Velocity Diet.

As far as your training goes why are you only lifting 3 days a week? I would bump that up to 4-5 days a week if you can.

And for cardio what is "some steady state"? As long as your body doesnt feel too run down you could probably do that steady state cardio 4-5 days a week as well.

Seems like you've got a plan and are motivated so just keep crusing around this site and reading as much as you can. Use that search function up top and read all the stickied threads if you havent already.

Good luck OP



To be honest I like this version of 5x5 alot better as it has arm assistance work and varying rep ranges. Here's the link:


Also I would switch those nut and whey meals to cooked meat and veggies. Last meal before bed should be protein and fat (meat lol). You should increase protein consumption in general and slowly drop carbs if you're trying to lose weight. Your carb and protein intake should have an inverse relationship ie the less carbs you're taking in the more protein you should eat. Looks like you're on the right track though.


Thanks a lot for the comments Greg. I do realize that the bulk of my protein is coming from whey right now (about 3 scoops a day = 69g from whey, and 24 from eggs, 24 from milk and 40 from nuts, ~13 from cottage cheese = 170g). I was eating a lot of nuts because I read here that they have healthy fat, and "nuts are good for your nuts" statements a bunch of times. I dont think I should even count the protein from Almonds and Peanuts. I will substitute at least one nut based meal to chicken breasts then. I must be getting in a little more protein for sure.

Regarding lifting, I started off with three days. It has loads of squats, and the base programs, rippetoe and 5x5 both suggest 3 days a week. If you think I would be better off with lifting more, sure, I will. It would be really helpful if you can suggest me a decent routine for dropping some fat.

Cardio - I either jog for about 3/4th mile or do about 25-30 minutes on the elliptic. Needless to say, my conditioning sucks. Once I feel a little better, I will try intervals.

I seem to be losing some fat for now, so I was planning on doing this till I slow down. When I start stalling, I will keep adding more cardio/drop carbs a little more e.t.c - this was my idea. I was thinking, "I can go full throttle, but what more can I do if I stall in 2 weeks?". If this logic is flawed, please correct me.

Thank you


Thanks trav123456. I saw the madcow 5x5 before, but did not know if my friends suggestion or this would suit better for my goals, and my friend convinced me :). But yeah, I dont think I should try and be too smart now, 1-2 weeks with this, and hopefully I will make some strength gains, and I will do it the right way. If this is stupid, let me know.

I agree about the nuts, I will keep them for 1-2 meals and get a little more meat in. My last meal right now is 3 eggs - fat+protein (and a little whey or cottage cheese). Should I change that too?


good advice here

I'd also like to say, there's absolutely no need to complicate things, especially because you're at a stage where virtually anything you do will yield some kind of results. for shit sake, curling all day will give you some results. dont do that, im just saying...

what beginners really need to know is what HARD WORK feels like. you can have the 'best' workout program, and see nothing because you don't know how to lift.

Hire a knowledgeable personal trainer, or grab a friend whos in shape with no injuries, and ask them to teach you how to properly bench, deadlift, pull up (or down), and squat. This QUATTRO (stole that shit from Audi) is really the fundamental to ALL lifts. Yes, ALL lifts. If you dont nail those down, forget about progressing.

learn those first. and quite simply, find your MAX at all those lifts.
take 85% of that max weight, and perform 8 - 12 reps for 3 - 5 sets.
higher weight and less reps for squats and deads.
higher reps and less weight for the pulldowns and bench.

and for your diet, look towards Dr Berardi's methods. hes got a couple.


Thanks for the inputs guys.
I changed my diet a little, and I am getting in a little meat in. I finally managed to bake some chicken :slight_smile:

I have lost 4 lbs over the last 2 weeks, and am still able to make some strength gains (pretty modest but something).

I have a question about cardio - what do you define as HIIT? I used the search function, but I still have a question. Since I am a fat fuck right now, when I push myself on the elliptical, my heart rate soars. My TMHR is 220-25 = 195, and I easily reach 165. So, for now, about 4 times over a 20 minute secession, I push myself really hard for a minute and push my heart rate all the way up to about 178-182 (at about 180-190 strides/minute). Does this count as HIIT?
I was just curious, not that I am trying to incorporate some fancy complex sounding stuff to what I do.

Thank you


When is he supposed to recover?


That's HIIT. Go as hard as you can until you feel like you're going to blow up, slow down, recover, repeat. 20min. is good Put a 3min. warm up and cool down on either end of that.