Dude, your training reminds me of what a lot of guys I used to swim with did: an ernest effort but misguided priorities.
First off, the Ab Ripper thing has gotta go. The Abs are just like any other muscle. Tony Horton doesn't have any secrets for you.
Agreed. I always hated doing abs because they were my weakness and the ab ripper was easy because it laid out an exact plan for me. Last night I actually started doing other ab exercises after reading a lot on T-Nation. These include ab wheelers, swiss ball crunches w/ weight, prone pikes w/ swiss ball, and some others. I have always been "that guy" who thought that crunches x 100 were the way to go. I'm trying to change my ways!
Second, you gotta emphasize the lower body. Doing Shoulders and Legs on the same day doesn't really do your Legs Justice. While you're still handling the weights you are now for squats, you can easily train your legs multiple times a week.
I do this because I'm in an accelerated nursing program so time isn't on my side, but maybe instead of the cardio on the one day I'll throw in another leg day. I just never thought about it. Thanks.
Finally, 40-45 minutes of cardio is unnecessary. Bodybuilders only do that much cardio when they're deep into their contest prep. And every other athlete, whether they throw javlin, fight, play ball, or even run the 1 mile, won't be found doing cardio for 45 uninterrupted minutes.
The only reason I do this is because of these:
I realize both of these guys are more advanced than me, but I thought it would still be a good idea.
My main goal is to get as lean as possible by April 11 (my brother's wedding). I used to lift hard and eat a ton, but that just made me big. I'm trying to start over by getting lean and starting to build from a better foundation. I liked how much I could lift, but didn't like my appearance.
You should look into the Starting Strength Novice Program.
Your rank as a Novice in the training world is based off how you respond to training stress. To a novice training isn't very stressful since he cannot yet handle sufficiently heavy weights to demand a long recovery. So a young 20-something squatting 315 for multiple sets of 5 might be a novice because this isn't that stressful, whereas a 45-year-old man whose best 5RM is 185 might not be able to train as a novice because his training is more stressful to him. It's not an ego thing. Being a novice is good.
And at 6'2" 200ish pounds you won't be able to put on Muscle and get strong eating under 2000 calories a day.
Completely agree. I got on the scale today and realized I am losing weight too fast. I'm gonna try and get it to about 2500 per day while still staying lowish carbs and high protein. Right now the diet is just an experiment to find out how my body will respond. Thanks though and I do understand that calories this low are going to be counter-productive.
Getting on a regimented diet takes a lot of dedication. So much that you might be better off just eating sensibly, making sure you get in a lot of protein, and going by feel for the rest of your food. This works well for a lot of people. Hell, it works well for a lot of world champions.
But if you're determined to follow a formula-based diet I would advise you to pick up a book. Maybe the Zone Diet. Maybe the Warrior Diet. Maybe the Paleo Diet. A book on one of these diets will get you eating the appropriate amount of food.
I have thought about getting a diet book, but didn't know where to start. Thanks a lot!
This is an article on Carb Cycling. In it there is an easy-to understand chart for figuring out your macro needs.