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Is E. Darden Nuts in Regards to Nutrition?


I just finished reading Ellington Darden's book " The New High Intensity Training." In this book he suggest a low protien, high carb diet for both weight loss and gain. (around 20% protien, 20% fats, and 60% carbs). I feel like this style of diet is contradictory to the majority of things I've read on weightlifting nutrition.

What is yalls oppinion? Are these dietary views out dated? Is Darden crazy? Have people been successful training with a HIT style or variation with other types of diets?

J Keeton


When it comes to training and diet, there are a lot of different roads that all lead towards similar goals.

The guys in the pic above (that's Dr. Darden seated) got into that ripped shape with a higher carb diet.

In this article, Dr. Clay has a big chunk talking about some of the pros and cons of a low fat/high carb fat loss plan:

HIT training works, high volume training works. Vegans can get jacked. People lose fat when eating one meal a day or eating eight meals a day. The less time we spend looking to discredit different theories, the more time we'd have to put towards experimenting and finding our own "best" path.


Thanks for the reply! I agree with you, it's counter productive to sit around trying to disprove every method under the sun that doesn't align with your thinking. I was just curious on the success rates and general opinion. Mad props to people who can get lean with 60% carbs. I don't feel like that kind of load would be effective for myself. It's still cool to see different methods work though. I guess that's what makes strength training/bodybuilding/powerlifting so fascinating...

J. Keeton


Everybody is different, I see ripped lean guys under 190lbs guys, pounding beers, eating Quarter pounders and fries...But, they will never crush a 555 squat or pull 600 yeah I will never be that ripped without some pharmacological help and serious dieting.

Everyone has their own insecurities and wishes. I want to be leaner but I am not willing to diet 24/7 and never enjoy pizza, beer, po boys.. etc. I like how I look right now and am dieting to get leaner, but will not be as strict this fall. It's just like working out, finding out what works for you.. with anything it correlates to the amount of work and effort you put into it. Just my 2 cents.


I used that book as an introduction to weight training. I was also a fatty who didn't want to spend long hours in the gym so it seemed an ideal choice (Darden's books generally target overweight, sedentary Americans, who can't afford to exercise too often and can't comprehend complex nutritional strategies). After some initial success, I soon found the calorie restricted plans oppressive (Darden recommends going as low as 1200kcals).

This, coupled with the low fat/protein and high carb split, made life unpleasant and hunger a constant presence. I lost weight but I'm certain also lost lean mass. Only when I switched to a keto approach did I experience a resurgence in strength and positive change in body comp.

I have huge respect for Darden but, putting aside the HIT versus HVT debate, the nutritional element is naive and I couldn't recommend it to anyone.