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Joel Marion Cheater's Diet & 5x5

Hi all, I’m really interested in the Joel Marion’s Cheater’s Diet and the 5x5 training. I’ve been following the topic for a while and well it’s now time to start. I was hoping if Joel himself or any one else with experience with the 5x5 could give me advice on my split. Here goes:
Workout 1 A1)Squat 5x5 A2)Bent over row 5x5 B)Hanging leg raises 2 X 10-20
Workout 2 A1) Bench Press 5x5 A2) Calf raise 5x5 B) Side bend raises 2 X 10-20
Workout 3 A1)Snatch lift 5x5 A2) Chin up - palms facing you 5x5 B)Slow up/slow down 2 x 10-20
Of course add in sprinting. The reason for the exercise changes is because I feel they work the best for me. Thanks!

Well, it’s a little heavy on back exercises, but all of those exercises are good choices. I might ditch the direct calf work (you’ll get some calf work from the snatches), move the chins to Wed and add dips or overhead presses to Friday.

Another option would be to keep things as is and changes the snatch lift to a clean and jerk.

But overall, even if you stick with exactly what you've got down, you've got a good set-up.

Thanks! I also forgot to mention that I want to do 5x5 & cheater’s diet, weeks 1 to 2. Meltdown II increase calories, weeks 3 to 4. Then 5x5 & cheater’s diet, weeks 5-6.
What do you think?

The alternating approach should work well. What approach will you be using for cheating? All out or extended carb refeeds? What has been your past experience with ‘cheat meals’ or ‘cheat days’? If you need some direction in this area, I’d be happy to work with you to figure out something optimal.


Workout looks good to me, though supersetting squats and BO rows would be too much for my lower back. I have a couple additional questions for Joel and anyone else, as well.

Would you have any general recommendations for caloric intake for women using the Cheater's diet? My fiancee will be doing it with me in February but I am unsure of her maintenance calories (she has not previously counted calories, though she has used a rough food journal). Also, I plan to use the diet at the same time (with 5x5 as well) but do not have access to androgens (I'm in Canada). Given that my maintenance level is about 3000 kcal and I will be using one carb refeed and one cheat day, would 2000 kcal/day be a reasonable starting point? I'm leading up to the Cheater diet with T-dawg/EDT fat loss for 4 weeks and should be around 10%BF by then. Thanks for your help.

Joel - I intend on using extended carb refeeds as you call it. I feel they are a much healthier alternative, plus I feel like crap after eating crap food. I’ve used the metabolic diet once before and I got great results with just eating things like pasta, breads and pancakes. I tried the two day carb-up, aswell as one and half and only one day carb-up. The one day worked better for me in appearance wise - I looked very hard and dense, but on the two day I looked flat and fat. On one day I actually ate one loaf of multi-grain bread as part of sandwhiches and snacks all day, it worked great.

Another thing I would like you to check if my calorie breakdown is correct. If I need to eat about 2000 Calories and 275g of protein per day on this diet. Does this mean I need to only eat 35g of fat and 150g of carbs. This seems alot of carbs for shedding the bodyfat. If it is thats fine I TRUST YOU and will do it. Just wanted to make sure though. Thanks again!

What is your body weight and body fat percentage? From the feedback I have gotten, it seems that you may need to drop below 2000 to get the drastic leptin drop and therefore the greatest benefits from the cheats. Actually, the 8-9x’s LBM recommendation that I looked down upon in the article may be your best bet. Also, most people got the greatest results by consuming carbs post workout and during the refeeds only.

Free to all, please send me an email. You can find it at the end of my articles here.

Joel - I sent you a email to your address at the end of the cheater’s diet article. I hope this is what you ment. If you didn’t get it here’s what I sent you anyway. My body weight is 200lbs at roughly 12% bodyfat. I used your 8 x LBM and it worked out to be about 1500 Calories. This seems alot better, and of course the carbs are much lower. I intend to eat my carbs at post workout and breakfast. This should be fine shouldn’t it?