T Nation

Need Criticism of Workout & Diet

Hi all. I’m new to bodybuilding and want to make sure the workout scheme I 've planned is OK before I start. Any and all suggestions for improvement are warmly appreciated. All calorie values are approximated.

Goals: Lose fat, maintain lean muscle.

Stats:

Age: 24
Weight: 175 lbs
Height: 5ft 11in.

Diet

  1. Breakfast - Grilled chicken breast. Ham and cheese toastie sandwich (one slice) - 300 cal

  2. Second breakfast - Low carb protein shake with 10ml flaxseed oil & skimmed milk. - 350 cal

  3. Lunch - Two ham and salad sandwiches. - 400 cal

  4. Second lunch (Post workout) - High carb protein shake. - 500 cal

  5. Dinner - Grilled chicken breast, boiled potatoes, mixed green vegetables. - 300 cal

  6. Second dinner - 150g natural low fat cottage cheese & a couple of Ryvita crackers. - 200 cal

Total: 2000 cal (approx)

Workout:

I plan to do fasted cardio (aerobic exercise before breakfast) at a low intensity for five days a week. I also plan to do the following weightlifting program three days a week:

Monday - Chest & abs:

Bench Press (3x10).
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press (3x10).
Flys.
Squats (3x10) (note: I know this may seem like a strange place to put squats but I just didn’t want to have to do Squats & deadlifts on the same day)
Tricep Extensions (3x10).
Tricep Dips (2xMax to failure).
Stomach Crunches. (3x30)

Wednesday - Legs, back & abs

Leg Curls (3x10)
Leg Extensions (3x10).
Calf Raises (3x20).
Chin-ups (3xMax to failure).
Dead lifts (3x10).
Seated Rows (3x10)
Decline Stomach Crunches (3x30).

Friday - Arms & Shoulders:

Straight Bar Bicep Curls (3x10)
Hammer Bicep Curls
Military Press (3x10)
Shoulder Press (3x10)
Lateral Raises (3x10)
Trapezius Shrugs (3x15)
Oblique Crunches (3x30)

What do you reckon?

Stats - maybe include est bf% and training age (truly just started, been on and off awhile?)

Diet - seems a little low in healthy fats, maybe add a couple handful of almonds/cashews/walnuts and definitely some fish oil.

Where’s the fruits at? A little more veggies wouldn’t hurt either. As far as protein I’d try to get limit the shakes and get more from whole food. lean beef, chicken, eggs, fish, etc.

Workout - fasted cardio before eating anything shouldn’t be done if you’re trying to maintain muscle, unless you are at a higher bf%. I would get a little in my stomach if I were you on that. Actually I’d probably trade in the low intensity stuff and go for intervals or complexes instead a few times a week to up the metabolism rather than the ‘cardio’.

Any reason it’s 3x10 on everything? For a three day ‘workout week’ I would either go total body or a rotating 4 day workout over 3 days a week:
WK1,D1 upper1
WK1,D2 lower1
WK1,D3 upper2
WK2,D1 lower2

As far as program design, compound exercises first. So your wed would look a little more like:

Dead lifts (3x10)
Chin-ups (3xMax to failure).
Seated Rows (3x10)
Leg Curls (3x10)
Leg Extensions (3x10).
Calf Raises (3x20).
Decline Stomach Crunches (3x30)

Also, don’t forgot there’s no shame in doing one of the workouts here at T-Nation or following one of the diets here.

Whats wrong with doing squats and deadlifts on the same day???

Other than the fact that it is hard :slight_smile:

Anyways… I say screw the 3x10+ stuff, but if you must, just make the first exercise (following the other guys advice about compound exercises first) 10x3. Also, I second the idea that a total body scheme would better serve a 3 day per week program.

I agree on the healthy fats you have NONE id drop som,e of the crackers and junk like that and add good fat sources

training. For three days Id suggest a total body approach or a pull/push/legs. Then you can put DL on the pull day separated by the push upper body day, and have squats on leg day.

There is nothing wrong with a DL and squat on the same day except one will suffer you wont be able to give it the full attention it deserves. If you were to cycle them then sure but Id go full body or the other I listed if I just had three days

Phill

Hi all. Thanks for your input. I’ll try to answer as many of your questions as possible but, because I’m a beginner, there may be some that I don’t really know. Anyway:

DK

I don’t have calipers or a body fat calculator but I would guess that I’m about 17-18% fat. Of course, people tend to underestimate this, so it could be even higher.

Also, I’ve tried working out before a couple of times in the past but I never really had a coherent plan and just dropped out after a few sessions. This time, however, I’m absolutely 100% serious about cutting and have never been more motivated.

Okay. How about if I were to add the following:

  1. A fish oil supplement (maybe something like this? http://tinyurl.com/2cetwy) with my first meal?

  2. Two handfuls of cashew nuts to my third meal?

I thought that the sugar content in most fruits rendered them unsuitable for cutters. If I’m wrong about this then I’d happily chuck in a couple of apples or something before my workout. Would that be enough?

Ok. I’ll add some more to meal 5.

I’m trying to maintain as much muscle as possible but my first priority is shedding body fat. If I have to choose between one or the other I’d sacrifice muscle any time. My plan is to get nice and lean and then go on a long, slow bulk, put on a few lbs of muscle while still keeping my bf% fairly low.

Not really. It’s just easy to remember.

Ah, thanks for the tip!

Oh, I know. It’s just that a lot of the diets here at T-Nation seem very stringent and hard to follow. I know my diet and workout isn’t 100% optimal but so long as it works reasonably well I’ll be satisfied.

Thanks for your comments DK. They’ve been very helpful.

jelliot wrote:

Well, that’s what I thought when I first knocked up this workout plan. Then I showed it to an acquaintance of mine who’s a big fitness enthusiast and he said that doing squats and dead lifts on the same day would not only leave me too knackered to do anything else but would also damage my knees if performed over a long period of time.

Okay, I’ll give it a try. Just out of interest, why is it a good idea to do 10x3 first?

Thanks for your comments. They’re very helpful.

Okay. If I were to add a couple of handfuls of cashew nuts and a fish oil supplement as detailed above would that take care of my healthy fat intake?

Also, you said “junk like that”. I can see what you mean about the crackers but is there anything else in the program you would consider junk? I’m not an expert on nutrition so I may be missing something obvious.

Thanks for your comments. They, as with the others, were very helpful.

mmm well i cant speak for whoever mentioned the junk, but i for one would cut out or at least limit the bread. I presume you are having whole wheat bread, any other wheat bread is possibly the worst thing since, well, sliced bread.

but even whole wheat bread should be limited in my opinion especially if you are cutting. get some oatmeal in you in the morning, that’ll set you up for the day.

Also I would swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes. They have a lower glycaemic index, contain more nutrients and are tastier too.

I would also vary your meat sources a little or you will get sick of chicken, plus you will get a better variety of nutrients. Get in whatever else you can - turkey (its cheaper and leaner), salmon (u dont need to feel guilty about eating the fat), beef and lamb.

The fuss about fruits and cutting in my opinion is bullshit. get in 2-3 servings of fruits a day around breakfast and pre and post workout. this will actually aid protein uptake into muscle.

Also vegetables are vital, get a lot. They fill you up and you do not need to count them as carb calories.

I would agree you need a lot more good fat and perhaps less carbs (or at least better sources of carbs). try and get your carbs in the morning and peri-workout only.

also what sort of times you are eating?

Right now I am cutting a slow and healthy cut and its working quicker than i expected, even though not following any specific rules except eat little and often, carbs in morning and around workout, and every meal should be fat/protein OR carbs/protein. Dont mix fat and carbs (which you arent really doing).

The first step is getting into the habit of eating clean and refusing to eat shit. I dont know how clean u eat now, but if you say you havent much idea about nutrition, its probably a lot less clean than you would like to think. Once you take this step, you will find you lose fat without even thinking.

Good luck

Hi hungerpain. Thanks for your comments. I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can.

Yes, I am eating whole wheat bread. I’m only eating 5 slices per day but is that too much? If so, do you have any ideas as to what I could replace it with? How would you restructure those meals where bread is featured.

I know that bread is not recommended for cutters but I was hoping that, with just five slices a day, I’d be able to squeeze in under the wire. Having said that, I could just take two slices out of meal 3 and have “open” sandwiches instead.

I haven’t included any potatoes in my diet :slight_smile:

This is a good point. I do love grilled chicken, but I plan to swap the chicken in my dinner for cod and lean beef occasionally just for variety. I can’t stomach the taste of salmon so I think I’ll give that a miss and rely on the cod, cashews, flax oil and fish oil tablets for my healthy fats.

Okay. I’ll have an apple with breakfast, an apple just before my workout, and a small homemade fruit salad (chopped apples, pears, and orange segments) for dessert after my dinner. Would that be good?

Yeah, I plan to have quite a lot with my dinner and also have some salad with meal 3.

I just did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation and worked out that my proposed diet will feature about 60g of healthy fats a day. What sort of figure should I be aiming for?

Thanks for your comments, they’ve been very helpful.

Yes your trying to lose fat it was the bread and white potatoes empty calories lioke that I was calling junk. Now if you had diff goals like gaining these food would not be junk but great tools right now not solid choices. God for veggies etc.

replace the bread with green veggies good fats, maybe some oats and fruit in the morning

[quote]Tanglewood wrote:
Hi hungerpain. Thanks for your comments. I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can.

mmm well i cant speak for whoever mentioned the junk, but i for one would cut out or at least limit the bread. I presume you are having whole wheat bread, any other wheat bread is possibly the worst thing since, well, sliced bread.

Yes, I am eating whole wheat bread. I’m only eating 5 slices per day but is that too much? If so, do you have any ideas as to what I could replace it with? How would you restructure those meals where bread is featured.

I know that bread is not recommended for cutters but I was hoping that, with just five slices a day, I’d be able to squeeze in under the wire. Having said that, I could just take two slices out of meal 3 and have “open” sandwiches instead.

Also I would swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes. They have a lower glycaemic index, contain more nutrients and are tastier too.

I haven’t included any potatoes in my diet :)[/quote]

it said boiled potato

[quote]
I would also vary your meat sources a little or you will get sick of chicken, plus you will get a better variety of nutrients. Get in whatever else you can - turkey (its cheaper and leaner), salmon (u dont need to feel guilty about eating the fat), beef and lamb.

This is a good point. I do love grilled chicken, but I plan to swap the chicken in my dinner for cod and lean beef occasionally just for variety. I can’t stomach the taste of salmon so I think I’ll give that a miss and rely on the cod, cashews, flax oil and fish oil tablets for my healthy fats.

The fuss about fruits and cutting in my opinion is bullshit. get in 2-3 servings of fruits a day around breakfast and pre and post workout. this will actually aid protein uptake into muscle.

Okay. I’ll have an apple with breakfast, an apple just before my workout, and a small homemade fruit salad (chopped apples, pears, and orange segments) for dessert after my dinner. Would that be good?[quote]

I agree get your fruit in to many benefits

[quote]
Also vegetables are vital, get a lot. They fill you up and you do not need to count them as carb calories.

Yeah, I plan to have quite a lot with my dinner and also have some salad with meal 3.

I would agree you need a lot more good fat and perhaps less carbs (or at least better sources of carbs).

I just did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation and worked out that my proposed diet will feature about 60g of healthy fats a day. What sort of figure should I be aiming for?

Thanks for your comments, they’ve been very helpful.[/quote]

Id shoot for a simple .5 grams per lb, so a 200lb man would need 100g fat

hope this helps
Phill

well what i’d do is have oatmeal in the morning with an omelette (i prefer white egg omelettes with spinach, cheese and bell peppers)

Then instead of sandwiches, I would have maybe ham salad with couscous.

you mention boiled potatoes???

sounds much better.if you wanted to be really picky id say have a different 2nd fruit instead of 2 apples. if you like bananas, they’re cheap and a good slow energy source.but fruit salad is good, and the more you mix it up from a day to day basis the better your nutrient intake will be. variety is key!

[quote]
I just did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation and worked out that my proposed diet will feature about 60g of healthy fats a day. What sort of figure should I be aiming for? [/quote]

well i’m not sure, it hink you could comfortably increase that if you like. the more fat you have the more your body becomes accustomed to using fat as a main energy source. So as long as you still have a energy deficit, and keep the fats healthy, you will keep burning fat.

[quote]
Thanks for your comments, they’ve been very helpful.[/quote]
you’re welcome!

Most people won’t advocate doing squats and deads on the same day, and you certainly shouldn’t choose to do them on the same day at every workout…

BUT, there is nothing wrong with throwing it in a few times per month. Have you ever considered back squatting at every workout? Your friend will almost certainly advise against this also…

(I train the olympic lifts almost exclusively, everything thing else I do is considared ancillary work for me, but I squat (heavy) 4 days per week, often front and back squatting in the same workout. Along with lots of pulls. You got to remember that most* people who advise against this type of training have never done it themselves.)

Its also important to use some common sense. You might work up to some heavy singles on the front squat and after doing some other stuff end the workout with 3x8 back squats. It’s rare that I would ever perform max singles in both squats. Or perhaps you back squat for heavy sets of 4-5 reps and later in the work out end with a sntach grip deadlift for a few sets of 3 reps…

The take home point is, not to squat hard and heavy and then immediately deadlift like crazy…BUT both of those exercises are you “money” exercises, your focus lifts. The work you do in between can be seen as a rest, or preperation. Even if it is hard work.

  • lastly: the 10x3 compound movement at the start idea, was taken from a Waterbury program long ago. It is just a great way to ensure you really hit that focus lift hard. It is done at the start, as your body is fresh, nervous system amped, ect…

Try writing down your workout man. if you can’t remember, to overhead press 3x5, 2x3, 3x1…and instead just press 3x10. Your never going to get anywhere.

The biggest thing I can advocate to beginners is the 90% rule. Make sure 90% of your workouts and meals are spot on and you will be fine. Things come up that interfere with training and eating perfectly, that’s life.

If you want a cheat meal, have a cheat meal, but make sure it’s just one and the bust your butt that day in the gym. One meal, one missed workout, they will not derail your progress as long as they don’t become routine. Good luck.