T Nation

Nutrition/Program Critique


I just started a new nutrition and training regimen and I wanted to get some input. I'll give you some background first.

In the last two years I've lost 120 pounds. Prior to that I was never very active. I lost the weight primarily by bicycling and by restricting caloric intake to about 1200 calories per day. That got me from 298 to 180. About a year ago I started some Waterbury programs and saw some fat loss and muscle gain so I currently sit at 188 pounds. My diet has changed and I hadn't been very restrictive on foods or alcohol. And you know what drinking alcohol does, it leads to late night pizza eating. :wink:

I have some muscle tone now whereas I had none before and I've seen increases in the loads I am able to lift. However I still have some fat specifically in the love handle region that I would love to get rid of. I don't want to be a body builder. I want to be strong, and cut. I want to have functional strength and not focus on isolation movements.

I just picked up a copy of Built For Show and I am going to follow that but I am considering a few modifications. First, I am considering doing four workout a week instead of three. Mon, Tues and Thurs, Fri as upper/lower splits. Then I want to add in two cardio days with about 20 minutes each of rowing and stairmaster. What are your thoughts on that idea?

For my nutrition I intend to eat six times per day. Total calorie consumption of around 1800 per day. Sometimes it might be a little more or less and I will likely have a cheat meal once or twice a week but will try to keep that under control. I will limit alcohol consumption to a maximum of 5 drinks but hopefully less.

1: 1/2 cup yogurt w/ 1/2 cup rolled oats and one hard boiled egg.

2: Apple and a hard boiled egg.

3: 3-4 cups salad greens, carrots, lean meat like chicken or fish.

4: 1/2 cup cashew/almond/peanut mix

5: Post workout shake on workout days or banana and string cheese

6: lean meat like chicken or fish and mixed vegetables.

That's my plan. Do you think I can accomplish my goals on this plan? What would you change?

Thanks guys.


First, congratulations on the fat loss. I know how damned good it feels. Way to go.

Second, you mention you don't want to be a Bodybuilder, but.... that's exactly what you are doing. I get confused when people say they want functional strength, so they aren't trying to be bodybuilders. Not sure where this mentality originated.

Your cardio plan looks solid, and your diet is ok for fat loss/maintenance, but you are going to have severe problems packing on any more lean mass with such a low calorie count. More lean mass = more strength.

Anyhow, great job on losing the weight. I'd say to stay the course and see how beneficial (read: functional, strong, definition) a typical "Bodybuilding" lifting program will be for you. There are MANY different types, with MANY different goals.

Good luck!


Thanks for the response.

I guess in my head there is a difference between people that look strong and fit and those that look like "bodybuilders". But You're right. I do want to build my body.

I think I have a mental block on calories since I cut way down to 1200 while losing all that weight it's been hard for me to bring the total back up. I'll have to adjust it based on the results I see I guess.

Thanks again man.