T Nation

Routine and Diet Wisdom Needed!


I wanted to get the opinion from the experts on this routine I'm using now :-). Is it any good or are there any drastic chances that I have to make on it. Also I would like your honest opinion on my diet. I'm doing a low-carb diet with max 18% carb over the day and most days less than that. I'm eating a lot of good protein (Chicken, beef, deer, tuna, makrell, herring, etc.) and a lot of good fats and oils (Omega3, 6 and 9). I'm 5'11", 170lbs and probably between 18 - 20 in fat% and trying to gain mass and not much fat (the holy grail :-)) and my goal is 185lbs and 10-11% fat. My calorie intake is 500-600 cal over my maintenance level (3100-3200). Do you guys think that this diet along with my workout routine is a good road to success or a disaster in the making ??

So please pour your knowledge, I sure as hell need it !!!

ROUTINE (Usually 3 sets with 8 reps)

Monday - Legs
Back Squats
Leg Press / Extensions
Hack Squats
Weighted Crunches

Tuesday - Chest, Back
Bench Press
Incline Bench Press
Weighted Dips
Bent-over Rows
One-arm Dumbbell Rows
Seated Pulley Rows

Wednesday - Shoulders, Calves
Shoulder Press Dumbell
Military Press
Lateral Raises
Standing Calf Raises
Seated Calf Raises

Friday - Deadlifts, Arms
Standing Barbell Curls
Incline Dumbbell Curls
Closed-grip Bench press
Lying Tricep Extensions


Looks good so far. If you haven't done so already, read stickies and articles on here to build on your own knowledge of what to do. Hit the routine you have now for awhile, since just about any decent program will give a beginner gains. Give it a few months, and adjust as needed.

Just about every question you have is probably answered already, so make use of the search function.

More important then the amount of weight or excercise, is the execution of the movement. Make sure its a challenging weight that allows you to fully contract the specific muscle with full control.


170 * .20 = 34 lbs. of fat
170 - 34 = 136 lbs. lean body mass (LBM)

136 * 1.5 = 204 grams of protein (816 calories)
136 * 1 = 136 grams of calories (544 calories)
136 * .5 = 68 grams of fat (612)
Total Calories: 1972

185 * 1.5 = 277.5 protein (1110 calories)
185 * 1 = 185 carbs (740 calories)
185 * .5 = 95.5 fat (832.5 calories)
Total Calories: 2682.5

1972 + 500 = 2472
2683 + 500 = 3183

I think the math above is self explanatory except what I am getting at. I wrote this out to illustrate that you need to have AT LEAST 3200 calories per day to reach a LBM of 185. If you are starting under 3200 right now add in calories each week until you can comfortable eat 3200 every day.(even on none lifting days)

As you gain muscle and your metabolism sky rockets due to continually over feeding it you will need to add even more calories. Don't be afraid to eat 4,000+ per day as you gain muscle.

As for your program, get a real program and follow it.


I took your advice and did a lot of research on programs and the 5/3/1 workout with the assistance exercises looks very good. I bought the book and done the Excel setup and I'm good to go. Hopefully it will bring good results (I'll probably post something about my progress). Then it's the question of my diet. Should I definitely NOT stay on this low carb diet? Or is my current diet with an intake of 3200cal+ gonna do the job properly?


The "Do Work" is strong in this one!

The most important factor is getting in your protein each day.
The second most important factor is getting in your calories each day.

Only you know how your body reacts to carbs. If you can handle carbs moderately well then leave them at the recommended 185 per day. If you don't handle them well drop them to 100 grams and put those carbs in the morning and around your workout. The additional 500 calories you will use to build muscle can also be carbs or fat depending on your insulin sensitivities. If you choose to have the entire 500 calories as carbs that is a total of 310 carbs per day.

Do you get the idea?

Just give it a try in one of the ways mentioned or cycle your carbs between the high and low depending on the muscle group you are working etc. If I am not explaining this good enough search for articles on carb cycling above.


This is a great idea. There were a bunch of problems with the routine in your first post (mostly in exercise choice).

Like JLone said, try either plan for a few weeks, track your progress (strength in the gym, pics, and measurements), and adjust accordingly. If you wanted to start off with the low-ish 100 gram plan, this would be where to start:


why are you deadlifting x3 a week?


Wow, someone actually did research and answered their own question. OP please stay on the forum and make a training log.


Ok guys I've been doing this "low carb" now for 2 weeks and actually I've lost 2lbs in the process. So I've started to boost my carb intake up to about 200 like JLone talked about and see how that goes. I'm adding the carbs in the morning and pre-workout. I make a shake from oats, peanutbutter and milk. I'm keeping my proteins up and rather cutting down my fat intake. I'm not that worried about cutting my fats because I'm getting alot of good fats from various sources like mackreal, fish oil and herring. So for now the carbs go up and fat down and sticking with approx. 3200cal per day :-).

@cavaman101: as you can see on my previous post I've quit my previous routine and I'm doing 5/3/1 with Assistance Work #4: Periodization Bible by Dave Tate. This assistance work suits me well because I want to be able to rotate the kind of exercises I do.

I've done an Excel document so I can monitor my progress, both in the major lifts and also in my assistance work.

I worked with the program this week to find out where to start in weights and the outcome was rather disturbing to say the least. In my mind I was in a fairly good shape but that was sadly not the case :-). Having trained handball (for those who want to know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_handball ) for 15 years on a competitive level , I really thought I had something left in me. But being out of the game for 10 years and a total hip replacement last April had obviously caught up with me.
As you see I've got some work ahead of me and looking forward to see how fast I'll progress, especially my legs, which I've not been able to use for anything else but getting me between A and B for some years.

If I would make a training log should I do it in this thread or make a new one somewhere else?

One more thing, I'm very impressed with the response to my questions here. Gotten good advice, pointers to start my research and so on and so forth, thanks guys.
I will for sure stay on this forum.

I wrote this in a hurry so my grammar might be a bit off here and there so bare with me (An Icelander living in Denmark :-)).


Are you sure you're around 18%+ bodyfat?

Apart from that, if large muscular gains are your goal, I wouldn't be as concerned with the details as much as you are just now (this takes time). It's ok if you can do it 24/7, but many get a bit bogged down/frustrated (paralyse by analysis)...at which point it's best to just sit back and enjoy beating the logbook while eating enough overall.


Oh forgot to mention it. I had my BF% measured this week using a resistor measurements not calipers and it turned out to be 16,5%.


Oh forgot to mention it. I had my BF% measured this week using a resistor measurements not calipers and it turned out to be 16,5%.


Go to the "Training Lab" tab above.
Go to "Training Logs"
Then over and down to "Training Logs" once more.

Put your log in that forum section.

**If you would like to attach a link in your new log to this thread as a history that would make sense too. You don't need to though.