T Nation

T-Dawg Diet

Im doing the T-Dawg Diet (V:2.0) from Monday (going for a one-digit BF-percent), but Im wondering how to work in cardio in the scheme. I love doing cardio, and will probably do some 4-5 times a week. However, should I eat carbs after these cardio-sessions (meaning my total carb-intake will increase), or should I dropp carbs after cardio alltogether?

Hi, T-Dog. I’ll share my quick thoughts. The reason for doing T-Dawg II is to drop fat while preserving LBM. It’s not worth sacrificing the one (LBM) for the other (fat loss). If those are your goals, I would strongly recommend that you limit cardio to 3 or 4 sessions (not 4 or 5) per week, no longer than 30 minutes per session. Beyond four 30-minute sessions, you create a situation where the negatives outweigh the positives (re the stated goals above). I know it will take restraint, but limit your cardio.

Having said that, if you’re able to get your workout done in less than 60 minutes, do your cardio after your weight training. If your workouts take longer than 60 minutes (a no-no), save cardio for your non-weightlifting days.

If you do cardio on non-weightlifting days, I’d be inclined to NOT up the carbs. 30 minutes just gives your metabolism a bit of a boost.


Per your logic, is it too much to add one to two 20 min sessions of jump roping per week to the workout routine if I do a 20 min cardio after I weight train? (weight train 4 times/week and I don't weight train longer than 45-50 mins).

Take this how you want, but here’s what I’m doing. If you are taking an androgen with your t-dawg diet (I’m doing a double dose of Methoxy), I don’t find it unreasonable to do 4-5 cardio sessions per week. I am getting back down to modeling shape after the holidays, and my cardio consists of 30 minutes of low intensity three times per week, after lifting (as Poliqoun and Berardi say, it’s still good for fat loss) and on the other three days (I take sunday for rest), I do 30 minutes of HIIT sprints on the Treadmill. I do take in carbs after all 6 sessions, but I’ve modified the T-Dawg diet to fit my goals. As I’ve said, I’ve lost almost no LBM (I’d say none at all), but I have been shedding about 2 pounds of fat per week. Take this for what you will.

Brent, thanks for sharing what’s working for you. There’s no single right way to achieve our body composition goals. There are a lot of opinions on this topic, with some very smart people on opposite sides of the argument.

In the “Essential Berardi,” John says, “Do 30-minute cardio sessions, four times per week.”

In one of his “Appetite for Construction” articles, with the body physique goal of getting leaner, John recommends “30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at 60 to 70% of your HR max” after weight training AND “30 minutes of cardio at 60 to 70% of your HR max” on non-weight training days, which sounds like pretty much what you’re doing.

And then Chris Shugart in one of his articles, “Cardio: The Final Word,” says, “Remember that most people, including jokers who write for most muscle magazines, tend to base their “facts” on what works well for them. If one guy can tolerate a high carb intake, then the diets he writes will likely reflect that and vice-versa. The same goes with cardio. So as with everything else, it?s an individual thing. That said, the first thing I do when helping someone out with a diet is get them to ditch the cardio. I?m not totally against it, but here?s my reasoning. As I said over and over again in my Diet Manifesto article, the key to fat loss is diet. I see most people making only half-assed attempts to get their diets right and trying to make up for it by doing loads of cardio. Excessive cardio can lead to catabolism (muscle wasting). Now, all that doesn?t mean cardio is pure evil. It?s just misused. Once a person I?m helping out has his diet tuned in, I?ll allow him to add in some moderate cardio, say, 20 minutes twice a week. This can be done on off days or added after weight training.”

I guess that’s what I love about the T&N forum, Brent. It’s a wonderful place for asking a question and hearing everyone’s opinion. Makes for some lively discussions – a bit TOO lively at times. (grin)

Thanks again for sharing!

Stella, I was just looking over this thread, and for the life of me, my reply to you is not there. So let me try again.

As you can see in my message to Brent, this is an area of great debate; i.e., how much cardio complements fat loss without sacrificing LBM. Somewhere along the way this subject was discussed on T-Mag, and I locked in “a max of four 30-minute sessions.” That’s what I live by. What I hate to see is the amount of cardio increasing in direct relation to a person’s degree of desperation. And I at one time was guilty of that. With all of the knowledge I’ve acquired here on T-Mag, it’s embarrassing to admit that at one time I was doing two hours of cardio a day, along with an hour and a half of weights and SEVERE caloric restriction. I fine-tuned my diet and now do 2-4 cardio sessions a week. Diet and my weight training, not cardio, is giving me the results I’ve always dreamed of.

So in answer to your question, the cardio you’re proposing looks good. You’re not exceeding 2 hours of cardio a week. Adding in the HIIT jump roping – I’d recommend 1 minute intervals with 2 minutes of rest, increasing time jump-roping slowly as you are able – is going to provide some variety, strengthen your heart, boost your metabolism and be complementary to fat loss goals.