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Feedback on my routine/diet

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:54 am
by WickStick
Hi folks--just wanted to get some feedback! I bolded my questions to help parse through out all the info I am giving...My major goal is to not necessarily gain muscle mass, but to lose fat without losing muscle mass.

I am a 5' 11"", 200 lb guy. I have a lot of muscle mass, but the dreaded genetic belly fat. I do total body workouts 3-4 times per week (usually between 4-6pm), and cardio at least once or twice (20-30 minutes of intervals, 3 minutes jog, 1 minute 85% sprint)

My total body workout is:

(1) Deadlift (5x5): The third and fourth sets are working sets (4th set is usually more like 2 or 3 reps). My fifth set is an AMRAP of about 75% of my 1RM (So I hit about 7-8 reps)

(2) Bench Press (5x5) Same as above

(3) Squat (5x5) Same as above

(4) Curls (dumbells, 2 sets: medium and heavy weight, AMRAPS)

(5) Shoulder press (dumbells,2 sets: medium and heavy weight, AMRAPS)

(6 ) Leg press 3 sets of 10 seconds down, fast up (AMRAPS). My last set is about 75% of my 1RM.

(7) Pullups (2 sets, AMRAPS)

(8) Pushups (regular and decline, until I cry)

I have been making some modest gains over the last few weeks ( I have been doing this for about a month), so I am sticking to this until I hit a plateau. Is this reasonable? Suggestions? I will vary 4-8 a bit and put in other lifts to mix it up, but 1-3 is always there.


My diet sucks. I mean I eat alot of protein and stuff, but my timing is off and my carb intake is higher than I want. I wanted to try the carb cycling thing...What I am planning on doing today is (an off day):

Breakfast: 2 turkey patties, 2 cups spinach, diced onions. (500 calories total), about 50 grams of protein, 8 carbs

Lunch: salad with broccoli, chicken, cheese, and various veggies (500 calories total) about 40 grams protein, 15 carbs

Snack: nonfat cottage cheese and strawberries (15 grams of carbs, 20 grams of protens), about 160 calories

Dinner: Beef patty, more broccoli,spinach, a teaspoon of olive oil (600 calories total) about 50 grams protein, 12 carbs

So my whole intake is about 160 grams of protein, and about 50 carbs, and about 1800 calories (estimating totally herE)

My questions is: this is how you carb cycle on an off day right? no carbs? Then on a workout day I imagine I would have a similar setup as before but:

Dinner: beef patty, broccoli, spinach, CARBS~100 grams of carbs? 75? 200? 1000 calories total, about 2200 total calories total (about 250 less than my maintenance caloric count)

Does this all sound right in terms of how to cycle carbs?

Thanks in advance everyone--and let me know if you need more info!

Re: Feedback on my routine/diet

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:18 am
by Dub
How long does it take on average to go through your workout? AKA how long is your workout? If I would do that kind of routine, I would be
A) Totally hammered and squashed before exercise 5
B) In the gym for hours

What I would change:
First off, I tend to think that a full-body workout should consist of 3 to 5 big compound exercises, what you have there. But then there is kind of a round two in the same workout, which boggles my mind. I think that's mad. Squat, Deadlift, Pull and Press. That's all you need. I would personally cycle the presses (Overhead Press, Incline Press, Bench Press, etc.), always changing the exercise in somewhere around four week mark. Then I would replace the curls with pull-ups/chin-ups and row variations. Cycled again. Or then possibly supersetting or putting more volume on the exercises. I just think the leg presses and two kind of presses are a bit futile. Push-ups are great.
Also I don't like deadlifting for that many sets and reps. I always stick with 2 to 3 sets of 1 to 5 reps. But that goes by your own feel off course.

EDIT. I should state that, if your routine brings you results and progress, there's no reason to change it. If you can recover to the next workout, then go for it.

About your diet.
You're terribly calorie deficit. You will lose weight with that diet, but it will definately be a mix of fat AND muscle. Your protein intake is also bit low, especially if you wish to preserve and build muscle with high intensity and taxing workout schedule you have now. A man of your size should eat almost double the calories you eat now, or even more.

Re: Feedback on my routine/diet

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:31 am
by WickStick
Thanks for the feedback Dub--

I do feel destroyed after the workout, but I can lift again in two days time without problem--although sometimes I need 72 hours of rest rather than 48.

Good to know I should eat more...cuz I am like, ALWAYS hungry :)

Re: Feedback on my routine/diet

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 12:56 pm
by stuward
I would split it so you do 1 lower body, 1 press and 1 pull each workout, say squat, bench, row followed by deadlift, OH Press, pull ups the next time. Use the pushups as a warmup but only go 50% of your crying limit. You can do that in 30-40 minutes/workout.

I know it's heresy but add some volume to your cardio. Try 2 miles walk/run at the end of every workout. Try to reduce the time required. Once you're under 20 minutes, pump up the intensity so you're sprinting/jogging every second workout, steady pace the other workout. You don't state your age but if you're under 40 you should be able to crush the 20 minute time in short order.

Yes, eat more. Eat a full meal an hour or 2 after your workout and, eat any carbs at that meal. In general, the day you workout you should be in a calorie surplus and the rest days should be a calorie deficit. You can be very low carbs (under 50) on your off days and about 100-150 on your workout days. You may do better with more or less but that will give you a place to start. Use sweet potatoes, white rice, or other starchy veg for your carbs. Don't be afraid of adding fat if you're hungry, like butter, coconut oil, animal fats, etc.

Re: Feedback on my routine/diet

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 1:24 pm
by WickStick
Thanks for all this feedback!

Ok this makes more sense--surplus on weight lifting days with some carbs after, and a deficit on the off days. I imagine that the deficit on the off days should be more negative than the surplus (i.e. 250 cal surplus and a 500 cal deficit).

The lower carbs on off days makes sense.

Yeah I am just trying to get back into the running--I am only 24 and I haaaaate running. But I guess I should do it after since I will already be in fat burning mode, and the cardio after probably makes the burning even better.

I will invest in some more peanuts.

Re: Feedback on my routine/diet

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 1:27 pm
by jarednovio
I guess your body fat percentage is pretty high and you have lot of fat to lose
If that's the case then you can definitely sustain a very high caloric deficit without losing any muscle
Losing muscles is a problem for leaner people 16% body fat who want to be 9% but overweight people
with 20% fat and more can decrease their caloric intake by 50% and lose no muscle at all.
A typical fat-loss caloric intake is 12 cal per lb of body weight and you're eating 9 instead.
Low but not so terribly low, there are people who need to go as low as 8 to lose.

Also make sure that at the end of the week your caloric intake is still below maintenance
without letting the surplus days sabotage your results.

For carb cycling to work your carb days should be very high carb and low fat
You are supposed to eat a lot of carbs. Doing a carb cycle with just slightly more carbs
and moderate amount of fat is not going to bring much more benefits than not cycling carbs
at all, which is also less of an hassle.

Re: Feedback on my routine/diet

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 1:35 pm
by stuward
5'11' and 200# is not terribly overweight. The deficit doesn't have to be drastic and going into a slight surplus on occasion will actually improve the metabolism. I would stay away from deep deficits unless you have a significant amount to lose, and 20# is not significant.

Re: Feedback on my routine/diet

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 2:00 pm
by WickStick
I think I will stick to something like 200 over, 450 under, that way I amass to about a 1 lb every 14 days (which is like, one cycle of workouts for me before I switch up non core lifts) or 2 lbs a month.

Slow and Steady wins the race.

On a related note--My deadlift has become a problem in that I can not grip the bar...I am even using the deadlift fancy grip (one hand facing me, other away). Anything over 300 and I drop the bar after 4 or 5 reps...really annoying...,

Re: Feedback on my routine/diet

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:20 am
by teafan
Have you tried the hook grip? Also, some "carries" like falmers walks would help your grip.

Re: Feedback on my routine/diet

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 5:35 am
by Jungledoc
Static barbell holds! Put the bar on the pins just below your hands, load it up heavy. Pick it up and hold it as long as you can. If you can hold it longer than about 5 seconds, add weight until you can't hold it for 5 seconds. Do a few reps at that weight.

Use double-overhand grip on your lifts to as high a weight as you can, and then switch to an augmented grip (either alternate or hook).

Hook grip works well for some people (like me) but many people either can't do it, or it is so uncomfortable that they can't ever get used to it.

Do you use chalk? Do.