I have developed and revised a lean muscle building
and fat loss plan over the past 18 months
and in this article I will reveal all of it!
Have you ever tried traditional “bulking” plans only to end up feeling like a fat slob (ok, a fat, strong slob)? This is usually followed by long periods of dieting and cardio.
I have leveraged the work of many bright people and applied the concepts to my lifestyle (stressful job, 3 young kids, constant craziness, etc).
What I am going to share with you is my “revised”
diet and example workout routine for
excellent lean muscle gains while losing fat.
This really is the best meal plan in my opinion and it has flexibility built in.
Fine! I’m not interested in what you have to say unless you have tried it for yourself <grin>.
This is the best diet I have found for balance in the extremes and it’s definitely not for everyone. You will see what I mean as you read on! You need to experience short periods of pain in order to reap the ultimate benefits of having your cake and literally eating it too!
Let’s get started, shall we?
I start Monday off with a 24 hour fast. Periods of “under eating” or an intermittent fast in this case is a great way to hit the reset button after the Saturday “splurge” and Sunday “Relax” day (described at the end). This brief fast puts your body in maximum anabolic state while at the same time accelerating the use of fat stores as fuel.
While fasting, I consume essential amino acids every 3 hours or so. This is in the form of Beverly International Muscle Mass BCAA tablets or Prograde BCAA capsules and Beverly International Lean Out product or Prograde Metabolism. The Lean Out and Metabolism products are “icing on the cake”. Don’t take either of them if you can’t afford to. I have always taken them with great results so I don’t feel like trying without it although some day I might.
Research indicates that the amino acids help prevent muscle breakdown during the fast while literally feeding the muscles. The body will also convert the essential aminos into glucose to maintain blood sugar levels using a process called gluconeogenesis (Am I a nerd? No! Muscle Geek? Yes!).
“Big” Push-Pull Strength Day
As an example, I have done the following in a fasted state:
A1) Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
4-6 sets of 4-6 reps (or roughly 25 total reps)
A2) Weighted Chin-Ups
4-6 sets of 4-6 reps
2 sets of 15 reps
B2) Optional Cable Pull Throughs
2 sets of 10-12 reps
High Protein, Low Fat, Low Carb
During the second day, I try to hit roughly BW X 10 for calories. I hesitate to provide this number as it’s not a good habit to start obsessing over calories. Depending on your body fat levels, this number may result in a very low calorie day.
An example day for me might look like this:
Plain Greek Yougurt with a handful of fresh blueberries
1 whole egg (eggland’s best) + 4 egg whites
4 Beverly International Liver Tablets
1 can of tuna with mustard and hot sauce
4 baby carrots
Post Workout shake (2 scoops of blended protein)
Grilled chicken salad with mixed greens and 1 Tbsp olive oil and vinegar
6 ounces lean protein (fish, turkey or lean steak) as another salad.
Sometimes I’ll throw a handful of blackberries on top with yellow peppers and
balsamic vinagar. Try it!
(Metabolic Circuit Day)
This is my version of a cardio day, except it’s more fun (Definition of fun: lying on the floor gasping for air).
I perform all 10 exercises in a row for 45 seconds each, followed by 15 seconds of rest before moving on to the next exercise.
- Goblet Squats
- Plank Dogs
- Dumbbell Push Presses
- Scissor Jumps
- “Renegade” Rows
- And so on…
Plank Dogs?! Yep!
If you are running short on time then my post: How to get a six pack in 3 minutes
will both destroy you and ignite the fat burning furnace… well, come to think of it, this little devil
of a workout might night save you time becuase you will be lying on the floor
for 10 minutes if you do it correctly!
High Protein, Low Fat, Low Carb + Evening Carb Up
From a nutrition point of view, this day will be a repeat of Day 2 with a glorious rainbow at the end of the day….. the carb up meal! I’m not talking Pizza and cake on this day though. The carb up meal will consist of clean complex carbohydrates. I borrowed this meal from nutrition plans used by Beverly International clients and personally used it while training for my bodybuilding contests “many” years ago…. Ok, more like 12 years ago. Damn!
Repeat Tuesday’s meal plan and eat the following as a sixth meal before bed:
1 1/2 cups oats (before cooking)
1 Tbsp Nut Butter (almond butter works best here)
1 mashed up banana
There is a method to my madness concerning the arrangement of meals thus far.
On Monday, a strength workout fits perfectly with a fast and will rev up your metabolism even more. Tuesday was the metabolic circuit cardio day on a low calorie low carb meal plan. Now that we are on Wednesday, it’s necessary to dig deep because this is a challenging workout. Leg and Horizontal Push (chest) day! This day destroys me since I’m carb depleted by this point
The evening carb up is the perfect fit to re-stoke the metabolism as well as provide a surge of calories and carbs at the tail end of a tough leg workout.
(Legs, Chest and Horizontal Back)
A1) Dumbbell Band Bench Presses
After warm-up sets: 4 sets of 12/8/6/6 reps
4 sets of 6-8 reps
B1) Dumbbell Front Squats
4 sets of 12/8/6/6 reps after a warm up set
3 sets of 12 reps
C1) Seated Leg Press Machine
4 sets of 15 reps (301 tempo)
60 seconds rest between sets
D1) Cry to the heavens for mercy
and sip a drink of powdered glutamine and BCAA’s
High Protein, Moderate Fat, Low Carb
This is a moderate calorie anabolic day. We will increase the healthy fats as well as saturated fats (also necessary!).
Today is an active rest day. Go for a walk, bike ride, etc. This is also a great day to stretch and foam roll your tight beat up areas. Ideally this is done every day even if minimally.
For meals, repeat Tuesday’s meal plan with more healthy fats.
1 extra whole egg with breakfast
1 tsp olive oil added to tuna fish
1/2 avacado in salad with diner or celery with natural peanut butter
High Protein, Moderate Fat, Low Carb + Option
This day will be a repeat of Thursday. Depending on my current condition and progress, I have been known to have pizza and a beer for diner.
Repeat Thursday’s meal plan.
Now, since I actually have a life, I might find myself out with some friends or at a kid’s birthday party so I reserve the right to have a cheat meal if the situation presents itself.
If I decide to take this option, then I will most likely keep the carbs low on Saturday.
Shoulders and Arms Specialization
This day could vary considerably depending on goals and weak body parts.
My focus has been on increased shoulder and arm size:
Saturday (Home Stretch):
High Protein, Low Fat, Low Carb + Cheat Meals after 6:00PM
Ok, we are in the home stretch now! Have higher protein, low fat and low carb meals for breakfast, lunch and a snack or two. After 6:00PM, go ahead and eat whatever the hell you want! Craving an entire BBQ chicken pizza? Go for it! A pint of Ben and Jerry’s? You know it!
The key is to eat lots of carbs and calories! When you follow your version of this plan, you will get a feel for how far you can take it without impeding progress from week to week.
Option Saturday Workout:
This day consists of “functional training” such as farmer’s walks, sled drags, sand bag tosses, car pushing and whatever else you can come up with to make your neighbors wonder what planet you are from!
Sunday (Relax Day):
Moderate Carbs, Moderate Protein, Moderate Fat
This day can be thought of as a “Zone Diet” day. The Zone diet is a popular meal plan developed by Dr. Barry Sears and consists of roughly 40% Carbohydrates, 30% Protein and 30% fat. Seriously, don’t stress the percentages here… just follow the spirit of it. I make sure my calories are at or above maintenance on this day. I have comfort foods and continue to satisfy cravings in moderation. I try not to go ape shit on this day but I still relax and don’t stress out about what I am eating.
If done correctly, your body weight measured
multiple times on a weekly basis may look
something like this
And that’s it!
Feel free to ask questions because there are many different options.
The best thing to do is try it out for an honest month and track what you are eating as well as weight and waist measurements.
If you do this, I will be more than happy to evaluate your logs and provide feedback!