Nicks Workout and Diet Review


weighted ab exercise on bench

(March 31, 2016)

Hi Blake,

I am a correctional officer at a federal prison. On a normal day I walk around and up and down stairs. There is also a significant amount of sitting time. It's what could happen (fights, medical emergencies etc) that makes my job demanding.

I'm new to weight training (beginner)

I am 29 and I used to be very into sports. I played football and Baseball but after high school I slacked off and got fat. 6ft and 250lbs. I lost muscle in the process and started smoking ( I quit about 6-9months ago). I currently weigh 230lbs and would like to get back into shape and look good(lose weight) for my wedding in Hawaii next year (april 18th) and for my overall health and confidence.

Currently I have just started doing 3 days a week mon wed and friday. My routine is as follows:

A and B days. Full body.

A days- bench 3 sets of 8-10, squat 3 sets of 8-12, and rows 3 sets of 8-10.

B days- Deadlifts 3 sets of 8-10, lat pull downs ( I cant do pull ups) 3 sets of 8-10, overhead shoulder press 3 sets of 8-10.

On rest days I do yoga or a simple bodyweight routine consisting of squats, incline pushups, bridge lifts, walking lunges, pushups, and crunches. After a month or two, I plan on going to a different beginner plan I found on bodybuilding.com. It adds more lifts and goes from 3 days/week to 4 day splits progressively.

For my diet, I try and eat a lot of protein (chicken and beef, nuts, eggs) and I try to limit my carbs to about 120g-ish a day consisting of potatoes or rice. I don't drink beer and I have a 6oz coke every so often. I eat about 3-4 meals a day.

I will be starting a protein supplement soon and I am thinking of taking creatine. I also take vitamin D3 1000ui everyday.

That's it.

- Nick

Hi Nick,

Thanks for your email.

I've taken a look at your program and from the outside, it looks to be a half decent beginners routine. It hits most of the major muscle groups and provides enough rest in between training sessions. The one thing I'd advise is to introduce more cardio into your program. Based on your goals (losing weight), you need to start doing some cardio. I suggest doing cardio once after your workout (20 minutes) and another 20 minutes on one of your days off.

Also, I don't really see the need to do the body weight exercises on your rest days. The reason being is that it doesn't give your muscles enough time to recuperate from days A to B. Get rid of the body weight exercises and concentrate on improving from week to week in each of your workout sessions. That can mean doing more repetitions using the same weight for the same exercise you did in your previous sessions, doing the same repetitions but using more weight for the same exercises in your previous sessions or doing the entire workout in a shorter time period.

Get into the habit of trying to improve week after week and add a bit more time to your cardio each week. Once you get to 35 minutes of steady cardio, shorten the duration (back to 20 minutes) for the following week but increase the resistance level.

The yoga is fine (it will help improve your balance and stretch the muscles out). I'm also assuming this is an alternating workout schedule. Given as follows:

Week 1:

Monday: Day A

Wednesday: Day B

Friday: Day A

Week 2:

Monday: Day B

Wednesday: Day A

Friday: Day B

Week 3:

Monday: Day A

Wednesday: Day B

Friday: Day A

And so on and so forth. If you're not alternating your workouts, it may be a little unbalanced (favouring Day A). As for your diet, you should be eating about 2,500 to 2,700 calories per day (to lose one pound of bodyweight per week). I'll be honest with you, I'm not a big fan of low carb diets. The main reason is because I personally find it hinders ones progress in the gym. The bodies number one fuel source is carbohydrates and by limiting your baseline intake of carbs, it may hinder your results in the gym. Think of it this way. For the first 1 to 3 repetitions, the body relies on it's stores of ATP to generate the power to lift the weight. For next 4 to 20 repetitions, the body relies on glucose (carbs to lift the weight). If your stores of glucose are low (which they probably are), your performance in the gym isn't going to be as good as it should be.

This is the way I look at it. If you're progressing as you should be in the gym (improving), don't change anything and keep doing what you're doing. However, if you stop improving you need to take a look at why you stopped. This might include a nutritional review which may point to an imbalance between your protein and cabohydrates intake. Personally, I'd make the switch to a low glycemic diet which gets rid of all fast acting carbohydrates but doesn't limit your intake of valuable fuel (carbs).

However, you may be fine with your current nutritional make up so please take this advice with a grain of salt :)

Just remember to keep improving week to week in the gym, lose one pound of body weight per week and you'll be on target for your wedding (congratulations!)

I hope this helps,

Blake