Calling all SDMB gymrats: Critique my workout & diet

Hi all SDMB fitness enthusiasts. I present for your edification my new diet and workout program. Any and all suggestions for improvement are warmly appreciated. All calorie values are approximated.

Goals: Lose fat, maintain lean muscle.


Age: 24
Weight: 175 lbs
Height: 5ft 11in.


  1. Breakfast - Grilled chicken breast. Ham and cheese toastie sandwich (one slice) - 300 cal

  2. Second breakfast - Low carb protein shake with 10ml flaxseed oil & skimmed milk. - 350 cal

  3. Lunch - Two ham and salad sandwiches. - 400 cal

  4. Second lunch (Post workout) - High carb protein shake. - 500 cal

  5. Dinner - Grilled chicken breast, boiled potatoes, mixed green vegetables. - 300 cal

  6. Second dinner - 150g natural low fat cottage cheese & a couple of Ryvita crackers. - 200 cal

Total: 2000 cal (approx)

I plan to do fasted cardio (aerobic exercise before breakfast) at a low intensity for five days a week. I also plan to do the following weightlifting program three days a week:

Monday - Chest & abs:

Bench Press (3x10).
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press (3x10).
Tricep Extensions (3x10).
Tricep Dips (2xMax to failure).
Stomach Crunches. (3x30)

Wednesday - Legs, back & abs

Squats (3x10).
Leg Extensions (3x10).
Calf Raises (3x20).
Chin-ups (3xMax to failure).
Deadlifts (3x10).
Decline Stomach Crunches (3x30).

Friday - Arms & Shoulders:

Straight Bar Bicep Curls (3x10)
Hammer Bicep Curls
Military Press (3x10)
Shoulder Press (3x10)
Trapezius Shrugs (3x15)
Stomach Crunches (3x30)

What do you reckon?

You know, I reckon it looks good, but I would humbly submit that you ask an even better source. They’re very concise with their workouts and their forums are very good for information.

So far as everything else looks, though, you’re looking fine by me. Then again, I’m a minimalist when it comes to workouts and get pretty decent results.
What kind of cardio are you working in (in the off days?) Durrr. You already mentioned it. I’m an idiot.
A lot of people preach the “eat every two hours, no matter what” technique.

Looks good! You should definitely see results. The only things I’d adjust, perhaps, are:

More veggies. I like cottage cheese at night, but I also generally add some steamed veggies. And a V8 tomato drink during the day.

My first meal is the shake, not the 2nd. The thinking behind that is I’m breaking fast, and liquid nutrition will be absorbed quicker than solid foods. Early in the morning, my muscles need sustenance.

No mention of liquids? Drink lots of water (until your urine is nearly clear, if not actually so). Tea is okay, too (I like green tea with honey in the morning). Stay away from sugary drinks (lots of extra calories).

As for the exercise, I completely agree with the morning cardio (although I am so not a morning person) on an empty stomach - great idea.

As for the weight workout, I think you have the right idea sticking with basic, heavy duty exercises. However, IMHO, 3 sets of squats or deadlifts just aren’t enough. It takes me just that amount of time to get my blood flowing and my head in the right frame of mind. That’s why, when I do those exercises, I devote an entire workout to them, and I take my time. As a result, I couldn’t imagine squatting and deadlifting in the same workout (both leave me exhausted).

I’m going to refrain commenting on the diet because it doesn’t look bad, and I tend to subscribe to a strange and unsubstantiable diet regiment, so…

As far as the workout, it seems a few primary movements are not being included. Particularly for back, I see no rowing movement. Also, you seem to be missing leg curls; if you’re going to do leg extensions (which I recommend, of course) you really need to make sure you hit the opposing muscle.

You’re going to hit your lower back fairly well with squats and deadlifts; however, I’m not seeing any movement for obliques. I highly recommend adding it, or possibly replacing one of your two crunch days with obliques.

Of lesser importance, I think a simple, good physique building exercise is lateral raises. The two shoulder exercises that you picked are going to primarily focus on your anterior Delt, with a lot less focus on the lateral. I’m also a huge fan of rear-delt raises, but I also consider those fairly advanced and probably not worth doing if you’re only working out three days a week. Similarly, I’m a huge fan of decline press, but that’s also more of a physique thing than anything else.

Oops, I forgot to comment on this. I agree with you on the comments regarding squatting and deadlifting. That is, I think combining other bodyparts with legs is difficult because they’re very tiring. I used to do shoulders with legs, under a bit of a circuit training philosophy, but it was SO draining the workouts turned into marathons (often 3+ hours not counting cardio) because I had to get in some breathers. After splitting them up, I saw a considerable difference in my gains for both legs and shoulders.

That was going to be my first comment as well. Without a good dose of veggies (particularly dark, leafy green ones) I’m…well, a little backed up (which makes me feel so sluggish that working out is a chore).

Blaster mentioned rows - I’d add some as well. Seated cable rows, with strict form, is good version. Just be sure to pinch your shoulder blades back and use your arms only as a connection between your shoulders and your hands (it isn’t a bicep exercise, in other words). Ditto for the leg curls for hamstrings.

Hi guys, thanks for all your comments. I’ve decided to drop my friday crunches in favour of a few sets targeting the obliques and I’m also going to add 3 sets of seated rows to Wednesdays workout. I’m also going to move the squats to monday so I don’t do them on the same day as the deadlifts and I’ll throw some lateral raises into Friday’s workout. Thanks again for your help.

Please elaborate. I’m always intrigued by nutrition ideas, and I promise I won’t critique.