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The Question:

Dan, My question is or inquiries are that I want to optimize my diet for full results in comparision to my workouts. I am 22 I weigh 240 lbs, 6'2", with about 12 percent body fat. I consider myself an advanced weightlifter I played college football for a few years. I want to know how to get myself to about 255-260 with about 5-8 percent body fat or even less. My overall goal is to get a heck of a lot more massive, I am already strong in all of my lifts however, I am not content when I look in the mirror if you know what I mean. Also what supplements are ideal for what I am trying to accomplish? I am trying to eat 4-5 times a day and I eat a lot of red meats and chicken, although what foods are good to carry around with me to keep fueled through out the day? I heard peanut butter sandwhiches are good but before or after workout, and with or without the hydrogenated butter or shortening or whatever they put into it? Well I know you are busy and I have asked a lot but hopefully I can get some answers thank you.

The Answer:

Hello, Ok, so you want to gain 15 to 20 pounds and reduce your bodyfat levels by 4-7 percent. Realize that this is do-able but not overnight. This will realistically take at least a year or more especially if you are not taking drugs. If you are taking drugs, you will be able to reach your goals faster but that's a decision you will have make. I would encourage you to do it without the use of drugs so you will have to be more patient! From a workout perspective you will need to switch back and forth between the classic Bodybuilding workouts and the Strength and Power workouts. Basically, you can switch at the end of each 12-week workout cycle. This will allow you to have periods of heavy training with periods of higher volume training. This is the key for continued progress. Also, make sure you are squatting and training your back hard. Don't be one of those guys that does heavy bench presses and biceps curls and wimps out on the heavy leg and back days. Squats and heavy rowing are the exercises that really pack the mass on! Finally, on the heavy lifting cycles you should be taking in a huge amount of calories to maximize your recovery levels from the intense workouts and to ultimately provide your muscles with enough fuel to gain in size. Then, when you are on the higher volume bodybuilding workouts you should follow this meal plan. Here is a response that details what to do to put on more lean mass and reduce body fat levels at the same time. The response below has been individualized for a person that weighs 215 pounds. However, all of the information can be converted to your individualized needs by using your own bodyweight in the calculations. Response: You need to be doing either the 5 Day Bodybuilding Mass Program or the 5 Day Strength and Power Program. You can choose the EXPRESS or the Advanced EXPRESS version of the Strength and Power program if you would like. Then, you need to diet! To start with, take in at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This would be 215 grams of protein in your case. Then, to find the number of carbohydrate grams you should take in, just multiply your bodyweight by 2. This would be 430 grams of carbohydrates in your case. Finally, you should take in 72 grams of quality fatty acids like Flax seed oil, Olive oil, or Udo's oil. This is found by dividing your bodyweight by 3. Check out the recommended readings in the fitness info section of our web page to find out about Udo's oil! I have done some calculations for you but I also want to explain what is going on here. Here goes. 1 gram of protein has 4 calories. 1 gram of carbohydrate also has 4 calories. 1 gram of fat has 9 calories. For you this means. First Week of Program: Protein (215 grams x 4 = 860 calories) Carbohydrates (430 grams x 4 = 1720 calories) Fat (72 grams x 9 = 648 calories) First Week Total - 3228 calories. When you start your program you should start with the 3,250 calories with the appropriate balance of protein, carbs and fat that I have outlined above. But, here's the kicker! Each week of the 12 week program you should add 10 grams of protein and subtract 15 grams of carbohydrates to your diet. But, keep the fat intake the same. So, you should end up on the last week of your 12 week program with these totals: Protein (325 grams total) Carbohydrates (265 grams total) Fat (same at 72 grams total) This would give you a new caloric range of: Protein (325 x 4 = 1300 calories) Carbohydrates (265 x 4 = 1060 calories) Fat (72 x 9 = 648 calories) Total on week 12 of your program - 3008 calories Make sure you spread out your eating to 6 times per day so you are always bringing in some nutrients into your body for growth and recovery without eating so much that you store any extra calories from fat. You will also need to kick in some cardio training to really get lean. But, not too much so that you start to lose your mass. On weeks 1-4 you should do 25 minutes of cardio, 3 times per week. On weeks 5-9 you should do 30 minutes of cardio 4 times per week. On weeks 10-12 you should do 30 minutes of cardio 5 days per week. Keep your heart rate between 130 - 140 beats per minute or 70% of your age predicted maximum heart rate (APMHR). You can find out how to get your APMHR by typing these letters into the Search function on the Fitrex home page. Finally, you will see a drop in bodyweight with this type of diet plan. However, If you eat the way I have told you to, and if you are mentally strong enough to push yourself with your training you will keep the mass that you have built and the weight loss will come from fat loss! Since everyone is different you may have to adjust your carbs and fat intake down slightly but don't reduce the protein level. However, I followed this very same plan (with adjustments for my specific body size) and I lost 36 pounds of fat in the first 8 weeks of the plan! Give it a shot and let me know how it goes. Dan

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