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Old 02-19-2009, 06:13 PM
alvarto alvarto is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 7
Default What's wrong with this workout/nutrition plan?


My wife has come to me for weight loss advice. I put together what I feel is a pretty solid plan for her, but through it she has only lost 1 pound over 4 weeks and she is discouraged. Anyway, now I'm coming here for advice. Please review below and let me know what you think should be tweaked, or if we should leave it alone and give it a longer chance....

She's 5'0", her weight is a secret even to me, but she feels that if she loses 50 lbs that will put her at a height appropriate weight.

Completely sedentary, did not exercise at all. Knee problems. Desk job. Eating habits - about 1200-1400 cals/day, did not pay much attention to protein/carb/fat in each meal, although she did avoid foods that were blatantly high in fat. Not too particular about clean vs white carbs. Pretty sensible about minimizing junk food. Any pop would be diet. Lucky to drink 4 glasses of water/day. With these habits, her weight was stable.

Gym routine 4 days/week (2 days on, 1 day rest, 2 days on, 2 days rest, repeat). Everything is 3 sets of 10-12 reps to near failure.

Day 1&3: Legs and arms, followed by cardio
Day 2&4: Back, chest, shoulders, followed by cardio

Leg day:
  • Leg press, hip width stance
  • Leg press, wider stance
  • Stiff leg deadlift
  • Tricep extensions
  • Bicep curls
  • 30 mins elliptical, moderate intensity

Chest/Shoulder/Back day- the following push pull movements are supersetted:
  • Chest press ss with seated row
  • Incline chest press ss with lat pulldown leaning backwards
  • Shoulder press ss with lat pulldown sitting nearly straight up
  • Pec flye ss with rear delt flye
  • 30 mins elliptical moderate intensity

Her caloric intake is roughly the same as before (1200-1400). We work 2pm-11pm, so we’re forced to workout around 10:30am. A fairly typical day might be:
  • Breakfast: 1 scoop whey, ½ to 1 serving oatmeal (need something to digest quickly)
  • Post workout: egg beaters (enough to get 25g protein), and 2 slices high fiber wheat toast.
  • Snack: light yogurt and string cheese
  • Dinner: grilled chicken salad, minimal dressing, or sometimes a Kashi or Healthy Choice microwave meal.
  • Snack: 1 scoop whey
  • Before bed: 2 servings low fat cottage cheese (25 g protein, slow digesting)

I notice in writing this she’s lacking healthy fats but that’s an easy fix. Anyway, the results of her efforts over the first 4 weeks include:
  • Lost 1 pound of body weight
  • No more knee problems.
  • Tremendous increase in strength.
  • Clothes seem to fit marginally looser.
  • Feels better

My wife feels that something is wrong that she went from being totally sedentary to this with only 1 pound to show for it. I realize she may have put on 2-4 lbs muscle, but what’s odd is I’d expect her to be super hungry given her calories haven’t changed, and she’s not. Even after leg day, doing multiple sets of leg press of up to 250 lbs, her appetite hasn’t increased.

Should she maybe focus more on cardio and less on weights, and do high/low intensity intervals? What about food cycling? How can I integrate that with what she’s currently doing, and is food cycling recommended? Does her caloric intake seem appropriate?

Sorry for the long post. Hopefully its length didn’t scare anyone away!

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