I’ve been a longtime fan and own both your videos “I want to Pump you Up” and “Mass with Class” along with your book “The Lean Body Promise” not to mention the countless training articles you write in Muscle and Fitness magazine and Flex magazine. I’m currently using a personal trainer but I feel the routine he’s layed out for me is wrong.
I train 5 days a week. Here is my routine and eating plan. I currently weight 240 pounds and my bodyfat percentage is still high at around 22%.
Sunday – Triceps, Biceps, and Forearms with 40 minutes stairclimber
Monday – Chest with 40 minutes on the stairclimber
Tuesday – Back followed by 40 minutes on stairclimber
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Legs followed by 40 minutes stairclimber
Friday – Shoulders followed by 40 minutes stairclimber
Saturday – Off
I do 3 exercises and 3 sets for each bodypart with 15 reps.
Meal 1 – Lean Body Breakfast
Meal 2 – 4 eggs and 2 pieces of toast or 1 cup oatmeal with Pro V60
Meal 3 – Chicken Breast, 2 cups of Rice, Veggies
Meal 4 – Lean Body Breakfast
Meal 5 – 1 Chicken Breast and Veggies
I supplement with a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral, BCAA drink mix, and L-Glutamine. I also drink 3 litres of water a day. I was at 260 pounds about 6 months ago so I’ve lost about 8% body fat and 20 pounds. I feel tired and worn out everyday. I get about 7 hours of sleep a night but I feel I’m not making any progress.
Do you suggest any diet changes? Should I experiment with the routine you lay out in your Lean Body book: 2 days on 1 day off routine? My trainer is resistant to this and says his methods will work. I’m confused. Please help.
Lee: Thanks for your awesome question! And, thank you also for being such a big fan – it means so much to me to know that I’ve been able to help and inspire you in my videos, my book and in the articles that I write for the magazines.
Now, it’s my privilege to talk with you directly.
When it comes to selecting a personal trainer, it’s critical that you select one that is right for you. By that I mean: it’s critical to get a personal trainer that is willing to get to know your personality, your body, your work ethic, your likes and dislikes, and is willing to place you first – and is willing to grow with you as your body changes.
To do this, the personal trainer must be willing to constantly adapt his or her training methods around your body – instead of trying to make your body fit into a cookie cutter training program that’s not tailored for you. Typically, less experienced trainers will try to force you into a cookie cutter program as they lack the necessary knowledge to design dynamic and effective training programs that evolve and adapt as your body responds and changes from training stimulus.
But let me say this clearly: If you feel that your personal trainer is wrong in what he proscribes for you, then he IS wrong. To get the best results, you must implicitly trust your personal trainer – and if you’re doubting his methods or his knowledge, then the relationship is already over. Unless you believe 100% in the trainer and his methods, it won’t work. That’s been my experience with hiring professional trainers. That said, I have known many excellent trainers, and they can be a real blessing to anyone trying to get into shape. You be the judge.
From what I can see from your nutrition, it doesn’t look to me like you’re eating enough carbohydrates – or enough calories to support optimal fat loss.
Your supplementation plan appears solid, and I would recommend that you incorporate Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil. Every day, I use two tablespoons of Carlson’s Very Finest Fish Oil which is deodorized, so that it doesn’t taste like anything. This is a great supplement for your health and to insure that you are getting EFA’s (essential fatty acids.) I would also using Labrada’s Charge! to further encourage muscle building and rapid body fat loss. Take 2 capsules per day.
If you’re feeling worn out, it’s a sure sign that you’re not eating enough – and not enough of the energy giving macronutrients like complex carbohydrates. Consider adding some oatmeal, yams, whole grain rice, and beans to your diet. A good rule of thumb, which I cover in my book, The Lean Body Promise, is to have a serving of complex carbs, the size of your closed fist, with a protein at every meal. By adding the complex carbs, you will increase slow burning calories, which will increase your strength and energy without getting you fat. Add a cup of oats to both of your Lean Body Breakfast meals. Add a sweet potato or cup of rice and beans to your last meal, which is currently chicken and veggies.
You should also increase your protein intake. The 4 eggs for breakfast is not enough for a guy your size. They adding some All Whites or Egg Beaters to your 4 eggs, to beef up the total protein at breakfast. About half of the pint container should be enough, although taking in more won’t hurt you. Also, consider incorporating dessicated liver tablets into your supplement regimen – they’re considered “old school” but make no mistake: they work. They are a rich source of natural iron and protein and they supply vital B-vitamins that you need to increase your energy levels and build muscle. The iron should help with fatigue. Lastly, add a small protein shake made with ProV60 protein at bedtime. Just mix this with a little skim milk and water and blend. It’s a low calorie way to get an extra 60 grams of muscle building protein. Taking it right before bedtime ensures that the protein works in your body all night long to nourish your muscle and speed up recuperation.
Try increasing your sleep to 8 hours per night to see if it helps. If you don’t start seeing the results you want from these changes, I suggest that you visit your doctor to have him/her check your thyroid and testosterone levels. If these are low, it will be difficult to make the changes you desire. It’s always prudent to get a check up every 6 months anyway, so do it next time you go in for a visit.
Stay healthy and strong,