Sample Workout Routine and Diet Plan | Not Your Average Fitness Tips

Sample Workout Routine and Diet Plan

So I just stepped on the scale for the first time in over a month.  Guess what happened?  For all intents and purposes, nothing.  My weight was down about 1.5lbs but that could easily be water fluctuations.  Body fat and muscles mass were exactly the same.  What’s my point…once you reach your goal, you can spend less time obsessing about diet and exercise.  Does that mean you give up and start eating like crazy without exercising…absolutely not!  It does mean that you have the option of exercising less or eating more though, assuming you were in a caloric deficit to achieve your goal.  The whole purpose behind my little experiment was to show that if you have a good plan in place, you don’t even necessarily have to track your progress on a regular basis; periodic check-ins are good enough.  This was perfect for the summer.  That aside, readers always seem to be interested in specific workout routines and diet plans, so I’ve outlined my approach from the last couple months.

Staying in Shape

As I discussed in a recent post about maintenance workouts, you can decide whether to stay in shape by focusing on your diet, exercise, or both.  As I will describe below, my diet was pretty lenient since it was the summer so I decided to dedicate a little extra time to working out.

Sample Workout Routine

I chose to perform strength training 3-4 days per week for 30-45 minutes.  I focused on low rep, heavy weight training.  Specifically, I performed 3-5 reps for barbell/dumbbell exercises, 5-10 reps for weighted vest exercises, and rested 2-3 minutes between sets.  At the end of my workout, I performed circuit training to help burn some fat.  I used a 2 day split.  When I had time, I did rowing at the end of Day 1 and boxing at the end of Day 2.

Day 1
Barbell Bench Press (2 sets)
DB Incline Press (2 sets)
One Arm Pull-ups
Ring Pull-ups (Weighted Vest)
Archer Pushups (Weighted Vest)
Ring Pushups (Weighted Vest)
One Arm Ring Rows (Weighted Vest)
Inverted Row (Weighted Vest)

Ring Flyes
Plyo Pushups
Parallel Pull-ups
Decline Pushups
Renegade Rows

Kettlebell Circuit:
Turkish Get Up
Floor Press
Figure 8

Day 2
Barbell Shoulder Press (2 sets)
Handstand Pushups (2 sets)
Standing Barbell Curls (2 sets)
Incline Hammer Curls (2 sets)
Ring Dips (Weighted Vest)
Dips (Weighted Vest)

Kettlebell Military Press
Chin Ups
Kettlebell Triceps Extension
DB Side Lateral Raise
DB Curls
Lying Triceps Extension
DB Rear Lateral Raise
DB Cross Body Curls
Triceps Kickback
DB Front Lateral Raise

Sample Cardio Routine

Separate from strength training, I performed morning cardio 2-3 days per week using the method outlined in my Visual Impact Cardio Results post.

Monday: 30 minute lactate threshold intervals (60 seconds at 120% VO2Max, 60 seconds at 90% VO2Max)

Wednesday: 15 minute “light” HIIT (30 seconds at 130% VO2Max, 90 seconds at 80% VO2Max), 15 minute steady state cardio

Friday: 10 minute “intense” HIIT (15 second sprint, 45 second light jog), 10 minute steady state cardio, 10 minute plyometrics

Sample Diet Plan

As you can see, I performed 3-4.5 hours of exercise per week.  Why so much?  So that I could have plenty of flexibility with my diet.  I take an approach where I eat pretty clean during the week and let myself go on weekends.  I try to fast for 14-16 hours in line with the Leangains approach.  During the week, I like to stay low carb during the day, limiting carbs to vegetables.  At night during the week, I have fruit as my other source of carbs with an occasional dessert or other snack.  Generally I try to keep total carbs around 150g per day during the week.  Protein is obviously important and I try to have 150g per day as well.  On weekends, I don’t purposely overindulge but don’t limit my food choices either.  If a friend has a cookout, I’m not going to turn down a burger and ice cream.  If one of my 3 year old’s friends has a birthday party, I won’t say no to pizza and cake.  If you have more discipline than me, great, then you won’t need to exercise as much.  I happen to enjoy all sorts of junk food though.  Everything in moderation…well, sort of…

I also perform calorie cycling so that I have higher calorie days when I do strength training.  On cardio or off days, I generally eat 10-12x my weight whereas I eat closer to 15x my weight on strength training days during the week.  Weekends generally average 3,000-4,000 calories per day with the occasional 7,000-10,000 calorie binge.  Usually one day will be a lot higher and the other day will be closer to 15x my weight.

Going Forward

While I went more than a month without tracking calories or even my weight, I’m now completely reversing approaches.  I’m using MyFitnessPal to record everything I eat.  I’ve started Visual Impact Muscle Building again in the hopes of gaining a little lean muscle mass while losing fat, and I’m curious how a strict focus on my diet will affect my results.  Stay tuned…

6 Responses to “Sample Workout Routine and Diet Plan”

  • Dave,
    I love the fact that your training and eating is part of a balanced lifestyle. It just proves that you don’t need to obsess about training and diet 100% of the time to achieve results. Great insight into your week.

  • VIx:

    Awesome workouts, You are hitting it hard, even if you are only calling it maintenance! Well done

  • Toni:

    How funny…I’ve been using MyFitnessPal for a few months now to record everything I eat and what a great tool. And yeah, your maintenance workouts are very intense. I wish mine had that level of intensity but I don’t have that kind of time with the kids out of school.
    Nice peek into your week.

  • Dave,

    I like your outlook on training and diet as part of an enjoyable lifestyle. I follow a similar approach. I try to train more and diet aggressively during the week so that on the weekends I can enjoy a couple of cheat meals, a few beers, etc. Once you reach your target weight it’s easier to maintain, but it’s also easy to go too far and let weight gain creep up again. This is why it’s important, as you did, to check yourself periodically and make sure nothing is going awry.


  • Dave,
    Nice work i got really good help from your post from last few months i does not care my diet ate some healthy food so that’s why faced some serous problems about my health.Now i will maintain my health by using some useful methods a couple of days i am trying to join some health center but not found single one but here i mean on your site found some really awesome tips
    “Dave” its nice to learn this stuff Well done :)
    Jaime Hall

  • When you construct your schedule, make sure to: Leave at least 48 hours between weight workouts of the same body parts. Your muscles need time to recover and repair themselves after a workout. Take 1 day each week to rest with no formal exercise. Warm up for 5 minutes before starting to exercise, either through a light jog, riding on a stationary bike, jumping rope, or doing slow jumping jacks.

    Read more at Men’s Health:

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