Workout Routines

The Workout Plan Your Low-Carb Diet Needs

Yes, you can build strength and size while you're on a strict diet.

by
The Workout Plan Your Low-Carb Diet Needs
Duration 4 Days
Exercises 26
Equipment Yes

Going low-carb? Great plan if you’re looking to shred body fat and get ripped. But when you don’t do it right—or you combine it with a poorly planned training program—it can sap your energy and cause big-time losses in muscle and strength. If you’ve tried it already, you know exactly what we mean. Below, we’ll show you how to make hard dieting feel easier while making the gains that critics of this nutritional style don’t think are possible.

HOW IT WORKS

We recommend following the Carb Nite Solution, a diet plan described at the bottom of this page. This approach will result in fat loss and maintenance of your hard-earned muscle. In the gym, you’ll follow the workouts on the next few pages. Your goal is to stimulate your central nervous system (CNS)—your muscles’ control center—without overly taxing it. Your CNS needs carbs to recover, so it doesn’t pay to risk denying it the nutrients it needs. To get your CNS to activate muscle without burning it out, use partitioned set ramping—a series of low-rep sets that get progressively heavier (see “Plans of Attack” below). For low-carb dieters, this yields better results than performing multiple heavy sets with the same load. Follow the program to the letter and you’ll see your six-pack within weeks.

SEE ALSO: 16 Rules for Your Bodybuilding Diet

DIRECTIONS

FREQUENCY: Perform each workout (Day 1, 2, 3, and 4) once per week.

TIME NEEDED: 60 min.

HOW TO DO IT: On Day 1, perform 1A and 1B as a superset. Do one set of A, then one set of B. Rest and repeat for all the sets. Treat all other exercises as straight sets, completing all the sets for one move before going on to the next. Make sure you note which training method to apply to each set (see “Plans of Attack” below for descriptions of each technique. The technique is indicated below the number of sets on each exercise).

PLANS OF ATTACK

How to perform the exercises for maximum effect. You’ll use one of these five different methods to complete the exercises.

PARTITIONED SET RAMPING (PSR): Choose a weight that’s 30% of your max and perform three reps (or whatever specific number the exercise calls for). Without resting, go up in weight to a load that’s 50% and perform another three reps. Then go to 75%, and then 90%. All of this is one set. Rest as needed and repeat for the prescribed sets.

NEGATIVE (NEG): Focus only on the negative (lowering) portion of the movement. For example, for the dragon flag on page 110, powerfully swing your legs up in the air to the top position of the rep and then slowly lower them back to the bench, taking up to three full seconds on the negative.

FAST (FST): Perform each rep as explosively as possible.

DROPSET (DROP): Perform the set normally and then reduce the weight 10–20% so you can get another few reps. You should take no more than 20 seconds to lower the weight.

STANDARD (SD): Complete the set in a normal fashion, lifting and lowering with a smooth, controlled tempo.

SEE ALSO: 6-Week Full-Body HIIT Workout

WHAT ABOUT CARDIO?

The first thing guys tend to think of when they want to lose weight is how much cardio they’ll need to do. The answer is probably a lot less than you expect. Try the following three days per week on non-lifting days.

  • Sprint 30 seconds
  • Walk 4 minutes
  • Repeat for 25 to 30 minutes

HOW TO DIET

A simple protocol for dropping fat, taken from the book The Carb Nite Solution. Reduce your carbs to 30 total grams per day for nine days. Consume mostly meats, fish, eggs, cheeses, protein powders, and green vegetables. Don’t be afraid to eat a substantial amount of fat, which helps control hunger. You don’t have to count calories—keeping your carbs ultralow will create a caloric deficit as well as improve the hormone levels you need to burn fat.

  • On the night of the 10th day, eat as many carbs as you can. Start with potatoes, rice, or oats, and then feel free to indulge on more sugary treats if you like.
  • Pasta, cookies, and cake are all OK. Your  goal now is to refill your muscles’ energy stores and cause a hormonal effect that speeds your metabolism for days afterward.
  • The next day, go back to 30 grams of carbs. Continue for five days, and then have another Carb Nite that evening. Repeat until you’ve reached your fat-loss goal.
  • After workouts, supplement with whey isolate. You can add five grams of leucine as well. Leucine helps raise insulin levels like carbs do, so you can drive protein into your muscles immediately after training.

Read more about the diet at carbnite.com.

Day 1

Exercise 1A

Dumbbell Lunge You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Lunge thumbnail
4 sets
20 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 1B

Cable Crunch You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment How to
Cable Crunch thumbnail
4 sets
20 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 2

Romanian Deadlift
exercise image placeholder
2 sets
8 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 3

Leg Press
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
4, 4, 4, 4 reps
-- rest
PSR

Exercise 4

Leg Curl How to
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
6-8 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 5

Leg Press Calf Raise
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
6-8 reps
-- rest
SD

Day 2

Exercise 1

Push Press
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
3, 3, 3, 3 reps
-- rest
PSR

Exercise 2

One-Arm Dumbbell Upright Row You'll need: Dumbbells
One-Arm Dumbbell Upright Row thumbnail
2 sets
8 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 3

Bent-Over Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Bent-Over Lateral Raise thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 4

Barbell Shrug You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Shrug thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest
(DROP)

Exercise 5

Dumbbell Floor Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Floor Press thumbnail
3 sets
4-8 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 6

Bodyweight Triceps Extension You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
Bodyweight Triceps Extension thumbnail
2 sets
As many as possible reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 7

Landmine Rotation How to
exercise image placeholder
2 sets
10 each side reps
-- rest
SD

Day 3

Exercise 1

Incline Dumbbell Chest Press
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
4-8 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 2

Incline Dumbbell Flye You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
Incline Dumbbell Flye thumbnail
2 sets
10 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 3

Dragon Flag How to
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
3 reps
-- rest
NEG

Exercise 4

Close-Grip Pulldown You'll need: Lat Pulldown Bar How to
exercise image placeholder
2 sets
3, 3, 3, 3, 3 reps
-- rest
PSR

Exercise 5

45-Degree Pulldown How to
exercise image placeholder
12 sets
12 reps
-- rest
FST

Exercise 6

One-Arm Dumbbell Row
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
6-10 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 7

Incline Front Raise How to
exercise image placeholder
2 sets
10 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 8

Scapular Pulldown How to
exercise image placeholder
2 sets
12 reps
-- rest
SD

Day 4

Exercise 1

Cable Woodchop You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment How to
Cable Woodchop thumbnail
3 sets
12 each side reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 2

Cable Biceps Curl You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Straight Bar Attachment How to
Cable Biceps Curl thumbnail
3 sets
3, 3, 3, 3, 3 reps
-- rest
PSR

Exercise 3

Hammer Curl
exercise image placeholder
2 sets
6-8 reps
-- rest
SD

Exercise 4

Close-Grip Chinup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Close-Grip Chinup thumbnail
2 sets
4 reps
-- rest
NEG

Exercise 5

Rack Pull You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
Rack Pull thumbnail
3 sets
6-8 reps
-- rest
SD
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