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The Workout Plan Your Low-Carb Diet Needs

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

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The Workout Plan Your Low-Carb Diet Needs
The Workout Plan Your Low-Carb Diet Needs

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.

Routine

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Day 1

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 26

Dumbbell Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
20
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 2 of 26

Cable Crunch

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
20
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 3 of 26

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
2
Reps
8
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 4 of 26

Leg Press

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
4, 4, 4, 4
Rest
--
PSR

Day 2

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 7 of 26

Push Press

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
3, 3, 3, 3
Rest
--
PSR
Exercise 8 of 26

One-Arm Dumbbell Upright Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
2
Reps
8
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 9 of 26

Bent-Over Lateral Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 10 of 26

Barbell Shrug

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
(DROP)
Exercise 11 of 26

Dumbbell Floor Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
4-8
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 12 of 26

Bodyweight Triceps Extension

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
2
Reps
As many as possible
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 13 of 26

Landmine Rotation

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
2
Reps
10 each side
Rest
--
SD

Day 3

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 14 of 26

Incline Dumbbell Chest Press

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
4-8
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 15 of 26

Incline Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
2
Reps
10
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 16 of 26

Dragon Flag

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
3
Rest
--
NEG
Exercise 17 of 26

Close-Grip Pulldown

Equipment
Lat Pulldown Bar
Sets
2
Reps
3, 3, 3, 3, 3
Rest
--
PSR
Exercise 18 of 26

45-Degree Pulldown

Equipment
Sets
12
Reps
12
Rest
--
FST
Exercise 19 of 26

One-arm Dumbbell Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
6-10
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 20 of 26

Incline Front Raise

Equipment
Sets
2
Reps
10
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 21 of 26

Scapular Pulldown

Equipment
Sets
2
Reps
12
Rest
--
SD

Day 4

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 22 of 26

Cable Woodchop

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment
Sets
3
Reps
12 each side
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 23 of 26

Cable Biceps Curl

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Straight Bar Attachment
Sets
3
Reps
3, 3, 3, 3, 3
Rest
--
PSR
Exercise 24 of 26

Hammer Curl

Equipment
Sets
2
Reps
6-8
Rest
--
SD
Exercise 25 of 26

Close-Grip Chinup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
2
Reps
4
Rest
--
NEG
Exercise 26 of 26

Rack Pull

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
3
Reps
6-8
Rest
--
SD
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