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The Warrior Diet Experiment, Part 1

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The Warrior Diet Experiment, Part 1

12/31/2008

Goal. My goal is to lose 100 pounds of bodyfat using the Warrior Diet.

The experiment. To see how much lean muscle mass I can retain while losing 100 pounds of fat on the Warrior Diet.

Beginning weight. 307 pounds, 12/31/2008

Beginning lean mass. 180 pounds.

Beginning bodyfat. 127 pounds.

Beginning bodyfat %. 41.37%

Eating. The Warrior Diet is vastly different from a standard bodybuilding diet. I will be eating only minimal calories during the day, and one huge meal at night. My nightly meal will occur sometime between 5 – 6:30 p.m. each night.

During the day, I will eat only the following…1 can tomato juice, 1 apple, 2 pieces string cheese. Total calories = 290.

At night, during my single large meal, I will consume 1,800 calories. These calories will consist of healthy food…chicken, tuna, almonds, black beans, rice, quinoa, beef, salsa, broccoli, peas, corn, milk, cheese, etc. I will eat as healthy as possible, but may occasionally “cheat” and have a couple hundred calories of popcorn, ice cream, etc.

I may, depending on how the weight loss progression is going, include one cheat day a month where I allow myself to eat an additional 1,000 – 2,000 calories on a single day.

The average calories I will intake daily = 2,100.

Background. I started lifting in 2007 after a 10 year layoff. I was 310 pounds at the time. In 4 months I gained muscle and strength while getting my weight down to 228 pounds. My lean mass at that time was 178 pounds. Also, my lifts were…bench press 300, squat 405, deadlift 505. I lost the weight during this period using a standard bodybuilding style cutting diet. I gained at least 10 pounds of muscle mass while losing the fat, mostly because of muscle memory.

But, by Thanksgiving and Christmas 2007, I was quickly back up to 255-260 pounds.

In early 2008, I tore my left shoulder at work and couldn’t lift for 8 months. My diet slowly went to hell, and my weight crept back up to 290. After another round of Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc, I find myself back up to 307 pounds.

Why? Why experiment with the Warrior Diet?

  • Because I can. I have 100 pounds of fat to spare, so who better to experiment with the Warrior Diet’s viability.
  • I am a big eater. Standard bodybuilding diets drive me mad. I like a big meal after working out (which is right after work). When not training, I have almost always resorted to eating little during the day. So, the Warrior Diet is more instinctive for me.
  • For others. I want to document my muscle loss during the fat loss process so that others can determine if the Warrior Diet is a viable option for their goals.
  • Muscle memory. If the program is a failure, I still have muscle memory in my favor. I can up the caloric ante slightly after the experiment, and know that the mass will come back relatively quickly.

Training. I have never trained on an empty stomach. To be honest, this is the hardest part of the Warrior Diet for me. I am afraid that my workouts, and strength, will suffer.

I am altering my training during this experiment to a workout I call Bulldozer training. It is a melding of Doggcrapp and Max-stim. Here it is in a nutshell…

Day 1…Back.

Deadlift, 20 reps. Using approximately 70-75% of my 1RM, I will perform singles, with only enough rest between reps to regain my sanity. I will perform the rep, stand, shake out my hands, take a few deep breaths, work out the kinks, and then perform another rep. Generally, a 20 rep set performed in this manner will take 10-15 minutes.

T-bar rows and/or DB Rows, 20 reps. Using a weight I can perform 8-10 reps with, I will perform 6 reps, and then rack the weight. I will then take 10-15 deep breaths, and perform more reps. I will continue this “rest-pause” cycle until I hit 20 total reps. I will NOT train to failure.

Day 2…off

Day 3…Chest, shoulders.

Bench press, 20 reps. Same set style as T-bar Rows.

Overhead press, 20 reps. Same set style as T-bar Rows.

Day 4…off

Day 5…Legs

Squats, 20 reps. Same set style as T-bar Rows.

Ham Curls, 20 reps. Same set style as T-bar Rows.

Day 6…off

Day 7…repeat cycle or take the day off….

As you can see, I am training primarily with heavy compound lifts, and will not be directly training biceps, triceps, calves, abs, traps, forearms, etc. I want to keep my workouts short, intense, and heavy.

Success. The following list shows how I will view the success/failure of this Warrior Diet experiment…

  • Complete Success. No muscle loss. 180 lean mass, 27 pounds fat. 13.0% BF
  • Quality Success. 5 pounds muscle loss. 175 pounds lean mass, 27 pounds fat. 13.4% BF
  • Success. 10 pounds muscle loss. 170 pounds lean mass, 27 pounds fat. 13.7% BF
  • Failure. 20 pounds muscle loss. 160 pounds lean mass, 27 pounds fat. 14.4% BF
  • Complete failure. 30 pounds muscle loss. 150 pounds lean mass, 27 pounds fat. 15.3% BF

I will also consider it a minor failure if I lose any strength over the course of this experiment.

Updates. I will be weighing in and taking bodyfat levels every 2 weeks, and posting the results here. I will also note general observations. Video logs will come as I feel necessary, and when I have the time.

Notes. I am in no way affiliated with the Warrior Diet, or Ori Hofmekler. I am not a Warrior Diet jedi. nor do I believe one way or the other if the Warrior Diet is a valid muscle-retaining, fat loss option for weight trainers. Ori Hofmekler states that it is, and my experiment exists merely to take a look at the Warrior Diet’s viability.

Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw is the primary content manager for Muscle and Brawn.

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