How to do Diet, Calisthenics and Cardio

Q: Hey!! Just gotta say I've done the Complete Strength Athlete, and it's amazing! I just ordered all 3 of your books and can't wait to read them! I'm wondering by any chance, do you have a body weight routine for building strength? I am going to be extremely busy for a couple of months, working extra, full time college, and not to mention the homework! If you can point me in the right direction that would be awesome. I'm doing Monday, Wednesday and Friday [with] pretty much the strength endurance sets from your complete strength athlete program. 1 legged squats, pull ups, push ups, and leg raises. 

Hope to hear from you as I don't think this is enough. 
Thanks for everything. You're a BIG help!! :)


My Answer: Glad you enjoyed the article. If you're looking for body weight only routine, then check out Neo-Classical Bodybuilding. There's a chapter in there devoted solely to body weight training. Bottom line is that calisthenics is never going to be enough to develop a complete physique. That's why it's only one workout out of the Complete Strength Athlete program.

Dear James,

I recently purchased your Neo-Classical Bodybuilding book. Very impressed! I would like to start the 'Ecto' program outlined in pages 65-68, but have a few questions:

1. What loading parameters should be followed over the four sets?

2. While I need size, I'm now middle aged and tend to put on fat around the belly if I eat too much. Any advise on eating for size in this case?

3. I would like to include some cardio on a weekly basis for health reasons. What would you recommend? I don't want to hinder my gains in the gym.

Kind Regards
C. McFerran
Brisbane Australia

My Answer: Start off following these loading parameters, but increase the weight from workout to workout. Follow this diet for lean gains in muscle mass. Do High Intensity Interval Training for cardio.

How are you? My name is Trevor. I live in Ireland. I visited your page and found it really interesting. I wonder can you advise me on a training program?

38 year old male.
Average fitness.
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 14 stone 7 lb's ( approx 92 kg's)

I'm not overweight as such as I work out a lot and have some muscle weight. I do need to lose some fat which I am striving to do with cardio and interval training. My question is: Is it possible to burn fat and gain muscle at same time?

So many people say to take in fewer calories to lose weight, take more to gain muscle. How do I balance the two?

My natural tendency is not to be muscular. As a youth I was extremely thin. As I grew older I put on weight. It's a constant effort for me to stay in shape, but an effort I enjoy. Really what I'm wondering is training each body part ONCE weekly enough? Or should I train each part TWICE A WEEK?

How many exercises sets and reps for what I want? Many thanks if you get the time to read and hopefully reply to this email. I wish you a healthy, peaceful and happy 2010 James,

Trevor S.

My Answer: Your body likes to concentrate on one thing at a time with regards to diet and training. So if you try to lose fat while gaining muscle, then you're not going to do either very well. What I suggest you do is to alternate high calorie and low calorie phases: ZigZag diet. This way you can concentrate on one physique goal at a time, but still maintain a balance between the dual goals of muscle size and fat loss.

With regards to frequency of training, twice a week is better than once a week.
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