Lose carbs, gain muscle

Build strength and size on a strict diet.

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. On the following pages, 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.

Make sure there is tension on the cable in the top position as well.


We recommend following the Carb Nite Solution. 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.


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 super set. 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,” at right, for descriptions of each technique).

1. Day 1


Step forward and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor.

1B CABLE CRUNCH (SD) [NOT SHOWN]Sets: 4 Reps: 20
Use the rope handle and pull it behind your neck. Kneel and crunch

Hold a barbell against the front of your thighs. Bend your hips back until you feel your lower back is beginning to lose its arch. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to come back up.

3 LEG PRESS (PSR) [ N OT S H OWN ]Sets: 3 Reps: 4, 4, 4, 4

Use the leg press machine and bend your knees until they’re at 90 degrees. Do not let your lower back come off of the pad

4 LEG CURL (SD) [NOT SHOWN] Sets: 3 Reps: 6–8

Lie down on a leg curl machine and secure your ankles. Make sure the axis of the machine lines up with your knees. Curl your legs.

5 CALF RAISE IN LEG PRESS (SD) [ N OT S H OWN ]Sets: 3 Reps: 6–8

Use a 45-degree leg press station and place the balls of your feet on the plate. Perform calf raises as normal.

Plans of Attack
How to perform the exercises for maximum effect.

You’ll use one of these five different methods to complete the exercises.


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.

2. Day 2

1 PUSH PRESS (PSR) [NOT SHOWN] Sets: 3 Reps: 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Hold a barbell at shoulder level with hands shoulderwidth apart. Dip your knees and use momentum to power the bar overhead.


Raise your arm up and back as if up and back as if  you were going to elbow someone   standing behind you. Your upper arm should be parallel with the floor in the top position.


Hold a dumbbell in each hand and bend forward at the hips so your torso is parallel with the floor. Raise the weights 90 degrees.

4 SHRUG (DROP) [NOT SHOWN] Sets: 4 Reps: 10

Hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip and shrug your shoulders as high as you can. Perform 10 reps, reduce the load, and repeat.


Lie on the floor and hold the weights as you would in the bottom of a bench press but with your palms facing in. Press the weights up.

6 BODY-WEIGHT TRICEPS EXTENSION (SD) Sets: 2 Reps: As Many As Possible

Set a barbell at about hip level in a rack. Grab the bar and walk your feet and back so your body is at 45 degrees.  Bend your elbows and then extend.

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

7 LAND-MINE ROTATION (SD) Sets: 2 Reps: 10 (each side)
➔ Wedge a barbell into a corner and load the end nearest you. Grab the top of the collar. Keeping your hips as square to the corner as possible, twist your torso from side to side. Do not rotate at the hips.

3. Day 3


➔ Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree incline and lie back against it with a dumbbell in each hand. Press the weights straight over your chest.


Set up the same as the incline press, but have your palms face each other. Lower your arms until you feel a stretch and then bring your arms back together.

3 DRAGON FLAG (NEG) Sets: 3 Reps: 3

Lie on your back on a bench and hold the end of it behind you. Swing your legs up in the air so they’re perpendicular to the floor, and tuck your knees to your chest.  Lower your legs back to the bench, but stop short of resting.

4 CLOSE-GRIP PULL DOWN (PSR) [NOT SHOWN] Sets: 2 Reps: 3, 3, 3, 3,

Attach a V-grip handle to the top pulley of a cable station. Sit at the station and secure your knees. Pull the handle down to your collarbone.

5 45-DEGREE PULL DOWN (FST) [NOT SHOWN] Sets: 2 Reps: 12

Attach a pull down bar to the top pulley of a cable station. Lean your torso back about 45 degrees and push your chest out. Pull the bar to the middle of your chest.

6 ONE-ARM ROW (SD) [NOT SHOWN] Sets: 3 Reps: 6–10 (each side)

Grab a dumbbell in one hand, and rest the other hand and knee on a bench. Row the weight until it touches your side, making sure to lead with your elbow.

7 INCLINE FRONT RAISE (SD) Sets: 2 Reps: 10
Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree incline and rest your chest against it. Hold a dumbbell (or plates, as shown) in each hand and raise the weights up in front of you with arms straight until they’re parallel to the floor.

8 SCAPULAR PULL DOWN (SD) Sets: 2 Reps: 12

Set up as you did for the 45-degree pull down, but keep your torso vertical. Allow the weight to stretch your arms and shoulders, then pull your shoulder blades down and together without bending your elbows. Hold the bottom of the last rep on each set for 30 seconds.

20 Max number of sets (not counting warmups) you should do per workout when following a low-carb diet.

4. Day 4

1 CABLE WOOD CHOP (SD)Sets: 3 Reps: 12 (each side)
Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station and stand far enough away from the machine that there is tension on the cable. Stand with your feet shoulderwidth apart and split your legs so one foot is a few feet in front of the other. Rotate your torso diagonally downward until the handle ends up at the outside of your opposite leg.

2 CABLE CURL (PSR) Sets: 3 Reps: 3, 3, 3, 3, 3
Attach a straight bar to the low pulley of a cable station and grab it with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping your elbows against your sides, curl the bar to shoulder level.

3 HAMMER CURL (SD) [NOT SHOWN] Sets: 2 Reps: 6–8

Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other. Curl the weights to shoulder level without moving your upper arms.


Grab a chin up bar with palms facing you and hands almost touching each other. (They should be no farther than 3 inches apart.) Pull yourself up until your chin is over it.

5 RACK PULL (SD) Sets: 3 Reps: 6–8
Set a barbell in a rack or on boxes so it’s 2 inches below your knees. Take an overhand grip with hands shoulder-width apart. Stand up and lock out your hips with the bar tracking your legs.

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 ultra low 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.