Zeb Atlas is a fitness model. At 6’3″ and 250 pounds, he looks intimidating and he knows a thing or two about dieting and building muscle.
In this video interview on the Gregory Mantell Show, Zeb Atlas discusses different body types, how to get the most out of your workouts for your particular body shape, and other interesting topics.
In addition, here is Zeb Atlas’ typical diet and workout plan in his own words. I have only made some minor corrections for clarity.
Day 1: Chest, Abs and Calves
For chest, I stay with the basics and usually start with flat bench. Following a warm-up, I usually do 3 sets of 8-10 reps here. I usually follow this with another mass builder–this time for upper chest–incline dumbbell press for 2 sets of 10 reps.
No warm-up is needed and it’s right into the heavy weights here. After this is usually incline flies another 2 sets of 10-12 reps here getting a nice full stretch at the bottom and nice peak contraction at the top of each rep. I will usually finish with 3 sets of 12-15 with cable cross-overs and by the time I am done with these my chest is usually fried!
Off to calves next and I usually start with 3-4 sets of seated calf raises done with heavy weights for approx 15 reps per set. I feel calves respond best to higher repetitions as the gastrocnemius and soleus and very dense muscles and a lot of blood is needed to be pushed to them to get these stubborn muscles to grow.
After this I will do Standing calf raises for another 3-4 sets again doing high reps and getting a peak contraction at the top of each rep. Concentrating on feeling the weight over my big toe allows me to feel each contraction more in my calves.
To end Day 1, I also do abs. I usually to Giant set of crunches with my knees up and crossed at my ankles, knee raises seated on the end of a flat bench, and decline sit-ups. I do this process for 4 sets of about 20 reps each and by the time I am done here my abs are certainly feeling it.
After my workout its shake time and that consists of approx 50 grams of protein and 50 grams of carb to replenish my muscles after my intense workout. Flavors and or different fruit are used but the nutritional components are usually the same.
Fat calories here are low to moderate. About an hour after my workout and shake its whole food time and this usually is a plate of chicken, brown rice and broccoli.
Meal 4 is usually just a protein bar and lately I have been eating Tri-O-Plex Peanut butter and chocolate chip.
Meal 5 is considered dinner for me and that’s either going out to sushi or staying home and having a steak, sweet potato and a salad.
Meal 6, my last one of the day is usually just a whey protein shake about an hour prior to bed. No carbs needed here, as they would have a chance to be stored as body fat so just straight protein for the last meal.
My meals don’t change much from day to day but the workouts do.
Day 2: Legs
My leg workout starts with 5 minutes on the bike to get the quads filled with blood and warmed-up. After this is off to the leg press for 5 sets of 12 reps of heavy, nice and controlled reps. I follow this with 3 sets of 10 in the squat and again using perfect form to avoid injury.
Next are dumbbell lunges to work the glutes and quads more and 3 sets of 10 are performed here doing all the work on the first leg for 10 consecutive reps as this will keep all tension on the working leg.
You wouldn’t alternate dumbbell rows so why would you with lunges? I usually finish with leg extensions and again here I do 3 sets of 10 and focus on the peak contraction on the top to feel the burn.
Hamstrings finish my leg day. I do 4 sets of 12 of lying leg curls and really squeeze at the top. After this, I finish off my legs with 3 sets of 10 of stiff-legged dead lifts feeling the stretch all the way down. My legs are usually pretty shaky now and I am ready to go home and relax.
Day 3: Off day and just cardio is performed upon waking
Day 4: Back and Shoulders
For Back, I usually start with a wide grip pull-down to the front to get the blood pumping. I do a warm-up set and then perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps here. Next, in my opinion is the best mass builder for back–bent over rows.
I like to do these with an underhand grip like Dorian Yates did. Again is 3 sets here with heavy weights and form is never compromised. Reps here get down to 7 or 8 per set.
Following this I like to do 2 sets of chins with bodyweight as my back is sufficiently fatigued now and no additional weight is needed. 2 sets to failure here. To finish I usually do seated row with a palms facing grip for 3 sets of 10.
Shoulders – I like to start here with behind the neck press and I feel it’s the best overall developer for all 3 heads of the deltoid. I perform 3 sets here of approx 10 to 15 reps. My second exercise is seated dumbbell side lateral raises.
I feel them doing them seated its harder to cheat and therefore works the muscle harder. I do 3 sets of 12 reps here. I follow this by a machine rear delt movement for 3 sets of 12 as well. I finish my shoulders with 3 sets of heavy dumbbell shrugs to get my traps all pumped and finish off the shoulder area.
Day 5: Biceps and Triceps
For biceps I almost always start with the best exercise for mass–standing barbell curls. After a warm up its 3 sets of 8-12 with strict form and a nice peak contraction at the top. Next I like to do preacher curls, again with a straight bar as I feel it works the bicep harder.
2 sets of 12 do it for me here and again really concentrating on squeezing the bicep. I finish off my biceps with concentration curls of 3 sets of 12 and my biceps are so pumped now that my arms are constantly in a bent state.
For triceps, I like to start with close grip bench press and do them right after biceps because I feel better control and pump when my biceps are full of blood. I do 3 sets of 10 here, very strict and really concentrating on feeling the weight in the back of my arms.
Next, I love French press or as some call them skull crushers. Again these are performed with a straight bar with heavy weights. 3 sets of 10 usually do it for me here and I like to finish with 3 sets of pushdowns with either a rope or a bar slightly angled downward. Either way my arms are so pumped after this it’s hard to get them to straighten.
Day 6: Off completely
Day 7: Repeat Day 1