John Meadows Workout & Diet: A Comprehensive Review

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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As a personal fitness coach, I’ve been following many athletes in different sports. And the American professional bodybuilder John Meadows is one of those who stands out because of the barriers he overcame.

To help our readers implement the John Meadows workout routine approach, our team spent a few days going over many hours of training videos, social media posts, and books.

We also had a certified sports nutritionist help out and find some details about the John Meadows diet.

John Meadows Stats

  • Born: April 11, 1972
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 225 lbs.

John Meadows’ Workout Routine

The John Meadows workout routine is all about building muscle mass. You’ll be targeting different muscle groups each day.


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A post shared by John Meadows (@mountaindog1)

Monday: Arms

From my own training experience, I appreciate John Meadows' focus on the 'glory muscles.' When I incorporated his arm routine into my sessions, I noticed significant improvements in both strength and definition.

  • Triceps rope pushdowns (4 sets of 12 reps)
  • EZ bar preacher curls (4 sets of 12 reps)
  • Wrist curls (4 sets of 12 reps)
  • Hammer curls (4 sets of 12 reps)
  • Overhand barbell curls (4 sets of 12 reps)

Related: High Volume Arm Workout for Massive Gains

Tuesday: Legs

John discovered that the key to a solid leg workout is all about ramping up the reps for a massive volume day: 


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A post shared by John Meadows (@mountaindog1)

  • Lying leg curl (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Back squats (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Smith machine lunges (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Romanian deadlifts (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Calf raises (3 sets of 20 reps)
  • Leg extensions (3 sets of 15 reps)

Related: Bodybuilding Leg Workout

Wednesday: Shoulders

One of the key focus points for a muscular body has to be your shoulders: 

  • Reverse dumbbell fly (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Overhead press (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Lateral raises (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Front raise (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Bent over rear delt fly (3 sets of 12 reps)

Thursday: Chest

You’ll notice here that there are fewer workouts and more sets to achieve maximum muscle growth: 


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A post shared by John Meadows (@mountaindog1)

  • Lying dumbbell fly (4 sets of 10–12 reps)
  • Incline bench press (4 sets of 10–12 reps)
  • Dumbbell pullovers (4 sets of 10–12 reps)
  • Wide-grip bench press (4 sets of 10–12 reps)

Friday: Back

And to finish off the week, let’s head back to the upper body with a few targeted exercises to broaden those back muscles: 

  • Face pulls (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Bent-over single-arm dumbbell row (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Seated wide-grip row (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Reverse fly (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Meadows row (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Deadlifts (3 sets of 12 reps)

Saturday/Sunday: Rest:

After a tough workout routine like this, you will need some rest, but make sure it’s not a weekend spent in bed or on the couch.

One of the studies from the Frontiers website recommends staying active for better overall recovery [1].

“The longer I am in the game, the more I value and appreciate the ones who are in it.”

- John Meadows

What Was His Diet Plan?

The John Meadows diet plan was all about high-calorie intake from nutrient-dense and healthy foods.


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A post shared by John Meadows (@mountaindog1)

Having worked with clients who have had to overcome health challenges, much like John Meadows after his colon disease, I've seen firsthand the importance of a specialized diet. Avoiding saturated fats and refined carbs, as John did, is advice I often give to support not just workouts but overall health.

Here’s what a typical day looks like at the kitchen table: 

  • Breakfast: Omelette with six whole eggs and a bowl of oatmeal with coconut oil
  • Snack: Protein shake or bar
  • Lunch: Wild-caught salmon with brown rice and salad
  • Snack: Whole grain toast with peanut butter
  • Dinner: Grass-fed beef with a large portion of vegetables and a sweet potato

It’s a simple enough diet plan, but you will need to work out the volume of calories for each meal depending on your goals and overall health.

Related posts:

Did He Take Supplements?

Yes, John Meadows took several supplements, including vitamins, milk thistle, and SAM-e, to help with liver and endocrine function after some major health issues.


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A post shared by John Meadows (@mountaindog1)

But for his weight training routine, there were two things he relied on.

First of all, as you can see in the above meal plan, there is a huge need for protein. According to the study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, the easiest way to maximize that is with a top-quality whey protein powder [2].

It will help with muscle building and recovery and should be a key part of your stack.

And then there’s the need for maximum performance during each workout. To boost that, you should consider taking a pre-workout that will help you increase your endurance.


What Was John Meadows’ Training Split?

​​John Meadows’ training split involved a combination of push, pull, and compound exercises that maximize muscle pumps. It was split over five or six training days and involved focused training on one body part at a time.

What Exercise Did John Meadows Do Named After Him?

The Meadows Row was named after John Meadows. It’s a one-arm bent-over row where you grab the end of a barbell rather than a dumbbell so that you can lift much heavier loads safely.

What Are John Meadows' Unique Training Techniques?

John Meadows' training techniques focus on high volume and intensity, incorporating unique exercises and combinations to maximize muscle growth and endurance. His methods often involve supersets, drop sets, and varying rep ranges to challenge the muscles differently in each workout.

How Does John Meadows Structure Meal Timing and Frequency?

John Meadows advocates for strategic meal timing, aligning nutrient intake with training sessions to optimize muscle recovery and growth. He typically recommends consuming a balance of proteins, carbs, and fats in meals spaced evenly throughout the day, especially post-workout.

What Supplements Does John Meadows Recommend in His Diet Plan?

In his diet plan, John Meadows includes supplements like whey protein, creatine, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) to support muscle recovery and growth. He emphasizes the importance of choosing high-quality supplements that complement a well-balanced diet.

What Are John Meadows' Strategies for Injury Prevention and Recovery?

John Meadows emphasizes the importance of proper warm-up routines, stretching, and recovery techniques to prevent injuries during workouts. He advocates for listening to the body, incorporating rest days, and using recovery tools like foam rolling and massage therapy.

How Can Different Fitness Levels Adapt John Meadows' Workout and Diet Principles?

Individuals at various fitness levels can adapt John Meadows' principles by adjusting the workout intensity, volume, and dietary requirements to suit their own goals and capabilities. Beginners might start with lower weights and fewer sets, gradually increasing as they build strength and endurance.


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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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