John Meadows’ Workout Routine and Diet Plan

John Meadows will always be an irreplaceable figure in the community of bodybuilding and fitness. If you are reading this, we can be pretty sure that you must have watched some of his training-related videos and would have also followed his advice.

John Meadows was also popularly called ‘The Mountain Dog’. He even devised a high-volume bodybuilding program that is known by the name ‘The Mountain Dog Training System’ for athletes.

So let’s get to know in detail about this legendary bodybuilding and fitness icon’s fitness regime as here we give you a detailed overview of John Meadows’ workout routine and diet plan.

John Meadows' Workout Routine and Diet Plan

John Meadows’ Workout Principles

Being a pro bodybuilder, weight training happened to be a crucial part of John Meadows’ workout plan. His training program incorporated numerous weight training exercises.

John also used to be pretty conscious about his exercise form and technique. He even advised all his clients to follow suit as doing so certainly enables one to gain the most out of performing any exercise.

John incorporated the concepts of both high-intensity and high-volume training in his workout routine. He generally used the former to work on enhancing his strength levels and relied on the latter to pack on dense muscle mass on his frame.

John used to follow a 4-day push-pull-legs workout split. It fetched him the kind of muscle gains that led him to win numerous pro-bodybuilding awards and accolades.

Now, let’s have a look at the workout splits.

Split 1:

  • Day 1- Legs
  • Day 2- Chest and Shoulders
  • Day 3- Back
  • Day 4- Arms

7-day split

  • Day 1- Legs
  • Day 2- Chest and Shoulders
  • Day 3- Back
  • Day 4- Arms
  • Day 5- Legs
  • Day 6- Chest and Shoulders
  • Day 7- Back

PPL Split:

  • Week 1:
    • Day 1- Back and Biceps
    • Day 2- Chest, Shoulder and Triceps
    • Day 3- Legs
    • Day 4- Back and Biceps
  • Week 2
    • Day 1- Chest, Shoulder and Triceps
    • Day 2- Legs
    • Day 3- Back and Biceps
    • Day 4- Chest, Shoulder and Triceps
  • Week 3
    • Day 1- Legs
    • Day 2- Chest, Shoulder and Triceps
    • Day 3- Back and Biceps
    • Day 4- Legs

John Meadows' Workout

John Meadows’ Workout Routine

Apart from facilitating strength and size gains, John Meadows’ workout routine was also targeted toward enhancing his cardiovascular conditioning and endurance.

Generally, he used to put his clients on a similar kind of workout program that followed a holistic approach toward fitness.

Now, let’s have a look at the exercises that he performed for hitting different muscle groups:-

John Meadows’ Workout Plan


  • Barbell back squats- 5-8 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Standing, seated, or lying leg curls- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Leg press- 5-6 sets of 10 reps
  • Leg extensions or Hack squats- 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Stationary lunges on a smith machine- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Romanian deadlifts- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Adductor machine- 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Calf raises- 4 sets of 10 reps


  • Barbell bench press- 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Low incline dumbbell press- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Smith machine decline press- 4 sets of 10-12 reps


  • Yates rows- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Smith machine one-arm barbell rows- 4 sets of 8 reps
  • Facing away lat pulldowns- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Rack pulls- 3 sets of 6 reps
  • Reverse hyperextensions- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Pullovers (either machine or free weight)- 4 sets of 8-10 reps


  • Dumbbell overhead press- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Lateral raises- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • EZ-bar front raises- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Pec deck reverse flyes- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Iso-lateral seated cable rear delt flys- 3 sets of 12-15 reps


  • Dumbbell curls- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Grip force dumbbell curls- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell preacher curls- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Barbell drag curls- 3 sets of 12 reps


  • Tricep pushdowns (with slow eccentrics)- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Rope pushdowns- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Overhead cable tricep extensions- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Kettlebell lying tricep extensions- 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Shocking the muscles

John was a firm believer in the concept of shocking the muscles to enhance both size and strength gains. He relied on shocking techniques like drop sets, supersets, and giant sets for that purpose. And they indeed took his muscle gains to a whole new level.

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Staying flexible and mobile

John always included a few stretches and mobility drills in his warm-up and cool-down routine. They not only prepared his body for his intense training sessions but also ensured that it stays away from any kind of training-related injuries.

Rest is crucial

John paid as much emphasis to his rest periods as he paid to his workouts. Usually, he trained four days a week and for the remaining three days he focused on rest and recovery. This approach fetched him a decent amount of strength and size gains without subjecting his body to the adverse impacts of overtraining and muscle catabolism.

John Meadows’ Diet Plan

John Meadows' Diet Plan

Getting started with bodybuilding at the ripe age of 13 years, John went on to have a vast knowledge about developing and sticking to the right eating habits. He used to feed his body with plenty of nutritious food items on both his on and off-seasons.

John Meadows relied on a high-calorie diet plan but he always ensured that his calorie intake was coming only from nutritious sources.

Apart from consuming his macros in the right proportions, John also consumed food items rich in vitamins like A, D, E, and K. They contributed towards improving his endocrine system and promoting fat loss.

John Meadows’ meal plan consisted of 6 major meals in a day. Let’s have a look at them:-

Meal 1

  • ½ cup oats
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Meal 2

  • Protein shake (with 2 scoops of whey isolate protein)
  • ½ cup of blueberries and strawberries

Meal 3

  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 6 ounces of shrimp
  • Stir-fried vegetables

Meal 4

  • Wheat germ
  • Peanut butter
  • Protein shake (with 2 scoops of whey isolate protein)

Meal 5

  • Handful of walnuts
  • Chicken breast
  • Veggie salad with balsamic vinegar

Meal 6

  • Asparagus spears
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Fresh pineapple

Consuming saturated fats

John seldom avoided fats in his diet plan. However, he made sure that they come from saturated sources of fats only. He used to eat foods like wild-caught salmon and grass-fed beef which fetched his body with omega-3 fatty acids.

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Staying hydrated

John’s workout sessions were pretty intense ones. And to go through such sessions, he always made it a point to keep himself adequately hydrated. He drank plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day for that purpose.

John Meadows’ Supplements

John Meadows was someone who knew a lot about how a nutrition plan can be given an added edge. For that purpose, he relied on certain supplements.

John Meadows’ supplements stack included the following:-

  • Pre-workout
  • Whey protein
  • BCAAs
  • Mass gainers
  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin D
  • Taurine

Wrapping Up

John Meadows will always be a fitness and bodybuilding icon. His fitness advices has inspired many and still continues to guide millions. And we can assure you that it will serve you in the same way.

You should give John Meadows’ workout routine and diet plan a shot and you will certainly gain a lot from it. You can make a few modifications to it as well based on your training experience and fitness goals. Taking the assistance of a professional trainer will also serve you pretty well in that matter.

Last but not least if you want to build a great physique, stay consistent with your fitness regime.