Layne Norton Workout and DIET
Layne Norton grew up in Indiana. To defend himself against bullies in school, he took up weight training around age 14. Baseball was his sport of choice in high school, and Norton only discover bodybuilding after graduating. Hooked, he entered his first competition just a year later and won the Overall Teen category in the INBF Mid America Muscle Classic. Norton won 7 bodybuilding titles before switching over to powerlifting where he won almost as many trophies again. He retired from competition in 2015. Norton holds a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences. After retiring from the circuit, Norton turned his focus to physique coaching and is the founder and owner of Biolayne. He has co-written a couple of fitness books including Fat Loss Forever. Norton is divorced and has 2 children. He has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. Norton is5 feet,10 inches tall and weighsbetween 205-215 lbs.
Layne Norton’s Diet
Diet is an essential part of any athlete’s diet, but especially with bodybuilding where every bite counts. During his competition years, Norton tracked his macros. Off-season, he’d have 250 g protein, 450 g carbs,90 g fat and 60 g fiber. Before a contest, he would up his protein intake to 275 g and cut his carbs down to 100-200 g. Fat would reduce to 45-60 g, and fiber down to 25-40 g. He supplements with several things including whey protein, BCAAs, and a multivitamin. He drinks plenty of water each day, and used to drink a lot more leading up to a competition.
- Low-Medium Fat 30% 30%
- Low-Medium Carb 50% 50%
- High Protein 40% 40%
Norton holds a degree in nutrition, so it’s no surprise he eats scientifically. He counts his macros. Before a contest, he would cut back everything except protein.
Drink Your H2O
Norton drinks plenty of water, and says it’s a mistake to consume less pre-competition. Water keeps your muscles looking plump while flushing excess weight.
Watch Your Sodium
Norton says a common mistake bodybuilders make is cutting out all sodium. Without some sodium in your body, the muscles look flat rather than full.
Norton recommends having a meal 2 hours before a contest including sodium, carbs and fat improves the appearance of muscles.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Norton on His Cutting Diet
‘Obviously the numbers dropped as I got leaner and leaner to help keep fat loss progressing.’
Norton on Cutting Water and Salt For a Competition
‘All you will have done is flatten out your physique.’
Norton on the Importance of Sodium for Bodybuilders
‘The carbs didn’t fill out their muscles. The water and sodium did! Carbs consumed while cutting water will never fill you out properly.’
Layne Norton’s Workout Routine
In school, Norton started out by reading books on weight training before creating a set of sand weights at home in his basement.
The Competitive Spirit
Norton had been a baseball player in high school, but after graduating, he found himself missing the thrill of competition, which led him to bodybuilding.
Find Your Path
Norton stumbled onto bodybuilding, but fell instantly in love with the sport and entered his first competition at age 19.
Norton works with bodybuilders and others who need an ideal physique, maximizing aesthetics without compromising health.
Norton usually works out 5 days a week, taking a day of rest every 2-3 days. He alternates working the upper and lower body.
Norton lifts heavy 2 days a week and works with lighter weights and higher reps 3 days a week to create a powerful yet huge physique.
Norton does a combination of bodybuilding and powerlifting. He’ll focus on strength one day and growth another.
A Layne Norton Routine
Monday: Upper Body Power
Bent-over or Pendlay rows: 3-5 reps x 3 sets
Weighted pull-ups: 6-10 reps x 2 sets
Rack chins: 6-10 reps x 2 sets
Flat dumbbell press: 3-5 reps x 3 sets
Weighted dips: 6-10 reps x 2 sets
Seated dumbbell shoulder presses: 6-10 reps x 3 sets
Skull crushers: 6-10 reps x 3 sets
Tuesday: Lower Body Power
Squats: 3-5 reps x 3 sets
Hack squats: 6-10 reps x 2 sets
Leg extensions: 6-10 reps x 2 sets
Stiff-leg deadlifts: 5-8 reps x 3 sets
Glute ham raises or lying leg curls: 6-10 reps x 2 sets
Standing calf raise: 6-10 reps x 3 sets
Seated calf raise: 6-10 reps x 2 sets
Thursday: Back & Shoulders Hypertrophy
Bent-over or Pendlay rows: 3 reps x 6 sets @ 65-70% normal 3-5 rep max
Rack chins: 8-12 reps x 3 sets
Seated cable row: 8-12 reps x 3 sets
Dumbbell rows or shrugs w/ upper body braced against incline bench: 12-15 reps x 2 sets
Close-grip pulldowns: 15-20 reps x 2 sets
Seated dumbbell presses: 8-12 reps x 3 sets
Upright rows: 12-15 reps x 2 sets
Side lateral raises w/ dumbbells or cables: 12-20 reps x 3 sets
Friday: Lower body Hypertrophy
Squats: 3 reps x 6 sets @ 65-70% of normal 3-5 rep max
Hack squats: 8-12 reps x 3 sets
Leg press: 12-15 reps x 2 sets
Leg extensions: 15-20 reps x 3 sets
Romanian deadlifts: 8-12 reps x 3 sets
Lying leg curls: 12-15 reps x 2 sets
Seated leg curls: 15-20 reps x 2 sets
Donkey calf raises: 10-15 reps x 4 sets
Seated calf raises: 15-20 reps x 3 sets
Saturday: Chest & Arms Hypertrophy
Press power speed work: flat dumbbell presses: 3 reps x 6 sets @ 65-70% of normal 3-5 rep max
Incline dumbbell press: 8-12 reps x 3 sets
Hammer strength chest press: 12-15 reps x 3 sets
Incline cable fly: 15-20 reps x 2 sets
Cambered bar preacher curls: 8-12 reps x 3 sets
Dumbbell concentration curls: 12-15 reps x 2 sets
Spider curls (brace upper body against incline bench): 15-20 reps x 2 sets
Seated triceps extensions w/ cambered bar: 8-12 reps x 3 sets
Cable press-downs w/ rope: 13-15 reps x 2 sets
Cable kickbacks: 15-20 reps x 2 sets
Norton On His Debut With Pumping Iron
‘I didn’t have very noble intentions when I started lifting weights. It was to stop getting bullied and to get attention from girls. Ironically, neither of those things came about because of weightlifting.’
Norton on Lifting
‘I didn’t really get serious about it until I graduated from high school.’
Norton on How He Found Bodybuilding
‘I had played baseball all the way through high school and once that was over, I no longer had a competitive outlet.’
Norton on his Job as Physique Coach
‘I really try to work toward optimizing their body composition but also keeping in mind their health long-term.’
Norton on Coaching
‘You don’t need a coach. Nobody needs a coach [but] if you have a good one, it can make your journey a lot smoother.’
Layne Norton’s Supplements
Norton takes a multivitamin every day to be sure to cover all his nutritional bases.
To boost strength and increase lean muscle mass as well as speed up recovery, Norton takes 5g per day of creatine.
Norton takes 3 capsules per day of sesame oil, which is high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and helps control blood sugar.
Layne Norton’s Lifestyle
Sleep: a Pillar of Health
Norton says that while most people focus on exercise and diet to lose weight, sleep is just as important as these two things, if not more so.
No Magic Bullet
Norton tells it straight to his trainees. He says beware of anyone who makes grandiose promises or outrageous claims. To get real results, you must put in the time.
The Truth About Diets
Norton says that any diet can work if you stick to it. The hard part is sustaining a calorie deficit, and extreme dieting tends to make you miserable mentally and physically.
Norton is on a mission to combat all the false, misleading, and downright dangerous info floating around out there on the internet. He has numerous videos on topics like Calories Don’t Matter? and Does Meat Give You Cancer?
Norton on The Importance of Sleep
‘Sleep is one of the most important and fundamental aspects of life…We can go several weeks without food; however, the world record for no sleep is just 7 days!’
Norton on Being Bullied
‘When I went to school, I would fear every day because there were about a dozen people whose mission in life seemed to be making me feel terrible about myself and embarrassing me.’
Norton on bad coaches:
‘In Australia…an extremely well-known and worldwide-followed coach had just been over there. He had a girl convinced that the reason she was not losing body fat was that her makeup was not organic. I mean, come on!’
Norton on Dieting Mistakes
‘Probably the most common mistake that people make in dieting is starting off too aggressively.’
Norton on His Approach to Business
‘Apparently I’m very bad at marketing, but I’m very good at what I do, fortunately, so I still get clients.’
Norton's Goal for Coaching
‘I feel like…how I can make the biggest difference in this industry is to help make better coaches.’