If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things. –Albert Einstein
This is not your average “fat loss” or “leaning” article.
In fact, I highly recommend you read my other article, The Art of Weight Loss (what no one talks about), before diving in here.
This was written with highly-researched and proven methods in mind; so that you train more seriously than most.
But can a single exercise program really be designed for fat loss or getting shredded?
Exercise is not THE way to getting lean and losing fat.
It starts and ends with your diet, however, your exercise program contributes a lot to how your body functions.
It is terrible to view fitness as; I ran an arbitrary amount of miles today, so that means I can eat this candy bar…
Would you rather have a program which jump starts fat loss, or one that will just have you expend a few extra calories?
When designed appropriately an exercise program can enhance hormonal function such as raising testosterone, growth hormone and improving insulin sensitivity.
These hormones, coupled with diet and training of the central nervous system, can have the body respond in lean muscle gain and fat loss.
It will take the calories that would be fat and use them for lean muscle gain and take would-be-fat carbs and replenish muscle glycogen.
Not All Training is Created Equal
A fat loss and leaning workout program needs a disciplined diet for quick results, but the program itself CAN be designed to give you the advantage in fat loss…
And, at EO3, we have created such a program; and I will be sharing the methodology in this article.
Today, I give you the details.
Furthermore, what I have designed is high-intensity exercise program that will be very challenging, yet effective and will:
- Increase time efficiency of workouts
- Increase intensity of workouts
- Enhance fat loss by burning more calories in the same time period and enhancing post exercise caloric burn
- Increase natural growth hormone release
- Allow safety with barbell training by providing intensity and overload without heavy weights (which can aggravate injuries or joint pain)
To break it down further:
- Increased intensity = More Lactate
- More lactate = More Growth Hormone
- More growth hormone = faster fat loss, in theory.
But guess what??
I doesn’t matter if I spent three years creating this program…
It wouldn’t matter if this method were backed by the smartest scientists in the world…
Nope, none of that matters.
To state the obvious, you will have to work hard…but you know that…
The real way to screw this method up is to…
- Get little to no sleep
- Live in a constantly over-stressed cortisol-producing state, and…
- Eat like crap and refuse to change bad habits.
The same way ANY program can get screwed up.
Your focus needs to be nutrition + training.
The final way to screw this up is to be low on willpower or make excuses. There is not room for that!
Know that going in, and we can now get started.
Fat Loss and Leaning Nutrition Principles
Let’s get right to it.
You will need to be eating about .7-1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight and feel free to enjoy a good amount of healthy fats, because if you recall – fat doesn’t make you fat!
Your real focus is going to be carbohydrate reduction.
Unfortunately, I cannot give you a cookie cutter amount of carbs to take in, or not take in, really.
The reason being is because this is a serious leaning method, so you may need more carbohydrates to replace glycogen stores.
However, the rule of thumb is if you start to feel kind of wonky (official medical term), you may need to increase the carbs a bit – or, alternatively, go into a state of ketosis.
If you ARE in ketosis, ignore what I said…
Having said that, I will give you guidelines that are widely agreed upon when it comes to carbohydrates:
- 50-100 grams/day (or less) = accelerated fat loss
- 100-150 grams/day = effortless weight maintenance.
That is a tall order for some of you, I know.
But you can do this!
Lastly, do your best to eliminate:
- Sugary foods and beverages
- Grains (wheat, corn, rice, pasta, breads, cereals, etc.)
- Legumes (soy and other beans)
- Trans and partially hydrogenated fats
- High-risk conventional meat and produce
Let’s talk more about carbs…
Nobody is perfect and you will have to experiment to find your perfect exercise/diet balance when it comes to the carbohydrates.
You definitely still want to take them in, but at what level is up to YOUR body.
- As well as animal fats…
- Avocados, and coconut.
The carbs (root, tubers, etc.):
- As stated, try to stay at the magical carb intake level to lose weight quickly, however, due to the training (outlined in this article) you still need carbs. They should be in the healthiest form possible, so the recommendation will be tubers, or simply fruits (not a lot of fruit) and veggies.
If you consume ANY tubers, it is best to get a majority of these immediately following training, and never at night.
Again, don’t go crazy with fruit. Stay away from grains to the best of your ability.
Dairy = NONE.
Other fats: Don’t go crazy with nuts, seeds.
EXACTLY Where to Start with Nutrition:
Start with making sure you are getting .7-1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, then make sure you are eating roughly LESS than 15 calories per pound of bodyweight.
Roughly, means roughly. Play with what works for you, but start there.
You want more mathematical?
- Step 1: Determine your BMR – HERE
- Step 2: Multiply your BMR by your activity multiplier – HERE
- Step 3: Eat roughly 500 calories less than that, or reference – HERE
HOWEVER…if you are eating a healthy diet and have eliminated all the crap, as we have outlined, you do not really need to count calories.
You can, but if you just clean up your diet, it may not be necessary at all.
Other important facts:
- GET SLEEP.
- DRINK A LOT WATER (1 oz. per 2 lb. of bodyweight).
Yea, you may retain that water, but better healthy than cut…
Honestly, if you manage your carbohydrate intake, eliminate sugar and follow the other principles we have discussed, you will be well you’re your way to meeting your goals in no time…seriously.
Don’t even worry about training until you have that down.
Once you have that down…We train.
Fat Loss and Leaning: Barbell Training
In this method you will train four days per week. You will have two accessory lifts per week, four lactic acid training sessions, one weekly tabata session and one lactate power session.
Everything I just said either has you scratching your head, or thinking about milking a cow…
Let’s get to the details.
LACTIC ACID TRAINING SESSION
Above is what we call the “Lactic Acid Training” session; which is a well documented and researched method for increasing lean mass, eliciting a hormonal response and inducing fat loss, or rather, high caloric burn.
Doing these sessions correctly is paramount.
Here’s how it works:
- Your Target = 35 reps (in this example), so whether it takes you 3 sets or 10 sets you will work till you get to your target reps.
- Your rep effort = 5-8 reps, this means on your FIRST set you should choose a weight in which you will be able to get 5-8 explosive fast-moving reps. This is how you will pick your weight used, based off of perceived effort. Your second set, using the same weight, you may only be able to get 4 reps, and that is perfectly fine. The rep effort is for that first set.
However, do not be confused by the rep effort. In this example it is not a 5 rep or 8 rep max. It is a weight that you can move VERY QUICKLY for 5-8 reps, not something you can move slowly for 5 reps.
In fact, you may be using a weight you COULD lift 15 times. The weight should be so manageable that you would not need a spotter (not that you shouldn’t HAVE a spotter, yet, you do not NEED a spotter).
The second you start to slow down and lose explosiveness is when you stop. So do not choose a heavy weight, rather chose a weight that when moved very quickly you will fatigue around 6 reps.
Keeping with our example pictured, say I pick 135 lb. on the back squat for my LAT Session.
I would move as explosively as I could with 135 lb., then I realize I am slowing down at 7 reps. I will immediately stop.
Rest for EXACTLY 30 seconds.
Now, I have 28 reps left.
I will grab 135 lb. again and start squatting, but with fatigue and little rest I may only get 4 reps when I start to slow, so I immediately stop.
Rest for EXACTLY 30 seconds.
Now, I have 24 reps left.
Continue this until you have no more reps to perform.
That’s training principle #1.
Tabata is a powerful way to improve the aerobic system as well as anaerobic system. Instead of focusing on one pathway, tabata utilizes both extremely well and makes for a very efficient 4 minutes of exercise. It is a great way to jump start your metabolism and turn you into a calorie burning machine all day.
- For twenty seconds do as many reps of the assigned exercise as you can – then rest 10 seconds. Repeat this seven more times for a total of 8 intervals, 4 minutes total exercise. The score is the least number of reps for any of the eight intervals.
- It is important to keep track of that lowest number for each exercise. We will do the same tabata each week and want to see how you can improve week to week.
That’s training principle #2.
LACTATE POWER SESSION
The lactate power sessions in the EO3 method are prescribed as sprints, in which we operate at an all-out effort for a time domain that is always around one minute long, and only once a week.
The prescription is running sprints, however, if you have a rower or airdyne those are the only substitutions allowed.
This is an amazing training tool because (most) everyone, beginner to advanced, can operate near max-effort for 45-75 seconds. And no matter your fitness level, we get the same results.
You are probably saying… “But I hate sprinting…Why do it?”
- Sprint intervals improve insulin sensitivity in healthy young subjects overweight men, and overweight, sedentary women alike.
- Sprinting boosts growth hormone.
- Sprinting increases the oxidative (fat burning) potential of muscle and improves endurance capacity.
- Sprinting improves the efficiency of muscle during exercise,
That’s training principle #3.
As you can tell this is a very taxing method.
- Lactic acid training…
It can be a lot. For this reason you need to make sure you rest!
Ideally, you will have a full day of rest after every training session. Which means this program does not fit into a cookie cutter week. If you just can’t handle that, do M-W-F-S. But the BEST method is one day on, one day off for the entirety of performing this method.
Your rest and recovery such as SLEEP and DIET will be the biggest factors in the success of this program.
Do it right!
That is the fourth and final principle.
What do you think?
Give it a try!
Over to you!