Beach Season is Coming….Fat Loss Workouts

Workouts are NOT the most important thing for 99% of the population when trying to get Beach Ready.

Diet is…..but you knew that already.

You can workout all the time but if your diet sucks you’ll just be a “fat guy with big forearms”.

None the less workouts are really important because without them you end up skinny but with no muscle…you’re just a fat guy with small forearms smaller fat person but still a fat person.

In the Biz this is called “Skinny Fat”

Let’s face it, no one want to be  “Skinny Fat”.

skinny-fat

Skinny, but a high percentage of fat and almost no muscle.

This IS NOT the goal.

So we have to program workouts that will maintain or even build muscle while dieting.

Physiologically this means signaling the body to support muscle growth and repair while burning fat which means,

Lifting Weights!

10-percent-body-fat-male-pictures1

Skinny Fat plagues guys also….Same body fat percentage, VERY different look. 

I’m guessing that by now you’re thinking,

“What about cardio?”

Simply Put: 

Traditional “Cardio” is probably the LEAST EFFECTIVE  fat loss modality.

Just to make sure you’re paying attention:

Traditional “Cardio” is probably the LEAST EFFECTIVE  fat loss modality.

Yes, it will burn calories, and fat.

But because of the SIGNAL it sends to the body it will also, in the presence of a caloric deficit, tell the body to use (heavy, calorically active) muscle tissue for fuel because traditional steady state cardio, (think an hour on the treadmill Yogging jogging) DOES NOT stress high threshold motor units

The ones that tell the body to BUILD and REPAIR MUSCLE..

As a result of  long duration “cardio” you will:

  • Burn calories
  • Burn fat for fuel
  • BURN MUSCLE for fuel
  • Loose weight

End up losing fat and muscle which results in: “Skinny Fat”

marathoner-vs-sprinter-female

This is one of several reasons why marathoners are smaller and less muscular than sprinters.

Distance training tells the body NOT to build muscle which is heavy and takes more energy to move and also to store fat which is a great fuel source for those extended exercise periods.

It’s not to say “cardio” is a waste of time or entirely ineffective. It’s not either of those. It’s just:

LEAST EFFECTIVE.

Lets get one thing straight:

ANY workout will work for WEIGHT loss.

……as long as you have a caloric deficit.

It’s really a matter of what will optimize FAT LOSS….

NOT weight loss

skinny-girls-vs-fit-girls

How lose fat while restricting calories: 

Keep Lifting Weights!

Continue to stress the muscular and neurological system so the body SIGNALS ( by releasing hormones and enzymes) muscle growth and repair.

But, but, but, keep the heart rate and work rate high. Not a lot of rest but a LOT of work in a short period of time.

Yes, these are a LOT like CrossFit workouts.

The main differences are:

  1. You should NEVER use technical exercises when fatigued. 
  2. These are only used during FAT-LOSS blocks, concentrated during certain times, not continually through the year.
  3. The volume (reps x weight= volume) MUST be controlled.

More is NOT better. Your calories, therefore recovery ability, will be restricted. You’re workouts should RESPECT and reflect that.

Doing too much work while calorically restricted will SIGNAL the body to protect BODY FAT.

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Body fat and weight are NOT the same thing.

Strategies that can be employed:

  • TRX Circuits

  • Medicine Ball Circuits

Rules to follow when implementing the above strategies:

  • Non-competing supersets (upper/ lower, push/pull) with limited rest.
  • Little to no rest in between exercises (0- 30’s rest MAX).
  • No sets to absolute muscular failure (leave 1-3 reps in the tank..always).
  • Lift as heavy as possible but for 8-20 reps (usually 60-80% of 1RM) when using weights.
  • Self Limiting Exercises tend to work best (NO lifts that could be dangerous when tired…ie Olympic lifting, jumping).

Real Life,  as in, I’ve used on Myself or for Clients Examples:

Traditional Non-Competing Superset Circuit:  (30’s between exercises): 3 Rounds per group 10 reps per set.

1a: BSS w/Dumbbells
1b: Blast Strap Pushups
1c: Blast Strap Inverted Row
1d: Ab Wheel Rollouts

2a: Reverse Lunge W/Dumbbells
2b:DB Shoulder Press
2c: Face Pull
2d: Palloff Hold

Body Weight Circuit: 3 Rounds for each group 15 reps per set

1a: Lunge
1b:Pushup
1c: Pullup
1d: Side Plank

2a: Squats
2b: Slider Pushups
2c: Inverted Row
2d: Mountain Climbers

TRX Circuit: 3 rounds of each group for 15 reps each:

1a: TRX BSS
1b: TRX Pushups
1c: TRX Low Row

2a: TRX Reverse Lunge
2b: TRX Fallouts
2c: TRX T’s

3a: TRX Hamstring Curl/ Hip Press
3b: TRX Body Saw
3c: TRX Biceps Curl

Drawbacks:

If you use only the circuits you WILL get weaker and begin to lose muscle if you do them for an extended period of time, usually 5 weeks or more.

The easy way to get around this is to begin your workout with a heavy barbell lift…then use a metabolic circuit or finisher.

Main Lift:
1a: Squat 5×3

Circuit: 3 rounds of AMAP (-1)
2a: Reverse Lunge
2a: Pushups
2c: Inverted Row
2d: Sled Push

If you use this approach remember to take your time with the main lift. Don’t rush heavy weights.

However, when you get to the circuits keep the pace high and body moving but don’t sacrifice MOVEMENT QUALITY for getting more done.

Through all of this keep in mind that these are NOT for long-term fat loss.

That is BEST accomplished through a combination of a consistently solid diet and training.

These workouts are appropriate when employed in BLOCKS at certain times to accelerate fat loss for a short period.

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