When Joe contacted me by telephone, he had just dropped 31 pounds. This put him almost exactly halfway towards reaching his goal of losing 60 pounds.
The first 31 came off relatively easy, but then Joe got stuck in a frustrating plateau. No matter what he did, he seemed unable to lose another ounce. That’s when Joe contacted me.
Although the scale hadn’t budged in 4 weeks, he was still happy and proud about his recent weight loss “success”. I, on the other hand, was not so gung ho.
You see, based on our initial phone consultation, I knew that Joe’s attempt to lose his fat had just made my job significantly more difficult.
On the surface, most would think that since Joe had lost the first 31 (out of 60) on his own, my job was halfway done already. Unfortunately, 18 years of experience told me that this would not be the case.
Based on everything Joe told me, it became very clear that he had lost a significant amount of muscle while losing those 31 pounds. This had slowed down his metabolic rate considerably.
Joe’s metabolism was, for lack of better words, “damaged”. From this compromised position, achieving his goal of losing an additional 31 pounds would be almost impossible.
Joe is not in this situation alone. In fact, the overwhelming majority of people who attempt to lose fat suffer the same fate — slower metabolism, less muscle, less strength, less energy, etc.
Even if you are one of those rare people who would be willing and psychologically able to “tough out” all these unpleasant side effects, the side effects themselves would eventually cause any fat burning to come to a screeching halt.
It is often the case that these undesirable side effects cause people to fail in their attempt to achieve the body they want.
You see regardless of what people say, (I want to lose 20 pounds, I need to drop 10, I want to see the scale budge, etc.) they really just want to feel and look great.
For men, this usually means feeling strong and energetic and looking lean and ripped; for women, this usually means feeling fit and energetic and looking lean and toned.
If you don’t agree, you can yell at me in the comment section, but 18 years in the business have told me this all too clearly, time and time again.
The truth is, a great body cannot be achieved by using most of the typical fat loss methods, since these methods generally don’t take into account the possible negative side effects of losing fat incorrectly.
These methods may make the scale in the bathroom decrease, but they will not lead to any real and permanent transformation of your body.
The good news is that if you lose your fat properly, you don’t have to lose any muscle, feel drained, or sacrifice your metabolic rate one bit.
In fact, I recently trained two women for a fitness competition. Both of them actually gained muscle (two and three pounds respectively) during their final 12 week fat loss phase.
They were in the best shape of their lives: they looked healthy, they had energy, and their fat loss was consistent throughout. This outcome is in stark contrast to the norm. Either these ladies had great genetics, or I’m getting pretty good at this after all these years of trial, error and experimentation!
The reality is that both are true. It was only recently that I was finally able to tweak my techniques to actually increase muscle and metabolism during an accelerated fat loss phase.
A few years ago, I was able to maintain all of my clients’ muscle and metabolism while they lost fat, but after endless experimentation, I am now able to take it to the next level.
How can this be done? Well here’s the key…Strategic CYCLING AND TIMING!
Before I explain exactly what that means, I need you to know that for this to work properly, both training and nutrition must be addressed. In fact, the training will be cycled and timed with the nutrition in a very synchronized manner. Here’s how:
Metabolism/Muscle Building Days
These days are designated to muscle and metabolism building. They will involve:
1) Relatively high carb dieting, with 50% of your carbs ingested right around your workout when they are most likely to be soaked up by your muscles rather than being diverted to your fat stores.
2) Heavy resistance training targeting the type 2b muscle fibers. These fibers are directly responsible for maintaining shape, strength and metabolic rate.
Additionally, the resistance training should be done using progressive overload. In other words, try to get stronger each week instead of pumping or training to “get a good sweat”.
3) A very low volume of high intensity interval training (HIIT). The goal here is to jack up the metabolism without creating ANY catabolism (muscle breakdown). Do not exceed 12 total minutes of HIIT.
Fat Melting/Muscle Maintaining Days
These days are solely dedicated to dropping body fat at a rapid rate while maintaining your lean muscle. These days will emphasize the following:
1) Strategic low-carb dieting. It’s no secret that (all else being equal) a lower carb diet will burn fat faster than a higher carb diet will. But if you follow a low carb diet for any length of time, you will have less energy, less muscle fullness, and can even start to burn protein (muscle) for fuel. So consistent low carb dieting is clearly not the answer.
You will, however, eat low carbs on these days in order to kick fat burning into high gear.
2) Metabolic circuit training (MCT). These workouts are most effective when consisting of full body bodyweight exercises done in circuit style. The amount of MCT must be controlled in order to prevent overtraining and allow recovery from the more intense training days. The purpose of this training on these days is to burn out muscle glycogen and tap into fat stores quickly.
3) Fat melting cardio. This cardio should be performed either first thing in the morning or directly after your MCT. Also, cardio on these days must be steady state. This is the best cardio to do when glycogen levels are depleted. Although HIIT may be more effective overall, it should not be done on these days, since it can actually cause you to burn up your muscle!
Are you wondering how Joe has made out since following this protocol? Well after 12 weeks of training with me, Joe lost 32 pounds of fat and GAINED 4 pounds of muscle!
These are impressive results. And the good news is that you can get them too. Follow this protocol, and you will finally lose your unwanted body fat without suffering the negative side effects often associated with dieting and fat-burning training. Best of luck achieving your goals!