1) Perform Serious Strength Training
It’s a critical mistake when people who want to lose fat decide to swap their heavy strength training for lighter high rep training.
I know the lighter high rep stuff will bring your heart rate up higher and make you sweat more, but this does NOT lead to greater fat loss. Instead, it encourages decreases of strength and lean muscle.
Don’t buy into the “just do metabolic conditioning circuits for fat loss” hype. Instead, make sure you hit some heavy sets of 3-5 reps on the big compound movements.
2) Emphasize Muscle Building (Hypertrophy) Work
This one may be obvious to you. Muscle building is absolutely crucial if you want to get ripped. Your lean muscle is the foundation of your entire physique.
Furthermore, the amount of muscle you have dictates your metabolic rate. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. And a higher metabolic rate will lead to greater fat loss.
Be sure to include multiple sets in the 6-10 rep range for each major movement pattern.
3) Cycle Your Carbs
Low-carb diets are effective for fat loss. Unfortunately, they are also effective for muscle loss. The key is to cycle your carb intake so you can benefit from the fat burning effect while avoiding muscle wasting.
There are several ways to accomplish this. One simple approach is to follow a lower carb diet on lighter training days to encourage fat burning, and then increase carb intake on heavier training days to encourage muscle building. Win-win.
4) Get To Sleep!
If you lack quality sleep, your recovery will be compromised. Without recovering optimally, muscle building becomes extremely difficult.
Additionally, shortage of sleep results in a negative cascade of hormonal reactions including: decreased insulin sensitivity, increased cortisol levels, decreased growth hormone release and lower testosterone levels.
All of these undesirable effects compromise fat loss and encourage muscle catabolism. To avoid this, make sure to get seven to eight hours per night.
Sprinting for fat loss is a favorite secret weapon of mine. It can be a game changer in your “get ripped” program.
The intensity during sprinting is so high that (like weight training) only short bursts are needed. Due to the short duration of sprints, recovery is not an issue.
Additionally, force output is high during sprints, which encourages muscle and strength building. Let’s lace em up!
I know, walking isn’t the most exciting fat burner out there – but it does burn fat.
The intensity during walking is low enough that you can do it for as long as you like, as often as you like without worrying about impeding recovery abilities and muscle loss. In fact, walking actually helps to facilitate recovery.
A good walk can help you burn fat, get some fresh air and assist the recovery process all at the same time. This should be a stress free, non-goal orientated workout. Enjoy it!
7) Push a Sled
Prowler sled pushing is one of the most effective techniques around for getting ripped. It’s a great muscle builder and fat burner that is unique because it doesn’t have an eccentric component. In other words, your muscles are only loaded in one direction.
This is important because it is the eccentric component that makes you sore and is more difficult to recover from.
Do short burst sprints with the sled once or twice per week and watch how your body responds. You’ll thank me when it’s over!
8] Perform a Dynamic Warm Up Often
This is another great technique. A dynamic warm up workout can be done prior to all resistance training, sprint training, walking, and on “off” days. As you’re burning calories, you’re increasing mobility and decreasing injury potential.
If you’re tight and/or injured, your training will be seriously limited, which will negatively affect your overall results.
A well-designed dynamic warm up really kills two birds with one stone. Do it regularly.
When your body is under toxic stress, it will not burn fat efficiently. This is one of those “under the radar” problems that commonly occurs.
Some of the best detoxing techniques involve some potentially muscle wasting side effects (i.e. fasting). Avoid prolonged fasting during this time because we are looking to build muscle.
Start by eating organic produce and meats, drinking filtered water and cutting out the obvious offenders such as: booze, drugs, artificial sweeteners, coffee, environmental toxins- basically all of the fun stuff!
10) Super Hydrate
Everyone is so concerned with “how many carbs, how much protein, what type of fat, etc.” that the importance of hydration often gets overlooked.
This is a bad idea, since water is involved in every metabolic process. Efficient fat burning doesn’t take place in a state of dehydration. Even dehydrating by 1% results in a 10% decrease in performance.
First thing in the morning, before even considering breakfast, you should drink a large glass of water (16-32oz). Then keep on drinking throughout the day. Be sure to get a minimum of half your bodyweight in ounces daily.
11) Get Sensitive
The better you can shuttle glucose and amino acids to your muscles, the less likely you will be to store them as fat. The key to shifting this process in your favor is to increase insulin sensitivity.
The best way to do this is to:
a) Cut out most starchy carbs on non-training days (see point #3)
b) Limit fruit to one serving per 100 lbs of bodyweight daily.
c) Drink organic green tea (this helps direct glucose to muscle cells)
d) Balance out your omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. To do this, cut out omega 6 oils (safflower, sunflower, corn oil, etc.) and replace them with wild caught fish or pharmaceutical grade, molecularly distilled fish oil capsules.
12) Lower Estrogen Levels
High estrogen levels and a ripped physique go together like oil and water. Do everything you can to keep your estrogen levels low. If you are following the above 11 points, you are off to a great start. Additionally, be sure to:
a) Eat lots of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc.) They contain compounds that promote a healthy estrogen metabolism.
b) Cut out all soy products. Soy contains isoflavones, which have estrogenic properties.
c) Limit your eating and drinking out of plastic containers. Plastics have xenoestrogens that leach into food and water. Avoid this as much as possible.
For a complete estrogen lowering, testosterone boosting meal plan, click here: How To Increase Testosterone
Start implementing these 12 strategies immediately. I guarantee you won’t regret it!
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