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8 Rules for Fat Loss Training

by Andrew Heming | 07/29/14


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Fat Loss Training
Bodybuilding

Here's what you need to know...


If you're serious about stripping off body fat, you must make time for proper
nutrition. If you don't have time for this, make time.
Too often people trying to lose body fat just use intense metabolic
resistance training and HITT (high intensity interval training). With fat loss
programs, you need to switch as needed to different strategies such as
metabolic resistance training, strength training, bodybuilding, and strength
plus conditioning.

When designing a weekly plan for your training, consider how different
styles of training affect different systems and thus affect recovery. You need to
allow for some "space" between different kinds of stressors such as nervous
system stressors, joint stressors, spinal compression, and metabolic
stressors.
When trying to burn fat, you should rotate between different types of
alactate (without lactic acid) conditioning that consists of short, intense work
and lactate (produces lactic acid as a byproduct) conditioning that consists of
longer duration work.
Want to lose body fat quickly and keep it off? Stop following those mainstream
fitness workouts designed for your granny. Real fat loss training should build
calluses on your hands. Here are eight rules for effective fat loss training, plus
a sample workout plan that puts them all into action.

8 Rules for Fat Loss Training

1.Prioritize Nutrition
Yes, this is a training article, but nutrition is the single most important thing for
fat loss. If you're serious about stripping off body fat, you must make time for
grocery shopping, cooking, meal prep, doing dishes, and keeping a food
journal. If you don't have time for this, make time. Cut down on time wasters
like social media, web surfing, playing on your cell phone, or TV.
If you truly have eliminated every possible time waster and are still pressed for
time, train less to have the time to take care of your nutrition. That's right, train
less! For example, in my fat loss programs, I have Tuesdays and Saturdays
as shopping/meal prep days. You can still train on these days, but if you're

truly pressed for time, sacrifice your training on these days to take care of
your top priority for fat loss your nutrition.
As far as what to eat, there's no rule that says you have to perfectly follow a
particular diet. You probably already what foods are getting you into trouble.
However, certain aspects of certain diets are worth emulating. For instance,
you can take aspects of the paleo diet (natural, single-ingredient foods, meats,
fish, whole eggs and vegetables) without unnecessarily restricting other foods
that are not paleo but still support your training goals, like quality supplements
such as fish oils, BCAA's, protein, peri-workout nutrition and some starchy
carbs such as rice).

2.Pick Big, Hard Exercises


Regardless of your goals, effective training starts with picking the right
exercises. The best exercises for fat loss are the best exercises for almost any
goal. The big, hard compound movements are the ones you should be doing.

3.Get Stronger
While most people understand that getting stronger is important for building
muscle and enhancing performance, its relevance for fat loss is often
overlooked. When your goal is fat loss, you want to burn as much fuel as
possible. To do this, you want your body to be as fuel inefficient as possible.
One of the huge problems with cardio for fat loss is that the more you do, the
better you get at it and thus the more fuel efficient you become. With
resistance training the opposite is true. The better you get at strength training,
the more weight you can lift and the more it takes out of you. Spending some
of your training time getting stronger allows you to do all your other forms of
training (e.g., metabolic resistance training, conditioning) at a higher/faster
level and this makes them even more effective for getting rid of unwanted
body fat.

4.Build Muscle
Virtually everyone trying to lose body fat should gain some muscle. Most
people know this, but it bears repeating again and again. Even a few extra
pounds of lean muscle means a lot more calories burned each day.

5.Jack Up Metabolism Post Training


Years ago exercise scientists told us to do long, slow cardio in order to burn
fat. However, this answer was a response to the wrong question. Fat loss
training isn't about what burns the most amount of fat during a training
session, it's about what burns the most amount of fat in a 24 hour period.
Short, high-intensity exercise creates an oxygen debt (known in geekspeak as
E.P.O.C., or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and this results in a
metabolic boost long after the training session is over.

6.Schedule Wisely
When designing a weekly plan for your training, consider how different styles
of training affect different systems and thus affect recovery. For example:
Joint stressors:sprints, high impact jumps, heavy barbell training
Spinal compression:heavy squats, deadlifts, farmer's walks.
Nervous system stressors:speed/power training, heavy, low-rep training
(especially >90% 1RM), training to failure
Metabolic stressors:lactate work (i.e., doing things that last about 30 seconds
to 3 minutes and produce a lot of lactic acid. Great for fat loss, but harder to
recover from).
Allow for some "space" between different types of stressors. For example, if
you stress something one day, do a lighter session or work a different type of
stress the next day. The sample plan at the end will show you how to program
this.

7.Rotate Strategies
As with any goal, following an effective program will only work for so long
before you hit a plateau. Too often people trying to lose body fat just use
intense metabolic resistance training and HITT (high intensity interval
training). While these are excellent, they won't work forever. With fat loss
programs, switch as needed to different strategies such as the following:
Metabolic resistance training:Use moderate weights for moderate reps while
alternating upper/lower body exercises or doing whole body circuits.
Strength training:Use more traditional strength training methods to allow you
to lift more weight when you return to metabolic resistance training.
Bodybuilding:Focus on building lean muscle to raise metabolic rate and
doing brisk walking to burn a few extra calories.
Strength plus conditioning:Focus on getting stronger in the weight room and
doing challenging forms of conditioning to boost EPOC (that after-burn effect).
The trick is to not only periodize your training, but to periodize your diet, too.
When some people try a lower-volume strength training program, they find
they gain fat. This isn't because of the training. Obviously, strength training
doesn't cause fat gain. However, if you switch from higher volume training
(think typical fat loss metabolic stuff) to a lower volume training (think
powerlifting program) and don't drop down your carbs and total calories, you'll
gain fat.

8.Get Outside
We're made to be outdoors. While it's not always practical to haul a whole
barbell set outside or train at Muscle Beach, look to do something physical

outside. Run sprints at the track, find a hill and do sprints, push a Prowler or
pull a sled. Grab a sledgehammer and try to beat an old tire to a pulp. Also,
consider bringing minimal equipment like kettlebells to a park and having an
outdoor session. Or, do what I do, which is train with barbells in my basement
gym and then do farmer's walks up and down the sidewalks of my
neighborhood. Also, doing some other activities such as sports or outdoor
recreation is great to not only burn a few extra calories, but also to have fun,
reduce stress, and enjoy the benefits of the finely conditioned machine you're
building in the gym.

The Workout Plan: Putting It All Together

Warm-Up

Do what you need to do to get warm and ready. Foam rollers, dynamic
mobility, and corrective exercises are all fine here, but don't get carried away
with these. Five to ten minutes should be fine for most, unless you're a real
mess. Including a few short sprints, jumps, or medicine ball throws to excite
your nervous system is also a good idea.

Monday
Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

Deadlift (Dead-Squat Bar, regular or rack)

2-3

3-5

2-3 min.

B1 Dip or Close-Grip Bench Press

3-5

1 min.

B2 Weighted Chin-Up

3-5

1 min.

2-4

30 yd.

2-3 min.

Farmer's Walk*

* use Dead-Squat Bar, farmer's walk implements, or heavy dumbbells


Alacate Conditioning (Alactate means you're using the ATP-CP energy system
that doesn't produce lactic acid. This consists of short, intense work that won't
cause a burn.) Do this later on in the same day after your weight workout.
Sample options (choose 1):
40-60 Meter Sprint: 5-10 sprints, 90 sec. to 2 min. rest.
Hill or Stadium Sprints (short <40m): 5-10 sprints, 90 sec. to 2 min. rest.
Sledgehammer (hitting a tire): Max number of hits in 10-20 sec., 5-10 rounds,
90 sec. to 2 min. rest.
Prowler Push or Sled Pull (walking or running): 5-12 sets (use a 20 meter
course, 1 set = there and back once), rest 90 sec. to 2 min. between sets.

TuesdayRunning and Shopping/Meal Prep Day


Cross-Field Tempo Runs (Do these if time permits, otherwise, prioritize the
meal prep).

How to do them: Find a soccer field. Starting in one corner, sprint diagonally
across the field at about 75% of your max speed to the opposite corner. When
you get there, walk across the width of the field to the corner on the other
side. That is one set, repeat for 8-15 sets. This will help improve your
conditioning while facilitating recovery so you're ready for the next day's hard
training. If you don't live in Brazil where there are soccer pitches everywhere,
improvise. A park will do. Pick two trees instead of corners.

Wednesday
Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

A1 Dumbbell Bench Press or Weighted Push-Up

3-5

8-10

45 sec.

A2 Kettlebell Swing

3-5

8-10

45 sec.

A3 1-Arm Dumbbell Row

3-5

8-10

45 sec.

A4 Prowler Push or Heavy Sled Pull*

3-5

30-40 yd.

45-60 sec.

* if you don't have a Prowler or sled, do walking lunges for 20 yards


Lactate Conditioning (Lactate means you're using an energy system that
produces lactic acid. It consists of longer exercise that will create a burn.) Do
this later on in the same day after your weight workout. Sample pptions
(choose 1):
400 meter sprints: 2-4 sets, 2-5 min. rest between sets.
Battle Ropes: 45-75 sec., 4-6 rounds, 1-2 min. rest.
Prowler Push or Sled Pull (walking or running): 4-6 sets (use a 30 meter
course, 1 set = there and back twice), rest 2-5 min. between sets.

Thursday
Tempo runs (same as Tuesday) or 30-60 minute brisk walk.

Friday
Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

A1

Front or Back Squat

4-5

3-5

1 min.

A2

Pull-Up (Neutral-Grip or Pronated)

4-5

3-5

1 min.

A3

Clean and Press

4-5

3-5

1 min.

Alactate Conditioning Same idea as what you followed Monday, but you can
use a different option than you did the previous time. For example, if you did
40-60 meter sprints on Monday, do Prowler pushes, stadium sprints, or
sledgehammer.

SaturdayYour Choice and Shopping/Meal Prep Day


You get to pick your poison today:
Option 1Sports
One great option is to play (not watch) an intense physical sport.
Option 2Outdoor recreation
Hike, mountain bike, rock climb, etc. Just make sure it's decently intense.
Option 3Track Star
Do some lactate training as described in Wednesday's workout. You can add
a few more sets since you're not doing resistance training first.
Option 1Strongman Day
Grab some friends and load up your trucks with whatever training gear you
have: sleds, Prowlers, sledgehammers, big tires, kettlebells, farmer's walk
implements, etc., and head to a park or field. If you do this only occasionally,
you can plan things on the fly. If you're doing this regularly, write-up a program
based on these guidelines:

1.Move from higher-skilled to lower skilled exercises.


2.Use shorter than 10-second sets for alactate training and sets of 30
seconds to 2 minutes for lactate training.
3.Keep your sessions under an hour in length.
4.Seek weekly progression on your main exercises.
5.Occasionally, try adding a "that was a dumb idea" finisher. This means that
one person in the group comes up with an original idea for the group to try.
The goal is to come up with something that won't injure anyone, make you
vomit your protein-rich breakfast, or cause rhabdomyolysis. It should just be
something challenging that will have all of you (including the person who
came up with it) saying, "This was a dumb idea." This gives you a mental
challenge so you can learn that maybe you're tougher than you think.
Option 5Beach Muscle Day
If you've done all the other training on the previous days, feel free to enjoy a
day of some "pretty" bodybuilding work.
Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

A1 Standing Dumbbell Press

8-10

10 sec.

A2 Side Dumbbell Raise

12-15

90 sec.

B1 Barbell or Dumbbell Curl*

8-10

10 sec.

B2 Dumbbell Hammer Curl

8-10

10 sec.

B3 Barbell or Dumbbell Curl

8-10

2 min.

C1 EZ Bar Skull Crusher with Pull-Over*

8-10

10 sec.

C2 Weighted Close-Grip Push-Up

8-10

10 sec.

C3 EZ Bar Skull Crushers with Pull-Over

8-10

2 min.

3-5

8-10

90 sec.

8-10

60 sec.

Standing Calf Raise

Suspension Strap Fallout

* These tri-sets are based on Charles Poliquin's method. The third exercise in
the tri-set is a return to the first exercise, only you use less weight when you
come back to that exercise.

SundayLight Activity
A brisk walk or leisurely bike ride.