Some of my more experienced and adept clients in the art of compositional change often leave their initial meeting with me with a slightly puzzled look on their face and trying to figure out ‘how in the hell is that going to work’.
One of the fundamental rules I will always use and follow is about gaining momentum when it comes to fat loss and most certainly extreme fat loss.
We have a myriad of tools that can be used for fat loss, much like taking an engine apart and putting it back together. Leaning over and asking for every tool you have and trying to utilise them all at once. I am often left with the fat loss tools left in the box and am more than happy not to use them, they are prioritised as to the order of use based on an in-depth assessment of the individual. In most cases this is a visual assessment.
I have a WBFF (World Body Fitness Federation) Pro I am dealing with now who has been twitching at times (he will deny he hasn’t) worried that time was closing in too quickly and we should be doing ‘more’. He is now 4 weeks from contest and could probably step on stage in a week pretty successfully. He won’t but what will happen he will just get better and better with relatively minimal effort. He has worked ‘with’ his body than against it and will ultimately be in the best shape of his life in a few weeks. Bigger and leaner than when he started. He DID NOT bulk and he did not cut in this whole process. Just got leaner and added some quality tissue. I know I will get a LOT of haters at this stage and claim how ‘tough’ contest dieting (this is getting to a ridiculously low level of body fat) is and that it’s the worst thing in the world. I’m not for a second saying it’s easy. What I am saying though is it isn’t anywhere near as hard as people make it.
I very rarely lower my clients calories.
I use minimal if any CV in most cases. In almost all cases it is used it is VERY low level and certainly not running.
NONE of my fat loss clients run!
I don’t cut carbs but use them intelligently.
I don’t any fat burners until someone is already VERY low in body fat and the system needs a nudge (tools have run or are running out).
I spend more time trying to preserve muscle than trying to build it.
I emphasise minimising stressors on the body throughout.
I think it’s partly human nature that drives us to fail a lot of the time. Going against the grain and being a little patient will almost always yield better results. I’ve possibly told you this one but I like the story. One of my most successful fat loss clients stagnated with weight loss (his weight would go down considering the body fat he had). He came into me and asked:
‘Should I lower my calories?’
‘Should I do an extra gym session with you?’
I increased his calories and gave him two days off extra. His body had slipped into economy and efficiency thats all.
When we begin our pursuit in most cases of fat loss we let off all our guns at once. Let me ask, do you want exceptional results slower or average or poor results fast? The latter option is what most people persistently do, everything fails and they end up in ‘ok’ shape an awful lot, the cycle then begins again. Sound familiar? If so read on.
Firstly consider where you are right now? Are you training consistently are you sleeping well and how is your diet?
If you’re on a shockingly bad diet switching you to the best diet in the world won’t work. The body unlike almost anything else needs time to adapt to changes.
If I take out all refined food over the next few days will you get leaner? Yes you will and your body is now in the groove of doing this, keeping in that groove is the key and keeping momentum moving. I could then increase green veg, fat loss? Yes.
Is you diet as good as can be? an extra 1% better in your diet is worth 5-6% better in your workout. Much easier only willpower is the issue. This is the reason you CANNOT out train a bad diet!
Can you clean your diet up better?
Why add cardio when you now you don’t need it?
Why do more when you can work harder in the time you have? Fat loss is hard as its about pushing both volume and intensity of sessions up concurrently….just steadily though. Try to run at 100mph when all you where doing was 10mph before your body WON’T respond. Run at 11, 12 13mph etc.
Reasons NOT to use fat burners.
Women and Ectomorphs (Hard gainers) want to avoid fat burners unless absolutely needed ie: body fat loss has stalled in single figures and everything else is as good as it can be. These individuals have a hard time maintaining muscle mass (your metabolic powerhouse) due to hormonal levels and stress output.
Fat burners and stimulants increase stress output, they will illicit the fight or flight response with an increase in adrenaline and energy. Sure your body will work hard during this time and you’ll feel the corresponding energy, body temp increase and potentially work harder in the gym. Much like a drag racer will burn out VERY quickly. In clinical terms this will create adrenal fatigue, overwork most of your metabolic hormones and concurrently fatigue the receptors in your brain responsible for signalling fat loss.
I ONLY use them in the last few weeks of a competition as at that stage stress won’t have a significant enough time to build up and negatively effect a physique. It will give my drained athlete a little nudge.
Don’t fire all your guns at once. If you start your fat loss pursuit with a low carb diet, 4hrs CV a week 4x gym sessions and fat burners everyday what do you do when you stall and fat loss ceases…..? I GUARANTEE that most of you, even the more experienced of you have done this then wondered why in the end you lost a load of muscle in pursuit of that high level of leanness. In the end that is ALL you can do if you try running before you can truly walk!