No one who benches 405 pounds for reps started at 405 pounds—it just doesn’t work that way. They had to go through hundreds of hours in the gym and dozens of other mini-milestones before hitting that bar-bending mark. They had to work up to it—five pounds more this week, 10 more the next. Building on the previous workoutOpens a New Window. is what eventually amounts to four plates on each side of the bar. What if a rookie lifter tried to press 405 without that kind of calculated progression? Well, it wouldn’t be pretty.
The same approach applies to plowing through stores of unwanted body fatOpens a New Window., which we’re sure is on your mind after your standard winter of gluttonyOpens a New Window.. Take a look at your sugar-cookied, holiday-wrecked midsection. You can’t pick just one slim-quick method and hope to get rid of that doughy gut by beach time.
While making a whole-hearted commitment to fitness as a lifestyle is really the only way to keep those love handles in check for good, we can help you build some serious blubber-melting momentum with our six-week program. If you incorporate one or two new fat-burning strategies each week, by the end of Week 6, you’ll be firing on ten strategic cylinders. There’s no question about it—this year, your six-pack is sure to make an unseasonably early cameo.
Strategy 3: Casual Cardio
Many cut-up plans use the shock-and-awe method: They require not only drastic diet alterations but long, heavy bouts of cardio. Truth is, you don’t need a lot of cardio to trim the fat if your diet is solid. Losing fat is the cumulative result of what you eat, how you eat and how much you eat, coupled with hardcore weight training.
Used in moderation, cardio allows you to get over fat-loss plateaus without altering your diet too much. This week, do two moderate sessions (yes, just two) of 30-40 minutes apiece. That’s enough to facilitate fat loss. Remember, the body isn’t a machine. If you try to force fat off, it can backfire, with the body downgrading its metabolism and the amount of calories it burns in response to exercise and diet.
Strategy 4: Get Lean With Protein & Leucine
By the second week, after you’ve cut carbs and increased your cardio, the body will start to look for alternatives to body fat for fuel. Unfortunately, muscle tissue is often its first source. You can reduce that effect by increasing your regular protein intake by 50g per day. Either add a protein shake or two or increase your protein intake at the meals you eat before and after training—another 25g preworkout and postworkout should do the trick. That’s a second scoop of whey protein or about 3-4 ounces of chicken, fish or lean meat.
You can also add a leucine supplement before and after training. Leucine can halt muscle breakdown, aka catabolism. The unfortunate part of attempting to get leaner is that the body often tears down protein, including muscle tissue, at a far greater clip than when calories and carbs are much higher. So to prevent the loss of protein , add 5-8g of leucine preworkout and postworkout.