Losing weight seems to be the easiest when you are just starting out on a fat loss program. During the early stage, you are likely to achieve great results pretty quickly. Then, your fat loss comes to an abrupt halt.
What can you do about it?
Try using ’carb cycling’ to help you break the plateau.
Tom Venuto, author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle, has written a great article on carb cycling for fat loss here.
What is carb cycling? Continue reading →
I’ve been away from my laptop for 2 weeks to spend time with my loved ones. December is usually a month where I’m in a holiday mood and wanna take it easy. Nevertheless, I still keep up with my workout.
Exercise is not just a routine for me… it’s part of my lifestyle. Today is New Year’s eve, and I’d already done my workout this morning. The gym has been really quiet for this month, I guess many people are slacking off.
December is also a month where most people pig out due to the increased number of parties and dinner.
I take it as an opportunity to cycle my calories. It is a way of tricking the body into keeping the metabolic up and burning more fat. This method is also known as calorie shifting (page 92, The Truth About Six Pack Abs by Mike Geary), zig zag calorie rotation (page 112, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto) or interval eating (page 39, Every Other Day Diet by Jon Benson). You must have a calorie deficit to lose fat, but not a large calorie deficit for long period of time. You want to prevent your body from shutting down its metabolism and store more fat. The solution is to reduce your calorie intake for a short period of 3 days then raise your calories back up to above maintenance level for 1 day. You cycle calories on 3 days down and 1 day up rotation. This process can be repeated until you have reached the desired body fat level.
By raising your calorie intake every 4th day, you boost your metabolism and prevent starvation mode. Calorie shifting is an effective fat loss method for breaking plateaus, maintaining lean body mass and preventing sluggish metabolism. It’s recommended for an endomorph (slow metabolism) body type who tends to lose fat slowly and with great difficulty.
Feed day = high calorie day
Burn day = low calorie day
My feed day is when I have a party/dinner to attend. I’d reduce my calorie intake 3 days (burn days) prior to the feed day, which is the day of party/dinner. I’ve had 4 dinner parties for this month, so that’s 4 cycles of calorie shifting done. I didn’t feel guilty about eating “sinful foods” at parties. The combination of calorie shifting method and regular workout prevents me from piling on the pounds and speeds up belly fat loss.
by Mike Geary – Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, Author – Truth About Six Pack Abs
Everyone will inadvertently hit a frustrating plateau in their training at one time or another. You’re cruising along for a while, gaining strength, losing fat, looking better, and then all of the sudden it hits. Suddenly, you find yourself even weaker than before on your lifts, or you find that you’ve gained back a couple of pounds. It happens to everyone.
Most of the time, these plateaus occur because people rarely change their training variables over time. Many people stick to the same types of exercises for the same basic sets and reps and rest periods with the same boring cardio routine. Well, I hope to open your mind and bring some creativity to your workouts with this article!
There are many ways that you can strategically modify your training variables to assure that you maximize your fat loss and/or muscle building response to exercise. Most people only think about changing their sets and reps performed, if they even think about changing their routine at all.
However, other variables that can dramatically affect your results are changing the order of exercises (sequence), exercise grouping (super-setting, circuit training, tri-sets, etc.), exercise type (multi-joint or single joint, free-weight or machine based), the number of exercises per workout, the amount of resistance, the base of stability (standing, seated, on stability ball, one-legged, etc.), the volume of work (sets x reps x distance moved), rest periods between sets, repetition speed, range of motion, exercise angle (inclined, flat, declined, bent over, upright, etc), training duration per workout, and training frequency per week.
Sounds like a lot of different training aspects to consider in order to get the best results from your workouts, doesn’t it? Well, that’s where a knowledgeable personal trainer can make sense of all of this for you to make sure that your training doesn’t get stale. Below are a few examples to get your mind working to come up with more creative and result producing workouts.
Most people stick to workouts where they do something along the lines of 3 sets of 10-12 reps per exercise, with 2-3 minutes rest between sets. Booooorrrrring!!!! Here are a few examples of different methods to spice up your routine.
* Try 10 sets of 3 with a medium weight, resting only 20 seconds between sets.
* Try using a heavier weight and complete 6 sets of 6 reps, doing a 3 minute treadmill sprint between each weight lifting set.
* Try using a near maximum weight and do 10 sets of 1 rep, with 30 seconds rest between sets.
* Try using a lighter than normal weight and do 1 set of 50 reps for each exercise
* Try a workout based on only one full body exercise, such as barbell clean & presses or dumbbell squat & presses, and do nothing but that exercise for an intense 20 minutes.
* Try a circuit of 12 different exercises covering the entire body without any rest between exercises.
* Try that same 12 exercise circuit on your subsequent workout, but do the entire circuit in the reverse order.
* Try your usual exercises at a faster repetition speed on one workout and then at a super-slow speed on your next workout.
* Try completing five 30 minute workouts one week, followed by three 1-hr workouts the next week.
* Try doing drop sets of all of your exercises, where you drop the weight between each set and keep doing repetitions without any rest until complete muscular fatigue (usually about 5-6 sets in a row).
Want more ideas? There are many more ways to continue to change your training variables. This was just a taste of your possibilities. In order to see how to incorporate various strategies into effective routines, give the programs in my book The Truth About Six Pack Abs a try.