If you haven’t read Part 1 for the backstory, go here to read that. I don’t want to bore anyone with that again.
I do want to go on record with one statement that may sting a little. In all of the research I did for this, one thing shocked me more than any other:
In other words, you could have the most cutting edge exercise technology money can buy, or the best personal trainer on the planet, but if you still put CRAP into your body, you’ll never lose the fat. PERIOD.
Let’s move on. As I mentioned in Part 1, I only had two days per week available to workout outside my home. This is a restriction I placed on myself so my family is minimally affected by my chosen exercise program. As much as I love fitness and exercise, as a husband and dad, my family is MORE important.
Here’s what I came up with:
- Strength train TWO days per week: Monday and Friday work best for me, but you need 48-72 hours between workouts for recovery.
- Whole body workouts each day to start. Work largest body part to smallest with some variety allowed. Legs, back or chest, shoulders, triceps or biceps, core (abs/lower back). (Note: If you think you will run out of steam before you get to your core, do that first. Core is critical!!). After about 12 weeks move to one workout per week per bodypart (split the body into two parts and do one workout on Monday and one on Friday. For example: Trunk (chest, back, shoulders, abs) — Monday; Extremities (Legs, biceps, triceps, forearms, abs)–Friday.) Notice I said abs each workout.)
- Workout ONE: High reps/low to moderate weight.
- Rep range: 15-20 with strict form. (If form begins to be affected, stop and reduce weight. If you get to 20 reps and little effort was required, increase the weight next set)
- 2-3 sets per exercise. One exercise per body part. Rarely the same exact exercise two workouts in a row. Mix it up so the body never gets a chance to adapt. (Example: Incline barbell one workout, incline dumbbells with a slightly different bench angle the next one.)
- Minimize the rest between sets. 30 secs or so. Circuit training is ideal, where you go from one exercise to another. Then go back through a second time (maybe even a third, depending on how many exercises you’ve selected.).
- Workout TWO: Low reps/Moderate to higher weight.
- Warm-up: it is CRITICAL that you warm up properly BEFORE you start with heavy weights. If necessary do two sets to warm-up (6-8 reps), gradually increasing the weight, before your final HEAVY set.
- Rep range: 5-8 with strict form. (I can’t stress enough how important form is to injury prevention AND strength gains!). You want to come pretty close to failure here, so make sure to have a spotter.
- Rep speed: lots of variation can be added here, but NEVER bounce or use momentum to THROW the weight up. That’s the quickest way to get an injury that will stop your fat loss plan in its tracks!!
- 2 sec negative/1 sec positive
- 4 sec negative/1-2 sec positive
- and everything in between. Lately I’ve been trying SUPER SLOW reps (10 sec positive/10 sec negative with one set and one exercise per body part). My friend Scott Means bought me the book, Body by Science by Doug McGuff M.D. and John R. Little which describes this method in detail.
- 2-3 sets per exercise. One exercise per body part. Rarely the same exact exercise two workouts in a row. Mix it up so the body never gets a chance to adapt.
- Rest between sets should still be pretty short: 60-90 secs is a good range.
- Sprints: once a week I find a place to do some sprinting. My standard sprint workout is at the local high school track. I do a warm-up of 6 x 50 meter runs (about 70% effort–more than a jog, but not an all out sprint). I walk between each until my breathing returns to normal. Then I do 6 x 50 m sprints starting at around 90% effort, gradually increasing intensity to a full out 100% on the last two sprints. I got this concept from Mark Sisson’s Primal Fitness eBook. The book is free if you subscribe to his blog, which is excellent also!!
- Record everything. I created a workout log to record date, exercises, sets, reps, and weight. If you would like it, let me know using the comments.
- Exercise variety: I am big on changing things up. I use free weights (both barbells and dumbbells), machines, kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, and something called a TRX Suspension Trainer. This also has the added benefit of boredom prevention.
- Accountability: If possible, get a workout partner. Just knowing my partner is waiting for me makes it virtually impossible to skip a workout. If a physical partner isn’t possible, then get a virtual one. Team up with a friend on Facebook or Twitter or wherever, and keep each other accountable for getting workouts in. Making it a little competitive might motivate you. For example, whoever gets to their goal pant size or dress size gets a steak dinner!!
I know that’s a lot to take in, but combine these guidelines with the nutrition plan explained in part 1, and you will have a working fat loss plan as well as a lifestyle for health and fitness to carry you for a very long time.
I would love to hear some feedback. If you agree or disagree with anything I’ve written here, let me know. Or, better yet, if you implement this plan, let me know what kind of results YOU achieved using it!!
Now let’s go workout!!
References not already mentioned above:
- The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris
- The Testosterone Advantage Plan by Lou Schuler et al.
- P.A.C.E by Al Sears, MD
- 30 Tips to Lose Belly Fat by Charles Poliquin (I actually found this blog AFTER I landed on my fat loss plan, but it has so many of the things I discovered about fat loss on this one article, I figured I would share it. Plus it’s a great blog!)