Ok, I’ll say it – cardio is boring! Maybe HIIT cardio is a little better, but still pretty mundane. Now, if you are one of those rare people who love the treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical machine or stair climber – I hope I have not offended you. However, as someone who has coached hundreds of athletes and worked with countless clients, I can assure that the majority (of them) curse my name when I assign “too much cardio.” And I do not blame them one bit. In my 20-year competitive (bodybuilding) career, I did my best to minimize the amount of cardio I needed to do, even when seeking low, single-digit body fat levels.
“But Coach Broser, isn’t cardio a necessary evil when one wants to get lean?” you may ask. Well, to be honest, if you are getting ready for the stage, then perhaps the answer is yes. However, if you simply want to drop a good amount of fat, and get in great shape for the beach, pool, wedding, high school reunion or other life event, then there are ways to get there without becoming a cardio slave. Here is how…
When most people think of weight training, they think of it strictly as a muscle building activity. However, when utilized correctly, weights can burn a ton of calories and raise metabolism for even longer periods than cardio. Additionally, by building more muscle, your body will become a more efficient “fat burning machine,” as lean tissue boosts your resting metabolic rate.
To make weight training a more powerful fat-incinerating tool, follow these guidelines
- Use mostly compound movements since these require the most muscle mass, balance and coordination, which will result in a greater amount of expended calories and a more optimal hormonal environment (i.e. greater GH output) for fat burning.
- Use higher repetition counts to again facilitate the burning of more calories and higher levels of lactic acid, which also helps enhance GH release. I suggest 12-15 reps for upper body exercises and 16-25 reps for lower body movements.
- Use upper/lower body supersets to increase the amount of “work” you can do in a given amount of time, and to force the heart to continuously pump blood throughout your entire body (rather than just concentrating it in one muscle group at a time). This will result in more calories burned while training and a far greater metabolic boost throughout the day.
- SS: Squats/Incline DB Presses…2 x 16-20/12-15
- SS: Leg Presses/WG BB Bent Rows…2 x 21-25/12-15
- SS: Leg Extensions/Standing DB Press…2 x 21-25/12-15
- SS: Stiff Leg Deadlifts/Close Underhand Grip Pull-ups…2 x 16-20/12-15 or max
- SS: Lying Leg Curls/Triceps Dips…2 x 21-25/12-15 or max
- SS: Walking DB Lunges/Hanging Bent Leg Hip Raise…2 x 16-20 per leg/max reps
*SS = Superset
When looking to maximize fat loss over all other goals, I recommend a lower carb approach to dieting. While some prefer to go entirely “keto,” I like for people who are engaged in weight training to use just enough carbohydrates (at the proper times) to provide energy for workouts, and muscular recovery after each session. This will not interfere with one’s fat burning goals, and over time will likely enhance them.
Sample Meal Plan (200 lb. male)
- P: 2 scoops ISOFLEX
- C: Oatmeal (3.1 oz. uncooked measure)
- F: no added fats
- P: Round Steak (7.1 oz. cooked measure)
- C: none
- F: Walnuts (20 grams weight)
- P: Tilapia (8.3 oz. cooked measure)
- C: Large mixed salad
- F: MCT oil (1 tbsp.)
- P: Chicken breast (7.1 oz. cooked measure)
- C: Broccoli (small bowl)
- F: Fish oil (1 tbsp.)
While proper training and nutrition are the foundation of any fat loss plan, the inclusion of specific supplements can greatly hasten progress and result in an even better “end game” result! Here are my recommendations:
RAPIDCUTS SHREDDED: A highly advanced metabolism boosting, fat incinerating formula that approaches fat loss from every available mechanism.
Take one capsule upon awakening and one capsule about 6 hours later.
LIQUID L CARNITINE: This potent compound will allow for more fat to be liberated from cells so that they can be burned for energy.
Take one tablespoon upon awakening and one tablespoon 30-60 minutes before your workout.
CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID: CLA works to lean you out by preventing fats from entering and accumulating in fat cells.
Take one capsule three times per day right before eating a meal. Spread doses evenly throughout the day.
MCT OIL: Medium Chain Triglycerides are unlike other fats in that they are easily and rapidly absorbed/metabolized for use as a source of energy during intense training sessions. They have also been shown to boost metabolism and fat burning.
Take one tablespoon with your pre-workout meal.
When looking to lean out and burn body fat, a great approach to diet involves “carb-cycling.” This reason this works so well is because it “cycles” days of low, medium and high carbohydrate intake, which tends to keep the metabolism from slowing down.