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Fitness Question from a reader

September 6, 2012

Question from my reader: How can I lose 10% body fat in 40 hours of workouts?

A reader asked: How would you go about transforming a middle aged man weighing approx. 210 lbs @ 26% Bodyfat, Heart Attack in waiting, to a fit 16% Bodyfat while simultaneously increasig lean muscle mass and overall body composition. In addition increasing flexibility and improving cardiovascular fitness? I used to train people like this all the time. I spent 30 years as a personal trainer and gym owner, Advanced NESTA Certified. The above being accomplished in just ten weeks while utilizing a total time budget of just 4 hours per week. To stat it another way this guy would lose 10% bodyfat while gaining lean muscle in a record fast 40 hours, or a whopping 1% bodyfat drop every 4 hours of workout. Where’s the camera? Just kidding, I promise to do my best to answer him, but unless this guy has superior genetics, and judging from the starting fat levels-probably doesn’t or unless more time can be invested, his goal may be overly optimistic. As a trainer I would first advise the gentlemen to get a physical exam and here’s the disclaimer-do not try this yourself without competent supervision. OK let’s get started for real. I would first advise the guy let’s call him Joe, that normally a 6% fat drop while maintaining existing lean mass is a great goal and is definitely possible within a 12 week period. In fact at our club we promised it in writing, and we trained everyone for free. Second, I’d mention that usually more than four hours per week is required if he wants to include strength training, cardio, and flexibility work. Our money back guarantee required that an eating plan be followed for the full twelve weeks. No small feat in itself…say goodbye to pizza, ice cream, basically all the fun stuff. So considering that Joe is being counseled nutritionally I would encourage him toward a reachable goal. I believe in small interim steps, which when acheived provide an increased motivation, belief in self and sense of accomplishment. Once each small goal is reached we blast off to further heights! To paraphrase a very famous quote, “One need only walk confidently in the direction of one’s dreams…and realize a success unheard of in common hours. Now to the task at hand. I understand Joe’s goal and will give it the best I’ve got. Motivation and beliefs are key and he’ll be helped with these as well.
First my program will take Joe from his current strength training of just two days per week up to four days, since increased lean mass is a priority. The schedule would be two days on, ond day off, two days on. The remaining two days of the week would be Joe’s days off. Any day of the week can be day one depending on his schedule and availability. For example Mon-Tues on, followed by Wednesday off, then Thurs-Friday on, followed by the weekend off. Since we only have one hour per day anda lot to do we will combine both strength training and cardio in the same session. Stretching and Flexibility work will have to be performed when the muscle is warmed after the first few very light sets and in between sets. Since body fat loss is also of primary importance his routine will be customized to include more cardio in the beginning while we are building up the weight routine. Later in the program the weight training takes a greater portion of the available time-the cardio sessions will be slightly reduced. Doing that we can concentrate on fat loss while maintaining lean muscle tissue first. After which, we’ll focus on lean tissue gain once intensity has been built in. One great benefit is; building in greater intensities later will simultaneously reduce the time needed for the weight workout, we shouldn’t have to reduce cardio by more than 10 minutes. Basically the harder Joe works out the less time he is able to work, and this is a good thingconsidering his limited time factor. But really who the heck isn’t busy these days? The plan calls for 20 minutes of weight training followed by 40 minutes of cardio in the beginning-finishing with 30 minutes of strength training and 30 minutes of cardio in the final weeks. We will make ample use of super sets utilizing 30 seconds of rest between sets of each exercise. He’ll be breathing pretty hard. The actual net rest realized is actually 90 seconds.when taking into account the 60 seconds allotted to complete the opposing set for a smaller muscle. This strategy will serve to both maximize our workout minutes and rev up Joe’s metabolism. Our goal is to burn up as much glycogen as we can during strength training and then immediately head to the cardio-pre warmed up and get going. There will be no time for chit chat or gym gossip on this routine. No negativity will be tolerated, no complaining about the noise, the equipment, the weather-his girlfriend. Joe will be expected to arrive at the club fully psyched and ready to work! I will suggest reading motivational books prior to beginning this enterprise so Joe will be thinking positive. We will set up a ritual to get Joe in the zone-and the set begins. What is a ritual-have you ever seen Nomar adjust his gloves prior to batting-every swing-maybe without realizing it that helps him focus on the job at hand-Home Runs! That concludes part one of this series-check back here on my blog as we get to the routine, body part breakdown, a maximum intensity system called the VERI System, the actual exercises, timing of sets, and a s a bonus a way to blast a normal workout into orbit.

Please comment if you like this blog.

God Bless

Greg

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