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The Pain is the Truth: A workout plan to burn fat and get ripped
- Updated: July 18, 2013
Understand that easy workouts get you nowhere.
I’ve had enough of the “fat-burning zone” nonsense. This theory states that if fat burning is to occur, exercise must be of low intensity and long duration.
This is because fats are the preferred fuels for less intense activities, while carbohydrates and other rapid sources of energy are used in demanding, intense physical ventures, such as power lifting and sprinting.
The key, as research has shown time and again, is that it’s the amount of calories burned that dictates the positive changes in body composition, not the percentage of fat that’s being used during exercise. But it goes much further than this. Have you ever compared the physiques of a sprinter and marathon runner?
Sprinters are ripped, muscular studs that never train aerobically, while marathon runners look like they were just released from a hospital bed — even though they spend hours on end in their fat-burning zone.
Consider the sprinters. If you’ve ever bolted 100 yards as fast as you could, you know exactly how strenuous it is, and you know exactly how much muscle it takes. When I tell personal trainers that they should train their clients like this, it’s always met with something to the effect of, “Oh, good heavens… they’ll be out of their training zones, they’re going to burn muscle!”
If that was the case, why do the sprinters have that muscle on muscle look, while the average treadmill walker has skinny arms and a gut? It’s simple.
When you sprint, you use your muscles to such a powerful extent, they respond by growing bigger and stronger. Remember, your body adapts to everything.
So, what about getting rid of fat? Well, the large stress that’s placed on your muscles from sprinting, combined with the increased muscle mass, will speed up your metabolic rate like never before. The rate that you burn calories during sprinting is about three times greater than jogging.
And – sprinting, not slow jogging is responsible for the release of fat burning hormones.
These workouts are not for the average Nautilus addict. You may struggle at first. The key is that you perform the correct number of sprints for the correct duration as listed.
You still need to make appropriate weekly progressions, however. For example, if on Monday of the first week you need three minutes between sprints, you still need to increase the sprint interval by five seconds and reduce the rest period by fifteen seconds each week.
In the evening workout you need to follow a weight-training program for fat loss. That means large muscle group exercises like squats, lunges, cable rows, and cable standing chest presses. You need to perform approximately 10-15 repetitions per exercise with about a minute rest between sets. Every exercise should be purposeful and intense, just like your sprint workouts.
You will burn calories at a high rate, forcing increases in your metabolism and stimulating the release of larger amounts of fat-burning hormones.
The first thing you will do is determine the correct exercise intensity by calculating your target heart rate. To do that, figure out your age-predicted maximum heart rate (MHR). That’s easy – all you do is subtract your age from 220.
From there, you can just take 85% of your max and you’ve found your target heart rate.
But I’m going to show you a more accurate way to determine the necessary exercise intensity to bring about a total and complete Fat Meltdown. It’s called the Karvonen formula. (look it up) Since you already know your maximum heart rate (220-age), all you need now is your resting heart rate (RHR). For that, you need to take your pulse on your wrist or neck while in a very relaxed state (preferably upon awakening) for 15 seconds.
Now multiply it by four and you’ve got your resting heart rate. (Most people are in the 60-80 beats per minute (bpm) range). Plug your numbers into this formula.
Target Heart Rate = (MHR-RHR) x (% of max) + RHR
The “percent of max” in this case is .85 as listed in the evening workout. You should determine everything else. Let’s do the math on a 25 year old (MHR=195; 220-25=195) with a resting heart rate of 60 bpm:
Target Heart Rate = (195-60) x .85+60
135 x .85 = 114.75 (round up to 115)
Target Heart Rate = 175 bpm
To lose fat, you need to take in fewer calories than you expend. But, if you don’t give your body enough calories to maintain normal physiological function, it compensates by slowing all of its processes to maintain survival and you learn to store fat.
The same goes for your fat intake. Fat alone doesn’t make you fat. Too much of any macronutrient can make you fat. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to get ripped, is cutting calories and fat way too much.
To truly get shredded, you first need to determine exactly how many calories a day you’ll need. You will need a lot of protein to recover – about one gram per pound of body weight. Multiply that number by four (since each gram of protein carries four calories), giving you the amount of daily calories made up by protein. That amount is going to make up 30% of your total calories.
All you do then is take your sum protein calories and divide by .30, and presto, there’s your total daily calories. Here’s
An Example, Using A 180-Pound Man:
180 lbs. x 1 gm protein/lb bodyweight = 180 gm protein.
180 gm protein/day x 4 cal/gm = 720 daily calories from protein.
720/0.30 = 2400 calories a day.
On this program, carbs will make up 45% of your daily calories and fats 25%. Multiply your total daily calories by .45 to find your total carbohydrate calories, and by .25 to get your total number of fat calories. Then – you divide the carbohydrate calories by 4 and the fat calories by 9 to get the exact number of grams of each.
Note: One gram of carbohydrate or protein when oxidized for energy equals 4 calories; one gram of fat equals 9 calories, and one gram of alcohol equals seven calories.
Get to know labels and how much fat, carbs and proteins are present in your portion of foods. The calories you just calculated are only used on the first day of the program. From there, you’re going to drop your total calories by 100 each day for a week.
Then, at the start of the following week, you’ll begin the first day with a total that’s 100 calories less than the very first day of the program, and again drop that total by 100 calories per day.
You’ll then repeat this process for the third and final week, always maintaining the 45/30/25 ratio of carbs, protein and fat.
So our 180-lb man has a calorie total of 2400. Drop that total by 100 for each day of the week. At the start of the second week be at 2300 calories and again drop that by 100 each day.
Do that for one more week, beginning at 2200 calories the third week.
Here’s What The 21-Day Breakdown Looks Like:
Your carbohydrates should come from whole grains, lentils, and vegetables and brown rice, and sweet potato. Also, consume your carbs with protein; this cuts down on the rapid release of insulin from your pancreas, which basically pushes fats into cells for storage. As for protein, choose high quality sources, such as lean beef, lean ground turkey, and chicken and egg whites. (No lunchmeats or fast food.)
Bottom of Form
Don’t skip breakfast. You need to eat five or six times a day on this program – this will force your body to become more efficient and raise its metabolism.
And, try to consume most of your carbohydrates and fats in your first four meals so you’re full of energy for your p.m. workout.
Finally, make sure your last meal of the day isa-pro two scoops 2 hours before bed. This will diminish any insulin response while sleeping.
You’ll make phenomenal progress if you follow this program correctly, but that means nothing if you start training like a weasel and eating like a pig after three weeks.
Make sure you plug all your Isa products at the appropriate time throughout the day…they are an integral part of the equation. I am assuming you know how to do this?
Training SMART and following a proper diet should form the backbone of your exercising.
Hope this helped…
Dave Parise MES CPT FPTA