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eric bach fat loss

Blended Training for Fat Loss

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The formula for fat loss is simple.

But then how comes it feels damn near impossible to shred bodyfat?

A caloric deficit through exercise, a sound diet, and healthy hormone levels should incinerate fat off your body to have you looking like a Greek God carved out of stone.

But ask anyone who’s tried to get shredded: it’s brutally hard work.

Problems can arise if an optimal training protocol isn’t in place. Your hard earned muscle can be stripped away, and you can be left with body fat. You could end up thinner, weaker and depleted, rather than athletic and shredded.

Fortunately, there are better options than plodding on the hamster wheel and “toning” your muscles with endless cardio and high rep weight training.

I Call it Blended Training for Fat Loss

bodyweight training, Expert Tips to Build Muscle, Blended Training for Fat Loss

By placing an emphasis on heavy strength training with carefully planned density training, you’ll preserve your muscle while incinerating body fat to get absolutely shredded.

Hook me up with the Program, Eric!

The Importance of Training During Fat Loss

The major driver for fat loss is a diet that places you at a caloric deficit.

I’d say your diet is 80% of your fat loss plan.

The sad truth is it doesn’t really matter how hard you’re training if you’re shoving twinkies down your gullet and slamming Vodka red bull all weekend.

All the fist pumping and interval sprints won’t undue that damage. Sorry.

Operating under the assumption that you’re in a caloric deficit and fist pumping is occurring (sans Vodka-Redbulls), time to focus on training for optimal fat loss.

Using advanced math, we assume that if diet is 80% of the recipe to get shredded, training makes up the other 20%.

“Dude, then why don’t we just focus on diet, the 80%?”

Valid question.

We’re here to kick mediocrity in the teeth. Let’s maximize every component to get you shredded, and that means maximizing your training and diet.

This means we’ll strategically train to preserve lean mass and keep your metabolism running on full-blast to incinerate fat.

Let’s dive into each of these components a little deeper.

Preserve Your Metabolism during a Diet:

I’m sure we can all agree that endless cardio and dieting without and any resistance training is a sure-fire way to end up scrawny without any appreciable muscle mass.

fat loss, bodyweight training, Blended Training for Fat Loss

All other things being equal, the more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. That means it’s going to be in your best interest to preserve muscle and thus metabolism to avoid plateaus and maximize fat loss.

By challenging your muscles against resistance, you’ll stimulate greater levels of protein synthesis and muscular damage. As a result, you’ll be directing more of the calories towards muscle repair, further pushing you towards a caloric deficit.

Support a Healthy Testosterone

For simplicity sake, good ole Mr. T is a steroid hormone that stimulates muscle building, fat loss, and sex drive.

Problem is, harsh dieting leads to decreased testosterone levels…unless you do something about it.

By focusing on heavy multi-joint lifts like chin ups, squats, presses, and deadlifts you’ll stimulate the release of testosterone. As we all know, strength training has been proven to induce the release of testosterone, boosting total body anabolism and stimulating muscle retention (Craig et al).

As a result, your resistance training protocols will hold onto muscle and stimulate fat loss simultaneously for maximum results.

Training to Stimulate Growth Hormone Release:

I hate to break it to you, but fat loss gets increasingly difficult as you age. Coupled with massive caffeine intake, alcohol, and our overstimulated high-stress environment, the natural aging process delivers us all a gut punch and naturally decreases  growth hormone release as we age.

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Obviously, this sucks when trying to stay lean and maximize performance, so we have to take aggressive action to fight back.

Luckily, with proper training will spike that stubborn S.O.B. back up to help you shred fat with specific training protocols. 

Metabolic Stress

Metabolic stress is the result of working at a high intensity in training when your body switches to anaerobic metabolism for the delivery in ATP. Basically, those burning reps that make your body feel like it’s ready to explode and your heart is pulsating through your shirt is a sign of metabolic stress.

When you reach this intensity, the breakdown of stored  energy releases a dollop of metabolic by-products of energy synthesis and muscle contractions that in turn, causes more stress to your whole body.

While this sounds complicated, it means you should keep rest short and intensity high to the point where you can’t have a conversation without breaking up your words due to a lack of oxygen when training. All these by-products trigger the release of GH and further stimulate fat loss.

Blended Training for Fat Loss

Training strength first at least once per week stimulates fast-twitch muscle fibers to preserve muscle, charges the nervous system, and supports healthy anabolic hormone levels when you’re in a caloric deficit.

This offsets the catabolism of muscle tissue and keeps your muscle, rather than withering your hard-earned physique away during your cut.

The Best Rep Schemes for Fat Loss

Weight training for fat loss is predicated on maximizing muscle retention, anabolic hormone levels, and metabolism. High training density triggers greater caloric expenditure and stimulates the release of growth hormone for greater fat loss.

Next: how it all ties together.

Lift Heavy:

Once per week I recommend working in a pure strength weight with major, compound movements.

As previously mentioned, heavy strength training is a huge tool to preserve testosterone and muscle mass when dieting down.

front squat, Blended Training for Fat Loss, fat loss

Straight Sets:

Pick one upper and one lower body lift from the following during fat-loss training and make them a focus first thing in 1-2 workouts per week. Rep schemes like 4×4, 5×5, and 6×3 work best.

Upper Body: Overhead press, chin-up, bench press, dip, row

Lower Body: Clean, squat, deadlift, lunge

Ramping up to 2,3,4 5rm (75-95% 1-RM):

Start with a moderate training load for the prescribed number of reps and build your way up (ascending loading) to the heaviest set with the reps.

As you increase the load you “charge” the nervous system with consistently heavier loads.

Start with a moderate load and increase load by 5-10% each set, aiming to reach your heaviest set in 4-6 sets. Ramping sets work better for advanced lifters as straight sets with heavier loads provide tons of cumulative fatigue.

Density Circuits:

Density circuits combine compound movement patterns in succession with short rest periods for high intensity, challenge based workouts.

By combining a variety of major movement patterns, all muscles of the body are trained within a short period of time for increased work capacity and rapid fat loss.

1a. [Vertical Pull] Chin Up 4×8 Rest =0

1b. [Vertical Push] DB Push Press 4×10 Rest =0

1c. [Single leg] DB Goblet Lunge 4×6/leg Rest =60-90

2a. [Horizontal Pull] One Arm Dumbbell Row 3×8/arm Rest =60-90

2b. [Horizontal Push] Feet Elevated Push Up 3×15 Rest =0

2c. [Hip Dominant Lower] DB or BB RDL 3×15 Rest =0

2d. [Core] Plank 3×45 seconds Rest =0

One difficulty of note is programming these exercises to avoid cumulative fatigue. You’ll note one-rm rows and RDL’s in the second density circuit. In this case, use wraps and switch grips to minimize grip issues.

Hook me up with the Program, Eric!

How this Works: Hormonal adaptations change based on exercise rest periods. Short exercise rest periods are recommended for muscular hypertrophy exercise protocols because they augment a greater GH response compared to long rest periods ( Qaderi et al).

So while longer rest periods are best for nervous system recovery, technique and force development the shorter rest periods (30-60 seconds) are better for burning fat and in some cases, muscle building.

Timed Sets: Perform 3-4 Work Sets of a Given Exercise for 20-45 Seconds 

Timed sets are great for burning fat because they require a ton of time under tension, forcing metabolic stress and muscular damage.

As a result, you burn through stored carbohydrates and trigger tons of lactic acid and metabolic by-product build up within  muscles, triggering growth hormone release. 

The idea is as simple as it sounds. Use a weight you can lift for 12-15 reps to start, and perform reps of an exercise for time, starting at 30 seconds and increasing time by five seconds each week with a work to rest ratio of 1:2.

fat loss, Denver Personal Trainer, Blended Training for Fat Loss

Exercise: Goblet Squat

Week One: 30 seconds/set Rest: 60 seconds

Week One: 35 seconds/set Rest: 70 seconds

Week One: 40 seconds/set Rest: 80 seconds

Week One: 45 seconds/set Rest: 90 seconds

Time is your progression, not weight.

Rather than focusing on a quantitative outcome (reps), the focus is on the quality of each rep and maximizing a muscle contraction for a set amount of time.

The Low-Down on Blended Training for Fat Loss

Lift heavy when dieting down once or twice per week. Pick two or three exercises per week during “cut” phases and work to maintain or even build strength numbers to preserve strength and mass.

Then, use density training, and timed sets to stimulate growth hormone release, and improve insulin sensitivity for maximal fat loss.

Although many of these training methods work well for building strength and muscle, this combination is the best I’ve seen and used for fat loss.

And…

If you’re interested in maximizing fat loss to unveil a lean, athletic body, take advantage and test out this Free Four Week Blended Training Workout.






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Resources:

Craig, BW, Brown R, and J. Everhart. “Effects of Progressive Resistance Training on Growth Hormone and Testosterone Levels in Young and Elderly Subjects.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Aug. 1989. Web. 26 Feb. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2796409>.

Qaderi, M., R. Rahimi, and SS Boroujerdi. “Effects of Very Short Rest Periods on Hormonal Responses to Resistance Exercise in Men.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 July 2010. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.

<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20555276>.

Copyright: pjphotography / 123RF Stock Photo

Seven New Year’s Fat Loss Strategies

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It’s 5:00 am. The wind is howling, temperatures freezing, and your alarm is ringing off the hook.

You could pull the covers, roll over, and hit snooze. But you’ve got bigger plans.

You’re kicking ass at work and now it’s time for the gym. Time to  conquer the world, one meeting, one workout, and day at a time.

Morning Rituals to Become Unstoppable

But there’s a problem.

You’re locked into work from 6:00 am until 7:00 pm. Between your commute, work, running errands, and side business there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Yes, you said you would train four times this week and figure out your diet, but you just don’t have time. Meh, how about next week instead?

Nonsense. “I don’t have time” is not a valid excuse.

When training for fat loss, it’s important to remember each workout should be completed while in a caloric deficit. The idea is to then use training to preserve your muscle and metabolism while creating an even bigger deficit for rapid fat loss.

With this in mind, long duration sessions (90 minutes plus) stink for fat loss. Rather than accelerate fat loss, they’re more likely to crush your motivation and consistency and lead to overtraining. 

Building a ripped, athletic body should improve your life, not consume it. your life, it should improve it.  In this post, I’ll share 7 fat loss strategies to trim your workouts and trigger massive fat loss.

High-Density Training 

Training density, the amount of work done relative to time, is extremely important for fat loss. Generally speaking, the greater the density, the greater caloric expenditure. This comes down to exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC works like debt. 

The more gassed you get during a workout the greater the oxygen debt. The oxygen debt must be repaid. You’ll  elevate your metabolism longer after your workouts. You’ll continue to burn more calories.

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Here are the simplest ways to increase training density to boost fat loss:

Supersets

Two opposing movements or muscle groups performed back to back.

1a. Dumbbell Push Press 4×6, Rest 0

1b. Chin Up Rest 4×6, Rest 90 seconds

Tri-sets 

Three non-competing exercises performed back-to-back-to-back before a longer rest.

1a. Dumbbell Push Press 4×6 ,Rest 0

1b. Chin Up Rest 4×6, Rest 0

1c. Goblet Squat 4×10, Rest 90 seconds

Giant Sets  

Four or more exercises performed in a row before a longer rest.

1a. Deadlift 4×5, Rest 0

1a. Dumbbell Push Press, 4×6 Rest 0

1b. Chin Up Rest 4×6, Rest 0

1c. Plank 4×45 seconds, Rest 90-120 seconds

These are all starting points and examples. Feel free to customize your own approach to training density.

Set Up Training Triggers 

Triggers are events that prompts the beginning of habit or activity.

Take waking up in the morning: You rub your eyes and narrowly miss stubbing your toe on your way to the bathroom. After that, you make a cup of coffee, take a shower, get dressed, brush your teeth, and head to work.

Waking up is the trigger, and each subsequent activity triggers the next.

Like these events, time-based triggers help you stick with routines over and over again.

 

Take working out: Your alarm going off at 5:00 am triggers you to wake up, make a cup of coffee, and throw on the workout clothes you set out last night.

Setting the right environment and a consistent training time is one of the best fat loss triggers you can use. Morning workouts are the best method to be proactive in your health before your reactive to the constant inputs from work, life, family etc. during rest of your day.

Be Accountable to Someone 

This is as simple as joining an online forum and posting your workouts. Or, you can ask a friend or family member to check in on your progress each week.

personal training referrals

Taken a step further, invest in a coach. Getting a coach improves your accountability through answering to someone and financially investing your behavior in their expertise. If you constantly struggle with training consistency, then hiring a coach is a wise decision.

Train First thing In the Morning 

If it’s important, do it first thing in the morning. Ever notice how the days you roll over, hit the snooze, and lay in bed are your least productive?

You’re groggy, tired, and need enough coffee to tranquilize an elephant to be a functioning member of society.

Yea, those days suck.

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The first decision of your day is indicative of how successful that day will be.

Eliminate the decision, wake up, and get your training done first thing in the morning.

The reasoning is simple—decisions fatigue us, and setting your day with morning rituals like working out helps you become unstoppable. Start the day off with small victories.

Related: Seven Secrets for Early Morning Workouts

 

Time Block Training 

Time block training is my favorite method for completing isolation for muscle growth, but is also one of my top Fat Loss Strategies because of high training density.

Set a timer for a part of your workout, and get as many high-quality reps and sets as possible.

This method can break up different portions of a workout as well.

If you have 40 minutes to train, try this:

Warm-Up: 6 Minutes

Athleticism: 5 Minutes (11 total)

     Box Jumps x5

     Plyo Push-Ups x5

     Rest 30-60 seconds between each set, go until the timer is off.

Strength: 15 Minutes (26 total)

Squats x4

Chin Ups x4

Rest 90-120 seconds between each set, go until the timer is off.

Hypertrophy: 8 Minutes (34 total)

    Bulgarian Split Squat x8

    Dumbbell One Arm Row x10

    Feet Elevated Push Up x12

Conditioning Work 6 minutes (40 total)

   Bike intervals 30 seconds on, 30 Seconds Rest

The key here is to focus on quality, despite a higher tempo. If you reach technical failure (form breaks down), drop the weight and increase your rest. Quality must always trump quantity.

Ramping Sets 

Through gradually increasing resistance and managing fatigue, ramp loading supercharges your strength while warming up your body.

A key to shorter workouts, ramping sets allow shorter rest periods, the same volume, and more strength on top-end strength sets to preserve your strength and muscle during a fat loss phase. 

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In other words, you start off slow, but finish strong with the most important parts of your workout to build more strength, and size.

Squat Training Max: 405 lbs.

Set and Rep Scheme: 5×2

Heaviest Workload for the Day: 95% 1-RM= 385lbs

Warm-Up: 135×5; 185×5

Work Sets:

225×2

275×2

315×2

365×2

385×2

Ramping Sets for More Strength 

One Strength Move, Then Drop Set

Saving the best for last, this is my favorite lifting method when short on time. Basically, you ramp up to a heavy work set, say 5×3 to build strength.

Then, hit a drop set with a weight you can lift 10-15 times until near failure. This way, you’ll increase metabolic and mechanical stress to build muscle, and send your heart rate sky-high. After the big lift, the rest of the workout is a bonus, as you’ve already gotten stronger and stressed your body.

The Seven New Year’s Fat Loss Strategies

  • Set Up Training Triggers
  • Train First Thing in the Morning
  • Be Accountable to Someone
  • Density Training
  • Time Block Training
  • Ramping Sets
  • One Strength Move, Then Drop Set

The New Year is when many people vow to transform their bodies. Once and for all you’ll lose the last ten pounds. Finally, you will gain the lean muscle to look more athletic and confident. Take the vow to take control, and start taking action.

All the power you need is within. You’ve got this. Take the proper steps and behaviors. Celebrate the win, workout by workout and meal by meal. Soon, the small victories add to huge changes. 

P.S. 

No matter your schedule you CAN get it done. If you need help with accountability, nutrition, and training to maximize your results then I’d love to help.  

Head over to my Online Coaching Page here and fill out a form. I’ll get back to you within 24 hours to take the next steps to Accelerating Your Fat Loss in the New Year. Apply Within

 

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I’d love to help you become your best self. Next step could be a free Skype call.







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