We're all running on limited resources--we only have so much time and so much energy to expend in twenty-four hours. After a busy day, you still want to train, but you're not sure what is most productive for reaching your fat loss goals. One guru tells you to focus on cardiovascular and energy systems training. You hear from another source to skip the cardio and hoist the iron. Who's right? Well, both of them.
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Keeping the Strength
Building strength builds muscle. And muscle, it just so happens, is the most metabolic tissue in the body. I'm not sure that you need a crash course in metabolism, but the more efficient it works the easier it is to burn fat.
While training to lose fat, you're probably also restricting calories--your body is going to draw from wherever it can to meet its energy needs. That means potentially your muscles. Strength training in the three to five rep-range gives your body the stimuli to keep muscle on your frame. Otherwise, it's going to ditch it.
Besides keeping the muscle you've painstakingly built, cardio alone will only produce a smaller, more flaccid version of your current self. That's the last thing any lifter wants.
Maintain Muscle Tissue While Attacking the Fat
Fortunately, supplement science has you covered when it comes to the difficult task of shoring up muscle mass while peeling away the fat. An advanced fat-loss protein called Prolibra, manufactured by the experts in the field at Glanbia Nutritionals, has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for enhancing body composition in clinical testing. Indeed, in an independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, test subjects showed significant improvements in the ratio of lean mass to fat while taking just 24.4 grams of Prolibra per day (compared to a control group taking an isocaloric placebo). The subjects taking Prolibra retained twice as much lean muscle with 79% fat loss compared to the control group at 51% fat loss.
Now I know what you're saying. Where can I get some of this Prolibra? Turns out, ProSource's Vectron is your ideal source for this highly advanced fat-loss protein matrix. Vectron is a terrific physique enhancement tool for people with busy lifestyles and high standards for protein supplementation.
And now back to strength. I'm big on strength, so I'd love to tell you that it's all you need to lose fat--but I'm not here to lie to you. At times it takes a big metabolic disturbance to boost fat loss. Extended cardiovascular and conditioning focused workouts are great for meeting this end--but you don't have that kind of time. Since time is our most valuable resource, we've got to be strategic with our strength and conditioning blend.
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We know need to keep the strength training so the muscle doesn't say farewell and to promote metabolism. At the same time you need a training stimulus that sets your metabolism on fire and turns you into a fat scorching furnace. I've already mentioned Vectron in this capacity, but I'd like to suggest that a fat-loss catalyst like BioQuest's Zycor makes an excellent synergistic addition to Vectron and your targeted exercise regimen. Zycor has been amazing athletes with its combination of weight-loss power and powerful energy-boosting performance enhancement. These two potent mechanisms of transformational action work in perfect tandem to help you experience productive workouts while ripping your physique down to a hard, chiseled core. It's well worth checking out.
So we've got a philosophy in place and also some supplementation. Now things get tricky. We have to blend the elements.
Strength Work: To keep already gained muscle we'll include three to five sets of three to five reps of a large, compound movement (i.e. squats, bench presses, deadlift variations). The rest periods during this part of the workout will be ninety to one-hundred twenty seconds and filled with a mobility exercise.
Assistance Work/Metabolic Training: Now we'll combine three to four assistance exercises into a circuit. We'll choose two upper-body and two lower-body; research shows that full-body training splits elicit greater fat loss than upper- and lower-body training splits. We'll complete the circuit three to four times and each exercise will be done for eight to twelve reps. Rest periods during this part of the workout are most important. You'll rest for fifteen to thirty seconds between each exercise, and subsequently rest for two minutes between circuits. Rest periods between circuits are filled with mobility exercises.
Finisher: We'll finish each training day with a short, powerful conditioning finisher. It will last for no longer than five minutes--keeping time conscious--but will elevate your metabolism for hours.
Below I've outlined a sample training day that follows this format.
|A1) Snatch-grip Deadlift||4 x 5||90 sec – 120 sec|
|A2) Thoracic Spine Mobility Drill||4 x 5||During deadlift rest periods|
|B1) Romanian Deadlift||3 x 8||30 sec|
|B2) Dumbbell Bench Press||3 x 8||30 sec|
|B3) Dumbbell Split Squat||3 x 8||30 sec|
|B4) 1 Arm Dumbbell Row||3 x 12||30 sec|
|B5) Assorted Mobility Drills||Sets of 5||Done at end of circuit before beginning next circuit|
|C1) Finisher: Airdyne Bike Tabata Sprints||1 x 1||End of workout|
As appealing as it seems, don't skip the mobility work between circuits. Not only will this work keep you healthy, but continuing to move during your rest periods keeps your body using free fatty acids.
Staunchly adhere to the rest periods--they are the bread and butter of the whole workout. Make them too long and you'll miss out on a dramatic, and productive, hormonal response. Shorten them a bit too much and your workout will lose necessary intensity.
Skip the finisher if you're on empty after the assistance training. If you can't work intensely during the finisher, it's not useful to meeting your fat loss end. Worse, you could wind up hurting yourself. If you're raring to go--get after it. But if you've morphed into a sweat-drenched, end-of-workout zombie, bag it.
You can meet your fat loss goals on a busy schedule. All it takes is a little extra planning and some trimming of the fat (pun intended). Take our above strategy and run with it--a busy day at the office is no excuse for not getting the body you want.