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Renegade Training For Fat Loss
By definition, to isolate is to set something apart, detach it from others or other environments. Within the exercise world, the notion of "isolation" is for the most part the norm in virtually every avenue. Exercise facilities are designed in carefully laid out plans with machinery that focuses on certain isolated muscle groups, in essence leading the user from "station to station" so that they can "workout" in an orderly assembly-line like fashion. Typically to the side there is a "cardio" area with treadmills, elliptical, rowers and stair-climbers and a much smaller area for general floor exercises. Depending upon clientele and size limitations, a club might further offer a separate room that houses fitness, yoga and any assortment of this year's (decade's) top exercise class. With this well laid out plan, individuals will enter the facility and proceed through their workout in an orderly and predictable manner ensuring each aspect of their body's development "in isolation" (whether intentional or not). The expanding home gym environment is much the same with cleverly engineered exercise equipment that features multiple stations so that you can; you guessed it, isolate your muscular development. At this stage of an article on fat loss I would typically mention to the reader that given that the world's obesity is growing at alarming rates and health care costs associated with this problem are devastating government and corporate budgets, action is needed. Since this problem has come at the same time as the "exercise revolution," isn't it abundantly obvious and quite logical that one of the greatest obstacles to improving "health and fitness" is the health and fitness industry itself? Simply stated, what is being "done" and recommended is far from what is needed. As you consider this peculiar problem, you will begin to realize that part of the weight management problem stems from the fact that physiologically nothing occurs in an "isolated" fashion is the body. In fact, I would go as far as to say that somehow the modern exercise industry somehow derailed itself, took isolationist work out of context and forgot the synergistic effect of a properly laid-out plan that will have a greater effect than individual sections ( "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts"). I should also point out it is not the chief culprit in creating the enormous problem but part of a series of pratfalls that has complicated the issue and without serious changes it will be irreversible. How and why the "isolationist" approach came into fashion is anyone's guess. However it relates heavily to our topic of fat loss. While the rationale may be very well steeped in the development of the fitness industry, the elimination of the "small" independent gym and the gradual movement towards (expensive) exercise machinery, the acceptance of this broad training model (isolation) is deeply entrenched in society and any dissenting voice is far outside the norm. Yet this is where it gets interesting. Through somewhat of a grassroots program, you've seen the public, likely without considering it, move towards a broader notion of "exercise" and begin to return to protocols which stress "harmony". Whether it be " boot-camp fitness" classes that merge fitness and strength training through compounding lifts and non-conforming objects in a high intensity setting or even a PilatesTM or Yoga class, there is a growing segment of the public that is starting to implicitly realize that as you abandon notions of strict isolationist work in a stabilized manner, health and fitness can be attained in a fun, addictive and engaging manner. I've even seen this emerge through my writing career. When I first started to discuss the classic Olympic lifts and training complexes they were virtually unseen and now are rather common-place throughout the field. This trend will continue to grow as it spreads to the major gym chains and gains notoriety in the major fitness magazines as well. Slowly small sections of the public are starting to see that the lessons of the past will solve the problems of today. With this in mind I want to approach our fat-loss regime using the firm backdrop of promoting health, fitness and total body wellness / internal strength with a regime that will utilize movements to promote total body harmony. The route to promoting fat loss is in essence the optimizing of hormonal conditions, primarily dealing with growth hormone, thyroxine and cortisol. For a weight management program to be truly successful it must address these facts and approach the issue with a three-pronged attack in the following areas:
  • Lifestyle
  • Diet and Supplementation
  • Exercise Lifestyle I am quite aware that as I note this area, many will roll their eyes and want to get to the "meat" of training. However, lifestyle has likely been the hidden over-riding cause in creating the problem of obesity. While I have noted the issue of the "evolution" of the training industry coming at the same time as the growth of obesity and cast blame in its direction, it should be stressed that the general quality of life in the same time has nose-dived. Our lives are riddled with physical, emotional and environmental stresses compared to life thirty years ago. And while some may differ on opinion as to the quality of life, there is little debate that stress is one of the greatest concerns of our life. While certainly this area expands far beyond diet, I have made my commentary solely within that section. Diet and Supplementation The issue of "diet" is volleyed back and forth by the media and marketing gurus. Notions and potions are talked about endlessly and peered at through microscopes to prove one theory or the next so that this new-found product can be sold. Whether it is the no-fat craze of the 90's or the no-carb mindset of this decade, diets fads will go in an out of style like jelly shoes and espadrilles of the 80's and 90's. However what will never go out of style is simple quality foods in normal proportions. While telling people that "diet is simple" won't put you on the best seller list it is an honest fact. This is only a small part of the major diet overhaul I recommend to most individuals, but these ten general rules will go a long way for you. I have intermingled dietary and lifestyle considerations given their close relationship. General Rules
    1. Turn the phone and TV off when you eat. 2. Meals represent fellowship between friends and family. Share the time with them and take time. Savor the meal, learn to eat in courses. 3. Moderation is a term that seems to have escaped modern society. Enjoying your food does not mean displaying gluttony and sloth-like habits. More is not better it is simply "more". Push away from the table and leave a little. 4. Consume 10-15 Vegetables a day at a minimum including cruciferous vegetables. With only 25% of the population eating enough vegetables this might be one of the most important considerations with our diet. 5. Eat healthy balanced meals with finely marbled meat, and fresh vegetable, fruit sources (in essence all items of plant origin which naturally includes beans and whole grains). Proportions should be roughly the size of your palm and make use of natural marinades (i.e. olive oil). 6. The best snack food is straight from the earth. Add fruit with every meal as well as real snack food that'll sustain life such as nuts and olives. 7. Drink more water and eliminate sugary / energy drinks completely as well as all soft drinks and artificial sweeteners, especially anything with high fructose corn syrup. Disease has a sweet-tooth. 8. Never consume man-made items. Ever. 9. Start each day with this centuries-old tonic. A simple blend of a few tablespoons of unpasteurized honey from local sources, 1-2 lemons squeezed in a glass of hot water every morning. 10. Drive by the drive thru as it creates lifelong debilitating illnesses. While the fast food markets have done a remarkable job of destroying dietary habits, it has also assisted in the destruction of the important fellowship of dining with family. There is nothing "happy" about a meal that has led generations towards obesity, life-long health problems and helped eliminated important elements of the family unit.
    Within supplementation I draw a very strict line amongst my clients, using a simple grouping of supplements that will have a powerful effect on all of our goals. However I wish to stress that these work hand-in-hand with our dietary choices and are to "supplement" our diet. In addition to a multi-vitamin such as ProSource's MegaMax Vitamin and a quality protein supplement such as NytroWhey Extreme I strongly urge the following five daily supplements:
    • Phosphatidylserine: is a powerful nutrient as it significantly improves muscular recovery as well as suppresses cortisol.
    • Acetyl-l-carnitine: is known to improve fat metabolism in transporting fatty acids from the main body of the cell into the mitochondria as well as being involved in the production of acetylcholine.
    • Alpha-lipoic-acid: is an incredibly powerful antioxidant that helps speed muscular recovery, decrease the storage of fat, help in appearance of skin tone and complexion as well as address other age related issues.
    • " ProSource Omega-1250": Omega oils are e ssential for the metabolism of fat. Given the low grade availability of natural resources and the poor quality from farmed fish, supplementation of Omega oil is becoming increasingly necessary.
    • Branched-Chain Amino Acids: a powerhouse for muscular recovery. This could be a highly strategic supplement for those entering this program given the potential level of muscular soreness. Usage of BCAA can vary extensively with quality benefits from recommended dosages found on labels to athletes in hard-core training looking for above-average gains. I would make the following suggestions based upon a 200 lb. athlete:
      • non-training days: 2.5 grams, 3-4 times per day
      • t raining days: 5 grams upon waking 2.5 grams, 90 minutes prior to workout 5 grams, at start of workout 5 grams prior to sleep
    Exercise Given the focus of this article is fat loss I am going to make the presumption that most concerned readers have had a difficult time maintaining a properly designed program for an extended length of time. It is quite an obvious observation that likely stems from the lack of motivation that in turn relates to the "reward" of training. I won't beat this topic to death with some bravado-laced commentary of how you should like to work hard for the thrill of overcoming your challenges because no matter what, training needs to be "fun". Without the "fun factor" I very much doubt any adult will continue to motivate themselves effectively through the drudgery of "another" training session. However and this is an important word of advice for young training professionals, as you expand upon the "fun factor" your clients will be motivated and hence more likely to garner good results. With this in mind we're going to use a "fun" training program Renegade Concepts of TrainingTM, are very safe for the exercise newcomer and the majority can be performed in a stationary area. This program is divided into two major sections; (a) standard training sessions and (b) recovery training sessions. While the program is designed to fit within a week, with three "standard" sessions that use very basic total-body movements and two further "recovery" sessions. Certainly, you can add additional "recovery" sessions (i.e. perform two or three days in a row) if you are too fatigued or suffer too much muscle soreness. that is perfectly suited to be used in a "bootcamp" style environment and in fact will likely be more effective in a supportive group setting. Exercises are chosen with a firm understanding of the

    A. Standard Training sessions

    Each training session will commence with one of the simplest and most dependable training mediums that for whatever reasons seems to have be forgotten in the modern exercise work; the Jump Rope. Jumping rope has numerous benefits such as:
    • foot and hand speed
    • cardiovascular efficiency
    • improved motor skills/muscular harmony
    • reduced of body fat
    • strengthen soft tissues
    • increased work capacity
    Your choice of rope should be simple and I tend to prefer the inexpensive plastic models or leather although I will leave that up to you. Make sure the rope is long enough so that when it's looped under your feet, it will reach chest height. There is no right or wrong way to position your hands when skipping. However, I prefer to pinch my elbows at my sides and position my forearms parallel to the ground which will increase rope speed. Most important, please wear good quality footwear when skipping and make sure you stretch the calves out immediately after finishing rope work. Jump Rope will be performed in both the "Standard" and "Recovery" training days. Within the "Standard" training day it is used within the following circuit. Please note this is a very challenging circuit and technical form should be watched closely throughout.
    • Jump Rope circuit
    • Rope Skip 1 min. round
    • Jumping jacks x 15 (this will equate to approximately 30 seconds)
    • Iron Cross
    • Jumping jacks x 15 (this will equate to approximately 30 seconds)
    • Squat Pull
    • Jumping jacks x 15 (this will equate to approximately 30 seconds)
    • Kettlebell or Dumbell swing
    Perform above three to four circuits with 30 seconds rest between circuits. With the mainstay of your resistance work being the Iron Cross, Squat Pull this will account for nine total sets of work. For an additional challenge for "fitter" individuals perform fisted pushups for thirty seconds before jumping jacks and ten pull-ups immediately following jumping jacks. Explanation of Exercises
    Iron Cross: from a low parallel squat position, feet shoulder width apart and holding plates or dumbbells parallel to the ground with palms facing in and move arms out away from you sides in a giant "T" as you stand upright. Squat Pull: The individual can perform either from the floor or standing on top of top two boxes (i.e. exercise "steps" work perfectly) as shown while holding a weight between the legs. Figure 1 shows the start of lift with the proper back alignment, known as the neutral position. This position is a perfect balance offering safety and places the back in strong position. Proper alignment of the back in this position is inherent with sufficient core strength and flexibility. The lower position, with the buttocks pushed back, forces the hips to drive forward and initiate the movement (Figure 2). Figures 3 & 4 complete the exercise as the hips are fully extended and the weight is lifted with a simultaneous pulling up of the weight. Swing: The Swing is a very simple exercise that can be performed with either a kettlebell or a dumbell. Assuming the use of a dumbell, grasp the weight in the middle part of the handle, push buttocks back into neutral back position. From this position drive the weight up with an aggressive explosive of the hips up and forward. Complete the exercise as the hips are fully extended and the weight is lifted with a simultaneous pulling up of the weight. Please note this movement is performed PROPERLY when the hips initiate the movement. One very common flaw is using the back is a lever and putting too much stress on it.
    The balance of the three "Standard" training days is made up of a simple "tri" giant set of three basic exercises performed one after the other. These are highly exhausting sets that will last roughly sixty sessions and will leave you very taxed. Rest between sets will be roughly 90 seconds however expect the fatigue factor to be enormous and to maintaining that work rate to be quite the challenge. Please note the weighted section of each of these tri-sets should utilize 40-65% maximum rep for six total reps over three to four sets.
    • Monday Close grip Power Snatch (alternatively you can use dumbbells or kettle bells) Med ball Wood Chop and Jump x 5 Burpees x 5
    • Wednesday Squat Med ball Wood Chop and Jump x 5 Burpees x 5
    • Friday Push Press (alternatively you can use dumbbells or kettle bells) Med ball Wood Chop and Jump x 5 Burpees x 5
    Exercise Descriptions:
    Close grip Power Snatch: Grasping the bar with your hands shoulder width apart (or if you prefer, use dumbbells, sandbags or other object), shoulders should be pinched back as you push the buttocks back while the weight comes down roughly to the lower thigh / knee area. Once the bar touches the lower thigh / knee region, you pull the weight up with the entire posterior chain. As the weight is moving upwards, there is an "unloading" effect as momentum carries it up as you simultaneous drop under to catch the bar with a slight bend at the knee/hip. The weight is caught with arms straight and now simply stand up. Med ball Wood Chop and Jump: Using a light med ball (i.e. 4-6lbs), drop to squat position by pushing the buttocks back with a neutral back position and touch the ball on the ground. From this position, drive the hips forward as you leap up with ball extended above your head. Certainly many individuals depending upon conditioning levels should omit the jump and simply reach as high as possible with the ball instead of jumping. Burpees: From a standing position, jump as high as possible and land down on your haunches with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back and jump back up again as fast as possible. It will likely take ten to fifteen seconds to complete five burpees Squat: As you walk into the rack, grasp the bar firmly with complete and absolute control and allow it nestle along your traps. With a good inhale of the lungs, the chest up, back strong walk out of the rack under control. Initiate the movement by pushing the buttocks back and ensure the angle of the hips and knees are the same as you descend to parallel or rock-bottom position, and then begin to reverse the motion in your ascent as you drive up against the floor. Pay particular attention that the torso lean isn't too far forward as this will have a dramatically different (negative) impact upon your training. Push Press: The key in our use of the Push Press, may just be to stay light enough that posture is maintained as we do not want to push undo strain on the back. Typically the common problem of those performing the Push Press is utilizing too heavy of a weight, which will not only create a multitude of problems but also reduce our desired effect. In performing the push press, start with good upright posture. The chest is "proud" and the weight is lifted with the drive generated from the legs. Initiate the movement by first performing the counter-movement of dipping down slightly then driving upward with the legs, simultaneously extending your arms overhead and catching the bar is with the legs straight.
    At the conclusion at the end of the Standard training sessions the following shoulder capsule work and postural holds will be performed. With the shoulder capsule work two exercises will be performed each session, of three sets each for 12 to 15 repetitions each for a total of six set of shoulder capsule work. With the postural holds, each hold will be done with holds of 15-30 seconds for 2-3 total sets Shoulder Capsule Proper strength training of the shoulder capsule/girdle has been proven to reduce the incidence of injury and improve general posture. These movements should be a part of every exercise regime in re-creating a strong shoulder capsule and some of best time spent for anyone in the gym. Careful attention must be paid to these movements, given their extraordinary importance for your long term health and athletic development. Given that you will be using two exercises per day, I have included five common moves that you can interchange at your own discretion.
    • Internal External Rotation: with bands looped under feet and upper arm parallel to ground, rotate hands down so that it is level with the elbow and back up with constant tension. Perform 3 sets x 12-15 reps, thrice weekly
    • Cuban Press: with bands looped under feet and holding bands at sides, pinch shoulders back, then pull weight up such that upper arm is parallel to ground and constant tension . Perform 3 sets x 12-15 reps, thrice weekly.
    • Muscle Snatch: with loops of band under feet and grab bands in both hands. Pull bands above head in straight fashion keeping it very tight to body and constant tension. Perform 3 sets x 12-15 reps, thrice weekly
    • Cross-Over pushup: a tremendous exercise that is simple to organize and implement. In a pushup position place a weight (i.e. a thick 45lb plate) or a step directly under your head position and ensure it will not slide. Start with both hands to left side of plate. Place the right hand on the plate, then move the left hand on the plate. With both hands on weight, move right hand off and onto the ground at the right of the plate. Now bring left hand off of plate touching the ground on the right side of the plate and quickly back the plate. Repeat to opposite side for thirty seconds. This is done with extremely fast hands
    • Off-set Pushups: Place med ball on ground with one hand on ball and opposite hand on floor. Perform pushups (i.e. 15-25) and repeat to opposite side.
    Postural holds
    • Plank: the basic Plank is performed with toes and forearms on the ground, back flat and drawing the navel in.
    • The side plank: possibly the best of the "basic" static exercises for strengthening and stabilizing the trunk. With hand against the ground, pointed away and top leg stacked atop the lower one with the navel drawn in; hold position with a totally balanced and straight line for designated length of time. For beginners, start with forearm along the ground.
    • The Horse pose: performed whilst on all four's, with one leg raised leg up and the opposite arm up, maintaining at parallel position. Thumb should be pointed up and navel drawn in.
    • The Superman: performed by laying on the ground and raising both hands / legs off the ground as high as possible.

    B. Recovery Sessions

    The "recovery sessions" are designed as the name would imply to help you recover from strenuous activity. They are relatively "simple" workouts that involve the standard rope work, a straight-forward medicine ball routine and should be followed with a static stretch session of roughly thirty minutes. Medicine Ball Training is used within this grouping solely for restorative purposes, utilizing a light ball typically in the four to six pound range. The following circuit should be performed with ten throws for each exercise moving continuously from one movement to the next for a total of two to three circuits. Chest Pass: Feet should be shoulder width apart and hips squared directly at the target. With a solid, rooted base and good posture explode ball forward with as much velocity as possible. One-Hand Twisting Chest Pass: Pay careful attention to set-up. Opposite hip should be directly facing target. Elbow is high with rear delts pinched back. Twist body back in a ¼ to ½ turn with weight transferring to back leg. In an powerful explosive move, twist body, with weight shifting to lead leg. Walking Chest Pass: This is same as typical chest pass but starting with one leg behind. Initiate the movement with a powerful step into the target, exploding the ball forward with power generated from your legs (repeat to opposite leg forward). Overhead Pass: Feet should be shoulder width apart and hips squared directly at the target. With a solid, rooted base and good posture and the body facing target, lift ball behind head and explosively throw ball directly towards target overhead. Walking Overhead Pass: This is same as typical overhead pass but starting with one leg behind. Initiate the movement with a powerful step into target and throw (repeat to opposite leg forward). Scoop Backward: Feet should be shoulder width apart and hips squared directly at the target. With a solid, rooted base and good posture with body facing target swing ball up and behind head swing ball above head, then between legs as you push buttocks back (into a neutral position) and then explosively pull hips through and bring ball up above your head slamming the ball straight ahead. Two-Hand Swing: With opposite hip facing target hold ball with both hands direct in front of you. Feet should be shoulder width apart and feet intensely rooted. Swing backwards, twisting and looking behind you, transferring weight to back foot with front heel coming off ground. In a swift, powerful action, explosively drive hips through transferring weight to lead leg as target faces target. One-Hand Swing: With opposite hip facing target hold ball with both hands direct in front of you. Feet should be shoulder width apart and feet intensely rooted. Weight transfers to back leg ball as held with opposite hand. In a swift, powerful action, explosively drive hips through transferring weight to lead leg as target faces target. Seated Throwing Twist: John Davies, Founder Renegade Training Chat Live with Coach Davies in the Renegade Training forums! From seated straddle position, twist body, reaching ball behind you and extend back throwing ball to side. Preferably this should be performed with a training partner / trainer where the ball is thrown back with speed, emphasizing the eccentric action.