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  1. #1
    Goldfish is offline Request Title Change from Admin
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    A Simple (and Badass) Fat Loss Program

    Fat Loss: Weight Loss

    This program is very simple. You will be performing strength training 3 non-consecutive days per week. Every training day you will perform a big compound lift for the legs, a big compound push for the upper body, and a big compound pull for the upper body. In just 3 movements you will train most of the muscles of the body. This program is suitable for both males and females -- it will look more intimidating to most females, but it will be just as effective at promoting fat loss for them as it will for the guys.

    The loading parameters are based on programs by Bill Starr and Glenn Pendlay. For each exercise you will perform 5 sets of 5 reps, adding weight on each set to a top set of 5. Ideally, the 5 sets should be loaded with the following percentages of the target weight for the top set:

    Set 1: 50%
    Set 2: 62.5%
    Set 3: 75%
    Set 4: 87.5%
    Set 5: 100%

    After the 5th set, on every exercise (except for deadlifts, which will be completed with the top set of 5), you will return back to the weight used on the 3rd set and attempt a set of 8+ reps.

    The reason for ramping up 5 sets of 5 like this is because it promotes strength, which promotes retention of lean body mass when you're losing weight, which means that the weight lost will be coming from where you want to lose it (ie fat), rather than allowing you to end up "skinnyfat" after all your hard work. Adding weight to each set gives ample warm up for the top set, and having but 1 set at a heavy weight means that there is a fairly low amount of volume in this routine, which means minimal fatigue. You'll already be eating at a calorie deficit, and a calorie deficit is a recovery deficit, so maximising work while minimising recovery needs is the aim of the game.

    The extra set of 8+ allows for some extra technique work, burns some extra calories, and reinforces strength development. It also provides a different kind of stimulus to just the 5 sets of 5.

    You will start with a top weight that's reasonably challenging, but not exhaustive. You should not be starting with your 5RM, and really the best weight to start with is likely to be 10-20% below your 5RM so that you've got room to progress the weight forwards.

    Each week, if you get all 5 reps with good form on the 5th set, and 8 or more reps with good form on the 6th set, you will increase the weight on the top set by 2.5kg/5lb next time.

    (Note: If your equipment does not allow you to make 2.5kg/5lb jumps in weight, then add 1 extra rep to the top set each week until you have added 1 rep/2.5kg increments in the next jump. eg If your equipment goes up in 10kg jumps, then divide 10 by 2.5 and you have 4x2.5kg increments, therefore you will add 1 rep per week to your top set until all 4 additional reps have been completed, for a total of 9 reps in the last week of the cycle. Then move up to the next weight progression and return to 5 reps on the top set.)

    If several weeks go by and you haven't been able to increase the load on a lift, reduce the top set weight by 10% and start working back up. If you get stuck at the same weight once you've worked back up, it's time to look into a substitute exercise that targets the same muscle groups but in a different way.

    Your training days, and the exercises within each, are as follows:

    Day 1
    Back Squats 5x5, 1x8+
    Overhead Press 5x5, 1x8+
    T-Bar Row 5x5, 1x8+

    Day 2
    Deadlift 5x5
    Incline Bench Press 5x5, 1x8+
    Cable Row 5x5, 1x8+

    Day 3
    Front Squats 5x5, 1x8+
    Bench Press 5x5, 1x8+
    Lat Pull Down (or Pull Ups) 5x5, 1x8+

    Cardio/Conditioning/Abs
    You do not need to do any sort of cardio to lose weight or burn fat. I know you've been taught all your life that you do, but you don't. Can it be helpful? Yes. Is it required? No. Cardio burns calories, but at no greater rate (per time spent training) than the exercises in this program. It does not promote the preservation of lean body mass, so 1kg lost through diet and cardio will not be as beneficial as 1kg lost through diet and strength training. Cardio adds a lot of volume to your training, and activities like running, boxing and step-aerobics in particular are high impact, which means lots of recovery is required. We're trying to keep recovery needs to a minimum.

    If you're going to do cardio in spite of the above paragraph (be it for personal enjoyment, health benefits, or just refusal to abstain from it while trying to lose weight), you may do it immediately after strength training or on non-training days. Make sure you have at least 1 day per week in which you don't do any training, as recovery is important. Do not do any cardio, other than a light warm up, before strength training, as it will deplete your performance during your strength training sessions. Strength training is important for fat loss, cardio is optional. Don't sacrifice that which is a priority for that which is an option.

    You may do some light ab work immediately after strength, but not before-hand, and not on the days between training sessions. Every exercise in the main program will strengthen your abs -- and will be hindered if they are fatigued from being worked within the 24 hours prior to training. Again, priorities. Strengthening the whole body including the abs will protect a lot of lean body mass from being lost instead of fat. Strengthening the core at the expense of the rest of the body will do very little to protect peripheral lean body mass from being lost instead of fat, and will contribute to becoming "skinnyfat."

    Diet

    Exactly how much you should be eating is very individualistic. As a ballpark figure, I'd say most people should be starting out at about 2,000kcal/day for weight loss. Some petite people will need to go lower, some large-framed athletic people will need to go higher. There are calculators out there for figuring out how many calories per day your should be consuming based on age, gender, height, weight and daily activity, but ultimately experience will give the answer on what's best for you.

    You should be targeting 0.5-1lb (or 0.25-0.5kg) weight loss per week. More is not normally better, except for early on in a morbidly obese person's weight loss journey. This will add up to being in a calorie deficit of about 200-500kcal/day. In other words, if you expend 2,400kcal/day through living and training, you'll need to be eating 200-500kcal/day less than that, so 1,900-2,200kcal total intake.

    You should be consuming approximately 1g protein per lb bodyweight per day, or 2g protein per kg bodyweight per day. So a 75kg person should be consuming roughly 150g protein per day while on this program. Protein consumption is the other side of the coin (the first side being strength training) that will contribute greatly to the maintenance of lean body mass. The best sources of protein come from animals. Vegetable protein isn't very good by comparison. If you are a vegetarian, then this may cause your strength training progress to be slower, and your percentage of lean body mass lost from weight loss to be higher. Unfortunately, that's just something that comes with the territory. Likewise, this means for those of you who have been told to abstain from meat in order to lose weight, that you've been given some sub-par advice. Protein supplements are not necessary to accumulate the required protein to get the most out of this program, but they may be beneficial. Just remember that they are supplements, and should be treated as such.

    You should consume about half as much fat as you do protein. So, for a 75kg person, they'd be targeting about 75g of fat each day.

    Protein and carbohydrates each contain about 4-4.5kcal/g, and fat contains about 9kcal/g. Once you've factored in your protein and fat needs within your total calories for the day, the remainder of calories can come from carbohydrates or more fat and protein.

    When it comes to carbohydrates, in general the closer they are to their natural state, the better. So fruit and vegetables are a good source of carbs; milk is a good source of carbs; wholemeal/multigrain bread is an okay source of carbs; cakes and cookies are a less than ideal source of carbs, but can be consumed in moderation from time to time.

    If you want to be healthy, which I recommend, get plenty of vegetables in you, and stay hydrated. I don't know of any evidence to support that drinking plenty of water and eating plenty of vegetables = fat loss (although these habits do reduce room for high-calorie alternatives), but ultimately what's the point in looking good if your blood vessels are about to close over or your kidneys are about to shut down?

    Make sure you're properly fed before training. Training like this on an empty stomach will lead to sub-par performance and crummy results...and you'll just plain hate it. Making sure you've had your breakfast, you're energised and are satiated, will lead to good performance and more enjoyment (at least less misery) in the gym, so you'll get more out of the program.
    Last edited by Goldfish; Apr. 07/12 at 11:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    Very nice program. Easy to understand and simple to perform it !

  3. #3
    Goldfish is offline Request Title Change from Admin
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    Thankyou

  4. #4
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    Thanks again, Goldfish... Sticky!

  5. #5
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    NICE! Goldfish wrote a plan that got stickied!

    all I've ver done is get infractions

    namaste

  6. #6
    Goldfish is offline Request Title Change from Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinfree View Post
    NICE! Goldfish wrote a plan that got stickied!

    all I've ver done is get infractions

    namaste
    If it's any consollation, once upon a time I was invited onto a forum by a friend and banned within 1 day because my then lovely demeanour was misinterpretted as trolling (or maybe it was accurately interpretted as trolling and I was too big an assbutt at the time notice). Oh, when I was 17....

    Thankyou, FF and PLB.

  7. #7
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    So i am brand spanking new here, but have a question, about how much time should i give between each set?
    coming from the army i am used to sets like this running about 1-2 minute's between sets, but have been told by a few of my friends that i should probably look at somewhere around a 30-45 seconds gap between each.
    not sure if that is a dumb question or not, but i figure i would rather be doing it right and be thought slow, then be doing it wrong and not know it.

    also another question while i am at it, i currently do 2 45 minute sessions of TRX every week, its about medium intensity, and fairly low impact, i would like to keep doing that in addition to this workout. would that hurt my weight loss if i kept doing it?

  8. #8
    Goldfish is offline Request Title Change from Admin
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    Hi, gnome. In this sort of program, rest periods should be for as long as is needed and practical. Here's a template I've recommended elsewhere from time to time, although it is just a template, not anything graven in stone:

    After set 1: 30 sec
    After set 2: 60 sec
    After set 3: 90 sec
    After set 4: 120-300 sec
    After set 5: 60-180 sec

    In the first couple weeks, you might be able to stick to the lower end of those rest periods. As time goes on, the rest periods may need to grow longer to allow you to give your all on the top set and the back off set. If you need to wait more than 5 min before doing the top set or 3 min before doing the back off set, it's probably about time to reduce the working weight.

    As for the 2x45min TRX sessions, they shouldn't hinder your weight loss (the only reason they might do that is if you're otherwise very stressed out), so you can certainly add them in if you want to. However, they may interfere with recovery from this program, so you may find yourself having to reduce the top weight more frequently or progress at a slower rate.

  9. #9
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    thank you very much, for the rest period time's, and especially for this write up, it is extremely useful, and it's what i am using as a template to lose the excess weight

  10. #10
    Goldfish is offline Request Title Change from Admin
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    It's a pleasure to help. And I'm quite flattered. Of course none of the principles I've used in putting this program together are anything newsworthy -- the same training style has been around for decades making many people lean, mean fighting machines. Good luck, and let us all know how you go.

  11. #11
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    It's a great place to start, honestly, i was trying the army way, which is pretty fantastic if you have other people to motivate you, otherwise i just slack off, this program is fairly quick, and simple. i love it.

  12. #12
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    Thanks. Interesting read about the no cardio.

  13. #13
    Goldfish is offline Request Title Change from Admin
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    Thankyou for the reply and input

  14. #14
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    Awesome, thank you! I had created a workout last night based on research and with my partner's help (personal trainer) but this is something closer to what I was after! I am going to try this out and see what happens.

    I am, unfortunately, one of the annoying ones who needs to do cardio for health and fitness reasons. Do you think 1 hour of cardio on the non-training days and half an hour of cardio (after weight training) on training days is okay/enough (with one rest day)? I am going to try and swim a couple of times a week for low impact cardio but this might not always be possible.

    I am aiming to lose 10kg in 6 months (preferably sooner but I am being realistic) but I want to get lean!

  15. #15
    Goldfish is offline Request Title Change from Admin
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    Thanks for your post, eilyk, and I'm glad you've taken a fancy to this program.

    With regards to cardio, without further information, if it's something that you need to do, then I can't really say if an hour on off-days and half an hour on lifting days is enough. I've found (for me, anyway), swimming works the upper body muscles a fair amount, so it might be something best left for the day before your rest day. On the other days, if you're doing your cardio in the gym, cycling and the elliptical are both feasible low impact methods. If you have a need to do higher impact or higher intensity cardio, then you certainly can do that, just be conscious of how it affects your strength training (and how your strength training affects it) -- at some point, you may have to let one area of training take a backseat so that the other can area can keep on progressing and so that you don't burn out and hurt yourself.

    10kg down in 6 months is a realistic and achievable goal, and fits well with the recommendation of losing 0.5kg/week. I hope all goes well with your training and fat loss for 2013

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