Top 3 Training Strategies for Inducing Fat Loss
You can't flex fat; plain and simple. This is why so many of us work hard day in and day out to reduce the amount of body fat we possess so that we can readily display all of the hard earned muscle we've put on. There are of course some instances where carrying a little extra body fat is warranted (during the offseason to grow, for additional strength and power reasons and if you live in Canada where you're frozen stiff 6 months out of the year) but aside from that, it doesn't really serve any good purpose. Much of your control over how much body fat you carry around on a regular basis revolves around your nutritional habits, but how you train can also play a major role in it as well. When it comes time to peel off that layer of fat there are a few things you should do with regards to your training and here they are in no particular order. Remember, what has worked for you for getting bigger and stronger will also work for you when you want to get ripped; just keep that in mind.
Keep Training Heavy
One of the first things I commonly hear from those who have decided it's time to start leaning out for whatever the occasion may be is that they're going to start incorporating all of these new exercises and training principles and alternate strategies into their programs to help reduce fat. In many cases, the new approach to training involves more volume and much less rest time in between sets. Now, I'm all for that and I think it's a great approach, however, what ends up happening that I don't agree with is a total backing off of how much weight is used. For some reason the idea of using lighter weights comes into the equation (probably due to wanting to increase the number of reps per set) but doing that is the complete opposite of what got you all that muscle in the first place so why would you do something like that and change out heavyweights for lighter weights? It makes no sense to me so if you feel the need to change your entire approach to training when it's time to rip up, do so but keep the weights you're using as heavy as you can while of course being safe about it.
Separate Cardio from Weight Training
Unless you are super close to getting ready to get up on stage to put your best against that of others and there's just a little bit more fat and water to get rid of and excessive cardio is needed, there's really no good reason to combine your weight training and cardio work all in one session. If you've adjusted your diet accordingly, then you're already working within an energy deficit and walking a fine line between maintaining the muscle mass that you do have and potentially losing some in the process. For that reason, the last thing you want to do is expend any more energy after a hard weight training session because losing more muscle than need be is exactly what will happen. Yes, you need to burn more calories than you're taking in to burn body fat but you also want to ensure that you feed your body with enough calories so that you keep your muscle as well. That's why it's a bad idea to combine weight training with cardio work all in one session. Instead, do your cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, get at least a couple of meals in you after that and then go work with the weights. You'll burn fat and keep your muscle which is exactly what we're all striving towards.
Increase Training Frequency
The reason we inflict torturous pain upon ourselves daily in the gym is that we love it. The grind each day to lift more, get more reps, chase the pump and to get that flush of endorphins that make us feel so good about everything is why we train. In saying that, when it comes time to lean out and lose as much body fat as possible, I've always liked the idea of increasing training frequency within your programs so that you can train muscle groups more often than usual. That just simply equates to more work and I'm a huge proponent of doing lots and lots of work to get what you want. So if you've been regularly training four to five times a week, up that to maybe six times a week or even better, keep training day after day until you actually feel like you need a break. That could mean you train nine or even ten days in a row until your body signals to you it's time for a break. This way of training is, of course, going to be unique to you and instinctual but if you're feeling it and things are going good in the gym then I see no reason to unnecessarily take a break when you're firing on all cylinders. Take advantage of it and keep going hard.
Here's the thing; you only have so much time to work within your Heyday and you're only going to be in your prime once so you may as well take advantage of it now. Train hard, get huge, shred up, wear your Heydays, get the soon to be released new Prime Trainers, enjoy the fruits of your labor and flex on em every chance you get. As I said, we only have one shot at this so let's make sure we all do it right!
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.