Archive for the ‘Fat Burning’ Category

I’m going to overlap some ideas I wrote here but today’s pondering is more geared at fat loss than muscle gain.

Getting into the kind of shape that wins admiration is extremely difficult and extremely frustrating at times, especially when we see 18 year old models popping up on our social media daily who look stunning.

Like success in any field I believe that fitness goals begin internally, and to be successful I believe that we need to accept and implement that, the older we get the more true it becomes.

Step 1: Find your WHAT

This is what you would call your “goal”. Let’s be honest here – you already know – at least to some extent what you want to achieve. So take this desire and firm it up, give yourself parameters such as specific targets to reach by a specific date.

Step 2: find your WHY

This is a miracle tool, In fact if anything in the fitness industry deserves the word “secret” it is this oft overlooked process.

Decide WHY you need to achieve your “what”.

There are a few reasons this is important. First and foremost it validates and strengthens your goal to a new level. But perhaps even more important is that it aligns your goals with your personal values… this allows you to reach your goal WITH INTEGRITY.

Step 3: find your HOW

Now it’s time to get to the nuts and bolts of your goals. Use all the information and experience at your disposal!

Deciding how you will achieve your goal is the one part that is fluid within this framework because you might find that a certain method is less effective than another, and that’s all part of the learning process.

Personally I’ve found doing this three step process to be not only effective but extremely fulfilling!

I’ve seen a bunch of articles popping up today citing a study from Birzeit University that suggests fizzy/sparkly/carbonated water can lead to fat gain…

The reasoning is that they feel it leads to a release in ghrelin – the hunger hormone.

Now there are a few details that I think are important to note here…

According to the information provided They tested both diet sodas and carbonated water on rats and found they ate more than the taking non-carbonated drinks.

What this information seems to leave out is the minor detail of artificial sweeteners… sucralose and aspertame do a lot of nasty business to your body and are obviously in abundance in the diet sodas, but how about the fizzy “water”? Just look on the labels at a grocery store and you’ll notice that the vast majority have some form of artificial sweeteners.

I know this is purely anecdotal, but when I drink a carbonated drink I don’t feel hungry but rather I feel full. I also tend to get sparkling water sweetened only from natural sources.

So from what I can tell – and I stand to be corrected – this study was greatly flawed from the outset. That being said I would certainly avoid artificial sweeteners and sugary sodas.

Last week I had to make a weigh-in within 48 hours and had to drop about 7 pounds… here’s how I did it:

6 month recomp program

Posted: December 9, 2016 in Fat Burning, Muscle Building

After an up and down 2016, I’ve finally decided upon a direction to take my fitness/physique.

Here are the guiding principles…

First and foremost, I want to embrace change. I want to do what so many seem to have difficulty doing these days which is to try something outside of what we believe to be the “right” way to do things, as Stephen R. Covey said “Every significant breakthrough began with a break in old ways of thinking.”

Mental principles:
1. The primary goal is to slowly burn fat – about 3lbs per month
2. The secondary goal is to build muscle size – especially shoulders and back.

Dietary principles:
1. chicken and rice with steamed broccoli as a regular meal
2. majority of protein to be lean meat (fish & chicken)
3. post workout banana then protein/green powder
4. majority of carbs to be taken post training
5. Use portion sizes rather than calorie counting

Training Principles:
1. Form matters
2. train in all three primary rep ranges
3. value of metabolic stress/progression – utilize density training to increase progressively in metabolic expenditure & volume
4. De-load every fourth week
5. Increase load following de-load weeks

It’s all probably a little abstract at this point, but the fact of the matter is that I have no idea if this program will prove to be effective or not. If it is I will write it out in an easier to comprehend format.

For the time being here are a couple of the video blogs I’ve started for the program…

Video 1: overview

Video 2: day 1

belly-fat

If you’ve done a google search on “belly fat” or “abdominal fat”, you are probably experiencing a problem with it and more than likely you are coming across the same old suggestions which you’ve no doubt tried without success. If this sounds familiar to you… I have been in the same boat, and I had to do a lot of digging around to find some actual useful suggestions so hopefully this will help you too.

Aside from being unsightly, belly fat can be a precursor to type 2 diabetes which is a fairly frightening though in and of itself.

It is often said to be due to one of two things: insulin resistance or elevated cortisol.

So the natural solution is to lower your carbohydrates right? Well if you’re like me and have lowered them to near non-existence yet made no progress you’ll know there is something missing here. A lot actually.

The first problem is with cortisol… cortisol is a stress hormone, meaning that it is present when it detects a “stress” – well guess what happens when you depleted of carbohydrates? Your body goes into a state of “stress”. In addition, the hormone Leptin tells your body to stop burning fat as does your thyroid.

New studies seem to confirm this, as they have shown that if people deplete carbohydrates too much and their body has to synthesize the energy they provide, the body will stop burning fat.

So clearly carb depletion is not the answer – yet we need to lower them to resolve the insulin problem…

The solution? Carb cycling.

This is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination, but here’s a way I have found to implement it practically…

5 days of the week limiting carbohydrate intake to 1-2 meals after training. This will provide carbs when your body really needs them and help prevent cortisol getting out of hand. Then 2-non consecutive days have carbs with EVERY meal (excluding pre-workout if you choose).

But that is not the end of the story.

Something else might be at play here. We have been conditioned recently to believe that dietary fat is not a bad thing and assists with the absorption of vitamins as well as healthy hormonal functions. Unfortunately being lenient on fats might be part of the problem. Dietary fat – specifically saturated fat has been shown to cause insulin resistance (source).

I don’t know about you, but when I am on low carb days I tend to fill out my diet with fat-dense foods. But now we know that doing so might aggravate the issue.

Now I know that a lot of people out there are standing up for saturated fats these days, especially when it means jumping on the coconut oil bandwaggon – but speaking from personal experience, I will be making a conscious effort from this point on to avoid saturated fats.


Time for another BS-free, non-sponsored review that is just as likely to piss off as many people as it pleases.

For those who have seen Mr O’Gallagher on YouTube via his company Kinobody, you certainly know this much about him: he’s young, fit, seems to be well off financially and loves keeping training and diet simple (non-time consuming). Specifically he raves about intermittent fasting (IF).

So from that outlook he’s doing a fantastic job of marketing using the ideology “I have what you want”, which is all well and good, but does he deliver for people who fork out cash on his program(s)?

First let’s consider what you get for $40-50 (he offers a $10 discount for doing a survey)

  • A pdf e-book
  • A couple extra pdf’s
  • Video demonstrations of the exercises
  • Access to a Facebook group (for more on that particular subject: https://youtu.be/A59xS36QfkA)

So considering the price tag it’s not a bad return. That being said you must also keep your expectations in check.

The program is based on two key concepts:

1. Intermittent fasting

2. Strength-based training; specifically Reverse Puramid Training (doing heavy sets first)

Those familiar with Martin Berkhan’s LeanGains blog know that this is precisely what he has been preaching for ages. Of course finding his information is a little tricky as it is spaced out of several blogs, so the fact that Greg altered it slightly then put it all into one place is actually quite convenient.

There are two questions I feel we should ask then:

Question 1: does this method work?

Question 2: is this method “optimal”?

To be honest I think I have to side with Tom Venuto on this one, who said that this is definitely not THE way to get into great shape yet it is certainly A way. Does it work? Absolutely! Is there any lean mass loss? Hard to say, but personally I believe that if your training is really intense it shouldn’t be an issue.

So we’ll leave the program review as being worth the cost. It’s a solid method, and it brings many concepts into one place.

One caviat here: he discussed a bit of “spiritual” content here, basically quoting Eckhart Tolle. While I am all for spiritual and mental open-mindedness and learning, this aspect of the book did not appeal to me, not because it may not hold merit, but because it seemed irrelevant and almost forced.

Onto the next component: the bonus pdf’s. There was a “missing chapter” which was just more of the spiritual stuff I mentioned before, and there was an updated workout, which could potentially be a useful followup program to what’s in the main book.

The videos of him doing the routines are pretty much what they sound like, but unfortunately they are a little flawed. While Greg shows you the movements he does not talk about such useful information as form (one of the reasons MI40 excelled). But I’m not sure how appropriate that would’ve been anyway because the videos give the impression that correct form is not a big concern of his anyway.

The Facebook group is simply a private community for discussion. If it is personal advice from Greg you want you are unlikely to find it here, however you may get assistance from others who follow his programs.

To be honest this program is not that difficult to reverse engineer from YouTube videos etc, and the “bonus” material is probably not substantial enough to make it worth the cost. However, if you’re a complete noob to the concept of IF and want a fairly good rundown of it from someone who has utilized it firsthand this may be for you. Just know that what you’re getting is a suggestion from a young man, not a scientific document or profound/innovative work.

Hope this helped with your decision making and make sure to check out this video for more:

When Man of Steel hit the screen I wrote some of my most popular blogs:

  • Man of Steel: Building a physique like Henry Cavill’s Superman
  • Man of Steel Cannon Ball Shoulders
  • Building a Man of Steel Chest with “SUPER DROPS”

    Now That Batman V Superman is on the way I’ve taken it one step further by making an interactive video-based program, starting with: Man of Steel training program Part 1