(Unless you’re wearing a shirt made of 100 dollar bills… She’s looking for the guy at the beach without a shirt on.)
Summer is quickly approaching. Are you as lean as you want to be? My guess is no. Use this advice and drop 4-5% bodyfat this month and look amazing for that vacation!
1. Fasted morning cardio
The practice of waking up and doing 30-45 minutes of cardio on an empty stomach preferentially burns fat. Insulin is quiet in the morning, which creates an excellent environment for lipolysis(fat burning). If you can, use your fatburner before cardio(mentioned later).
Heart rate, intensity, and impact level are important for cardio. If you’re not a long distance runner, don’t try to become one in the short amount of time you have. Running efficiently takes a lot of practice and patience, and aside from that it is very high impact and low benefit. I recommend the elliptical, uphill treadmill walking, stepmill, or stairmaster.
For the first two weeks, steady state cardio will be fine. Try to keep heart rate between 125-145 beats per minute. This is a zone that is not too high intensity and won’t drain you for your weight training sessions, but it is still efficient at burning fat.
For the last 2 weeks, start on intervals. Set them up like this:
- 10 minute warm-up
- 10 minutes of intervals(30 seconds of high effort, 30 seconds of rest)
- 10 minute cool-down
These intervals are very effective for fat burning cardio, and will help keep your body from adapting to the steady state you were previously doing. Take leg days off from interval cardio.
2. Lower Your Carbs
To quickly lose fat, low carbohydrates is the way to go. Insulin creates an environment that favors lipogenesis(fat accrual). We do not want this in order to lose fat. What we want is a low insulin environment, and that means low carbohydrates. Now of course, lowering carbohydrates too much too fast will lead to serious performance issues in the gym, and a serious mental fog out of it. This means you shouldn’t go zero carb immediately. Work your way down from your current carbohydrate amount, and try to target them to before lifting.
WARNING: SCIENCE AHEAD!
Not using carbohydrates post workout may seem counter-intuitive, right? I mean everyone tells you to carb up post workout… Not so fast. There is a mechanism which causes increased glucose uptake in exercised muscles. This increased uptake leads to insulin sensitivity, and insulin is an anabolic hormone. So use carbs right? Well… The period of insulin sensitivity is decreased when carbs are introduced into the bloodstream. This also means the period of anabolism is also reduced. Not to deviate too far from the main point, suffice it to say, when dieting, don’t have carbs PWO and I promise you won’t lose muscle, while losing significantly more fat.1,2
3. Use a Fat Burner
When combined with the above strategies, fat burners are extremely effective. I don’t like most commercial fat burners. I recommend 25mg ephedrine(available over the counter), 200mg caffeine, and yohimbine. These three work in concert to help you burn even more fat. Do not consume carbohydrates or fat within 2 hours after doing morning cardio. But if you want to stick to a commercial fat burner, try to find some with the mentioned ingredients.
Do not use these supplements if you have high blood pressure or heart problems.
And there you have it folks, your fast track to that six pack. Thank me in a month. Or have your girlfriend call to thank me. Better yet, have your girlfriend thank me in person.
1. Young, et al., Reversal of the exercise-induced increase in muscle permeability to glucose, Am. J. Physiol. 253 (Endocrinol. Metab. 16): E331-E335, 1987
2. Young et al. Carbohydrate-feeding speeds reversal of enhanced glucose uptake in muscle after exercise, Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 245: R684–R688, 1983.