Getting Lean

may accelerate the burning of fatty acids from body fat stores but aerobics will not cause the retention of muscle mass.

Keeping your poundage heavy, as close as possible to your off season poundages, will give the body a reason to retain and hold your metabolic boosting muscle while reducing caloric intake. The person who trains and diets will lose fat without losing muscle unless his calories or protein intake are just too low.

Thus, the perfect combination; training plus diet, plus cardio. You can lose fat and keep all your muscle.

How many calories should 1 cut and how much cardio should I do to get lean?

Whether your getting ready for a competition or wish to systematically reduce your body fat to as low as possible, give yourself 16 weeks preparation. It takes that long to lose the fat while retaining all your hard earned muscle. Plus, you will hit plateaus and possibly screw up along the way, so you will need the extra time to make adjustments.

Hopefully the baseline diet will have altered your fat levels somewhat by inhibiting fat storage while promoting at least a mild increase in lean body mass. Since you have been following a set diet, one that is standardized and the same each day, any deficit will be fully recognized by the body and the body will give up fat as fuel.

Most people make the mistake of both cardio work and dieting at the same time. They see results but do not have complete control over what caused the decrease in body fat. Was it the diet or was it more the cardio work? It is difficult to be sure. That is why I suggest to change one variable at a time.

DECREASE CALORIES FIRST. Reduce the calories by cutting back on your carbs by 25%. Trying to create too large a deficit will backfire. Greater cuts in calories, by cutting carbs, will leave the bodybuilder feeling weak, often unable to train hard enough to initiate muscle retention. Recall, it's the hard-heavy training that gives the body a reason to hold onto muscle tissue in a calorie deprived state and holding onto your mass is a vital factor in keeping the metabolic rate elevated making fat loss easy. Furthermore, cuts in calories greater than 15% can decrease testosterone levels, the muscle friendly hormone, in male bodybuilders. Large caloric deficits also promote a down regulation in metabolism. The job of a fat cell is two fold;

1) to store fat when excess calories are consumed

2) to hoard fat when drastically too few are consumed. The reduction should come from carbohydrate calories, not protein as you should still be eating 1 to 1.5 complete grams per pound of lean body mass. And, since fat calories are already low, only found in protein foods, there's no real "room" to cut calories further. To make your cut, simply chop 25% off each meal's carb. For example, in the baseline diet, the bodybuilder trying to rip up would reduce carbs accordingly: (refer to page 163)

: Baseline Carb v5

15% less

, Dieting Carb Intake' '

Intake •..

Meal 1

94 grams

70 grams

Meal 2

46 grams

34 grams

Meal 3

46 grams

34 grams

Meal 4

46 grams

34 grams

Meal 5

94 grams

70 grams

Meal 6

46 grams

34 grams

To find 25% less: Multiply Baseline carb intake by .75 Example-. 94 x .75 = 70

Look for a loss of 1/2 to 1 pound of fat a week. If you lose more, you have a good metabolism and will have to increase your carbs a little.

SECOND, ADD CARDIO WORK. Do so only when you see that the reduction in calories/carbs is no longer working. That is, either you are not losing 1/2 to 1 pound of fat (2

pounds max) a week or you do not visually appear leaner. Just as there is no reason to severely cut calories to stimulate fat breakdown, there is no reason to go overboard with a drastic output in calories in an attempt to get leaner. When 3 - thirty minute sessions no longer seem suffice, add more, slowly and gradually, to build to no more than 45 minutes 5 to 6 times a week. The problem with too much cardio (more than my recommendation) is it can devour energy levels so you can not train hard, and hamper recovery ability so you can not recover from the workouts. Too much endurance work (aerobics) also exerts an internal tug-o-war between 2b fibers, the ones with greatest growth potential and 2a fibers those with less potential for muscle growth. To simplify, excessive aerobic work, such as 2 hours a day of cardio, can cause shrinkage in the 2b muscle fibers. And, the 2a's can begin to shift and take on characteristics of slow twitch muscle fibers. That means the 2a's which can become 2b like in nature actually become slow switch in nature with excessive aerobic work. And slow twitch fibers have zero potential for muscle growth! Too much cardio will reduce muscle mass leading to flat looking muscles. And, too much cardio can decrease testosterone levels.

The best time to do cardio work is in the morning after rising on an empty stomach. The total amount of glucose from carbohydrate (foods) in the blood influences "how quickly" the body will tap body fat as fuel. Even a small carb snack before cardio work can elevate insulin levels and circulating insulin tends to oppose the use of fat as fuel. However, refraining from eating allows blood sugar levels to stay low. When sugar levels are low, the next fuel sources are stored muscle glycogen and body fat. After 5 minutes of constant aerobic work, your body will attempt to do its best and stop burning glycogen. Instead, it shifts its utilization of fuel so mostly body fat is used. I always suggest bodybuilders do their cardio in the morning then return to the gym later in the day or at night for the weight training session. Or, the bodybuilder could do his cardio in the morning upon rising, then eat his first meal, then train a body part within 90 minutes and return to the gym for a smaller body part at night.

Intensity of cardio work is an important factor determining how lean you will become. There has been dispute over lower intensity work and higher intensity work. The low intensity proponents label lower intensity work as the "fat burning zone". The spin is in a 55%-60% training heart rate zone promotes a greater burning of fat over glycogen or amino acids. That is, walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes at 55%-60% of your maximum heart rate is most effective in getting lean because you burn a greater percentage of fatty acids than glycogen. At higher intensity levels, such as 75% of your maximum heart rate, the percentage of fuel burned shifts. At high levels of intensity, the body burns a bit less fatty acids and more glycogen. However, working at a higher intensity can nearly double the total calories burned in the same time period. Therefore, higher intensity aerobics is better than lower intensity aerobics because more calories are burned and truly, more fat is burned. When intensity increases, the percentage of fat used slightly decreases but the total fat burned with higher intensity is significantly higher due to the greater calorie burn.

500 calories burned at 75% - 80% target heart rate (using intervals) 72% of the calories burned come from fatty acids Net fat bum: 360 calories of fat (500 x .72)

Versus

340 calories burned at 55% to 60% target heart rate

85% of the calories burned come from fatty acids_

Net fat bum: 289 calories of fat (340 x .85)

At higher intensity, 32% more total calories are utilized (340/500) and 20% more fat (289/360). In general, carbohydrates from stored muscle glycogen is the other source of fuel.

The best way to keep aerobic intensity high for long periods of time - up to 45 minutes at a clip - is to employ interval training, interval training requires you work as hard as possible, be it stationary cycling, stair climbing or whatever your favorite mode of aerobic activity, for 3 minutes followed by 2 minutes of low intensity work. The net effect of increasing your heart rate up to 80% of its maximum for 3 minutes followed by 2 minutes of much easier peddling or stair climbing is a "net" elevation in heart rate and far greater total caloric burn than could be achieved through constant work. Psychologically,' it may be easier as it allows for a break of 1 to 2 minutes after 3 minutes of all-out work leaving you to perform 9 intervals of continuous 3 to 4 minute spikes in energy output followed by 2 minute "break" periods.

SAMPLE 45 MINUTE FAT BURNING INTERVAL

Time Interval

Heart Rate

Heart beats in 10 seconds For 20/30/40 year old

2 minutes

3 minutes

55% 80%

18/17/16 27/25/24

2 minutes

3 minutes

"Break" 80%

Let HR fall to 55%, easy exertion 27/25/24 Kick into gear

2 minutes

3 minutes

"Break" 80%

Attempt to bring heart rate to 55% 27/25/24 Hard work!

2 minutes

3 minutes

"Break" 80%

Slow things down to 55-60% 27/25/24 HR becomes ez to maintain

2 minutes

3 minutes

"Break" 80%

HR wall likely stay very elevated with nominal effort

3 minutes

"Break" 80%

Slow things down 27/25/24 Turning the corner!

2 minutes

3 minutes

"Break" 80%

Easy does it 27/25/24

2 minutes

3 minutes

"Break" 80%

8th of 9 intervals complete 27/25/24

2 minutes

3 minutes

"Break" 80%

EZ work still maintains a high HR 27/25/24

doneman

The next step you can take after adding in the maximum amount of aerobic work, is to further reduce the carbohydrate intake. The maximum you should reduce is another 25%.

Starting Carb Intake Reduced to Reduced further to

Meal 1

94

70

53

Meal 2

46

34

26

Meal 3

46

34

26

Meal 4

46

34

26

Meal 5

94

70

53

Meal 6

46

34

26

To find 25% less carbs: Multiply the carbohydrate intake in a left hand column by .75.

However, you do not have to reduce the calories 7 days a week. Instead follow a rotational diet where the calories are low for 3 days and higher for one day. Rotational dieting when calories are already reduced allows you to shed more fat and to hold more muscle compared to a non rotational diet.

It appears that, after having reached a plateau by reducing your carbs by 25% and including aerobic work, rotating lower carbohydrate days followed by higher carbohydrate days works wonders for burning fat and maintaining muscle. Basically, on low carb days, muscle glycogen levels decrease which initiates a metabolic shift where fatty acids are called upon for fuel. Lower carbs also decrease insulin levels and the combination of less insulin, 2 a day training sessions, interval training aerobic work and a reduced caloric intake is the ideal situation causing fat loss. However, the body is always fighting to adapt to either decreases in caloric intake or increases in energy output (lots of cardio work) by slowing its metabolic rate. A higher carbohydrate day every 4th day, after 3 days of a lower carbohydrate intake, will off set the metabolic downshift that can occur with reducing carbs.

On the 3 consecutive lower carbohydrate days, additional body fat will be burned, and lower glycogen stores may also cause the body to burn up more protein. If there is no increase in protein intake, the body may burn muscle as fuel as muscle is comprised of protein. Additional protein spares muscle loss during low carb dieting. However, increasing protein too high can negate the decrease in calories and fat burning potential brought on by three consecutive days of lower carbs as protein can be sent to the liver and converted into glucose. Bodybuilders going overboard on protein will find it tough to get super lean.

The bodybuilder eating 1 gram of complete protein per pound of lean body mass will need to bump up his protein to 1.5 complete grams per pound of lean body mass on lower carb days and then back off to 1 gram on the single higher carb day. The bodybuilder who has been eating 1.5 complete grams of protein per pound of lean body weight should increase his daily protein intake to 1.8 grams of complete protein per pound of weight. Thus, the male carrying 154 pounds of lean body weight and eating 228 grams of protein a day will benefit by eating 277 grams a day on the lower carb days and 1.5 grams on the single higher carb day.

SAMPLE 3 LOW 1 HIGH ROTATIONAL DIET Repeat cycle: 3 days lower carbs, 1 day higher carbs.

Davs 1. 2

and 3 .

Day 4 '■-'■-■'■^f^

Meal 1

53 grams of carbs

70 grams of carbs

Meal 2

26 grams of carbs

34 grams of carbs

Meal 3

26 grams of carbs

34 grams of carbs

Meal 4

26 grams of carbs

34 grams of carbs

Meal 5

53 grams of carbs

70 grams of carbs

Meal 6

26 grams of carbs

34 grams of carbs

SAMPLE 3 LOW 1 HIGH ROTATIONAL DIET Repeat cycle: 3 days lower carbs, 1 day higher carbs

Davs 1.

2. 3

Dav 4

Meal 1

53 grams of carbs 46 grams of protein

70 grams of carbs 38 grams of protein

Meal 2

26 grams of carbs 46 grams of protein

34 grams of carbs 38 grams of protein

Meal 3

26 grams of carbs 46 grams of protein

34 grams of carbs 38 grams of protein

Meal 4

26 grams of carbs 46 grams of protein

34 grams of carbs 38 grams of protein

Meal 5

53 grams of carbs 46 grams of protein

70 grams of carbs 38 grams of protein

Meal 6

26 grams of carbs 46 grams of protein

34 grams of carbs 38 grams of protein

Total Carbs

210 grams

276 grams

Total Protein

276 grams

228 grams

POSSIBLE DIET BREAK

The need to substantially increase calories.

While dieting and getting ripped is a product of reducing calories from carbs and fat while simultaneously increasing energy expenditure by performing aerobic work, we know many bodybuilders fail to achieve a desired level of extreme muscularity though most are tremendously dedicated to the day-in-day-out process of contest preparation. The fact is, chronic dieting and caloric expenditure, even a rotational approach, often causes a metabolic slowdown which makes getting super cut up nearly impossible. The knee jerk reaction to putting in a few weeks of dedicated dieting which eventually results in only tiny visual drops in body fat, is:

• to radically reduce calories

• to eliminate the higher carb day in a rotational approach diet

• to significantly increase aerobic activity

Any of the three changes, or a combination of them could rob the body of energy, throw fat cells into an extreme defensive state where they "fight back" and resist being burned as fuel and, worse, cause a disproportionate amount of protein (including muscle mass) to be burned as energy. Even 3 to 5 days of low calorie dieting can cause a drop in thyroid hormone, the calorie burning hormone that hugely impacts fat loss. Sustained low calorie dieting also lowers growth hormone levels and IGF levels. The final result? A loss in muscle mass, a slower metabolic rate and dismal changes in body composition.

If you are engaged in rotational dieting and have failed to see noticeable decreases in body fat or you seem to be getting leaner but smaller in size. increase your carbs for 1 day to something closer to an off season approach, following what was day 4, a higher carb day. For example, the dieter eating 210 grams of carbs for 3 days and 1 day of 276 carbs (see page 175) should follow the 1 higher carb day with a carbohydrate intake indicative of an off season day - no matter what that number be. In terms of total carbs, eat what you normally eat in an toff season' day. So, the rotational dieter who may have been eating 372 grams of carbs a day in the off season (refer to page 163) would eat that amount for a single day following the higher carb day. At the same time7 the first lower carb day (of three), will require you cut the carbs in half - from where they were in the original 3 days of lower carb intake. Thus the total carbs would look like so:

(day 2 and 3 cut in half) (off season intake)

105 grams 210 grams__276 grams 372 grams

Then return back to the original 3 low 1 high rotational diet. The added calories from dramatically increasing carbs coupled with lowering your carbs on the first day of the cycle exaggerates the "zig-zag" lower carb-higher carb strategy which is nearly always effective in overcoming or preventing metabolic slowdowns.

As a rule of thumb, you can interrupt a 3 day low carb, 1 day high carb rotational diet after running through 4 cycles with the modified approach outlined above to increase fat burning and preserve muscle mass.

Special Note: Dieting for fat loss is another intangible. I will draw an analogy. Lighting a bunch of wood on fire can be difficult. The wood may be resistant to igniting. I may need more matches or an igniter, like lighter fluid, to get the wood to ignite. However, once the fire catches, it will burn continuously with no additional matches or fluid. In fact, it could go wild, and burn everything in sight.

The body is similar. A reduction in calories or the addition of cardio should tap fat for fuel. However, some bodies are stubborn. A stubborn body does not need more cardio or a further reduction, it simply needs time to recognize the reduction or the addition of cardio before in begins to respond. The fire above could be started with just one match, but it may take time. Once a fire or metabolism gets roaring, it could roar so fast that it could burn too much. A dieter for competition may start to lose too much weight without reducing more calories or adding more cardio. His metabolism can simply speed so much that it (the metabolism) burns everything, including muscle, like a fire out of control. To offset this, he should add more carbs back to the diet or drop back on cardio so muscle mass can be protected.

If you still struggle in getting ripped, cut out your dietary fat on the lower carb days. This means eating exclusively fat free protein sources to eliminate any extra calories that may be preventing you from getting as lean as possible. The best fat free sources of protein include: egg whites, protein powder, fish, and turkey breasts versus higher fat sources like lean red meat and chicken. Furthermore, you can include some fibrous carbs on your three lower carb days like vegetables; broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cucumbers, onions and peppers. Due to their high fiber content, these carbs actually yield less total calories than complex carbs like rice, pasta, bread, yams and potatoes. However, always stick with complex carbs (no veggies!) on your higher carbohydrate day as you'll need the fuel and glucose to re-store glycogen levels and to prevent a metabolic slowdown associated with eating less carbs for three days.

Summary:

1) Cut carbs by 25% off the baseline diet

2) Add appropriate cardio: build to six 45 minute intervals

3) Further reduce carbs by 25% . Use a rotational, diet

4) On lower carb days, increase protein to 1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass from 1 gram. If you were eating 1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass, increase protein to 1.8 grams.

5) Drop fat intake on lower carb days: Eat lowest fat proteins

6) Substitute some fibrous carbs for complex on lower carb days

7) Eat no veggies on single high carb day and include any type of carbohydrate including refined carbs.

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