Fat Loss Troubleshoot Session: Shredding Guide
I am laughing because this is actually a very common scene because I know some readers are saying I’ve never heard this. However, after a few weeks to a month most find themselves getting discouraged or frustrated because what they originally planned for is not panning out how they envisioned. They started cutting some weight but then quickly found themselves feeling like their walking through quicksand. As I interact with bodybuilders on a daily basis I see the rants and the same issues over and over so in this post I wanted to talk about some of the most common traps that slow many down, discourage and often interrupt cuttings phase short.
“What’s your body fat dude?”
“What’s my body fat at?”
“So what bodyfat should I get to?”
This has got to go!!
So no matter what your “Why” is for getting into shape whether you are preparing for a show, leaning up for the opposite sex or just an upcoming vacation. Trust me no one is pointing from afar sayig wow check him out he is at 5.23235o83094509482% bodyfat! In actuality you are either in shape or you are not so for the general person trying to get fit and shred only focusing on bodyfat percentage can be distracting and discouraging. When I prep to get to a goal I don’t select a bodyfat percentage but I just continue dropping it until I reach how my body looks like how I want it.
While the goal for one may be striated triceps and another may be just to cut their abs in. Usually when I work with people I tend to lean very heavily on how clothes are feeling and how you are changing visually from progress pic to progress pic. Most affordable conventional ways to measure bodyfat percentage are hit and miss so that is why from experience I tend to lean away from that.
Let the progress pics decide ( or mirror decide), not some plastic calipers or that BestBuy scale. Much like the judges don’t get on stage and caliper myself and the other competitors, neither will that young lady at the beach. You are either shredded or you’re not.
This concept is mainstream now and many now have the notion that fat loss and carbs just do not go together. Immediately when you say carbs most people think of no carbs equals weight loss since the craze of diets like South Beach or Atkins. Now while you do have to cut some carbs out you do not have to cut them entirely out to lean out and that is a question I get a lot. “How many carbs do I need to cut?” The answer is quite simple, cut as many as you can while still losing weight at a desired pace (you see the keyword is YOU because our bodies are all different).
Carbs I would say are the biggest variable to adjust when it comes to dieting down.
Just to illustrate, there are two guys with similar training regimens, age, weight will often require different approaches in nutrition. One guy may need to diet on 100 grams of carbs and the other may require double that amount. One thing is for sure thought, many people eyeball their carb intake and actually end up dieting on to little food. I have come to learn this from experience when dieting on to little food you will see happen:
your results will fly at the beginning and then drastically slow down, and
then you either drop food lower or one mistake I did was adding absurd amount of cardio and results plateau and seems nothing will work.
Now this is where I referenced at the beginning of the post most end up here a few weeks into their plan and then hit a wall.
Don’t be scared of carbs, use them as much as you can so you can power through your workouts, it will help keep your metabolism healthy so you can lose fat much longer and efficiently than just making progress the first couple of months and then plateau.
Well if the first approached worked for everyone then it would be lovely and so many more people would have reached their goals but its not that simple. Many times it takes a nutritionist a few weeks to work with a client to assess their metabolic rate because remember we are all different. If we were all the same then we could have a “secret” diet that would apply to everyone and obviously there would not be a need for so many nutritionist or meal plans.
Some need 3-4 hardcore cardio sessions a week while others only a couple per week. Hard work and consistency combined with the right meal plan setup and supplements make the difference.
Abs & Cardio
There are some that actually spend about 30-40 minutes working out abs but save some of your time this is not so effective you could be spending time on other activities. For example, you could be spending time stretching or using the foam roller things that will help you progress for long term success. Just so were clear you cannot do targeted spot fat loss so doing 45 minutes of abs is not going to give you abs.
Weighted ab exercises in the 6-15 rep range, at about 3 sets twice a week is more than enough. The real definition and sculpting come from the fat loss. As the old saying goes: “abs are made in the kitchen”, not on the 1,000th rep of some weird ab roller machine that you see on late night TV.
Weight Training Gone Circuit Training
When I am in off season I enjoy doing heavy squats because most of my leg muscle growth comes from the 1-5 rep range with heavy weight and when it comes to dieting down I keep it down to 1-5 rep range, yes you are reading this correctly. I end up keeping about 90% of my strength this way. So if your wanting to keep the muscle you earned during off season you need to continue lifting heavy for as long as you can through your dieting down session. I would first ditch higher reps so I can focus on strength gains. When I do adjust when energy levels are taking a hit in the last few weeks I just adjust on my rep range and slowly start switching out heavy for higher reps.
Look at this example below for say chest exercises between off and on season.
Offseason Chest Workout
DB Press (Flat)
- 145 X 5 (2 sets)
- 135 x 7 (2 sets)
- 125 x 10
On season/Dieting Phase Chest Workout
DB Press (Flat)
- 145 x 5(2 sets)
- 135 x 7
You see many here is where a lot of individuals go wrong they abandon lower rep for higher rep and their tipping point is way to much. From talking with others most do this because they are struggling with keeping strength because even during off season they are trying to maintain high reps. Most want to continue conditioning the muscle year round. If you want your muscle to look its best when your dieting down then keep doing with what got you there in the first place, lift heavy!
Too Much Diet Restriction
We all cheat and in many cases its needed (read here if you don’t know why). Trust me, I have had my share of slips but so have even the best of the best its natural all have moments of weakness. In the beginning a lot of this could have been avoided by not sweating the details and just banning certain macros that I think so many people still do! A few diets were popular in the mainstream cut out some macros completely like the Atkins diet it cut out carbs completely. Some diets get pretty technical like getting your body into ketosis but that is not something just anyone would do and use litmus papers when urinating.
Its like when I used to work in a call center a guy I knew decided to eat a diet of 1,000 calories less than what his body required (BMR). Watching him when he missed a meal because of conflicting meetings he would always binge eat he was not successful let me tell you. Another example, if you have a typical work life eating 8 meals a day could also put you at a challenge because most will have a hard time eating every 90-120 minutes and you can easily miss a meal and that is when the trouble starts.
There is not one perfect diet that fits all but as you start to educate yourself on nutrition you start to learn things such as what your BMR should be and what macros you should have for your body type. Just make sure when you get a new diet in place you ensure it makes sense for your lifestyle so there is a high percentage to succeed.
Talking about all this food has me hungry so it’s smoothie time for me!