In this part we’re going to sort out the training regimen on this strength lean program. One of the key question of importance that can make or break any leaning out program is that whether training drives
the diet or the other way around. Simply put, does the diet should be set to fulfill the training requirements or the training should be modulated around diet/calorific deficit into consideration.
To evade this dilemma of importance the “Hardcore” gurus propose a brutal approach – Train like you’re bulking and then some more with very high Volume and Eat like you’re on a rapid fat loss program or Eat-Only-Clean. Well, they fail to mention the plethora of Performance enhancing Drugs they and their “clients” are on, in these times anabolics aren't even the start of it. They make me cringe hard with their false promises and faux stone-crushing work ethic. Day-in-and-out High Volume training with “clean” eating is the apparent "Key" for them.
Just an exmaple of what i'm talking about, such hardcore gurus can fix every problem by lifting more weights more often TO FAILURE! I would be totally sold if i didn't know the fact that no way anyone can look like that naturally. When natural trainees try to emulate such regimen, first of all they fry their central nervous systems beyond acute recovery in a matter of days, second all the high volume delayed onset muscle soreness (DMOS) only helps in breaking down the muscle into amino acids to be burned for energy needs. Yep, that’s purposely catabolizing muscle mass. Even more ludicrous are the Eat Only Clean and you’ll be ripped with little to no deficit camps. I’ve seen people claiming they got shredded to the bone with a 3000 to 4000 calories a day of CLEAN EATING. That goes against the most fundamental law of thermodynamics. You won’t lose any fat if the energy expended daily is provided by TONS of Salad and Boiled Chicken breasts.
People fall for them because they’ve unbelievable transformation pictures to prove their mettle. Well unless you’re live streaming 24x7 of your drug-free clean eating and high volume training, those “results” mean jack-shit. To lose any fat you need a substantial deficit, as I pointed out in the bmr-dee series, even with all the science there’s always a 10-15% margin of error on both sides of the energy equation. With a less than 500 cal deficit, that 10-15% of sway either way can put you in a calorific excess on some days and maybe put you around maintenance on most of the days.
Those of you who haven’t ever experienced CNS frying firsthand, just know that it’s a nasty slippary-slope state of affairs. Ask any over enthusiastic gym-rat who went too hard too frequently for too long. Whole body gets numb, forget feeling flat, there is no strength left whatsoever. Horrible mood, ravenous hunger, basically all the motivation goes down the toilet. The worst is that recovery from such systemic inflammation takes few days of over-eating and sleeping at least. Forget any “progress” in that interval of time.
Attentive readers would have figured out what I’m getting onto. Minimum required training for preserving muscle mass with maximum calorific deficit possible is the way to go. When applied synergistically with other fat loss principles you get one mean and lethal shredding/cutting program! When thinking along the lines of highest deficit and lowest amount of training to sustain muscle mass, few studies pop in my mind, and the most well-known of these is this one: Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800 calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate.
Bryner RW1, Ullrich IH, Sauers J, Donley D, Hornsby G, Kolar M, Yeater R..
Going beyond the abstract which is all most of the “experts” on the internet read, the Full-text gives a peculiar insight into the study. Though, the diet was ,criminal with only 40% protein of those 800 calories, putting the gram figure of protein at 800 x .40 = 320/4 = only 80 grams of protein daily!! I want to laugh hysterically at the mainstream “recommended 2 gram / lbs.” I can assure you no one from that study weighed only 40 lbs.
They did provided 50% carbohydrates though, for fueling the resistance training regimen. The training though written as a high-volume type in the abstract was actually a fairly basic 8 RM x 3 regimen per body part, 3 times per week.
(I took the average of 2 sets for first 2 weeks and then 4 sets for next 2 weeks). As I’ve already authoritatively established in the article about Training Intensity, Training RM style with the help of rep-count-coefficients is the way to go if you want to make linear progress irrespective of your training status.
There are plenty other research reviews along similar lines, some with even lower volume. Hell, look at this in old men who maintained all the strength AND size with only one day a week, 8 RM x 3 training day. If old feeble men can maintain all the size by training just ONE single day in a week, why can’t you?
If you just retorted mentally that duh! Cuz I’m going to be in a deficit, these old men ate at maintenance; you made me proud, son.
Conclusion being, 25-30 reps per body part is more than enough to maintain all the size and all the strength as long as you train them twice / week with loads/intensity that in no less than your 8 RM. Best way to do it divide your major muscle groups/the lifts you do in a convenient groups A and B, that way your whole volume for a day would be minimal, plus you got to train every muscle group with identical intervals for optimum recovery.
I like to do setup like this:
you can use the machines or the exercises/lifts you're accoustomed to, but compound barbell lifts are Ideal due to multiple reasons as established in this Article.
Day 1 - workout A – Bench Press, Deadlifts, Barbell Curls : 7 RM x 4.
Day 2 – Cardio moderate intensity 30-45 minutes.
Day 3 – Workout B – Overhead press, Squats, Dumbell Rows : 7 RM x 4.
Day 4 – Cardio moderate intensity 30-45 minutes.
REPEAT. A – cardio – B – cardio – A –cardio – B – cardio – A – cardio – B – cardio --------till you hit 10% body fat.
God I enjoyed writing a cardio b cardio again and again so much. You can set your regimen anyway you like, just remember to keep the intensity up and reps limited to 25-30ish. Want to go more strength oriented? Go, 5 RM x 6 or 5 RM x 5. Want to go easy and chase pump? go 10 RM x 3. The use of that cardio session will be expounded in the next part or in the next to the next part. The best stuff is still to come, the bigger picture which ties everything in place.. Shit, I’m running out of parts to chain together.
Check out the Part 1 | Part 3 & | Part 4of this series.
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