Now that training has been laid out, I can go my usual route of skipping Diet recommendations and point you towards the succinct yet insightful four part MACROs series. But I will not this time,
because healthy food choices or the “right” ratio of P:C:F won’t cut it when we strive to leave the ordinary crowd. Exceptional results demand exceptional tactics.
Now, don’t frown. All of the earlier programs I designed were for newbies to obtain the maximum result with least efforts and time spent. This one though, is to address the most common ergo tenacious problem in the gym/fitness subculture. If you landed here, read the First part of strength lean to have a better idea of what I’m talking about.
The beauty of this program lies in the setup of various successful diet/workout strategies in a single timeframe. Simply put: you’ll be doing few programs simultaneously, all of them synergistically working together to make you hit 10% body fat with almost all of your muscle mass as quickly as possible. There is intermittent fasting in there, there is carb pre-loading, there is fasted cardio, there is calorie cycling and many more all rolled into one neat, easy to follow regimen.
We all know how intermittent fasting work and the health benefits it has. Our bodies evolved hunting prey, we hunted when we were hungry and probably had to scout miles tracking a suitable prey. Point being, we function sharper when our stomachs are empty. Yeah, have a light snack before exams and other study tricks work on this principle. Apart from historical precedent, there is new-age science researches showing the fasting for long periods of time releases Growth Hormones and Adrenaline in short bursts.
I’m sure most people are familiar with adrenaline aka epinephrine and neo-epinephrine and GH aka growth hormone. The strongest suite of any interval training/HIIT training lies in the acute production of both of these hormones. Epinephrine makes us more alert, maintains our blood sugar levels by acting on liver glycogen stores and mobilizes fat cells into bloodstream. Growth Hormone on the other hand is proven to be muscle sparring. Win-win for us. Can be traced back to evolutionary impetus, needed all the strength and mental acuity while hunting.
Many gurus swear by Intermittent fasting and it’s the new “miracle diet” these days, thing is, when stupid people hear the term “miracle” they forget the basics all together. Oh If I fast everyday till night and then eat till I pass out I would be so ripped in no time! I don’t need exercise because growth hormone is saving my muscles, I don’t need cardio because…idk maybe my body is running on Fat all day long, that’s why!
Well, you still need to be in an Energy Deficit to lose any tissue whether it’s fat or muscle mass and adrenaline can only mobilize fats aka triglycerides from you fat cells to you bloodstream, if you don’t burn them whether involuntarily catering to BMR needs or voluntarily by low to moderate intensity activity, on your next binge they would be shoved right back into fat cells. You end up where you started.
Coming to carb-loading now, it works by stuffing our muscles with above-normal levels of glycogen, making us look thicker and be stronger in the lifts. Furthermore, large carbohydrate intake results in optimal hormonal profile, basically it leads to returning of T3 & T2 (thyroid hormones), Leptin, Gherlin and other metabolic markers to normalcy. Too big of a deficit for too long can result into decreased thyroid output hence leading to “metabolic slowdown”.
Now, metabolic slowdown or damage is a scare tactic just like “catabolism”, too much overplayed by stuck up populist diet-experts. On the other hand are the extremists who don’t even acknowledge metabolic slowdown as a real thing. Both are wrong, as usual is the case with polar opposite factions. You can clearly measure your core temperature going down after several days of starvation. That’s your metabolism slowing down, it’s an inbuilt survival mechanism.
Even when in its full force, which can be seen in anorexics or women on extremely low calorie diets doing hours of cardio daily, the overall effect is only 15-20% reduction from baseline. In moderately nutcase dieters along the lines of chronic deficit of more than 1500+ the reduction is around 10% only. If that can be easily avoided why not do it. Have big carbs meals periodically and keep your metabolism buzzing.
Not to mention, the effect on mood and energy levels optimum thyroid output has. For real world implications, such carb pre-loading would make us stay sane, happy and full of vigor. Our workouts wouldn’t suck and we wouldn’t lose any muscle mass or strength, plus normal BMR rate would ensure our deficits would work and we will lose fat predictably and easily.
Calorie cycling is important because we need large deficits to lose substantial fat at a decent enough rate. If we would eat around maintenance or slightly below it like some of the lean-bulk/lean-cut fanatics propose, good luck seeing those abs anytime sooner. Assuming a 250 calorie deficit daily, and a guy with 18% body fat starting at 190lbs, to hit 10% bf he would need: Here comes mathematics again. You can skip the calculations and know that it will take him: 238 days ~ 8 months. calculations.
190 x ( 1 – 0.18) = 156 lbs is the lean body weight.
To hit 10% body fat his weight should be : 156 / (1 - .10) = 173 lbs. formula used here is to be found here.
Total fat to be lost = 190 – 173 = 17 lbs.
Total calories to be burned for losing 17 lbs = 17 x 3500 = 59,500 calories. concept explained and formulas established here.
Number of days it would take him to burn those calories at the rate of 250 a day = 59,500 / 250 = 238 days. That is almost 8 months.
I don’t think anyone would want to micromanage their calories for 8 months straight. Fret not, strength lean would give the same result in 1/3rd of the time or say, 3 TIMES FASTER. (Learn your fractions, guys).
It’s getting too long already, meet me in the next part for the fasted cardio uses and how to fit all of this together. Hopefully, it would be concluded there.
Check out the Part 1 | Part 2 & | Part 4of this series.
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