As some of you may be unaware, I’m currently 2 weeks deep into a mini cut (short period aggressive fat loss phase) to shed some fat gained from my rebound post competition (WBFF Bikini Competition October 2018). In the spirit of sharing every step of the way as I promised to you all over on my Instagram I want to share with you how I optimise my fat loss results through my training systems.
Last week on my YouTube I covered how to calculate your BMR, TDEE & PAL (a bunch of fancy abbreviations for figuring out your baseline calories to ensure you’re eating in a caloric deficit). This week, let’s get our heads around training for fat loss (head to my YT if you’d rather listen to me talk about it than read it here). The goal of training for fat loss is to drive up the mobilisation of fatty acids out of where it’s stored in our body through cortisol and adrenaline which increases our calorie expenditure creating an optimal environment for fat loss.
There are different strength qualities that are used when programming for clients depending on their goals. A strength program will look different to a fat loss program which will look different to a program with the goal being hypertrophy. These strength qualities are:
Relative strength 1-5 reps
Functional Hypertrophy 4-8 reps
Hypertrophy 8-20 reps
Strength Endurance (fat loss) 10-20+ reps
Don’t get too stuck with the strength qualities, I’ve lost fat eating in a calorie deficit whilst working in the relative strength - functional hypertrophy strength qualities. Something I’ve recently learned is that you CAN still get strong if you’re working in higher rep ranges (strength endurance). There are a lot of studies out there that prove a certain rep range, rest period and time under tension will achieve certain adaptations in the body. To avoid confusion we’re going to focus on hypertrophy and strength endurance strength qualities. When it comes to fat loss, it’s not just about how many reps you’re doing, the factors I consider are:
Number and type of sets (superset, tri-set, giant set)
Number of exercises
Time under tension (TUT) through tempo, reps + sets
* For fat loss, I like to program anywhere from 20-40 sets total
* 6-8 exercises
* Around 1-3 seconds per rep with a moderate speed (tempo)
* 6-30 reps
* Insufficient rest periods to fatigue muscle fibres, preventing full recovery to create more metabolic damage (10-180 seconds)
* Ensuring you’re increasing your weights on at least the A series each week for hypertrophy adaptations (increasing the size of the muscle), as the more muscle mass we have the more optimal our bodies are for fat loss according to studies.
I like to program more exercises as a full body workout for my fat loss clients, as this is an incredibly effective way to mobilise our fat from its storage with a better chance to oxidise (use fat as fuel).
In terms of exercise selection, using bigger compound movements such as squats (all variations), deadlifts, leg press etc.. will allow us to move more weight, recruit more muscle fibres + energy, so I like to start with these for the A and B series, and then finish with more metabolic work/ isolated movements to jack up the heart rate!
Hopefully this has give you a deeper understanding to how/ what and why we should be programming for fat loss. Personally when I understand the science behind why I’m doing something, it pushes me harder and forces me to use my time more effectively.
These are some of the guidelines I use for my programs (see below), along with cardio and step periodisation. Don’t forget, the biggest key to any fat loss goal, is ensuring you'r nutrition is on point and that you’re eating in a caloric deficit! Nutrition programs available too ;)
Thanks for reading, now go get yo sweat on! X