I have started to write more on my blog and plan to continue to, especially when I get my new website up (someday). I am also in the process of writing another book (details to come on this in the near future). The team at State of Fitness also opened up another training facility this year. So, it is safe to say that I have been pretty busy.
As an avid fitness reader myself, I always enjoying learning about what other trainers would recommend for someone looking to push it a little bit more in the gym and get into great shape. It’s similar to how an athlete looks to a training expert to lose body fat, gain muscle, and improve performance.
My take on programming for fat loss, gaining muscle and getting super strong all at the same time (yes, a very lofty goal), has changed over the years.
No longer do I tell people to lift weights and add in some cardio. It is more complex than that. In order to lose fat, gain muscle, get strong and improve your performance, there are a host of other things you need to focus on.
I have been known to take the minimalist approach in my own training which can work very well. I feel like I am in great shape from the brief, yet intense workouts I perform but if you really want to get into the shape you want, you will have to push the envelope a little.
Your workouts will require more volume and frequency and you need to stay committed and consistent.
If you want to become as lean and muscular as possible, you simply need to train like a speed and power athlete and not like a bodybuilder.
You should include strength, speed, power work, mobility drills, groundwork and work capacity (maintaining a high level of strength and power for an extended period of time).
This may look like a lot to do but don’t think that you need a ton of variety in your workouts. Getting better at the basics will ensure that you make gains and won’t hinder your recovery abilities. Keep it simple but not easy.
Let’s take a look at a few things that you need to focus on when trying to get lean and strong while also improving performance.
There is one thing that almost every trainer can agree on. If you get stronger, some good things are going to happen. In order to get strong, you need to master some of the basic barbell lifts like the hang clean, bench press, squat, deadlift and overhead press.
You must also get stronger and maintain that level of strength over an extended period of time. The best way to do this is to include a variety of loaded carries in your program.
Power and Speed
Many people think that power and speed work doesn’t have an effect on body composition but boy, are they wrong. Being able to run fast, jump high and far, throw heavy objects and do them over and over again will bring new life to your training.
Performing a bunch of jumps, sprints, interval work and medicine ball work will make you feel powerful, athletic and burn fat like crazy. You will feel this part of the workout when you are finished due to it’s increased neural demands.
Strength and Power For a Period of Time
If you ever look at the leanest, most muscular and powerful athletes, you will notice that they can maintain strength, power and force production for an extended period of time. This time period can last anywhere from 40 seconds to 2 or 3-minutes. A 400-meter sprint, an MMA match, or gymnastics come to mind. Have you noticed these athletes’ physiques? Impressive to say the least.
This is where performing loaded carries (extended strength), medicine ball circuits and jumping (explosive capacity work) lasting 45-60 seconds and conditioning (200-500 meter sprints) will be included in this portion of the workout.
What About Nutrition?
In order to lose fat you do need to be lower on calories but not so low that you can’t add or at least maintain muscle. You also need to feed for performance. This is where I like combining my 3-meals a day with workout nutrition approach with Intermittent Fasting.
I am not trying to sell you anything here but for only $2.99, you can buy my book. It explains my philosophy on how to get in awesome shape and feel heathy at the same time.
If you don’t want to buy the book, here is my short-list of habits you must commit to if you want to get the most out of this program:
- Drink at least 80 ounces of water a day
- Eat at least one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass per day
- Take fish oil, and green food powder
- Take workout nutrition seriously
Below is a program that I have used with a few people and they experienced some great success. Before my surgery I was following a similar template and felt lean and strong.
Get ready to put some work in. You will be lifting 5-days per week with a day of interval work. Always make sure to perform a dynamic warm-up with the template suggestion below.
Dynamic Warm-up Template
|Soft tissue work|
|Specific mobility/movment pattern work/correctives if needed|
|Ground work – crawling, rolling, rocking, get-up patterns|
|Nervous system activation – jumping rope|
Monday –Lower Body Focus
|Box Jump||3||5||60 sec./body weight|
|Jump Squat||2||5||60 sec./20%|
|Trap Bar Deadlift||4||6||2-3 min./80%|
|Bar Front Squat||4||6||None/moderate|
|Box Jump||4||5||60 sec./body weight|
|Farmer Carry||4||60 sec.||60 sec./heavy|
Tuesday – Upper Body Focus
|Medicine Ball Circuit
(Side toss, OH toss, Slam, Chest pass)
|4||5 ea.||60 sec. rest after circuit|
|Bar Push Press||4||6||80%|
|Pull-Up (w/band if needed)||4||AMRAP 45 sec.||60 sec.|
|Push-Ups||4||AMRAP 45 sec.||60 sec.|
|TRX Row||4||AMRAP 45 sec.||60 sec.|
|OH Carry||4||60 sec.||60 sec.|
|Rowing Ergometer||2||500 m||2 min.|
Wednesday – Conditioning
|Bike, Row, Run||1||10-20 minutes @ 120 bpm|
|Sprint||4||30 meters||60 sec.|
|Bike Sprint||4||30 sec.||30 sec.|
|Bike or Run||4||200 meters||90 sec.|
Thursday – Upper Body
|Med ball chest pass/slam||5||5||30 sec.|
|Bent Over Barbell Row||4||6||60 sec.|
|DB Push Press||3||8||60 sec.|
|Bear crawl or suitcase carry||4||60 sec.||60 sec./heavy carry|
|Rowing Ergometer||2||750 meters||240 sec.|
Friday Lower Body
|Knee tuck jumps over hurdle||3||5|
|Hang P. Clean or Hang Snatch||5||3||80%|
-Hang Power Clean
|3-5||AMRAP 30 sec.||50% (P.Clean)|
|Farmer Carry||4||60 sec.||60 sec./heavy|
Saturday – Strength Circuit, rest 30 seconds between each exercise and 2-minutes after each round.
|Hang P. Clean||5||3||80-85%|
|Pull-Ups||5||MAX or hang for 30 sec.|
This program was designed to maintain muscle mass while dropping body fat. If you focus on improving your strength, power, work capacity and just plain work out like an athlete, your body composition will change.
Time to Workout
Most people think that training for fat loss should be boring with endless amounts of cardio and that you will lose strength. That is BS. You need to keep pushing yourself to get better in the weight room and improve the way you move. With this program, you will do just that. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.