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Oct 20, 2010

The Last 10 lbs

I wish I had a nickel every time I was asked, "how do I get the last 10 lbs off?".  Because quite frankly, it's a difficult question to answer.  For people who are looking to drop fat, and have more than the last 10-15 lbs to lose,  it's rather simple.  But quite honestly, most of us make it complicated.... should I do carb cycling?, should I do calorie cycling?, should I do cardio on an empty stomach?, etc., etc.  For those people, you need to SIMPLIFY the process.  That's a different blog.  This blog is for those people looking to those last 5-15 lbs.  You know, those lbs that are just not willing to let go.  Our body wants to hang on to that last bit of fat and you have to fight like a UFC champion to get rid of it.  First, you have to understand:
You're in a  war against FAT. Go win.

  • It's going to be hard
  • It will take time and preparation... it takes a solid blue print, so plan, plan, plan
  • You have to go in head first with the engines running (kinda imagine yourself as Braveheart just before battle... except don't wear that skirt and go commando... that's just gross.)
  • It's about the dress or pant size and not about the actual lbs
That last point is important to understand.  I've seen it. I know other trainers that have seen it.  You may not drop a single pound, but you could drop a size down.  So right now, get it out of your head that it's all about the lbs.

Now that is out of the way, let's get started.  Sometimes, it takes extreme measures to get rid of that last little bit of fat. So below you'll see... EXTREME measures.  Insert legal jargon here -----> Consult with your physician before any nutrition or exercise program.  Exercise at your own risk...  Blah, blah, blah.  Good.  We're going to have carb cycling and calorie cycling because it might make sense at this point.   You can keep up with your ratios and calories at I told you it would take preparation.  Remember, use whole, natural, unprocessed foods.  With that being said, here is one way to approach your last 10 lbs of fat loss. I have more ways of getting it done, but this is one of them. After all, I can't let go of all my best kept secrets, can I?  :)  Good luck, and let me know of your success.

Day 1 Calories = Goal body weight in lbs X 8.  For example, if your goal weight is 150, than you would take 150 x 8, which equals 1,200 calories.  No matter what the calculation comes out for you, don't drop below 1,000 cals.  Aim for 1g of protein per lb of goal weight through the day.  This little "protein rule of thumb" goes for every day.  Today, you're going low carb.  Get your carbs through non-starchy vegetables... that's it.

Day 1 workout - total body workout keeping the reps between 8-12.  Do a "finisher" at the end of your workout to burn more fat, like 5-10 sets of 8-12 burpees, with 60 secs of rest between sets.  Later that day, if you have the opportunity to move, do it.  Take a dog for a walk, play some tennis, etc., etc.... just stay active if possible

Days 2 and 3 Calories = Goal body weight in lbs x 9... Again, low carb

Your # 1 weapon of choice - whole, natural unprocessed foods
Day 2 Workout - Hill sprints ... find a hill that you can run up 25-40 yards.  Do 8-12 sprints with 60 secs of rest between sprints.  Then follow that up with high intensity aerobic activity for 15 minutes.

Day 3 Workout - total body workout keeping the reps between 6-10.  End your workout with a "finisher" like jump rope intervals for 10 minutes.  Later that day, if you can, stay active.

Days 4 and 5 Calories = Goal body weight in lbs x 10.  Start taking in some carbs.... 3-4 servings of fruit through the day, but have most of the carbs around your workout (before and after)

Day 4 Workout - calisthenics ... think PE Class.  Do 20 minutes of jumping jacks, push-ups, lunges, body squats, etc., etc.  Keep the rest periods short (30-60 secs).  Follow that up with 10-15 minutes of high intensity aerobic work.

Day 5 Workout - total body workout keeping the reps between 5-8.  Use a "finisher" at the end of the workout like mountain climbers (30 secs on, 30 secs off) for 5 minutes, followed by 5 sets of dumbbell/kettle bell swings. On this day only, you can have a starch right after a workout along with fruit. 

Hill Sprints... fine weapon for fat loss
Day 6 Calories = Goal body weight in lbs x 9... we're going low-carb again, just like day 1.

Day 6 workout - Same as Day 2

Day 7 - No workout, and don't worry about counting calories. Enjoy your rest. Today, you get your reward meal (pizza, wings, cake, etc., etc.).  Other than that meal, stick with whole, unprocessed foods (including many fruits and vegetables).  Eat until satisfied, but no more.  Again, don't worry about counting calories.  It's like hitting the "reset" button.  You can even bring in a little bit of natural, unprocessed starches (Ezekiel bread, Quinoa, etc., etc.)

Simply do the above cycle for 4 weeks.  Still not there?  Go back to an easier routine/nutrition program for 2 weeks before trying it again for another 4 weeks.  Also note if you find yourself having a hard time recovering between workouts, you can increase your carbs a little bit after your workouts.  It's all about trial and error.

Good luck!  I broke a sweat just reading this.  Awesome.

To your success,
Mike Whitfield, CFT, CFNC

Oct 5, 2010

6 Ways to Improve Your Workouts

Hey guys and gals!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  The
weather was outstanding to say the least.  It's about time, isn't
it?  Anyway, I have some workout tips as we enter cooler weather. I
hope you use these to improve your workouts.

Have a great week!

1. Change the tempo of your lifts.  For example, if you have been
lifting a weight for 2 seconds and lowering a weight for 1-2 seconds
,try something like this: Try explosively lifting a weight (but
under control!) and take about 4 seconds to lower the weight.

2. Try bodyweight exercises.  For example, if you have been doing
dumbbell squats, try using your own body weight for a 1-legged
squat.  If you see me around the gym, I'll show you how to do those.

3. Join a recreation league.  This could be pick-up basketball, tennis,
racket ball, etc., etc. You don't have to go to the gym 7 days a week to
stay active.
4.  Try supersets or circuits.  If you typically do a set of squats,
rest, than another set of squats, rest, etc., etc., try this
approach:  Do your first set of squats, then immediately the next
exercise in your program, and THEN rest.  You could also do this
in a circuit format... first exercise, second exercise, third
exercise, and then rest, etc., etc.

5. Try dumbbell swings in place of your "cardio".  At the end of
your workout, try doing dumbbell swings for 30 seconds, and then
rest for 30 seconds.  Do this for 10 minutes as your "interval"
workout. Again, if you see me at the gym, I'll be happy to show you
6. Try a pre-exhaust set.  What is that?  Who cares.  It just sounds
cool!   I'm kidding.  Do a set of push-ups (2 reps short of failure)
followed by a set of the dumbbell chest press.  That is an example
of a pre-exhaust set.  Good times.

This blog post, in it's entirety, was inspired by 3 people I have
seen in the last several days that had a look of, "Oh my gosh I'm
bored".  I certainly hope this helps :)
To your success,
Mike Whitfield, CFT, CFNC