The Hierarchy of Fat Loss
I’m asked all the time what’s the most important thing when it comes to fat loss. Or I get questions like; ‘I really want to lose some body fat, but………..’ I’ve written and said lots and lots about fat loss. One thing I can say, is that you have to be willing to ‘pay the price’ if you want to get lean. And by ‘lean’ I mean anything below about 19% body fat for men and 23% body fat for women. These rough percentages place you in the so called ‘healthy’ bodyfat range, so are not extreme or unachievable. In fact, if you reached those percentages, you’d probably want to get lower.
So what do I mean by ‘pay the price?’ Well, most people think they want to lose body fat. But the problem arises when they have to make a choice between heading closer to fat loss goals, or instant gratification in the form of something such as; junk food, or a sleep in, or going out to party, or a few social drinks, or the boss’s shout, or ‘but such and such made if for me, I had to try it, or I got caught out and didn’t have a choice or I slept in or I was too tired…………. In order to ‘pay the price’ you simply have to say no (or yes in the case of doing a training session) But quite truthfully, most people don’t want to pay the price.
It’s easier for her, she has good genes, she goes to bed early (can you believe people say that to me when they’re too lazy to get up in the morning-like someone made you stay up late), he’s always been lean etc etc. Are you willing to pay the price to achieve your goals? Or are you still just dreaming??
Here’s the list, in order of importance for body composition improvement:
- Fantastic Nutrition – as I’ve said a million times, you absolutely, without doubt, under no circumstances can out-train a bad diet. You quite simply, have to fuel your body properly. Not too much, not too little. You have to provide an abundance of nutrients and you have to eat enough protein and good fats, while limiting ‘filler’ foods like starchy carbs, grains and too much dairy or fruit. You also need to drink enough water.
- Fantastic Nutrition – sorry, I just have to get my point across. Fantastic nutrition is number 1 and number 2 on my list alongside staying well hydrated.
- Training 1-not just any training. You need to complete training that burns tonnes of calories during the session, that promotes increased or at least maintains muscle mass and that elevates your metabolism for hours after the session.
- Training 2-training that burns tonnes of calories during the session and raises your metabolism for hours after the session is over
- Training3- training that just burns calories during the session.
So what sort of training accomplishes the above?
Metabolic Resistance Training
MRT fits squarely into Training category 1 above (point 3)
It consists of combinations of resistance exercises and drills (also body weight resistance drills) at an intensity that creates a massive metabolic disturbance. Supersets, tri-sets, circuits all create the biggest demands. This is exactly the type of training you’ll do at FitterFaster.
High Intensity Interval Training
The second most important type of training is training type 2 above (see point 4) This type of training elevates metabolism significantly and burns more calories than other sorts of cardio. You have to push hard enough though. Quite honestly, most people do not push themselves hard enough to get the best response from HIIT. You’ll do lots of this type of training at FitterFaster Bootcamps and Box Out sessions.
High Intensity Steady State Cardio
This type of training is simply hard work. You’ll be burning enough calories but not significantly increasing metabolism afterwards. While all calories burnt do contribute to fat loss, this type of cardio will eat into your recovery and not give you pay offs that I consider worth it.
Low Intensity Steady State Cardio
This is activites such as walking, shopping, easy jogging and a lot of activities that you probably do on your own if you’re trying to ‘get fit.’ As I said above, all calories burnt do contribute but this type of activity doesn’t burn a lot. Having said that, there is only so much MRT and HIIT that you can do in a week before you burn out (will differ depending on fitness level) If you have spare time after you’ve hit that level (very doubtful) go ahead and burn some extra calories without effecting your recovery. Do not ever rely on this to change your body shape or make a significant difference to your body fat levels.
How do I put it together?
If you only have 3-4 hours per week, combine MRT and HIIT and don’t spend your precious time on the other types of training if improved body composition is your goal
If you have 4-5 hours, you could do a bit more MRT or HIIT (as long as your fitness level supports it)
If you have more than 5 hours available, I’d add some HISSC IF YOU HAVE EXCELLENT RECOVERY ONLY. Otherwise, add some LISSC and just stay more active.
But remember, without fantastic nutrition, you will not win the war on fat loss!!! Honestly, if you’re training 4-5 hours per week and not seeing great fat loss, I’d reassess your nutrition.
Contact me any time for more info.