Q: The first day of [meteorological] spring slapped me in the face. My abs are gone and I feel “loose,” as in soft. I need to drop fat, especially around my middle, and add some hard muscle—like right now. How do I get it going and see abs?
A: Don’t panic. You still have about 12 weeks until summer. But because fat-loss is a slow process—if you want to hold and even gain muscle—you need to start NOW.
Here are a few of our top tips to “get it going”…
1) Tighten your diet immediately. That means no junk, except maybe at one or two meals on the weekend. And skip the alcohol most of the week. Eat at least six protein-charged, low-glycemic (slow-releasing-carb) meals a day—that’s EVERY DAY (unless you’re following intermittent fasting, obviously).
2) Introduce a few negative-accentuated, or X-centric, sets into your workout. Those will help boost mitochondria in muscle, which is where fat is burned. Plus, you’ll get fiber microtears so fat is burned as they repair. Oh, and growth hormone will increase due to longer tension time (for X-centric you lift in one second, lower in six).
3) End each bodypart with a higher-rep set. That will ensure a final pump to grow and get your GH to flow. Once again, GH is a powerful fat burner. (See The Fat to Muscle Workout for more on X-centric and high-rep sets as well as complete programs.)
4) If you’re still young, include some heavy training as well to ensure testosterone release. The BIG T is a major fat burner too, especially around your middle.
5) After a few weeks, reduce your daily calori intake by around 200. When you’re eating clean, calorie reductions will kick-start another round of fat loss.
6) Do some form of cardio two to three days a week. In a month, increase it to four to five days. Again, that’s to avoid plateaus with gradual increases in activity (as well as small decreases in calories).
7) Don’t overtrain your abs. Hitting your midsection with a streamlined ab program two to three times a week is plenty. Remember, your rectus abdominis is just a muscle—like biceps, pecs, etc. Let it recover to get those deep crevices. Do NOT think you can burn fat from your waist with ab work. It doesn’t work that way.
8) Be patient. If you go for GRADUAL fat loss as well as muscle gain, you won’t stall or nosedive into starvation pain; that’s when you start burning off muscle and hoarding fat—you don’t want that. In fact, impatience is the biggest fat-loss mistake people make—trying to lose it TOO FAST, which causes muscle loss and metabolic slow-down. The blubber will come off if you stay the course.
Keep telling yourself: I will NOT have a bummer summer. To make sure, we encourage you to check out our three top fat-loss e-books, available with a money-saving group price. They’ll help you with all of the above plus loads of muscle-building stuff…
Drop-Fat-Build-Mass Special—Triple-Shredded Combo: Get 1) The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout, 2) X-treme Lean nutrition guide (includes our meal-by-meal diets, tips, and fat-loss tricks) and 3) X-traordinary Abs ALL FOR ONLY $17. More info HERE.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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