Here’s a quote from one of our favorite Instagram posters, Dr. James DiNicolantonio (@drjamesdinic): [Read more…]
Q: I need to lose 20 pounds. I’ve gained a bit of a gut during this interesting year, and I have a goal to lose it in two to three months. If I succeed, I should look pretty good for spring and summer. Is that possible? What’s the number-one thing I should do to get it going? I’m stoked to see abs, so I’ll starve if I have to.
A: Well, the first thing you should NOT do is starve by making a huge calorie cut. That’s the big mistake most people make due to excessive motivation and/or impatience. A giant calorie reduction all at once sends your body into starvation mode. That preserves fat and burns muscle tissue—which then slows down your metabolism to a crawl. Not what you want… [Read more…]
Q: I always get fat over the winter. Outdoor cardio is hard to do, and I hate the treadmill. Plus, I tend to miss workouts. Three days a week is about all I can handle. Should I just do that and try to starve myself more often to stay closer to lean shape?
A: The good news is, you don’t have to do cardio to burn fat; you just have to use a few key fat-to-muscle tactics, the first of which is doing some muscle damage. [Read more…]
Q: When is the best time for cardio? I’ve tried first thing in the morning before breakfast, but I felt tired and burned out by mid-morning, and my job suffered. Is right after a weight-training workout good? If so, for how many minutes? I’m trying to get lean while it’s still summer.
A: Steve interviewed two top researchers, Gabriel Wilson, M.S., and Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., and they believe cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is HIGHLY catabolic. In other words, it wastes away your hard-earned muscle tissue. That makes sense considering you’ve been fasting for eight hours or more while you slept and your body is in the early stages of starvation. [Read more…]
Q: I’ve heard it brought up a few times by others recently, and I remember from your old daily training blog that you guys sometimes use interval cardio to burn more fat. What is that and how should I use it?
A: There are surprising facts about using interval cardio to burn more fat, but before we get to those, let’s explain interval cardio on a running track. To do interval training, you sprint the straightaways all out and walk the curves. Another good example is running stairs—you run up for intensity and coast down. In other words, you alternate high-intensity bursts with lower-intensity activity.
Q: I’ve been reading a lot about low-carb diets, and I was thinking about trying [that method]. I need to lose about 30 pounds to build up my confidence (and to start seeing some abs). Getting rid of carbs seems to be the best way. What do you think?
A: Low-carb diets certainly work, and gradually reducing your carb intake is the way to go, but you don’t want to take your daily carb total too low—and never go to zero. At our lowest carb count near the end of a ripping phase, we hover around 120 grams a day.
As we say in our X-treme Lean e-book: “In general, decreasing one of the macronutrients—fat, protein or carbohydrates—to abnormally low levels isn’t the way to go for fat loss. You may lose weight, but in the case of low carbs, some of it may be muscle.”
We like the carb-stacking approach to low-carb diets, which is putting most of your daily carb allotment at breakfast and after your workout when the muscles are depleted and will absorb most of the sugar as glycogen. There’s a sample carb-stacking diet on page 17 of X-treme Lean.
The rest of your meals should be protein dominant with very few carbs. That will force your body to burn fat for energy—and with protein circulating to feed your muscles, which you train heavy often, there is no need to burn muscle for energy—so you get bigger and leaner. Plus, protein has a higher energy cost—it takes more energy to absorb it than carbs. There’s more on all of that, as well as sample diets and workouts, in X-treme Lean so you can be ripped when you make the beach scene!
Note: You can get X-treme Lean along with The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout and X-traordinary Abs at a limited-time low price. It’s the Triple-Shredded Combo Offer to help you sail through summer summer with muscle and rippedness.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Veiny Arms All Day
You know that feeling you get right after a great workout? When you look and feel huge with that massive post-workout pump? Imagine feeling like that ALL day…
Frank Rich’s program can help you carry that just-worked-out look all day, and he’s offering it to our readers for almost nothing.
It’s one thing to develop big arms, but if when they look solid and have veins streaking all over, that’s when people really notice.
Frank has research showing that arm vascularity (the denseness and veininess) is more desirable to women than 6-pack abs, and if you’ve been following any fitness stuff on social media lately, you know that’s a fact.
We know from our own years of experience with being in various levels of conditioning that we get a LOT more looks when walking through the grocery store or running random errands when we have veins streaking down our arms.
Oh, and Frank’s new arm program (*plus all the bonuses*) is only $9 today, so take advantage while you can.
Q: I’m starting to drag at the gym, and I don’t look forward to my workouts anymore. I’m starting to think I’m overtrained. I haven’t grown in a while, but I DON’T want to take a layoff. Even backing off to low-effort workouts sounds like a bad idea because I don’t want to lose my gains. What should I do?
A: Boy, does that sound familiar. We always tell trainees that they need a break to regenerate and keep the growth process rolling, but they never take one (and neither do we—bad). That’s an easy way to end up overtrained. [Read more…]
Q: I like the heavy/light approach you lay out in the Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0. I also do [Mr. America] Doug Brignole’s Super TORQ for only one exercise per muscle every few workouts. Great change to gain! My question is, when I do TORQ, shouldn’t I use overhead presses for delts? In your TORQ routines and Brignole’s Super TORQ program, the shoulder exercise of choice is one-arm cable laterals. But you have heavy presses in the Power-Density programs, which aggravate my shoulder joint sometimes. Still, shouldn’t I do presses in my TORQ workouts? It’s the best shoulder exercise, right?
A: We have a love-hate relationship with presses—and Brignole’s is mostly hate (as we’ll explain)… [Read more…]
Q: You’ve said that training each muscle only once a week doesn’t work for most people. But I just got the Fat-to-Muscle Workout (thank you for the sale price!), and both the four-day and three-day workouts train each muscle only once a week. Am I missing something?
A: You’re not missing anything; we’re just insane. Seriously, in the Q&A section of The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout we mention a study on negative-style training and the need it creates for much MORE RECOVERY. That’s the answer… [Read more…]