Coming from a military background, I’m a firm believer in the creed, “a good leader leads from the front.” In a fitness and conditioning context, that means a good trainer’s physique should always reflect the benefits of what he or she teaches. In my mind, to do otherwise is both disrespectful to the client and a huge knock on the trainer’s credibility. I feel pretty alone in that regard.
The world of professional boxing as well as the fitness industry is overrun with armchair coaches preaching bro science who can’t get their clients, much less themselves, in even fairly decent shape. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but I know an out-of-shape fat dude when I see one. OK enough with the name calling and finger-pointing; this article entails how to drop some serious body fat in less than six weeks. I am not saying it's gonna be easy, just worth it.
Bulking-up will not improve your physique; it will make you bulky. If that’s what you want, great — just don’t delude yourself that you need to do that to add size, and please, don’t try to convince me, either. So what do I consider ideal body fat standards for athletes? Male athletes should maintain less than 8% body-fat and females less than 11%, at least from spring to fall; winter is the only time you have the right to look a little more “normal” and enjoy holiday food and festivities without turning every turkey dinner into an infomercial for Tupperware and OCD medications.
Which brings me back to six weeks: It’s plenty of time for an athlete with 8% or 11% body fat to get under 5% or 9% body fat. For many, 8% and 11% body fat may be their ultimate goal, but for a true physique competitor or trainer, that’s your job. They should never allow their body-fat to rise above 10% and 13%, respectively.
According to Dr. Mauro DePasquale, the five targets for fat loss are as follows (DePasquale, 2008) Increase lipolysis (fat breakdown) Decrease lipogenesis (fat accumulation) Burn free fatty acids with correct exercise Maintain muscle tissue Maintain metabolic rate (T3, thyroid) and optimal hormone function
If you hit all the targets, accelerated fat-loss will occur; if you miss a target your progress will hit a wall.
What to Eat
The following nutrition program is nothing new. It’s my variation of a phase-shift diet that combines the protocols, research, and teachings of Dr. Mauro DePasquale, Gary Taubes, Loren Cordain, PhD, and the late Dan Duchaine; nutritional giants who’s broad shoulders we have the luxury to stand upon.
My diet plan is based on the following principles 1) Eliminate breads, flour, and gluten grains including wheat, barley, and rye. 2) Eliminate grain and vegetable extracted cooking oils; instead cook with butter, animal fats, and coconut oil. 3) Eat more healthy animal fats, butter, cream, and coconut milk to replace calories that formerly came from carbohydrates. 4) Eat more animal protein (beef, chicken, bison, eggs, fish, etc.). 5) Eat when hungry, don’t graze. Livestock and prey eat constantly; the King of the jungle eats sporadically. Continually stuffing yourself with food is counter productive to hormone function and digestive health. For athletes: eat no more than 4 meals, and 1-2 snacks (post-workout) depending on training schedule.
“Our ancestors consumed food much less frequently and often had to subsist on one large meal per day, and thus from an evolutionary perspective, human beings were adapted to intermittent feeding rather than to grazing.” (Mattson, M.P., PhD, Lancet 2005; 365:1978-80)
5) Build muscle with a structured resistance-training program. 6) Ensure adequate Vitamin D intake through midday sun exposure or supplementing with Vitamin D3. 7) Ensure adequate intake of Omega-3 fats and oils from pharmaceutical grade fish oils. 8) Schedule your menu so there’s a 2-hour fast before bedtime. Don’t consume any food, supplements, calorie containing, alcoholic, or caffeinated beverages 2 hours before bed; water is okay. You want to get blood sugar levels down before going to sleep; this will facilitate GH release. 9) Only consume simple sugars, fruits, and carbohydrates at specific times to enhance muscle hypertrophy and thyroid function.
Sample 3 Days Low/1 Day High Carb Rotation Diet
The following menu is based on my training and work schedule. I followed a low carbohydrate diet for 3 days, followed by a high carbohydrate, high-calorie day.
Days 1-3 Low Carbohydrate, Moderate Protein, High Fat
5:15 AM: wake up
1 tall glass of water Acetyl-L-Carnitine 3 grams
8 AM: Breakfast
4-5 Whole eggs scrambled with organic cheddar cheese and bacon Coffee, black w/cream Fish Oil 3 grams EPA+DHA Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Zinc Vitamin D3 Vitamin C