Sunday, April 19, 2009

Small Tweaks to Get Sharp for Summer

Controversial Guest Article By Rusty Moore, Fitness Tips

Long time readers of Craig Ballantyne and Turbulence Training obviously know the major points on getting in incredible shape.

Long and slow cardio is boring and a time killer. Intervals, intense HIIT, body weight circuits and anything that basically causes you to "bust a sweat" in a short period of time is where people will see the best results.

It is about a whole, natural foods diet with quality workouts, not how much time you spend training.

Tweak #1: Leave Plenty of Time to Get into "Peak Condition"

I believe that people should stay in shape year-round. The whole idea of bulking in the fall and winter and then "cutting up" in the spring is an outdated concept. You will never look your best for summer if you take that approach. The better approach is to never get too much more than 5 pounds out from "peak condition" and then slowly lose the last 5 pounds over a period of 2-3 months in spring.

The Last 4-5 Pounds of Body Fat Can Be a Bit Stubborn

Don't get me wrong, it is possible to lose the last 4-5 pounds of body fat in a week or two, but what I have found is going that aggressive can cause a quick yo-yo effect. When you lose it over a period of 2-3 months, you are typically eating a realistic diet that you can maintain for months at a time.

Tweak #2: Limit Carbs 2-3 Hours Before Bed

I think it is a bit obsessive to get too concerned with this year-round, but for 2-3 months this can make a difference. A large portion of our daily HGH is released during sleep. A large insulin spike right before bed can limit the production of HGH. Avoid carbs with a high GI before bed, but don't go to bed starving either. Again, this is not something to be worried about most of the year...overall calorie intake will make the biggest difference. This small tweak can help you lose that last little bit of stubborn fat.

Tweak #3: Go Into Some of Your Workouts in a "Fasted State"

The main goal of your workouts should be to jack up your metabolism and the majority of fat loss will happen after the workout. That being is possible to burn a bit of body fat during your workouts. Your body prefers to use carbs for energy, but you want to insure that it chooses body fat. A great way to do this is to make sure that there isn't any "food energy" in your system...don't eat a single calorie in the 3 hour window leading up to your workout. You aren't going to lose massive amounts of body fat during your workout, but over a period of months this approach will contribute to losing those last 4-5 pounds.

Tweak #4: Don't Be Obsessed With Protein or Muscle Loss

Believe it or not, it is actually hard to lose lean muscle if you are performing resistance training a few times per week. Also, it takes much less protein to maintain muscle mass than what most fitness experts would have you believe. "Let go" of your protein obsession and you will be less likely to eat unneeded calories. This may be the biggest tweak of this article. Focus on whole foods, eat slightly lower calories than normal and make sure you do some form of resistance training and you will lose fat while sparing your lean muscle.

Summary: Remember these are just small tweaks to help you get in especially good shape for summer. The major things like overall calorie intake and short intense workouts are going to make the biggest difference in your physique.

Click here to visit Rusty's blog for more great (controversial) articles


Sean said...

Amen to the summer 'cutting up'.
I think I may have to try the workout fasting.

Andy said...

Great post, CB...which is another reason why I like working out in the mornings than any other time of the day....right when you get up: Bam!

Fat burning furnace is lit up the rest of the day!


Rusty - Fitness Black Book said...


Thanks for allowing me to do a quick guest post. Obviously, me and the readers of my site are huge fans of Turbulence Training. Your Crazy 8 Body Weight Circuit saved my butt this winter. I'm going to use this as my "go-to" hotel workout when I travel. Love this stuff!