This is no coincidence:
When I’m at my strongest, I’m also at my leanest.
Kinda weird especially when you look at what the rest of
the fitness industry preaches about fat loss.
First, let me qualify what I mean by “strongest.”
For me, strongest means lifting the most amount of weight
for the most amount of reps, usually measured by total
volume of work performed.
And the interesting thing is that I don’t do MetCon.
No high rep anything.
Everything I do is designed to help me gain and express
my strength faster… better.
I don’t think the two – lean or strong are mutually exclusive.
You can be both.
And honestly, you should strive to be both.
(And in this PC age please hear my heart: There’s nothing
“wrong” with you if you’re neither. That’s why I used the word
“strive” – we are all works in progress.)
Almost 10 years ago now I remember reading an article
by a famous trainer about the differences between training
for fat loss and strength.
He said that training for the two were completely different.
Based on my experience, I whole-heartedly disagree.
The only difference in my book, based on my results and my
clients’ and customers’ results is nutrition.
Both fat loss and strength are highly dependent on total
volume of work performed.
You want to burn fat? Or more fat?
You have to do work – lots of it.
Go lift some heavy weight – swing a heavy KB for multiple
sets of 10.
Or do a squat a pair of heavy KBs for 5.
Your heart rate goes up, right?
You think that burns some calories?
My MO (modus operandi) is simply to produce force – as much
force as possible, regardless of the goal of the program.
Lift appropriately heavy with as much acceleration as possible,
irregardless of the weight or exercise.
Grinds like presses and squats?
I like to move them as fast as possible.
Force = mass * acceleration, after all.
As explosive as possible.
Swings MUST float – hang there momentarily in the air.
Snatches must move as fast as possible.
Same thing with jerks or push presses.
Doesn’t matter – move them as fast as possible.
You know what else?
All that work – all that force production burns calories.
Many times, a lot of calories.
There’s your fat loss programming.
That’s why my fat loss programs have both grinds and
ballistics in them. They’re both important. They both create
a lot of work.
The best rep range for strength?
1 to 5.
Pretty sure you’ve read that before.
Best rep ranges for fat loss?
1 to 5.
And 10 to 20.
Depending on the exercise and your familiarity with the
I’m a big believer of using the lower reps on the ballistics
for fat loss.
Yup – that’s right – 1 to 5.
I only reserve those higher reps 10 to 20 for those who know
their way around a kettlebell and are familiar with the KB exercises.
Because with higher reps force production tends to diminish
when the “survivor” mentality kicks in.
And form / technique starts to degrade.
As Vince Lombardi, NFL Hall of Fame coach said, “Fatigue
makes cowards of us all.”
Which means that most people will conserve energy just to
get the prescribed reps in, therefore decreasing force production
and, therefore calories burned.
So that’s the basic programming.
Sure, there’s a little more to it than that.
But that’s the gist.
The rest is diet.
What you cram in your pie-hole.
(Nice visual there, huh?)
And that part’s simple.
To lose fat, eat less than you normally would.
To get stronger, eat slightly more.
Again, pretty simple really.