Strength Training For Fat Loss

I got this email yesterday,

Hey Alexander,

First of all, appreciate all the information and tips through Twitter and the newsletter. I have a question for you on whether to keep cutting/losing weight or jump into your “90 days” program now. I’m going to do the program either way, but was curious on the timing. Some background:

-at my heaviest I was around 260lbs, down to ~185lbs, Im 6'1

-still have a small gut I’m trying to get rid of

-somewhat “plateaued” in my weight training. I know that means I just need to intensify reps/get my nutrition more in order, but that’s the case for me right now

Would the “90 days” program help cut down on the gut, or should I continue to cut and lose weight then start the program around 170lbs or so?

Again, I appreciate all the fitness and nutrition information, it’s truly an invaluable source of knowledge. Have a good one.

~A~

Short answer, YES, 90 Days to Diesel would work very well for him.

More thorough answer here is Why

Unfatting Yourself and Muscle Gain

When people go from being obese to being normal bodyweight, its a very common outcome that their metabolism slows down. Even though they are healthier, the months spent dieting inevitably cause a metabolic slowdown effect of burning less calories.

How much less calories? A LOT

Depending on how long you've been dieting, metabolism can decline by 25% or more.

For perspective, Its not uncommon in bodybuilding for 230+ lb bodybuilders to be dieting on less than 1800 calories. And thats with cardio daily and lifting.

These are men who normally would be eating at least 3,000 calories a day to barely maintain their weight, usually much much more than that.

So for a regular person, YES, you can expect that metabolism will decline more and more the longer you diet.

What is the eventual consequence?

They end up in a plateau of stalled fat loss, and stalled strength gains. Neither is improving

What to do then?

STOP DIETING.

Its not necessary that a person need to BULK and go into a massive calorie surplus.

But eating at caloric maintenance (or even slightly above it), and prioritizing strength and muscle gains instead of fat loss, that will allow the metabolism to increase again.

Done for a few months (at least 3-4), an individual could then begin dieting again if they still felt there was excess fat on the body.

Lose fat and Gain muscle at the same time?

Its entirely possible to lose bodyfat and gain muscle at the same time, but only if you are

A) A beginner to lifting

and/or

B) Going from being overly fat to being fit

Those two populations can readily experience the simultaneous effect because they are both new to training, and if they've got excess fat and not much muscle, they can pull from their stored bodyfat for muscle growth.

Its actually not uncommon for "noobs" to lose fat and build muscle in their first year of serious training. This effect declines year by year, and by year 5, no one is going "gain 10lbs of mass, drop 10lbs of fat), but for the first few years of lifting, it can be achieved because genetic potential for muscle gain has not been maxed out yet.

Summary

If you've recently lost a lot of fat and are down to a normal bodyweight, and want to keep fitness progress going, focus on strength and muscle gains for awhile.

In the long term, keeping the fat off will require metabolically upgrading yourself, that only comes with added muscle and nervous system development

90 Days to Diesel will get you stronger and more muscular, I can assure you of that.

Get 90 Days to Diesel