The most overwhelming aspect when it comes to losing weight is where to even begin. I get it.
Do I just do a shit ton of cardio everyday? Do I max out in the gym everyday for gainzzz? Should I join the CrossFit games? What about calories? If cutting out some calories is good, then I should just starve myself to get there quicker right?
The guys described it perfectly on an episode of Mind Pump. We can do this the fast way or the right way. I can get you results fast, but you won’t keep them, or I can get you results slightly slower, but you’ll keep them forever.
It didn’t take you 2 weeks to get where you are today, what makes you think it should take that amount to get you absolutely shredded?
The answer: Progressive Overload
Let’s get right to it. Progressive overload (in other words, increasing the amount of weight for a certain amount of reps) over time is the absolute best thing you can do to lose weight. It is the difference between burning mostly fat, versus muscle and fat.
When your body is in a deficit for a long enough time, it will want to burn both. What determines which is favored is the style of training you choose to do. 60 minutes of cardio a day? Believe it or not, after the initial couple weeks of shock to the system and weight drop, you will plateau and your body will prioritize muscle loss over fat. Muscle is calorically expensive to hold onto so in a deficit, the body needs a pretty damn good reason to keep it over fat. Fat provides you energy to live, muscle burns right through it. Your body is built for survival so it is always going to choose to get rid of the latter. As a caveman, that’s ideal, since you don’t know when your next meal is. In today’s society of Swole Nation, and “getting that sick shirtless pic for the gram”, we want as much muscle as we can.
Here’s the other catch about muscle. The more of it you have, the more calories you burn at rest Doesn’t that sound amazing? Bro, think about that. The more jacked you get, the more calories you can eat! BROOOO THATS SICK GAINZ (pound it)!
When it comes down to it, whether you worship Orange Theory, or Bradley Martyn, they all want the same thing – to look good naked. If prioritizing cardio over weights was ideal for weight loss, then professional bodybuilders would never step foot inside the weight room. Think about that. It’s those guys SOLE life mission to be as lean and muscular as possible. So every choice they make in and outside of the gym is to MAXIMIZE that process as efficiently as they can. So why wouldn’t you base a general starting point off of what they do?
So what are we getting at here?
The solution: Prioritize the strength phase for your workouts. Lift 2-4x a week, focusing mostly on major compound movements since energy will be limited. Like I said before your body needs a reason to keep that muscle, so give it a reason. Rep range should be 4-6 or 6-8 for most of the workout. Feel free to throw in some higher 8-12 rep range stuff in there, but most of the time should be spent in the former rep range.
One more thing – if you can, try and find a way to track your bodyfat over the scale. A scale can be misleading. I once had a client that wanted to lose 10-15 pounds. 3 months later she lost 6 pounds and thought she failed. We took her body fat measurements and saw she actually lost 10 pounds because she gained 4 pounds of muscle. Tracking body fat allows you to make sure its the fat being lost (and possibly some muscle gained), and not muscle.