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         FITNESS TIPS FOR  7/15/2003      
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ADVANCED FAT LOSS SYSTEM: 12 TRICKS AND TACTICS FOR
DESTROYING EVEN THE MOST STUBBORN BODY FAT
by Tom Venuto

1. DO CARDIO 7 DAYS A WEEK

If you do cardio for 30-45 minutes a day every day for 8-12 weeks, you'll 
get so lean, you'll kick yourself for not realizing it was that simple.  

Every time I give this advice, I always hear lots of whining and 
complaining. Why is everybody so cardio-phobic? Why do people keep 
fighting me on this when they've tried "everything" else and they still 
can't get as lean as they want to be?

"But Tom, Bill Philips says 20 minutes 3 days a week is the solution!"

"But Tom, doesn't daily cardio burn up muscle?"

"But Tom, doesn't weight training boost the metabolism more than 
aerobics."

"But Tom, long aerobic cardio is outů 15 minutes of high intensity 
interval cardio is in."

But, but, but. People have plenty of buts. What they don't have is 
plenty of RESULTS!  

If you want to get lean - get off your "buts" and do what it takes. Make 
cardio a daily discipline and the RESULTS will simply amaze you.

And don't say you don't have time! I know many people who get up at 
4 or 5 in the morning to work out because it's the only way they can 
fit it in their schedule.  It's NEVER an issue of time, it's ALWAYS an 
issue of WILLINGNESS. Are you willing to do what it takes? That's 
only real question you have to answer.

If you want to know WHY you should do cardio more often, go back 
and re-read part 2 in this series about the mathematics of calorie 
expenditure (how to double and even triple your fat loss).

2. DO YOUR CARDIO FIRST THING IN THE MORNING ON AN EMPTY 
STOMACH

Morning cardio is still controversial in academic circles, but as far 
as I'm concerned it's a closed case and the verdict is in: it works! But 
don't take my word for it - examine the facts, try it and decide for 
yourself. The argument in favor of fasted early morning cardio 
burning more fat goes something like this:

1. After an overnight 8-12 hour fast, your body's stores of glycogen are 
depleted and you burn more fat when glycogen is low.

2. Eating causes a release of insulin. Insulin interferes with the 
mobilization of body fat. Less insulin is present in the morning; so more 
body fat is burned when cardio is done in the morning. 

3. There is less carbohydrate (glucose) in the bloodstream when you 
wake up after an overnight fast. With less glucose available, you burn 
more fat. 

4. If you eat immediately before a workout, you have to burn off what 
you just ate first before tapping into stored body fat (and insulin is 
elevated after a meal.) 

5. When you do cardio in the morning, your metabolism stays 
elevated for a period of time after the workout is over. If you do cardio 
in the evening, you burn calories during the session, but you fail to 
take advantage of the "afterburn" effect because your metabolic rate 
drops dramatically as soon as you go to sleep.

3. REDUCE YOUR CARBS, BUT DON'T CUT THEM OUT COMPLETELY 
AND DON'T STAY ON LOW CARBS TOO LONG

I'm not a big fan of very low carb (VLCD) or "ketogenic" diets. They 
make you feel like crap, you get "brain fog," you lose muscle along 
with the fat, and your training intensity suffers from lack of muscle 
glycogen (yes, even on a "cyclical" ketogenic diet.)

The worst side effect of the VLCD is one that few people think of 
because it requires a long-term perspective (and most people are 
caught up in short term results)...

For the average non-competitor, it's VERY difficult to keep off the fat 
you lose through low carb dieting.  VLCD's set you up for a BIG 
rebound.

Bodybuilders often use VLCD's successfully before contests, but 
bodybuilders are extreme athletes with incredible discipline and 
willpower. I know bodybuilders who are so "hard core" that they can 
eat nothing but tuna fish out of the can for 12 weeks, then go back to 
a normal, balanced diet, no problem - no bingeing. That's a rare feat. 

Lots of people lose weight on very low carb diets. Very few keep it off. 
I've seen people go on massive, uncontrollable binges of doughnuts, 
pizza and Ben & Jerry's (Chunky Monkey!), gaining 30 pounds in less 
than seven days after coming off a very low carb diet. 

Folks, very low carb diets ain't the long term solution to fat loss. To 
use one successfully without gaining everything back, you have to 
know what you're doing and you must be extremely disciplined. Even 
then, you should consider low carb diets as "last chance" diets or 
short term "peaking" diets that are fraught with side effects and 
disadvantages.

The "balanced" diet, which contains a wide variety of foods including
about 50% of the calories from fruits, vegetables, natural starches 
and whole grains, is almost always the best way to permanently lose 
fat and it's the way everyone should start. This is sometimes referred 
to as a "baseline diet." All you have to do is exercise, pick the right 
types of foods and eat less than you burn each day and you'll lose
fat.

Once you've mastered all the basics and you've reached the 
advanced stage, THEN I have to admit, despite the potential pitfalls, 
low carb, high protein diets can help accelerate fat loss even more. 

Almost every competitive bodybuilder I've ever met uses some 
variation of the reduced carb diet. Maybe not zero carbs; maybe not 
100 grams or less, but there's always some degree of carb 
restriction. Why? Because lower carbs provide metabolic and 
hormonal advantages that high carb diets do not. They also 
eliminate water retention and give the muscles a hard, dry look.

Here are the 4 "advanced bodybuilder's secrets" to using a low carb 
diet successfully:

1) Don't cut out all your carbs, just reduce them to a moderate level 
so carbs and protein are balanced and carbs are not the predominant 
macronutrient. 30% to 40% carbs should be low enough to get low 
carb diet benefits without low carb diet side effects.
2) DON'T eat a lot of carbs at night, but DO eat starchy carbs early in
 the day.
3) Don't stay on any reduced carb diet more than 12-16 weeks. 
Always go back to the balanced diet because it's healthier and 
more maintainable. 
4) It you reduce your carbs substantially on ANY low carb program, 
eat more carbs every 4th day or so. These are called "carb up" 
days, or "re-feed" days. This will prevent your metabolism from 
slowing down, keep your thryroid functioning optimally and 
maintain your energy levels.

4. RAISE YOUR PROTEIN

If you bring your carbs down, something has to go up or your 
calories would drop too low. That something is protein or fat (or 
both). Although many mainstream low carb diets (such as Atkins) 
are actually high fat diets, competitive bodybuilders usually keep 
the fats low (15% -20% or less) and eat extremely large amounts 
of protein - sometimes as much as 40 or 50% of their total 
calories!

Conventional bodybuilding and fat reducing wisdom says you 
should eat one gram of protein per pound of body weight. This 
is good advice for someone just starting to establish good habits 
and a baseline diet. For a 172 pound man, that' s 172 grams a 
day, or approximately 30 grams per meal spread over five to six 
meals.

On the bodybuilder's low carb "advanced diet," 40-50% of total 
calories comes from protein. That's about  300 - 375 grams of 
protein a day for most male bodybuilders and 175-225 grams for
female bodybuilders.

Yes, I know this is too much protein. In fact, it's an obscene 
amount of protein. However, (temporary) high protein diets are 
the way most bodybuilders get so ripped. Eating very high 
protein speeds up your metabolism due to the thermic effect of 
protein foods. All the top natural bodybuilders in the high levels 
of the sport eat 300 - 400 grams a day before contests and 
sometimes even more. I'm not necessarily recommending this; 
(like they say on MTV's "Jackass" show, don't try this at home!), 
I'm simply pointing out that this is how most bodybuilders do it. 

6. DROP ALL THE PROCESSED FOODS...YES, EVEN YOUR WHOLE 
WHEAT BREAD, BOXED CEREALS, BAGELS AND PASTA

Sometimes I recommend whole grain bread, boxed cereals and 
pasta for my clients and sometimes I don't. But that's not 
contradicting myself. What I'm doing is creating totally 
individualized nutrition programs for each person depending 
on their genetics, carb-sensitivity, experience and goals.  

A basic beginner or intermediate's diet should contain plenty 
of whole grain products and more carbs than anything else.  
Certain people - in particular, the "endomorph" or "carb 
sensitive" body types, seem to gain fat rapidly when they eat 
processed carbs. Advanced bodybuilders almost never eat 
any bread or pasta products before competitions.

The rule of thumb on the advanced fat loss diet is never eat 
anything man-made or processed. The ultimate test for 
whether a food is natural or processed is to ask, "did this 
food come out of the ground or off the tree/plant this way?" 
If the answer is no, it's processed and you shouldn't eat it. 

7. GET TOTAL CLARITY OF PURPOSE

To get super-lean, you have to DECIDE EXACTLY what you 
want and zero in on it the way a guided missile locks onto 
its target. 

The Great Napoleon Hill called it "definiteness of purpose."  
Achievement expert Brian Tracy calls it "CLARITY."  Most of 
us simply know it as having goals, but I like the terms "clarity" 
and "definiteness of purpose" better than goals. Vague goals 
can be your downfall.

"I want to gain muscle and lose fat." That's certainly a goal, but 
it's NOT definiteness of purpose. It's a poor goal because it 
lacks clarity. 

One of the biggest reasons people fail to move up to the 
advanced level (especially the guys) is because they can't 
decide what they want. They become victims of "flip flop
 syndrome." 

Imagine a captain giving no commands and just allowing his 
ship to just float around rudderless, drifting wherever the
 currents take it. Or imagine the captain giving instructions 
to his crew like this: "go east; no, go west; no, go east; no, 
go west again." 

Ridiculous right? This is exactly what you're doing when 
you lack a specific goal or when you want to gain muscle 
one day and lose fat the next (or do both at the same time).

YOU HAVE TO MAKE UP YOUR MIND! 

"A made up mind attunes itself to tremendous extra power," 
wrote Napoleon Hill. You must choose a definite course, 
make a clear-cut, definite decision and follow through with 
action in one specific direction. 

When you have a clear-cut goal and you're totally committed 
to it, you TAKE ACTION without thinking about it or forcing it. 
The process becomes unconscious. If you lack clarity, you 
flounder and hesitate like a ship with an indecisive captain.

8. FIVE MEALS A DAY FOR WOMEN, SIX MEALS A DAY FOR 
MEN....OR JUST FUGGETABOUTIT!

Meal frequency is more important than most people realize. 
Most fitness conscious people know about meal frequency, 
but they figure they can "get by" with three "square" meals.

Comparing three "squares" to six meals a day is like 
comparing a Porsche 911 Turbo to a Yugo. Yes, you can get 
some results with three well constructed meals, but you'll 
never get anywhere near your full potential (and it will take 
a lot longer!)

The benefits of frequent eating include:
a.       Faster metabolic rate 
b.      Higher energy levels
c.       Less storage of body fat due to smaller portions
d.      Reduced hunger and cravings
e.       Steadier blood sugar and insulin levels
f.        More calories usable for muscle growth
g.       Better absorption and utilization of nutrients
 
If you want to move up to the advanced level and get 
super-ripped, you have to take advantage of every weapon 
in your fat burning arsenal.  That means five or six small 
meals a day, or else, as Al Pacino would say, just 
fuggetaboutit!

9. GO EASY ON THOSE PROTEIN BARS AND MEAL 
REPLACEMENT SHAKES - FOCUS ON REAL FOOD

My clients just HATE me when I take away their cookies n 
cream protein bars and chocolate Myoplex, but when they're 
eating only one or two food meals per day and chugging 
own four or five meal replacements and wondering why they 
aren't getting leaner, I have to give them my lecture on the 
thermogenic effects of whole foods versus liquid calories.

If you want to get lean, don't drink too many of your calories 
and lay off those bars! I don't care what anybody says, whole 
food gets you leaner. The weight loss industry is $33 billion 
and the supplement industry alone is $13 billion. Anyone who 
advises you that "shakes get you leaner than food" has their 
greedy little hands in the supplement companies cookie jar 
somewhere, somehow, someway - trust me!

By the way, this advice applies to ALL liquid calories. Are you 
drinking fruit juice by the quartful because it's "healthy?" Well, 
that may be true; you may have a glassful of highly 
concentrated vitamins and minerals, but if you want to turbo 
charge your metabolism, get rid of your juicer and eat the 
fruits and vegetables whole and raw! 

10. HIIT THE FAT!

High intensity interval training, known as HIIT for short, is the 
technique of alternating short periods of very high intensity 
aerobics with periods of low to moderate intensity.

HIIT has received a lot of press lately as being superior to 
steady state exercise. In some ways, it IS superior: HIIT burns 
a lot of calories during the workout, but where it really shines 
is after the workout. Your metabolic rate stays elevated longer 
after the workout is over than steady state cardio.

Here's an example of an ascending 21 minute HIIT workout on 
the Lifecycle stationary bike:

Level 3: 5 minutes (warmup)
Level 5: 1 minute (work interval)
Level 4: 1 minute (recovery interval)
Level 6: 1 minute (work interval)
Level 4: 1 minute (recovery interval)
Level 7: 1 minute (work interval)
Level 4: 1 minute (recovery interval)
Level 8: 1 minute (work interval)
Level 4: 1 minute (recovery interval)
Level 9: 1 minute (work interval)
Level 4: 1 minute (recovery interval)
Level 10: 1 minute (work interval - maxed out)
Level 3: 5 minutes (cool down)

This is just an example of course; you'll need to adjust the 
workout based on your fitness level. You can adjust the duration 
of the intervals, the number of intervals performed and the 
difficulty level. You can perform similar workouts on almost 
any piece of cardio equipment.

HIIT works, but it's not a panacea. What's most important for 
fat loss is that you burn a lot of calories. If your intensity is 
high and you sustain a STEADY STATE workout for a long 
duration, you're likely to burn far more calories than a brief 
HIIT workout, even when the "afterburn" effect from HIIT is 
factored in. 

My best advice is to use BOTH forms of cardio training, 
focusing on total calorie expenditure and leaning towards 
HIIT when you're short on time or when you seem to have 
hit a plateau using conventional cardio.

11. DO YOUR CARDIO HARDER

Here's an idea that might shatter every paradigm you ever 
had about cardio training. HIIT is very trendy these days, so 
if you're trying to lose fat, and you're wondering whether you 
should do short duration high intensity or long duration, low 
intensity, the answer might be neither! 

The most effective workout is long duration, high intensity! 

Push yourself to the highest level you can hold steady for 
30-45 minutes nonstop.

In other words, put the cell phone and magazine away and 
do a real workout. Then watch your body get leaner BY THE 
DAY! 

12. USE THE ADVANCED WERIGHT LOSS SYSTEM THREE DAY SPLIT ROUTINE

As a beginner, you started on a full body routine. When you 
graduated to intermediate status, you moved to a two day 
split routine. Now you're ready for the advanced three day 
split. This split is excellent for genetically gifted 
bodybuilders with good recuperation abilities.

The split:

Day 1:Chest, Back, Abs
Day 2: Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps
Day 3: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves

The 2 on 1 off weekly schedule

Mon: Chest, Back, Abs
Tue:  Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps
Wed: Off (cardio only)
Thu:  Quads, Hamstrings calves
Fri:   Chest, Back, Abs
Sat:  Off (cardio only)
Sun: Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps

Pick up with Quads & Hams Monday and repeat the cycle. For 
extra recuperation, a more conservative version of this 
split is: 2 on 1 off, 1 on 1 off, 1 on 1 off. 

Well, that's it, you've learned every fat burning trick in the 
book. Well, maybe not EVERY trick, but you now have enough 
tools that - if you apply them diligently - you can get as lean
as you want to be.

About the Author:
Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, personal trainer, gym 
owner, freelance writer and author of "Burn the Fat, Feed The 
Muscle" (BFFM): Fat Burning Secrets of the World's Best 
Bodybuilders and Fitness Models. To get the FACTS on exactly how, 
what & when to eat and how to train to achieve maximum fat loss, 
without losing muscle or slowing down your metabolism... AND
to discover the shocking truth about the diet, weight loss and 
supplement industries, Check out Tom's e-book online 

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