Part 2 – Fat Loss
The Never Ending Question About Reps… ANSWERED!
Question about reps and fat loss? That’s the million dollar question when it comes to getting cut and shredded. But, what many people don’t realize is that you can’t get cut until you lose body fat, not just overall weight. General weight loss from fad diets is a loss of muscle, fat and water. Fat loss, on the other hand, is a loss of body fat and the muscle stays the same, and in some cases the lifter gains muscle. You need to be AT LEAST 15% body fat to start a cutting program. If you are higher than 15% body fat, you need to focus on losing body fat rather than detailing the muscles.
Here’s Part I of The Never Ending Question About Reps (If you missed it)
How to Eat for Fat Loss and Cutting
All too often the eager dieter will jump into a cutting program without first priming the body. Drastic shifts from normal eating to a strict cutting program will cause many imbalances. Priming your body for cutting will prevent cravings, binges, low-blood sugar, etc.
A proven way to lose fat is to carb-cycle. Carb-cycling allows you to eat more carbs for a longer period of time to provide energy for brutal workouts. Carb-cycling is great because tweaking carbs every two weeks allows for fat loss and you keep a lot of muscle in the process.
Getting cut involves precise dieting of the right foods in the proper combinations and at the right time. Carb-cycling typically involves keeping your protein and fat stable and shift your carb intake routinely. Ryan Andrews at PrecisionNutrition.com adds, “There are different methods of carb cycling. However, the common theme behind them is that protein and fat intake stay relatively constant while carbohydrate intake is manipulated.” Carb-cycling allows you to alter your carbs so you can include a wide array of complex carbs as well as non-starchy veggies.
Training and the Never Ending Question About Reps
To build muscle you have to lift heavy with maximum intensity, yet briefly. All you need to build muscle is muscle stimulation, nutrients of quality, and rest. Bottom line, you aren’t going to build quality muscle by badgering them to death.
The same factor applies to losing body fat and getting cut. High reps don’t necessarily burn body fat. Proper dieting, carb-cycling, and cardio work burns body fat. Now, higher reps than 8-10 do have their place, but just doing higher reps for sake of fat loss will get you no where.
So, if you have good muscle quality and development, keep it by training properly. If you are training for a contest, there will come a time when your strength and energy will take hit. This is quite normal. Then, and only then should you welcome higher reps to compensate for the strength and energy drop. But, don’t lighten the poundage and rep-out on purpose,
You can get a really good workout by doing 3 exercises for the targeted muscle group using 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps. When your strength and energy drop to do strict dieting, you can add extra set to compensate for the loss.
Example of an Effective Chest Workout:
Incline Press – 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions
Flat Press – 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions
Pec Deck – 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions