How I dropped 2 jean sizes in 4 weeks

There is some debate among fitness pros about the best way to burn fat thru cardio exercise. Is it long moderate intensity?  Short, high intensity intervals? None at all?! A combination of both methods?

Honestly, I’ve read plenty of newsletters that preach all types of cardio to no cardio (or at least traditional cardio) and
that’s all good. Getting a group of fitness pros to all agree to anything will happen when pigs fly.

I’m not going to tell you what to do and I’m not telling you anybody else is right or wrong. All I’m going to do is tell you
what worked for me and how I did it.

Here’s what I’ve done to personally go from 19% body fat to 13% in less than 12 weeks…

You can use the exact same method I did starting right now, to be slimmer come New Year’s Eve without changing your diet (assuming it’s good), or adding hours to your gym time.

But first a reminder!

The 80/20 Rule:

80% of your fat loss will come from diet and 20% will come from cardio.

And if that isn’t the truth for this upcoming holiday season.

With that said, here’s how I used a killer combination of cardio workouts to slim up before the Holiday season when most of my friends are packing on the pounds. My tool of choice was an upright, stationary bike in my home office but you can do this workout using any piece of equipment you want. I chose not to do my early morning cardio workouts at the gym.

* You can use a target heart rate (TRH) method and the rate of perceived exertion for greater accuracy *

Warm-up/cool-down: Before the beginning and end of each workout, you’ll spend roughly 5 minutes in a RPE 2 getting your blood flowing. This means no hard breathing. A cool down important even more on the weeks you do high intensity interval training to pay back the oxygen debt you will have created.

The Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE): The most common measurement tool for assessing perceived exertion is a ratings scale named after its developer, Swedish psychologist Gunnar Borg. The table below is modified for simplicity and answers the question “How you feel at the time you are asked.” Here’s what the numbers mean:

RPE 1-2 Very easy; you can talk with no effort.
RPE 3 Easy; you can talk with almost no effort.
RPE 4 Moderately easy; talking requires a little effort.
RPE 5 Moderate; talking requires some effort.
RPE 6 Moderately hard; talking requires quite a bit of effort.
RPE 7 Difficult; talking requires a lot of effort.
RPE 8 Very difficult; talking requires maximum effort.
RPE 9-10 Peak effort; no-talking zone

Interval Style Training: On weeks 2,4,6 and 8,10 and 12, you’ll perform your cardio interval style. Alternate one minute RPE 7+ high intensity sprints with 2 minutes of recuperative stretches. See the bottom of this for an explanation of the Cardio Coach program I used for these weeks.

12 WEEKS TO A LEANER BODY

How it works: Each week, you’ll do two different cardio workouts, varying the intensity in slightly different ways and
duration. By working close to your RPE 4-6 levels or 65% of your THR (the point at which fat is used as energy), you burn fat. By working in your RPE 7+ levels of 75% and more of your THR, you’ll burn a combination of fat and glycogen for energy. Your stamina will improve more during these workouts.

12 Week Workout schedule:

Weeks 1,3,5 Perform four times per week

Exercise: Treadmill walk, exercise bike, stairstep
Duration: 45 minutes
Intensity: PRE 5-6; THR 65% of Max

Weeks 2,4,6 Perform four times per week

Exercise: Treadmill walk, exercise bike, stairstep
Duration: 20 minutes
Intensity: PRE 7-8; THR 75% of Max

Weeks 7,9,11 Perform five times per week

Exercise: Treadmill walk, exercise bike, stairstep
Duration: 60 minutes
Intensity: PRE 5-6; THR 65% of Max

Weeks 8,10,12 Perform five times per week

Exercise: Treadmill walk, exercise bike, stairstep
Duration: 30 minutes
Intensity: PRE 7-8; THR 75% of Max

Why it works: High intensity interval training has been preached as the best way to do cardio. It’s short and intense,
you burn as many calories and you are done in half the time. It’s ideal for those short on time.

On the other hand, moderate, longer sessions have worked for decades for those who are the leanest of lean. Competition
bodybuilders. You’ll find some of the most competitive bodybuilders doing 1 or 2 sessions of moderate cardio for 60
minutes per session. Sometimes twice a day! Don’t tell me longer sessions don’t work.

The truth is, this type of program gives you the best of both worlds. Fast workouts on some weeks where you burn fat but you engage your upper cardiovascular system. And weeks where you just get into the fat burning zones and keep it there. Steady state cardio might be dead for some but the rest of us are doing just fine thanks.

Your No B.S. Coach,
Marc C. David
Author of the Beginner’s Guide to Fitness & Bodybuilding
www.beginning-bodybuilding.com

P.S. - When I did the longer, moderate sessions, one might wonder how come I didn’t get bored? Simple, that was the time that I slapped on my target heart rate monitor to ensure I was in my THR zones and then I watched some of my favorite morning T.V. shows. Because I don’t watch a lot of television, this was an ideal time to do some catch up with an activity that didn’t require my 100% concentrated effort. You can also do your Weeks 1 and 3 split with 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes after your weight training in the afternoons.

P.P.S. - Many gurus will point out that normal people with real lives and jobs simply don’t have the time to do this. Maybe that’s true. But if you want to look like those fitness gurus, you need to go a little above and beyond what the average Joe and Jane does. You can’t look and feel above average doing the average workouts.

P.P.P.S. - I used Cardio Coach, Volume 1 and 2 for my HIIT cardio sessions. You can see my cardio setup here and the audio I used for those weeks.
http://tinyurl.com/32czcm

Categories: Natural Bodybuilding

  • mike

    sounds bout right…I walked off 65 lbs 2 years ago, and still take the dog on a 3 to 4 mile walk daily. I’m also in the middle of Jeff’s O.A. program and I am hard as a rock. down a total of 91 lbs over three years. Thanks to you for the moral support.

  • mike

    sounds bout right…I walked off 65 lbs 2 years ago, and still take the dog on a 3 to 4 mile walk daily. I’m also in the middle of Jeff’s O.A. program and I am hard as a rock. down a total of 91 lbs over three years. Thanks to you for the moral support.