By Nick Nilsson
Author of Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss
One of the toughest things to do when losing fat is maintain your strength. It's actually easier to maintain muscle mass than it is strength levels.
That's why if keeping your strength and performance levels is important to you when on a fat-loss program, you must use training techniques that target this goal. Simply reducing your calories and performing conventional training is not going to cut it.
That's where Power Start Lactic Acid Training comes in. It's a technique I've come up with that targets fat-loss via Growth Hormone secretion while utilizing a specific training pattern to also maintain (and even BUILD) strength.
Joe Uithoven...Shredded at 60 years YOUNG.
Lactic Acid Build-Up = Growth Hormone Release = Fat Loss
Long story short, that's basically the bottom line and the primary goal we're going for when I talk about Lactic Acid Training. The goal is not to just get the burn for the sake of getting the burn. That Lactic Acid build-up signals the body to release Growth Hormone, which is one your body's most powerful fat-loss and muscle-sparing hormones.
Power Start Lactic Acid Training accomplishes this via a two-part workout.
The first set you do will use a moderate weight and aim for 15 to 20+ reps. Do these reps fast and with power (hence the name "power start"). This is the set that is going to target strength and explosiveness by way of nervous system activation.
You're not using a heavy load, but you ARE using a powerful and explosive lifting speed in order to develop that nervous system efficiency and activation. You will crank out as many reps as you can, as fast as you can, until Lactic Acid build-up shuts you down.
The second set (and every set thereafter) will use a REDUCED weight (drop it by 1/3 to 1/2). Get as many reps as you can using tight form...not as explosive as the first set, but not super slow either. The goal here is to KEEP that Lactic Acid build-up in your muscles.
You'll do one set, rest 20 seconds, then do another set, rest 20 seconds, continuing this pattern until you've done 8 to 10 total sets (including the first set).
By the time you're done, your reps will likely have dropped down into the 3 to 5 rep range and Lactic Acid build-up will make it hard for you to even move properly. THAT is what we're looking for.
Reverse Band Bench Press...the IDEAL exercise for maintaining benching strength and power
Now, you can absolutely use any conventional exercise with this style of training. It'll work just fine. However, I like to push things a little further and work with unique exercises and Hybrid movements that really match the strength curves of the exercises better.
And for bench pressing, I use Reverse Band Barbell Bench Press.
Essentially, you'll take two training bands and attach them to the top cross-beams of the power rack. Then you'll loop the other ends around the ends of the bar.
This is my recommended source for training bands. (Note: Use Coupon Code "rbtfitstep" to get 10% off your purchase of a band package)
When you lower the bar, the bands stretch and take up some of the resistance...during the part where you're WEAKEST in the press. Then, as you press up, the bands contract and put back that tension...just as your leverage improves and you're STRONGEST in the press.
This allows you to train the movement with ideal resistance from top to bottom.
And while it does take some resistance off you at the bottom, this is NOT cheating...it's simply a strategic method for making your training more effective. Band training is regularly used by world-class powerlifters to increase strength.
It allows you add more overall load to the top section of the movement where leverage is better so you get more efficient strength development.
Here's what the sets and exercise looks like...
The bands are hitched on the top cross-beams. Make sure they're placed evenly on there so you don't get any diagonal tension.
Unrack the bar and get set up, just like you would for a regular bench press.
Lower the bar to your chest then EXPLODE back up with power. The idea here is not to do slow, grinding reps but to blast these reps out to activate and train the nervous system for power.
And the beauty of training with bands in this fashion is that your body doesn't have to expend energy decelerating the bar (which happens with lighter weight). You just power up and as the bands relax tension, the load increases, slowing the bar down naturally without your body having to put the brakes on (which actually limits your strength and power output).
Crank out as many reps as you possibly can until Lactic Acid stops you. In my set here, I think I managed 16 or 17 reps.
When you've finished that first set, remove some weight (I took a 45 lb plate off each side) then continue.
If you have a training partner, it'll speed up this process. If you're on your own, just go as fast as you can and go straight into your next set.
Do as many reps as you can (probably around 6 to 8 reps or so) then rest 20 seconds. Do another set of as many reps as you can then rest 20 seconds.
Repeat for 8 to 10 total sets and you're done for your chest training! It'll go quick but believe me, you'll have no reason to do anything else after you've completed a full run of this style of training. Your nervous system is done and your muscles will be Jello.
If you've got bands, definitely give this version of Power Start Lactic Acid Training a try...the better matching of the strength curve will really allow you to push your muscles to the limit through the entire range of motion of the bench press exercise.
And, as I mentioned, you can absolutely use this training style with just about ANY exercise.
On a side, this style of training (that goes for Lactic Acid and GH secretion) is more effective when fasted or on a low-carb diet. Insulin and GH don't play well together...if you eat carbs within a few hours of this style of training, the GH response won't be nearly as strong.
If you're interested in more info on how the nutrients you eat should tie in with specific training styles...
...I've got a full video (and text) rundown on my Metabolic Surge program. You can check out that video guide to nutrients and training here...and even though it is focused on the Surge program, it's PACKED with great info that you can apply to just about any fat-loss program.
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