By Nick Nilsson
Author of Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss
Fat-loss training does NOT have to be boring and it does NOT have to result in lost strength and power.
The fat-loss training technique I'm about to show you not only takes advantage of your hormonal response to a specific style of training (more on that below), it also allows you to actually build power and strength at the same time.
I used this technique in the last round I did of my Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss program that got me in the condition you see in the picture here.
Why We WANT Lactic Acid (and plenty of it!) When Training For Fat Loss...
One of the key components of fat loss that a lot of people miss is the HORMONAL component...in this case, we're looking squarely at Growth Hormone.
Now, ironically enough, even though the name of the stuff is growth hormone, it's actually one of the most effective FAT-burning hormones you've got (it also helps your body spare muscle tissue...it's GREAT stuff and training to increase it is very important).
Studies have demonstrated that a drop in the pH in your bloodstream (an increase in acidity) is a stimulus for the secretion of Growth Hormone in your body. Now, in English, that means when you train for the burn from Lactic Acid, your body will kick out Growth Hormone in response.
[Side note: to take maximum advantage of this GH response, you need to also have stable blood sugar levels, which means little to no circulating insulin...and that means training in a fasted state. Insulin and GH don't play nicely together and the presence of insulin will pretty much shut down GH. As well, this means you can also enhance this response by doing Lactic Acid training while eating low-carb].
The goal with Lactic Acid Training is to get your body to build up a LOT of Lactic Acid and keep it there for extended period of time.
So How Do We Train For Lactic Acid and Growth Hormone?
Building up Lactic Acid is not a hard thing to do. I'm sure you've experienced many times, especially with higher-rep training.
In this case, I've got a unique twist for you...and it's not only going to build up the Lactic Acid levels, it's also going to develop speed, strength and power in your target lift as well.
Instead of simply doing a bunch of high-rep sets with light weight (which is a version I've used as well), we're going to start with one set of moderately high reps with a moderate weight with a FAST tempo (as fast as you can go while keeping good form).
THEN we'll cut the weight in half and continue doing sets with that weight, resting 20 seconds in between sets.
The first set is the "money" set...it's going to build speed, strength and power. And it's going to churn out a LOT of Lactic Acid, especially as you keep pushing to get as many reps as you can, grinding out the last few under extreme burn.
The weight should be something you can hit at least 15 to 20 or so reps with.
I'm going to demonstrate this with Decline Close Grip Bench Press, which primarily targets the triceps (also the chest and shoulders). It's one of my favorite tricep exercises.
I've got 185 lbs on the bar...you'll notice in the picture that I've got the 25 lb plates on the INSIDE of the bar and the 45 lb plates on the outside. When I go to strip half the weight off, I'll only have to remove the 45's and the weight that's left will be 95 lbs, which is about half. I won't have to put any plates back on, which would take more time.
Crank out as many reps as you possibly can...pushing to the point where the burn basically shuts down your muscle function. The weight should be moderate enough that when you hit that "pace break" (the point where you have to pause and catch your breath a bit), you can grind out another 3 to 5 reps or so.
Now cut the weight in half.
Get back on the bench and crank out as many more reps as you can. Even though the weight is a lot less, your body will not have had time to clear out much Lactic Acid and you'll get fewer reps even with half the weight.
Again, go for the burn, getting as many as you can, keeping a fast pace with good form. You'll notice in the video that I'm not using a full lockout on each rep...the purpose of this is to keep the tension on the muscles and churn out even MORE Lactic Acid.
Now the fun begins...
You've finished your second set. Rest 20 seconds.
Then go AGAIN.
Repeat this for at least 5 to 7 more sets, so that you're hitting 6 to 8 sets total for the exercise (including the first moderate-weight set, e.g. 1 set moderate weight, 7 sets light). Your reps will drop significantly as you progress through the sets...you may even get to the point where you're only getting a 3 to 5 reps.
That's totally fine as the goal is not performance on those lighter sets, it's keeping that Lactic Acid in the muscles and not allowing full recovery and clearance of it.
I've found this method to be incredibly effective at generating Lactic Acid while still allowing you to use a decent amount of resistance so that you're not just targeting the Type 1 muscle fibers.
It will definitely make for a challenging workout.
And yes, you can do this with just about ANY exercise...(just fyi, if you do it with squats or deadlifts, you'll be generating so much Lactic Acid that your motor function will probably be compromised...in other words, be careful when you walk!).
This style of training is definitely more effective when done in fasted state (not necessarily first thing in the morning, but don't eat anything before you train).
If you're interested in more information 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 the nutrients/training video 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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