Yesterday, I posted Part 1 of my interview with trainer and writer Tony Gentilcore. If you missed it, be sure and check it out here before you read part 2. Today we’re continuing with the rest of the hi-jinx.
What do you find is the most commonly overlooked element when someone is trying to drop body fat and get lean?
TG: The notion that you still need to LIFT HEAVY SHIT. When training solely for fat-loss, it’s imperative that you maintain as much lean muscle mass as possible. Far too often, I see trainees spending waaaaaaaay too much time doing cardio and using high(er) rep protocols in order to get the job done. First off, if your nutrition is dialed in, that alone will take care of 90% of the fat loss right there. Secondly, when kcals are reduced, you’re not going to have the energy to perform all of that higher rep work optimally. Sooner rather than later, you’re going to run out of gas and stunt your progress.
For me, I still like to see people spend a little time lifting in the low(er) rep ranges (3-5 reps) and give the body the stimulus it needs to KEEP MUSCLE. From there, I’m all for people tossing in some metabolic-based training where the perform circuits/finishers/conditioning/stuff that will make you hate life.
To be clear, though, and this can’t be stressed enough – your diet is going to be the determining factor when it comes to fat loss. If you’re not providing a caloric deficit (and diet is the easiest way to do so) you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Having said that, the main mistake I see most trainees make is performing waaaaay too much volume and neglecting the strength side of things.
I couldn’t agree more, and this (high reps for weight loss) is another one of those dogmas that just wont die.
This may be the most important question you will ever answer. Which would you put your money on in a match to the death-a grizzicorn (half grizzly, half unicorn), or a rhinuppy (half rhino, half puppy)? And why?
Things to consider:
-Both have horns
-Grizzly’s are MEAN
-Puppies are adorable, but have wicked bad breath
TG: Ooooooo, tough one! I’d have to go with the rhinuppy. Puppies ARE adorable, and can use said adorableness to trick it’s opponent before stabbing it with it’s horn. Jesus, that’s a lame answer.
Yeah, you kind of squandered that opportunity Gentilcore. You could have gone into the advantages of the fur covered armor, or even the distraction of the puppy’s floppy ears as it charges. Man, what a waste on such an important question. Actually, I’m just happy that you re-typed “rhinuppy”, because that word is ridiculous!
I’ve heard you do a lot of the program writing for CP’s fat loss clients. What is your basic approach to writing those programs to maximize the clients time and efforts, and what elements do you prioritize for fat loss clients?
TG: First and foremost – and this is yet another thing I feel many trainers miss the boat on – is improving the movement quality of people. For lack of a better term: people move like shit. And one of my biggest pet peeves is when I see other trainers taking people through some advanced circuits that have them doing asinine things like 50 reps of BOSU ball squats, followed by juggling medicine balls (probably on a BOSU ball), followed by running over their right arm with a car.
Obviously I’m being a bit facetious here, but I think you get the point. The result is that many trainees are under the impression that “harder” is better; that so long as they shit their spleen out of their mouth it was an effective training session. Not so much.
I feel wholeheartedly that if we (and by we, I mean ALL trainers out there) paid more attention to the movement quality of our clients, that they’d see markedly better results in the long-term – whether their goal is fat loss or to deadlift a Mack truck.
Having said that, I think my approach to fat loss is pretty much on par with what most recognizable names in this industry do:
-Stress nutrition. Trust me, you’re NEVER, ever, never, ever, x infinity, ever going to out train a poor diet.
-Focus on compound movements that force people to use as much muscle mass as possible.
-When appropriate – super set. Meaning, instead of performing straight sets where you take a rest in between; with super sets you’ll pair two, non-competing exercises back-to-back so as to optimize both the hormonal response as well as time efficiency. A great example of this would be something like this:
A1. Goblet Squats 4×6
A2. TRX Inverted Rows 4×8
A1. Bench Press 4×5
A2. Body weight Bulgarian Split Squats 4×10/leg
Ideally, I’d have the client perform A1, rest 20-30s, perform A2, THEN rest 60-90s.
Additionally, you can also set up tri-sets, and even quad-sets, which is something I know you’re VERY adept at utilizing Mike!
In this instance, I’d be more inclined to include more “corrective” exercises into the mix. Or maybe even some fun stuff like med ball shenanigans or kettlebell swings. Really, though, the possibilities are endless. Using one of the above examples:
A1. Goblet Squats 4×6
A2. Yoga Plex 4×5/leg
A3. TRX Inverted Row 4×8
A4. Overhead Med Ball Floor Stomps 4×15
I’m not 100% against using steady state cardio as a means to help aid fat loss. But my perspective is to use steady state cardio as more of a recovery/blood flow component than anything else. In the end, when speaking purely from a fat-loss standpoint, we need to prioritize things. Most often, despite popular belief, steady state cardio is going to be last on the “to do” list. This isn’t to say that it can’t be part of the picture, but when we’re dealing with people who already have a limited amount of time to train, steady state cardio just IS NOT a conducive use of time given the limited return on investment.
Any parting thoughts for the readers?
TG: Yeah, I changed my mind. Grizzicorn……;o)
To read more from Tony, be sure and check out his blog at www.tonygentilcore.com. Do it now!