Training tricks for fat loss
Fasted steady-state cardio
There is a lot of smack talk about cardio, especially steady state cardio, especially fasted steady-state cardio! Don't listen to this smack talk. The truth is, in conjunction with an average weight training program and half decent eating habits, cardio works like a real charm for extra fat loss. Besides, it's very healthy! Jack Lalanne knew that himself. Check him out here in his mid 90s!
The leanest I have ever been in my life was when I did fasted steady-state cardio in the mornings during the summer of 2005. Here's what I did: I'd wake up, take the ECA stack (see below), 5 grams of BCAA, 5 grams of Tyrosine, and a 30 cc scoop of Whey isolate mixed in 1/2 a liter of water. Then I'd do my cardio in the form of rollerblading for approximately 45 minutes. Is this fasted? It's fasted enough in my opinion to be considered fasted!
I'd push sort of hard... Afterward I'd eat a moderate sized breakfast, eat another moderate sized meal an hour afterwards, and then go trick or lift heavy weights in the afternoon. I got really lean doing this.
Did fasted cardio kill my strength? No, I was deadlifting 475 lbs at 185 lb bodyweight like this. Did it kill my tricking? No. Take a look at my video, Thousand, from that same year. No problems. Fasted cardio did not kill my zap, it just helped me look like a Greek god and made me feel fantastic! I miss it actually, but with my early work schedule now, waking up to do fasted cardio would undoubtedly interfere with my sleep. If you're in the same boat as me, you'll just have to settle for non-fasted cardio sometime later in the day.
400 meter sprint intervals
The 400 meter sprint, in my opinion, is the king of fat burning efforts. Few things are as brutal as running as fast as you can around a track for 400 meters. With the 400 meter sprint, you're only halfway when you feel like dropping dead. It's like your insides are on fire, your bladder becomes weak and you feel like you are going to pee yourself. That's what happens when you put everything you've got into a 400 meter sprint. I was doing this in 2010 and it leaned me out rapidly within a month's time. How to do it? 4 x 400 meter sprints with up to 6 minutes rest between sprints twice per week in addition to your strength training and/or tricking. This would be an alternative to the daily fasted cardio route, don't do both. Pick one or the other. And if for whatever reason sprinting like this on a track in shoes is hard on your joints, try doing it barefoot around a field instead if possible.
Diet and supplement tricks for fat loss
The Ephedrine Caffeine Aspirin stack (ECA stack) has been a staple for me since I first used it. In the US, you can get all three ingredients from Wal-Mart, Walgreens, or a CVS pharmacy. Supplement manufacturers are prohibited from putting ephedrine into fat loss or pre-workout energy products, but it doesn't matter, because it's still available and sold for Asthma indications in many countries. Here are two purchasing options:
It doesn't matter whether you get Ephedrine Sulfate or Ephedrine HCL, they work the same. I prefer Bronkaid because it is cheaper. Here's how you get ephedrine at a US pharmacy: they keep it behind the counter, so ask for "Bronkaid" or "Primatene" from the pharmacy staff. Then you'll need to provide Driver's License ID to purchase it. They will submit your information to your State, just to make sure you aren't buying tons of it from different places (because if you have enough of it you can make meth). They don't care what you're taking it for, as long as you're not making meth with it. That's all.
Take the stack once per day, preferably before training, and preferably within 4 hours of waking. It is an absolutely killer fat burning combination, greatly increases strength and energy before training, and annihilates your appetite. I've been using the ECA stack non-stop since about 2005 myself. You don't need to cycle it if you do two things:
- Don't go above 25 mg ephedrine per day.
- Don't use it on days you don't train.
If you want to be aggressive with fat burning, then there is another way to use it in which you will have to cycle it.
- Week 1 ECA stack am, ECA stack noon.
- Week 2 ECA stack am, ECA stack noon.
- Week 3 ECA stack am, ECA stack noon.
- Week 4 No ephedrine, Caffeine, or Aspirin at all + Benadryl 25 mg per night.
- (Note: Benadryl (Diphenhydramine HCL) up-regulates the cellular receptors that ephedrine down-regulates, restoring sensitivity.)
For this cycle, use it on non-training days too. Repeat the cycle as long as you want. How would this fit in with training? The optimal use for a twice daily cycle of ECA like this, in my opinion, is to do fasted cardio early in the morning with your first ECA dose, and then use it again 5+ hours later before weight training or tricking. I personally do not like to use stimulants past 2 pm because they will disrupt my sleep. You may opt to take half doses of the ephedrine and caffeine for your second dose if this is the case for you too: 12 mg ephedrine, 100 mg caffeine. Just split the tablets with a pill splitter (also available at your pharmacy). How about crashing? I've never crashed on ephedrine. You might. Try it and see. But for me, ephedrine is about as clean as it gets in my opinion. I love ephedrine, it's a really great drug.
Cabbage?! Seriously? Yes. Seriously. Haha. I've gone from drugs to cabbage! Haha! Hey, I've been obsessed with nutrition, dieting and health for 15 years now, and one of the things I've discovered like many others, is that eating lots of vegetables takes up volume in the stomach, which quells hunger. You feel full but are eating less calories. This is helpful for fat loss, and no vegetable does this better than cabbage. Cabbage is also a nutritional powerhouse (whfoods.com profile for cabbage here). Also, cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, in general, contain compounds that optimize estrogen metabolism. If your body is metabolizing estrogen and estrogenic metabolites efficiently, this is good, because excessive estrogen is correlated with fat and water retention. So long story short, that's why when you are trying to lose fat you MUST buy a stove top steamer!
Start displacing your starchy carb portions (rice, potato, pasta, oats, cereal) with steamed vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Start with cabbage, begin eating piles of steamed cabbage with your meals. Add some salt, pepper, or spice on top and eat it as a side to a lean meat. I wrote about cabbage here in my Tricking Supplements IV: Foods with Super Supplement Effects.
I recommend green cabbage because, in my opinion, it's more palatable than purple cabbage. Purple cabbage can be grainy and for some like myself, has a foul sweet aftertaste. One last note: cabbage can give you awful flatulence, so if you want to mitigate the amount of gas that comes out of your butt hole, take a couple Beano tablets, or something equivalent to it, right before you start eating any meal containing lots of cabbage.
Lifestyle tricks for fat loss
Do things that involve moving your body... lol
If your ass is glued to a certain seat for just about every hour of the day you aren't training, that isn't good for fat loss. Clean your bedroom. Walk around your block listening to music. Go into the kitchen and stand up for an hour while cooking some meals in advance. Go run errands. Go for a walk with a friend. Just get up and do things. Wrestle with your dog!
As a last resort, try Pee Squat Drink if you are forced to sit a lot during the day.
Play video games
Got your attention? This is actually one of the best ways of dieting down. It works like this: while you are playing video games, you aren't thinking about food and you aren't tempted by food. Play single player games that are offline, that are progressive (meaning you can progress and pick up where you left off last time). These are engaging enough to distract you without disrupting your life. Do not play online games, online games will disrupt your life.
A healthier alternative would be reading some good books.
But I'm not judging. Video games, books, whatever. Basically any project where you are building something or progressing through something is an advantageous distraction from the hungers associated with fat loss dieting. And in my opinion, if you aren't experiencing some hunger on a daily basis while you are dieting down, you aren't aggressive enough with your fat loss efforts.