Looking to lose fat at any cost? Anyone can get ripped. Strip away 100 calories daily, and reduce the number by another 100 calories each week. Eventually, you WILL lose body fat, no matter how high your body fat percentage may be currently. The only problem with this method is that you’ll lose muscle too. The look will go from smooth, big and bulky, to small, scrawny and ripped – not the look you want if your desire is to achieve the superhero look!
Maintaining the look of POWER is the major goal for those trying to get ripped. You want to retain your strength as much as possible, but some loss of physical pushing power is acceptable as long as you’re getting much leaner as a result of your efforts. However, losing size and thickness – and your APPEARANCE of power – can be devastating, and thus something to be avoided. One training strategy which has gained immense popularity for helping the trainer to get ripped while maintaining muscle mass and size, and the appearance of power, is known as Complexes, for bodybuilding. Are you ready to dive in?
Soviet Style Complexes
You should look at a complex as a “block of exercises”. Russian trainers used one strength movement, followed by one explosive power movement. For example, standard barbell back squats (for strength) followed with one set of jump squats (for power). You’re using the same pattern of movement… you’re just working differing muscle capacities at the same time. Choose your favorite mass building exercises and then choose variants of them which revert more toward explosive power training. Combine them in order to fully optimize your muscle fiber stimulation.
This training strategy take the Soviet style three steps further. Instead of using TWO exercises, you’ll be using FIVE movement, just like the 5 points of a star. The exercises will be very similar, and performed back to back, which each lift being lighter and better balanced than the lift before. Repetitions will grow faster as you move from strength to power movements, and you’ll target many slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers along the way! Map out your training session ahead of time. Train at home or in a near-empty gym if possible, as bouncing between stations for 5 straight exercises could be very difficult in a crowded gym.
Utilizing 2 heavy movements followed with 3 power movements (the star complex method above), you can burn more a greater amount of fat by turning your workouts into a cardiovascular training experience, at least partially. Doing so is simple – Reduce the amount of time you rest between sets. It’s that easy! If your heart rate never returns to a normal rate and remains elevated for the duration of your workout, then you’ve completed a fat-loss cardiovascular workout, whether you know it or not!
This is a nice method for building overall body power by splitting up your body by lifts, and using multiple lifts with each training session. Split up your body’s potential actions into four basic patterns of movement – Deadlift, Squat, Overhead Pressing, and the Bench Press. Four days each week, you’ll be using two of these exercises as part of an A/B Complex split.
If you don’t have a solid foundation of muscle, you aren’t going to be able to radically transform your body with fat loss AND new muscle mass. Keep your expectations reasonable if you’re new to lifting. These strategies are excellent for current steady lifters looking to get very lean, while boosting their training intensity so that they can maintain their look of power, and maybe add a bit as well. It can be very challenging for the body to drop fat while at the same time trying to add muscle, particularly for the natural lifter.
Rest, recovery, supplementation and nutrition are HUGE factors when training using this advanced and very heavy lifting protocols. Eat plenty of clean proteins (chicken, beef, turkey, fish, whey), lots of carbs for energy (potatoes, beans, rice) and the right kinds of fats (egg yolks, fish oil, almonds). Rest daily for at least an hour, and enjoy eight hours of sleep each night. Performance supplements will go a long way toward muscle and joint recovery as well.
Record Training & Results
Always use a training journal to record each workout. Lift the exercises selected, poundage used, and number of sets/reps you complete with each rotation. Doing so will help in two ways. First off, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re increasing the amount of weight used each week, even if only slightly. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, you’ll be able to analyze long-term lifting trends to see if you’re indeed making strength gain progress month to month, and year to year. From there, you can analyze pictures and measurements of your physique to determine whether or not the physical gains you saw over time matched your physical performance improvements.
The way of thinking is that you will diet to get lean, taking your fat-burning supplements and knocking out your cardio. At the same time, you’ll maintain a training system based upon these very heavy and powerful lifts. You cannot lose that look of power if your body is being forced to find the strength to knock out these power movements on a regular basis!
Getting sliced & diced is no problem. Maintaining a look of POWER while doing so often provides quite a challenge. It can be done – you just have to incorporate intelligent, consistent training. Add supplements for the added edge, and take care to remove stress factors from your life. Good luck!