T Nation

Fat Burning


I started going through a cutting phase. I've never been on a cutting phase before. I went from 190 to 240 pounds over the last 2 years. I'm 24 years old. I have my diet in order and am going to start using HOT-ROX. I have a problem though. I'm terrified of losing a large amount of muscle that I have gained. The fat that I have gained is completely isolated to my stomach love handle region. It's going very well but I just want to make sure my progress continues.

Is working out first thing in the morning before a meal the best time to burn fat? I would think that one would lose a great deal of muscle and strength because you fast all night and are running on empty first thing in the morning....Unless I consumed only a Grow! shake without carbs or fat. This way I would be stopping muscle breakdown in the morning with protein but not giving my body any carbs or fat to use during the cardio first thing in the morning. What do you guys suggest for the best way and time to burn fat? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks


20-30 minutes of very low intensity cardio (walking) in the morning (before breakfast) is good for losing fat. Intense cardio before breakfast is asking to lose muscle.

You could also try 10x3 for fatloss or lactis acid training for fatloss.

Search for them and check 'em out.


A good rule of thumb is to shoot for losing no more than 2 pounds per week. This is going to be a slow process. You figure if you want to lose 30 pounds, its going to take about 15 weeks.

You might want to start lifting a little heavier to provide some extra incentive for your body to hang on to its muscle. Christian Thib just wrote a new article on Carb Cycling that you may find very useful.

1 - Its going to be a long process... Like I said, shoot for 2 pounds per week. Any more and the excess is probably your muscle! Don't dip below 1,000 under maintenance between diet and exercise.

2 - Reevaluate your calories every few weeks.

3 - Find motivation wherever you can get it! Its hard doing it for a long time.




Losing fat is all--ALL--about your diet. You can't do enough trainig of any type, to offset a crappy diet.

Now, I'm a firm believer in am. fasted slow cardio. Occasional interval type workout. Heavier weights--maybe give up a set or two, but don't sacrifice weight for volume. For now, keep rest periods moderate to short. Near the end of your cutting phase, you may need a little more time between sets--use it.




Sorry but you keep bumping and pushing this thread up and you have forced me to ask, are you just waiting to hear what you want to hear? Because you have been given good advice and have not commented at all.

In answer to your question, you should not 'work out' first thing in the morning which I take to mean lifting, however some cardio as suggested above would be good whilst you are trying to cut.


I like to hear from a substantial amount of people that have been through something that I have not (cutting phase). If someone asked me how to bulk, I would have a lot to tell. I could read everything that I get my hands on about fat burning, but I like to hear from peoples actual experiences.

So if I want to "bump" this thread 2 times, I will. Maybe I'll do it a third time and you can be "forced" to respond again.


By the way, thanks for the information guys.


Main advice when cutting is: "Don't rush it". If you rush it you will lose LBM as well as fat. Lower you caloric intake gradually in order to avoid yo-yo dieting and making your metabolism go AWOL. When you reach a caloric intake that makes you lose about 1 pound a week, then stop decreasing calories and maintain.

Also, i suggest doing a bit of cardio, especially when getting close to the single figures. Without it, it'll be unlikely you reach single digets. That doesn't mean get on the tread mill and run 1000Miles in 5seconds every day. Read CT's article with IBUR (Intensive build-up running), personally, IBUR is the shit.

Another thing, you WILL have fat on your upper body, and you WILL decrease in size slightly (no where near as much as your love handles/stomach section).

Good luck!

Oh, read CT's article "The Beast Evolves" to get inspired!


For me, loosing body fat comes down to:

1) cutting calories and carbs
2) upping energy system work of all kinds
3) LESS Weight Sessions, MORE Heavy weights

I love to lift, dont like cardio/energy system work, and cant stand to diet! I have to reverse this if I want to get lean. THe hardest part for me is cutting back at the gym. There is only so much recovery I have in me though.I try to make my Energy System work more MANLY and less hamster like.

CT wrote a great article about dragging yourself around with your feet on the top of a plasitc lid (like what comes off those big paint buckets). I will alternate rounds of this, with jumping rope, shadow boxing, jump squats, etc. ANYTHING to avoid the treadmil and cycle. I have not employed sand bag carries or sledge hammer work, but both look to me like a good cross between working my muscles and burning calories.

Check out CT's Reinsance Article, CW's 10x3 for fat loss, etc. I think 2-3 weight sessions a week with as much energy system work as you can stand witout overtraining, combined with STRICT diet control (like CT's Carb Codex), is the magic.

All the information you could ever need to get as ripped as you are capable off is on this site. The real question comes down to can you EXECUTE ON PLAN? good luck.


Thanks a lot guys. This is all great info.


Here's my advice.

Do a 4 week maintenance cycle. Let your body acclimate itself to your new amount of muscle. If you're really concerned do 8 weeks. This also gives you a chance to start tweaking your diet and upregulate your metabolism.
Then you have a few options:
You can take the slow route and T-dawg it (e.g. a 1-2lb of fat loss week approach) or you can try the Velocity Diet and lost 15-20 in 4 weeks and build some genuine discipline. The choice is yours.


Not to start some flaming shit but ... It wasn't until after my post that you began to comment on the information you were being given, before this you were simply bumping the thread and making no comment.

So for my personal account: light cardio in the mornings and sprints on off days have worked best whilst on a 'cutting' cycle.


After messing around with low-carb diets for a very long time (being a FFB) I've turned toward a much more wholistic approach. Read JB's "A New Perspective on Energy Balance." The most success I've had is to not make radical caloric intake changes, but rather, increase energy flux and eat very 'cleanly' (By the 7 Habits/Temporal Nutrition).

I generally set out a 12 week plan, with the last week being my peak, where I drop all non-workout carbs and eat only greens. Be careful not to lower your calories too slowly - it can quickly lead to a yo-yo pattern, which I suffered through. It is not fun.


Yep, I bumped the thread two times. Boo hoo. Three people had responded and like I said, I am gathering peoples opinions on a cycle that they have been through. I didn't respond to three people when I bumped the thread.

By the way, what's it to you? Why do you care so much that I didn't respond when you wanted me to? Who cares?


Tabata method training is the single best method of improving body composition we have right now. What I'd have you do if you were a client is one week of 3-4 Tabata workouts followed by a week of strength-oriented training, alternated (and tweaked a bit) until you reach your goal. That's assuming you're not in a hurry, though, and since it's November, I'll assume you're not.

Make sure sleep and post-workout nutrition is in order too and you'll see even better progress.

Upping the activities of daily living a little, like the walks people mentioned, won't hurt either, though they won't really help a lot either. Still, doesn't hurt to get up and moving often during the day.



I'm definetly not in a hurry, however, even though it's November, I still plan on being strict with my diet through the holidays. I won't be spending my time eating shit-loades of mashed potatoes and then taking 2 hour naps.

This sounds good though, thanks for the advise.