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Fat-loss Exercise Advise

I’ve been lurking on this message board for several months now and have integrated a lot of what has been suggested in to my routines. However, I don’t know if I’m really following the best routine for my 1st and primary goal of body fat% loss. My secondary goal is to gain strength and maybe a little size if this can be accomplished while trying to cut fat. Any suggestion will be appreciated.

So far over the past 2.5 months I’ve started working-out and I’ve cut my body fat from 21% to 18% (200 lbs to 184 lbs) and increased my squat (ass to grass) from 135 lbs to 205 lbs (on 8 reps max - I’m sure that’s not much for some of you guys, but its the best I’ve ever done - my goal is 2-2.5x my body weight once I lose the fat).

My basic plan has been to go on 3:1 day calorie cycles of 2100:3100 calories (45/35/20 ratio of carbs/protein/fat in 5-6 meals/day in mostly whole foods), perform cardio for 30-45 minutes 4-5x/wk, and work-out with weights 3x/wk. This has resulted in the loss of about 1.7 lbs/wk and around 0.3% body fat/wk.

My weight training is split in 2 parts:
1st wk - Leg (quad emphasis), Upper body, Leg (Ham emphasis)
2nd wk - Upper body (chest emphasis), Legs, Upper body (back emphasis)

I don’t really know if this is the best way of structuring my exercise program for fat-loss while maintaining or slightly building my physique because I’ve read that it is nearly impossible to build up lean body tissue while cutting fat. Should I be hitting the weights more or should I hit them a little less and concentrate more on cardio instead?

While weight training, should I focus more on strengthening techniques (low reps, high set/weight), functional strength techniques, or structural techniques? Right now, I vary from work-out to work-out but don’t want to waste my time doing the wrong thing.

At what point should focus change from fat loss to more intensive strengthening/structural building? i.e. @ 12%, 10%, or 8% body fat.

Thanks for any help

Check out The Winning Formula Part 2 by John Berardi back in Issue 205.

John has exactly the answers that you are looking for.


That article answered exactly what I was looking for. I’ve read probably a dozen or two of previous issues but missed that one. Those previous issues are a goldmine of information, better than anything I’ve ever read in magazines or out of books.

The Berardi article is very interesting. Based on the calculations it says I should be eating about 2700 calories.

I know my body, as I typically get around 6% bodyfat and there’s no way that would work for me. Especially, with the high carb intake (47% of calories).

Anyone agree/disagree??