T Nation

Fat Loss Workout Questions

Hello all.

I’ve read through the forums and the site and I just want to make sure I’m understanding this point correctly.

Ok, here it goes: The argument between heavy-weight/low-rep (e.g. 5x5) vs. low-weight/high-rep (e.g. Meltdown) for fat loss is that the heavy weight/low-rep people say that during a fat loss period, muscle loss is inevitable but by maintaining strength, you can minimize the muscle loss. While those who believe in low-weight/high-rep say that because muscle loss in inevitable, burn as many calories as you can to minimize the amount of time spent losing fat and muscle. Is this correct?

ALSO, there seems to a consensus and it’s those with higher body fat (something like >12%) should do low-weight/high-rep and those w/ low body fat should do heavy-weight/low-rep. Is this correct as well?

And I just want to point out that even though OVT is supposed to be mainly for muscle building, it seems to be a good compromise between these two schools of thoughts. Opinions?

Thanks in advance for the input!

Wow! Great questions. I too, would like these answers.

Bump please.

I dont know if there is an arguement as such, its just different things that work for different people. If you are a natural mesomorph, meltdown would be great for cutting, me however, im an ectomorph and lose muscle quickly and would prefer OVT.
Look at the authors of the different programs. Joel (5x5 advocate) is more of an ecto shape (your still buff tho bro!) whereas Don (meltdown) is an obvious Meso shape and it wouldn’t surprise me if he came out of the womb with 20 inch arms clutching a barbell.
Find out what works for you. (make sure to take into account the type of cardio you will be doing and the diet you will be on as these will affect the progress of the resistance training)

you pretty much hit the nail on the head. the only thing i would like to add is that not only does the low rep training increase or maintain your strength. the fact that you are following a low volume approach is also important to note.

while dieting low carb style your glycogen and energy levels will be low. so by following a low volume training program you help to minimize those negative effects.

it is very easy to overtrain while dieting. 1st of all you are in a hypocaloric state and usually you are also increasing aerobic/energy system work. if you also add a high volume weight training program you are sure to overtrain, have low to no glycogen stores, feel like crap, and look flat.

i prefer to use my time in the gym to build muscle/strength. my fat loss will come through diet and increased cardio work.

it is also nice to take a break form the typical high volume bodybuilding routine a few times per year. after a strength phase, when you go back to a higher volume approach you will be able to lift heavier and your body will be primed for growth.

hope that helps.

thanks for the help! This does help quite a bit.

P-DOG: just to make sure, so even if someone were of a higher bodyfat % you would still recommend the heavy-weight/low-rep?

it depends what you mean by higher bf%. i would say if your over 13-14% then you stand to lose less strength and muscle than someone who is sub 10.

the lower you get into the single digits the more muscle/strength you are going to lose.

if you are talking rapid weight loss for someone who is way up there in bf then yeah, you could go with the higher rep protocol.

having said that, i would still go with the low rep heavy weight stuff simply out of personal preference. i love to train heavy. that is why i go to the gym each day. if i dont lift a heavier weight or bust out an extra rep from my previous workout i am pissed.

i have tried meltdown type programs in the past and i simply didnt like them. i am not discounting the proven fat burning effects of such a program, but it simply isnt for me. especially when trying to get into the low single digits.

again, my time spent in the gym is to either get stronger or increase muscle size. body fat loss can be accomplished through a sound diet and proper cardiovascular protocol. use your gym time wisely.

Great stuff P-Dog, thanks! Think I’m gonna start new rrd next week…

rr&d is great. also try poliquins “maximal weights” routine.

Awesome! Thanks a lot of the help P-DOG!

I don’t think that Meltdown really uses high repetitions (i.e. 10 RM). Meltdown I has the primary goal of maximizing growth hormone output with the idea in mind that it’s a very lipolytic hormone.

To me, the bottom line is that any time you pick up a weight, your goal should be to build muscle. I really don’t feel that you should ever be concerned about burning fat during a resistance training session, nor about which routine will help you to burn more fat. Conversely, you should be looking for a program that will assist you in building maximum muscle and strength.

It’s rather frustrating to see and hear individuals think that high reps burn fat. I dare you to compare the caloric expenditure between five reps (with a 5RM weight) of power cleans, deadlifts, or squats to fifteen reps (i.e. 15 RM) of tricep kickbacks, dumbbell concentration curls, etc. I think you get my point.

Any thoughts on combining the two with a CKD? uppper/lower 5x5 early in the week after the weekend carb up with meltdown at the end of the week for the depletion workout?