T Nation

Maintaining Power while Getting Lean

Hello. My goal within the next couple of months in to get lean (lose about 6-8% body fat) while at the same time either maintaining or increasing my strength and power. I know these are conflicting goals, but I’m trying to figure out ways to resolve them. I’m a big fan of John Berardi and his ideas (John if your reading this you’re one smart guy), and I’ve read about how to use cardio to get lean while weight training. Here’s the problem with me-when I do moderate intensity cardio I get slower, even with low rep weight training. My power output goes down by a fair amount. So I was thinking a way around this would be instead of doing moderate cardio, doing high intensity cardio instead (ex. 100m sprints, full speed stadium stairs, sprint circuits, etc.). This would be done at similar times that John Berardi mentioned in his Appetite for Construction article for when to use moderate cardio. What does anyone think of this idea? Will it work or will it be more detrimental to both my goals? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Look at sprinters! They’re lean & big. If you do cardio, do sprints.

If sprinters are so lean and strong, how come most people say you can’t get lean and strong at the same time? Is it the training over many years that creates this “look” in sprinters? What if some of us are looking for the same thing? Can we train specifically to become muscular and lean at the same time? I hear people saying that this can’t be done, but there are many athletes who have done so. So what’s the deal? A sprinter’s physique is exactly what I would like to attain. Does anyone know how to go about doing it? I’m currently training with heavier weights and lower reps to get stronger, and doing some cardio to try to get leaner, but there must be a way to make more progress. What’s the real deal, T-maggers?

Nate: Here’s how to look like a top level sprinter. Step #1- Be born a gifted black man with one in a billion genetics. (See our “Speed Demons” article in previous issues.) Step #2- Dedicate your entire life to the sport. Forsake family and whatever else is necessary to do this. Step #3- Use steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.

Clarence Bass has used this type of training to great effect: one intense weight session a week, and one sprint training session a week. Maybe he’s a genetic freak, and I think he uses some metabolic enhancers, but he’s in damn fine shape for a man in his 60s (I think). Check out his site. Might be worth giving his methods a try.

So Chris, you’re saying there is a chance, right? LOL! Yeah, being born a gifted black man could be a problem. The other two could be accomplished if I was dedicated to the sport. Hmm…well dammit man! I want to be lean and strong. C’mon, a Michael Johnson body is cool. Lean, strong, muscular. Even some of the other guys have good builds (Maurice Jones, UF’s own John Capel, Donovan Baily). What can you do? Brider, thanks for the info. I need to check out Clarence Bass’ site and see if there is some more info.

Just to echo the words of the Great Shugs: I think numero uno is genetics…just like any other sport, sprinters–and track and field athletes in general–are one in a million, and those that are normally seen (in the Olympics) represent an entire country!

These athletes train a little differently than just for strength or just for power, or what not. These athletes’ training programs are designed by top o’ the line coaches and incorporate the most effective and efficient exercises, set and reps schemes…I wish I could outline a program for you but my experience with these athletes is rather limited. Explosive olympic lifts are the core with assistance exercises. I’ll dig a little deeper and see if I can’t do a little bettter than that:-)

Well im a sprinter and people always give me compliments on my physique and claim that i take roids, Ive never taken roids. But what I do is run a lot(sprints) lift weights three days a week, take protein and creatine supplements adn eat what I want when I want. I think the thing is that the intesity in my training is always high and never, never low. Plus I run at least four days a week always. so im always burning calories. My diet is not strict wit plenty of carbs. It takes time but anyone can do it, just keep doing it for a signinficant time not two months that wont do squat for someone who is just doing it for physique.

Willie, thanks for the info! Yes, I’m sure it requires more than a few months of training. Hey Timbo, I don’t want to hear that genetic crap! LOL! I don’t want to put any constraints on what I want to accomplish. As for the Olympic lifts, I’ll eventually put them back in the routine, but not until my basic strength on basic exercises has gotten much higher. Then I’ll be ready to do that stuff again. :slight_smile:

Nate Dogg…I heard that, big dogg. I don’t want anybody telling me that I’m NOT going to be able to achieve my goals. Say hell with ‘em, bro, and let them sit back and watch. Then ya come back knockin’ and show 'em wassup:-) Get at 'em, Dogg.

Slick Willie…thanks for the first-person perspective, bro. What level are you running at, out of curiosity?