Lately there has been controversy on what the best training program is for losing body fat while maintaining the same level of muscle tissue. I will present to you a periodization program that will get you “optimal” results concerning size, strenght, power and fat loss. The plan consists of 3 macrocycles of 3-4 weeks each in duration for a total of 9-12 weeks. Let’s discuss “Optimal Strategies”.
OPTIMAL STRATEGY ONE: We all know eccentric actions smoke concentric or concentric plus eccentric actions. For muscle strenght and mass. For this program our main concern with eccentrics involves our goal of maintaining our size and strength following a period of de-training. In one study, subjects involved in eccentric training over 19 wks maintained their strenght increases after 4 wks of de-training. In another 10 week study, subjects performing eccentrics were able to maintain their " new muscle" after a 4 wk de-training period.
OPTIMAL STRATEGY TWO: De-training our main concern with a de-training period concerns whole body recovery, fiber type conversions, and obviously a long term delayed training effect(ltdte)(siff/zatsiorsky)from our eccentric macrocycle, because adaptation occurs during unloading rather than loading periods (zatsiorsky).
FIBER TYPE CONVERSIONS: TypeIIx(IIB) fibers convert to type IIA fibers, and both typeI and typeIIA fibers turn to type IIC fibers. Fibers with a 50/50% strenght/endurance characteristic ratio. This is obviously a bad thing because we need all our fast twitch (MAINLY IIX(IIB) to lift heavy (optimal) loads that will help us get bigger and stronger. So how do we get out typeIIx(IIB) fibers back? De-Training! Studies conclude that there is, what they call a “Myosin Heavy chain IIx (IIB) overshoot”. Meaning after a period of de-training, you will cause your body to “overshoot” in typeIIB fiber. So for eg. a 3 mth resistant program can decrease your type IIx (IIBs) fiber from 9.3% to 2%, but a 3mth de-training period will cause an overshoot, resulting in 17.2% type IIB fibers (as opposed to our 9.3% in the beginning). If we never taper our training loads or de-train, we will always have a reduced % of typeIIx(IIB) fibers, but an increase in type IIA and IIC (fibers with endurance characteristics).
OPTIMAL STRATEGY 3: A ketogenic diet, no diet comes close to shaving off bodyfat like the keto diet. If you’ve followed my previous postings you know that I like to mainitain a state of “ketosis” for long prds (wks) as oppsed to cycling carbs every 5 days. On this 3-4 wk cycle, I want you to stay in ketosis for as long as possible, with minimal carb meals (not carb days). The biggest complaint about keto diets is reduced energy levels and strenght loss. This is because your body prefers carbs as an energy source over fat, but eventually it will adapt to a high fat diet. Our typeII fibers require the utilization of glucose for maximal muscular contractions, but there is none on this diet. What do we do? You can train hoping that your body won’t convert muscle or lactate to glucose, or you can rest with a “de-training” period. Remember, eccentrics bring about adaptations that are realized days or wks after the training session (LTDTE), but this will only happen in a period of “tapering” or “de-training”. (Combine #'s 2-3.)
STRATEGY 4: After you have lost a considerable amount of fat from the keto phase, you will also feel better because of whole body recovery, which will result in a supercompensation from all your past training history. Macrocycle 3 deals with post-tetanic potentiation. Studies prove that the more TYPEIIB fibers you have, the greater the P-T-P effects. If you’ve done a de-training period necessary to cause a type IIx fiber overshoot, we can now maximize the effects of P-T-P. See past articles in the T-MAG archives for P_T_P programs. That’s it, 3-4 wks of eccentrics, 3-4 wks of de-training with a keto diet, and 3-4 wks of P_T_P. If your like most people I know, the last thing people want to do is spend time in the gym in the summer. I believe this might be the perfect program to reach and maintain size, strenght and definiton with minimal time in the gym. HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!