T Nation

Strength training for fat loss

I’m definitely seeing signs of success with some of your awesome dietary recommendations (esp. Tampa Terry. When i have to tighten up my diet towards the end of the month i was wondering if i should switch to a strength training program? This would allow me to keep my strength for subsequent hypertrophy phases but how effective for fat loss is it? Most of the fat loss training programs on T-mag involve high volume, short rest periods etc… but Berardi said that he uses a strength program whilst dieting?

Adam, think of it this way. Your diet is going to help you drop the BF you want to drop. The resistance training you do when you’re on a hypocaloric diet (below maintenance calories) is done with the specific purpose and intent of preserving LBM. You need both to achieve your goals. Strength training would be awesome, ideal, even. I agree with JB’s recommendation wholeheartedly.

Congrats on your success thus far, and thanks for the kind words!

Actually your choice of a strength program is very popualr around here fur cutting. Most of the ppl around here use a strength based program inorder to minimize the loss of strength and LBM during cutting phases. The higher volume workouts can be very catabolic and chew up LBM.

One program many of us have used with great success for cutting is ABBH. You might give it a look. It is a nice mix of heavy work and higher volume.

Hope this helps,

Along with the fantastic advice you received already I wanna add some more support to this theory. One of the things that Thib suggest a while ago was low reps/higher weight supporting better fat loss. If you think about it, with the increased load you are trying to move an increased amount neurons will be called upon to fire. Meaning more of your muscle fibers will be called upon to do more work. More muscles working, more calories burned.

Thanks, there’s some interesting ideas there… i,ve just finished my first ever strength training workout… 18 sets of upper body pushing movements with reps of about 5 (I’m gonna read up on ABBH before my next workout). I’m just wondering though if strength training is easy(easier!) than traditional hypertrophy training? I just found that last workout relatively easy… I feel like I could do it all over again right now!

It stresses you in a different way than hypertrophy training. It wears on your CNS more. You may not feel as is you are fatigued but if you STRAINED hard enough then your CNS is fatigued. It should have been HARD to lift your last reps, approaching and sometimes reaching failure on a 1-3 rep range.

Hope this helps.


hey adam,
i am now using CT’s OVT training while cutting and it has been working very well. i don’t feel tired during my workouts and i get a great pump. i hit the cardio in the morning before work and them train at night. just make sure if you try it you get enough rest. i was doing more hypertrophy type training but found i was losing muscle. as soom as i switched to OVT i started to slowly gain back my strength. i def recommend giving this one a try.

Adam make sure you’re using the right weight. You want to make sure you’re fatiguing your muscles enough, not total fatigue though. If you’re benching and such without a spotter or in a rack in case you fail, there is a good chance you were doing lower weight than what you could/should actually. This is because you need to re-rack the weight so you might have stopped a few reps early. Since you were only doing 5 reps, that translates into too light of a load for that rep scheme. This may be part of why you feel you can do it again.

HA… how wrong was I?!? I thought that strength training was easy… I slept for 10 hours last night (ouch for catabolism) and missed a lecture this morning… dam CNS fatigue… didn’t see that coming! I’m reading that OVT thing now and I like the look of that too. There’s far too many kickass programs here… decisions, decisions

Surprize. It’ll sneak up on you.

I do 1/4 mile sprints for fat loss. And they are amazing! 6 to 8 intervals with a :90 rest between each one.

Anyone ever perform intervals for fat loss? I find that you do not lose muscle like you do with some of the longer cardio programs.


Yes sir buddeee… Intervals such as the ones you are doing are VERY effective! That is the ONLY type of cardiovascular training that I do while I’m trying to lean up. Our football coach has us run 10 100s 8 80s 6 60s and 4 40s, now you wanna talk about a workout in this 91 degree 75% humidity, 0 mph breeze Florida sun… It gets 'er done!

Just think about what you’re doing for a second. If you want to look like a marathon runner, go run 10 miles a day, if you want to look like a jacked sprinter, sprint!

I do 2 days of ME and 2 days of meltdown for fat loss. We’ll see if that works. I also am using modified T-Dawg 2.0 eating nothing but veggies for carbs with the exception of glucose for PWO. So far, it looks like Im getting leaner.

I do 20 minutes interval training two times a week all year round. It’s so anabolic. I still think that there’s room for 10-15 minutes of 60-70% cardio at the end of a weight training workout or 20 minutes on non training days though. All cardio improves nutrient partioning allowing you to send some extra carbs into your muscles rather than to your belly.

You can definitely get ripped while following a strength training program as long as your modify your diet. Smething with high volume such as EDT works well. However, so do frequent full body workouts. Not circuit training with super short break necessarily either. One example is :

Military Press 6x1 rest pause style
Bent over rows 3x5
Front Squat 3x5
Side Press 3x5 l,r
Floor Press 2x5
Double Swing 3x5
Renegade Row 2x5

Take one minute breaks between each set and one minute breaks between each exercise. You can change the exercises through out the week as well for variety. Such as do weighted chin-ups in place of Bent rows, or the Sots press in place of the Military Press.

Mike Mahler

Hey ZEB- do you “rest” totally, as in just standing around, or keep a light jog going?

When doing intervals or sprints, what post workout nutrition do you lot use?

ditto on xylon, as well.


I run the 1/4 mile intervals in about :70 to :80 each (depending on how I’m feeling). Then I walk for :90 between each one. I know I am resting enough because my heart rate is down to about 120 BPM by the time the :90 is finished.

Do you do them too, if so what is your routine like?

I always concoct one of my “health drinks” after interval training. The drink is always loaded with Protein. (Yes it’s Grow Protein…that stuff tastes gooooooood!)