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Long time no speak. Today I’d like to talk about how to use intermittent fasting (IF) for fat loss.
Intermittent fasting is all the rage nowadays, and is one of my go-to methods for losing fat amongst busy, overweight people.
When you’re busy and have other priorities, you need simplicity. You need flexibility. You need something easy to follow.
Intermittent fasting provides that.
It’s an extremely effective way to shed fat and improve your health.
I’ve seen people go from fat to slim without having to count calories, weigh food, or follow restrictive, soul-crushing diets for months and months.
In combination with a properly constructed weight-training programme, you can expect to get leaner and more ‘toned’.
Here are the key points for effective intermittent fasting:
There are other nuances, but that’s it in a nutshell – watch the video below for my full breakdown:
Long time no speak guys, so let me get straight to the point.. can you burn fat in 20 minutes or less?
Yes, yes, you can.
It’s all about efficiency. Spending time on running on the treadmill for hours is boring and potentially damaging to your body – hips, knees, shin splints, saggy muscles due to muscle loss.
Complexes are an extremely efficient way to train, will give you a metabolic hit, and will give you that hard, toned look you want, like a fighter’s body.
I made a whole video about it, check out how to burn fat in 20 minutes or less.
Please message me if any questions
1 Lyric Square, Hammersmith,
I like to play around with different exercises to keep training interesting and prevent the body adapting to what I’m doing.
Doing the same exercise week-in week-out is important, but there also comes a time where your body will no longer react to the exercise the way it once did.
As they say, “there’s no time like the first time”.
That’s where you have to switch it up.
I love all types of single leg lunge movements, but here’s one that you will probably never have seen – the Zercher lunge.
My client Federico is performing this one at during our training in Acton.
As you can see, ‘Zercher’ refers to the position of the barbell – in the crook of the elbows.
Zerchers can be used for squats and even good mornings.
The holding of the bar in this position has three main benefits:
1) Scorches the abs. This one develops a rock solid core you’ll be proud to let your wife touch!
2) Forces you to work your upper back and stay in extension (i.e. better posture during the exercise).
3) Fantastic recruitment of the glutes and quads. Even with a low weight, I felt this one the next day.
Give it a try and let me know how it went.
Within a year of losing weight, 80% of people put it back on. That is a crazy statistic.
All that hard work for nothing.
Yet most people go about losing weight completely the wrong way – treadmill, 10k runs, and hour upon hour of constant cardio with a punishing, restrictive diet.
This is a huge mistake for many reasons, but the one I’m going to focus on today is the fact that there is no strength training (aka lifting weights)
All the clients I’ve had who lost weight and kept it off started with a structured weight training programme which they have stuck to TO THIS DAY! (0:50 for the reference)
Let me say it here – lifting weights is VITAL to to losing fat and, most importantly, keeping it off!
You will not look great on the beach or in a t-shirt without some form of lifting, because like they say, ”a skinny guy with abs don’t count’!
There are a whole number of ways pumping iron helps to guard against fat loss, but improving your metabolism and increasing sensitivity to insulin are two of the major ones.
In short, lifting fine-tunes your body to become a walking fat burning machine.
When you see two people who’ve lost weight, you can usually tell the difference between those who merely do cardio and those who lift AND do cardio.
The latter usually look much healthier and stronger, and yes, don’t have to work as hard to maintain the fat loss.
They’re less liekly to have to adhere to punishing diets, meal replacement powders or pointless detoxes.
Lifting turns on specific genes and that change that person’s physiology – they are a different organism now.
So now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about lifting weights.
Some people love lifting. These guys are gym junkies, always in the gym, can’t wait for the next session.
These people usually see progress quickly (chicken and egg situation – did their love for lifting cause the quick progress, or did the quick progress make them love the gym?)
On the flip side, some people HATE lifting weights and find it extremely boring. These people tend to be cardio addicts, and love anything that makes them sweat and their muscles burn.
These people tend to not have an idea what they’re doing in the gym and usually see little to no progress.
Then you have the people in the middle who neither love nor hate weight training, and can fluctuate either way depending on their mood.
People in this camp usually prefer the thrill of playing and competing in dynamic sports over the somewhat static nature of the gym.
I’m firmly in the last camp. I am not in love with lifting for sure, but I know the very the very powerful benefits it has on mood, physique, and athleticism.
Without lifting, I’d shrink into Flat Stanley and have the physique of Paula Radcliffe. It also makes me much better at any sport I play.
So what do you do if weights are boring?
You definitely don’t want to axe them completely.
Here are some tips for you that I use with myself and my clients.
You absolutely need consistency when it comes to lifting, but at the same time, variety is important in keeping your muscles reacting to training and your enthusiasm high.
You can do this in a subtle way i.e. keeping your main lifts the same (deadlift, bench press, military press etc) and changing the supporting exercises, i.e. instead of split squats, do Zercher lunges (see below).
Or you could go even more extreme, changing the routine and split completely (again while keeping some consistency in terms of main lifts).
For example, if you usually do a body part split 5x a week, change to a full-body split 3x a week.
This is where I come in, so contact here if you want a bespoke online programme or if you are looking for a personal trainer in Acton.
Cut the amount of time you’re spending lifting to the bare minimum (2-3 times a week).
Try another sport completely for a while – i.e. sprinting, jiu jitsu, football, boxing (all stuff I do).
If my clients get bored, I cut their lifting time in half and do more bodyweight, boxing or cardio type work with them.
This will give you time to develop some new skills while still maintaining the benefits of lifting weight.
Again – you don’t want to drop weights completely. Strength is quite easy to maintain, so 2-3 times a week will usually stop you losing too much strength and muscle.
You’ll be surprised how adding in some new athletic exercises can rejuvenate your workout.
Including some medicine ball throws, sprints, farmers carries, and light plyometric exercises into your routine can get you out of the ‘3 sets of 10’ rut.
Plus it’ll make you a better athlete and challenge your brain.
Having someone with you can make the world of difference.
The right person can help you enjoy something that can be a downright slog otherwise (just make sure you’re not working out with an annoying wanker!).
Someone to help load equipment, change plates, and spot you will make your lifting session shorter and safer too.
Plus it’s another opportunity to socialise (something that will lift your mood in and of itself).
Sometimes, just training somewhere different is enough to make you want to lift again.
If you’re working out in a different gym with cool equipment, decent people, and great music, you may just want to try out some new weights or machines that day.
This is a game changer.
Hope that helps!
Until next time
I can say with 94% certainty that pretty much every guy who has ever stepped in a gym has felt inferior at some point (probably apart from The Rock & Charles Martin).
At one time or another, I and every other guy have thought they were:
You might strongly identify with one, some or all of the above. Sometimes the culture of the gym you go to can influence which one hits you the most.
I have a client who is scared to be seen with me and asks not to go to certain areas of the gym or at certain times because his ‘mates’ will judge him.
While feelings of inadequacy can be normal, they are even worse in the age of social media.
Social media (especially Instagram) has and will continue to destroy the minds of generations to come. It is without a doubt a huge contributing factor to the body image anxiety experienced by many men today.
If I felt I could sustain a business without it, I’d be off it in a flash.
‘Fitness influencers’ and muscle models are set up as idols, paragons of perfection, that we, the proletariat are supposed to aspire to.
These idols are false Gods.
Their power is sustained by photoshop and anabolic steroids (you would never know it though).
Here’s an open secret.. 90% of your favourite male fitness personalities are on steroids.
Hell, I’d say 80% of the biggest and most in-shape guys at your gym are using steroids (again, you would never know).
No matter how many protein shakes and programmes you buy from them, you will never look like them.
Just accept it.
While their feeds are chock-full of posts mentioning their protein supplement, pre-workout, and beast-mode workouts, they will never mention the steroid cycle they used to actually get their results.
These unrealistic (and often unattainable) ideals can cause men to go down the dark route of steroids and it’s numerous, well documented side-effects… including infertility, man boobs and small balls!
(It’s ironic that in the quest to become a superman, you can literally lose your balls.)
I myself have considered going down the steroid route, but always get dissuaded by the long list of dangerous and dramatic side effects.. (I prefer not to have man-boobs if I’m honest).
One way to address this anxiety is to go on a social media ‘detox’.
Unfollow the muscle models.
Unfollow the ‘beast-mode, what’s your excuse?!’ bodybuilding pages.
Get rid of the unrealistic expectations.
Realise that your body will probably never look like a Hollywood actor’s.
They get paid millions of pounds to train and look good. You work in an office in Hammersmith.
Get in the gym. Learn how to train, eat properly and do things the right way.
Keep doing it until you start to see results.
Getting in the gym and actually training might not stop you from having insecurities, but they’ll fade into a background buzz rather than a major anxiety issue.
Using the insecurity as fuel is a healthy way to get rid of it. Instead of mentally masturbating over Simeon Panda’s page, address the weakness.
If you’re not strong enough, lift heavy weights so you can get stronger.
If you’re fat, start intermittent fasting and lifting weights until you’re not fat anymore.
I’ve had numerous clients go from overweight to lean and completely turn around their confidence in every area of life.
(Check my instagram for before-and-afters.. yeah, I know, ironic I use Instagram).
If you feel like the above resonates with you, you’re not alone!
Feel free to message me (email@example.com) or DM me on my instagram account (jumpliftsprint).
Bad posture is a huge problem in this day and age.
We are addicted to mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. ‘I-posture’ is actually a thing now.
Our necks lurch out, our shoulders round forward, and we end up with a terrible hunchback.
Poor posture makes us look shorter and less confident.
As a man making his way through the world, that is the complete opposite of what we want.
We want a lean, powerful physique with a confident demeanour.
Losing fat and lifting weights is a powerful way to achieve this.
Good upright posture maximises our height (especially if we’re not already tall =/) and makes us look stronger and more dominant.
This has far-reaching effects, from being more attractive to women, to looking more intimidating to other men.
We are primates after all, and body language really does matter.
If you suffer from poor posture, here’s a quick prescription for you:
Do more horizontal rowing/pulling than you do pressing/pushing.
Most men do far more pressing than pulling movements.
This tends to cause imbalance around the shoulder (causing injury). It also makes the chest and shoulder muscles more dominant, leading to the rounded shoulder look.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, you need to do more pulling (i.e. cable rows) than pushing movements (such as bench presses or shoulder presses).
Rowing/pulling movements strengthen and build muscle in the upper back muscles (such as the rhomboids and rear delts) which help to counteract poor posture.
That means TRX rows, inverted rows, cable rows, barbell rows, DB rows, the list goes on.
Here are some common examples below.
Single arm DB row
Hope this helps guys
If you’re a man and you want to lose weight, hit me up for online coaching or in person PT based in Acton
Like most people in big cities these days, you are probably busy, distracted and have 1001 things to do.
Work, family, social outings, your side hustle, Netflix… we all have something going on and wish we had more time to fit it all in.
Because of the nature of my job (training clients and taking care of my online coaching business), I’m often left with small pockets in which to actually train and do the thing I encourage other people to do.
It’s easy to make excuses and not use these small pockets to train.
Sometimes I’m so tired from the early starts and late finishes that training is the last thing I want to do.
But the key to progress is always consistency. Acting in spite of thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Something is always better than nothing.
Today I had a 30 minute window in which to train my upper body between clients. Not ideal, but still a decent amount of time in which I could get something done.
I decided to do a short, simple, dense workout. Time-efficient and effective.
I simply picked two big exercises from opposing muscle groups and rotated between them for about 12 minutes (after a thorough warm-up of course).
I chose to pair Viking bar press (6 reps) with seal rows (10 reps). Alternated between the two for time.
You can see the workout below:
When picking these two exercises, stick to somewhat ‘big’ compound movements, not small isolation movements like a bicep curl and a tricep pushdown.
For example, dips paired with a bent over row would be excellent for the upper body. Bicep curls paired with tricep curls would not be the best choice.
If you’re in a time pinch, you need to get the most bang for your buck, and that means working large areas of muscle at one time.
By choosing opposing muscle groups for each exercise, you ensure you don’t overly fatigue a single muscle group, and can work to your maximum in the small time you have.
For example, one ‘push’ movement with a ‘pull’ movement works well.
You also want to make sure you don’t choose a weight too close to your max. If you do, within two or three sets you will be fried. The goal is here to get a lot of volume in (volume drives muscle growth), so reduce the weight slightly so you can do lots of rounds.
For example, if I can do 50 kg overhead press for 3-4 sets of 6 reps, I will drop the weight to 35-40 kg so I can get in as much volume as I can without failing.
Put a timer on and go to work. Don’t feel you have to rush from one exercise to the other, but bear in mind you are working against the clock.
Hit me up on instagram for any questions!
Nothing makes sense in fitness.
Everybody you speak to will tell you something different.
One ‘guru’ promotes one method, while another ‘guru’ is in diametric opposition to it.
We hear 100 different messages every single day, leading to nothing but confusion.
The truth is…. most things in fitness ‘work’.
Low reps work.
High reps work.
Bodyweight exercises work.
Dumbbell exercises work.
Full body splits work.
Body part splits work.
Back squats work.
Goblet squats work.
Low carb works.
Low fat works.
Slow cardio works.
High intensity cardio works.
Here’s the thing, depending on the context, all of it works.
Stop chasing the golden rabbit.
Everybody suffers from information overload.Get advice from ONE person you trust and commit to ONE strategy.
Do it consistently for a minimum of 3 months, preferably 6 months.
If it works, great.
If it doesn’t, at least you learned that it’s not right for you.
But here’s the thing – methods can differ, but principles always remain.
There are some immutable laws of training that will never change.
Following these laws will result in losing fat and building a body that you’re proud of.
The immutable laws of training:
Follow these rules and regardless of your training, you will never go wrong!
I write online training programmes for men who are looking to lose fat and tone up. If you’re interested, click here –> Online training application
Do you need cardio to lose fat?
(I’ve purposely used the phrase ‘lose fat’ as opposed to ‘lose weight’ in the title of this blog – the former is exactly what we want, the latter may be less desirable for reasons outlined later).
Before I start, let’s just clarify the following:
Diet is the main driver of fat loss.
In order for weight loss to occur, you must be in a caloric deficit (A caloric deficit means you are taking in less calories than you are expending (i.e. dieting))
Making sure the quality of the food you eat is good is also of vital importance.
Now with that said, let’s get back to cardio – do you need it to lose fat?
The answer, like most questions in fitness, depends.
I’ve had clients lose fat with minimal cardio, and some who only lost weight once formal cardio was introduced.
I will, however, always stick by the idea that lifting weights is the major key to losing fat, keeping it off, and looking good in the process.
Lifting weights helps preserve muscle tissue.
Dieting of any type puts you at risk of losing fat AND muscle as your body fights for resources.
If this happens, the number on the scale will go down, but you will look ‘soft’ and sloppy. You won’t look good despite having lost weight.
Muscle gives you the toned and sexy look of somebody in shape.
Therefore the aim of any successful weight loss campaign should be to lose fat while keeping muscle.
Now let’s not get it twisted, cardio is very good for you from a health perspective. No doubt about that. It is very important actually.
Certain types of cardio are also very fun. I love sprinting, boxing, and playing football. Once the summer starts, I’ll be hitting the hills again.
Boxing, like above, is an excellent form of cardio.
But we are talking about whether it’s necessary for weight loss here, not whether it’s fun or good for you.
The fact is, some people can get away with doing pretty much no cardio, yet have abs all year round. All they do is lift weights and go about their daily lives.
For these lucky people above, there may be several reasons why they can get away with this. They may be genetically blessed. They may have a tightly controlled, clean diet. They may be so active outside the gym that they naturally expend a lot of calories without realising (i.e. walking, moving and standing a lot).
For these guys, cardio is not required to stay lean.
Someone else might be the complete opposite.
They may have poor genetics. They might be eating at Star Chicken every night. They may move less than a slug throughout the day, thus not spending any calories.
These people definitely need cardio.
General guidelines to determine whether you need to do less or more cardio:
(Assuming you are lifting weights at least 3 times a week, as this pretty much covers muscle retention).
The cleaner your diet and the more active you are during your daily life, the less specific ‘cardio’ you need.
The looser your diet and the less active you are during your daily life, the more cardio you need.
If you fall in to the second camp, cleaning up your diet &/or becoming more active in general will start to reduce the amount of cardio you need.
In terms of intensity of cardio you need to do, here are some good guidelines:
The more active you are in the gym (i.e. the more you lift throughout the week), the lower the intensity of cardio you need to perform.
The less active you are in the gym and daily life, the higher the intensity of the cardio you need perform (i.e. interval training). (Of course, you will need to work up to this as it is very demanding).
It’s also worth noting that you both types low and high intensity cardio are important for weight loss and health.
So do you need cardio to lose fat? Look at your diet and lifestyle, then judge from there.
Hope this helps guys
Hit me up for online coaching & or personal training here –> Coaching
It seems like every week I make an Instagram post extolling the benefits of split-stance leg exercises.
(Note: Split-stance exercises refers to exercises where the legs are ‘split’ apart or staggered, such as lunges, reverse lunges, split-squats themselves (current favourite), Bulgarian split-squats etc. They do not refer to the ‘pistol squats’ shown in the picture below).
Along with deadlifts, split-squats are my favourite exercise right now, so it only makes sense to write a long blog post about them.
I rarely see split-stance exercises done by the average gym go-er. When they are, they’re usually performed pretty badly, with lots of lower back arching and quarter reps.
Plus they burn, alot.
The acid build-up in the quads can become excruciating, especially in high rep sets (the Bulgarian split squat is possibly the worst offender of all).
So why would you submit yourself to this torture?
Well first, “only a sucker does not train his legs” according to legendary heavyweight Charles Martin.
Second, see the benefits below:
Doing 10 reps of a split squat on one leg is hard. But doing another 10 on the other leg is even harder.
Effectively, you end up doing double the work you would for a 2-legged exercise like the squat (although yes, the squat would most likely be heavier).
This jacks up your heart rate and gets the blood pumping like crazy, making the exercise very metabolic in nature. Doing it for high reps (8-15 per side) boosts this effect even more.
Plus it’s a bodyweight exercise, much superior to sitting down on a machine when it comes to fat loss.
Both back squats and front squats done heavy enough bother my lower back. I’ve scrapped both from my training.
The weight you can lift with split-squats is obviously lower than you can with a back squat, so there isn’t as much stress on the joints (even when using a barbell on your back).
I only do split-squats now, and the size and strength of my legs are increasing while my lower back still feels great. W all round.
Split-stance exercises are fantastic for sports. We have to remember that most sports are pretty much played in a split-stance (i.e. during running).
Because the legs are split apart, split-squats variations hugely challenge your balance and co-ordination.
Instead of wasting time on Bosu ball squats, spend time getting better and stronger better at split squats. I promise you your balance co-ordination will improvement exponentially. That’s where the real improvements in athleticism come.
Most athletes neglect split-stance exercises for heavy squats, and while heavy squats are brilliant, the benefits they offer in terms of co-ordination are not exactly the same.
Many people have tight, short hip flexors (the muscles at the front of your hip on the top of your thighs).
This can be partly due to a sedentary lifestyle and sitting all day (i.e. in the office, on the couch). Since the body is an inter-connected chain, tightness in the hip flexors can lead to injuries elsewhere.
Split-squat variations are great for stretching the hip flexor of the back leg while strengthening the muscles in the front thigh, making it a great ‘bang for your buck’ exercise.
Split-squats also work the small stabilising muscles in the hips much more than conventional squats. The glute stabilisers in particular are very important for staying healthy – weakness here can lead to problems elsewhere, i.e. the lower back or knees.
Not only this, but imbalances between legs are very common. Big differences in strength between legs can often predict future injuries – so split-stance exercises are an excellent way to address this difference.
(Pro tip: always start your set on your weaker side first).
Here are some common split stance leg exercises you can try out. I always advise mastering form before trying to go too heavy. Form always comes before weight!
Hope this helps guys, contact me on Instagram @jumpliftsprint or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Will be releasing a mini-programme for athletes soon too.