More than anything else I’ve been asked about training over the years is, “How do you stay so lean, and get lean”? I’d love to blame it on genetics, but that would simply be a lie. The truth of the matter is that getting lean and staying lean can be accomplished with very few steps. You absolutely have to implement these steps though or you simply won’t see results.
1. AM Cardio
I talk about this in detail in my ebook, Body Spartan: Genesis, but the high and the low of it is that AM cardio is absolutely the key to getting lean. By AM cardio I am referring to doing your cardio first thing in the morning before you have breakfast. This means no food, juice, or anything with carbs or sugar in it. I tell everyone to simply drink water on their way to the gym. For years we trained clients at our personal training center in Southern California and whenever anyone wanted to shed body fat, this was the first thing we made them do. The body fat will literally melt off week by week if you are dedicated.
Also, keep in mind that you need to keep your heart rate up in the 80% range for at least 20 minutes. This does not include your warm up session and all the time it takes to get your heart rate to the right range. So in essence, it’s much longer than 20 minutes. The alternative, it High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). I’ve developed a wicked program that will get you in and out in less than 20 minutes in the mornings. If this is up your alley, have a look at the book.
2. Switch to brown everything
No more white bread, white pasta, or white rice. Go brown – preferably brown rice everything. This would be brown rice and brown rice pasta. The complex carbohydrates in the brown rice or wheat will give you a longer lasting energy source and are less likely to be converted to fat.
3. No carbs after 6pm
Late night carbs are the killer of leanness. Carb up with dinner and then for your remaining meals just eat protein and veggies. Try eggs (scrambled or hard boiled), turkey meat, chicken, tofu, or steak. You could even do ground beef and make a lettuce wrap burger out of it.
4. Put down the candy and walk away
No candy…ever. Sugar is the killer of low body fat. It has it’s purposes and can be useful to spike insulin levels post-workout, however candy is simply a no-no.
5. Replace soda with water
Soda = calories. Simply put you are ingesting high levels of high fructose corn syrup with every sip. For you diet drinkers out there, new evidence has shown that the artificial sweeteners actually have an affect on your pancreas and insulin levels causing you to hold onto body fat.
6. Ditch the alcohol
Beer and sugary cocktails will fill your body with useless, empty calories. If you are going to drink, switch to hard alcohols and either drink them neat or on the rocks. Also, you’ll want to really limit your consumption. Alcohol has been shown to have drastic catabolic affects on muscle. Additionally the hangover you have the next day will undoubtedly keep you from achieving your fitness goals.
If applied properly and religiously, these six tips will get you to the promised land. I’m living proof.