Lose Fat

The 6-week Diet and Training Plan to Get Lean Fast

Try this 10-point program to blast off pounds of body fat and reveal a six-pack.

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Man Doing Barbell Curl at the Gym

Week 3

Strategy 5: Burn, Baby, Burn

Unfortunately, most folks stumble out of the gate by pinning their hopes to a fat-burning supplement without ever getting their diets in order.

But if you’ve done your homework and gotten your body into a fat-burning mode with the previous steps, a decent fat-burner can go a long way. Look for something that includes ingredients such as green tea, caffeine and evodiamine, which boost fat-burning and make the body less efficient at storing calories as body fat. The biggest advantage to putting off the fat-burners until Week 3 is that you’ve already moved your body in the right direction with your diet. Adding some help should result in more noticeable progress.

Strategy 6: Get Low . . . Really Low

Getting lean is about calorie reduction, hormonal manipulation and exercise. But it’s also about perception. When you make a drastic drop in calories, the body perceives this as a threat and begins to tap into other fuel sources, fat being chief among them.

So for one of your four low-carb days during the week, slash carbs even further—to nearly a quarter of your normal intake—to increase fat-burning. Anyone can diet really hard for a day in the name of getting shredded, right?

Week 4

Strategy 7: Crazy Cardio

You’re already working up a small sweat twice a week. Now it’s time to trick your body by taking your cardio into another universe. Starting this week, add 40 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity cardio to the end of your regular weight workouts or first thing in the morning, before you eat. Because your body is carb-depleted at both of these times, an aggressive cardio session will help you tap into your fat stores more quickly. Plus, the duration and intensity of the sessions will challenge your body and spur your metabolism. Do this for only the final weeks of your program. Too much high-intensity cardio can kill testosterone levels, which could halt muscle growth and slow metabolism.

Week 5

Strategy 8: Be A Cheater

Eating foods that are way outside of the dieting realm, or cheating, has gained a lot of attention in the fitness mainstream in recent years. One notion holds that eating whatever you want for an entire day each week keeps the metabolism humming. Sorry, folks, but it’s not that easy. Cramming down Krispy Kremes and buffalo wings all day Sunday isn’t the best way to go.

Cheating definitely has its place any time you’re trying to get lean, but the type of cheating we’re referring to won’t wreck your momentum. This week, on your first higher-carb day, have a burger, a couple of slices of pizza or a single slice of cake. In the grand scheme of things, the extra 500-700 calories won’t put a dent in your progress. By this time you’ll have already peeled away 5-9 pounds of body fat and your metabolism will be working at a roadrunner’s pace.

Strategy 9: Volumize Your Training

Volume training, or using more sets than usual in your typical training regimen, can accelerate fat loss, especially if your body is already in a strong fat-burning mode. It does this by putting additional stress on glycogen stores, depleting muscles of this valuable asset. When glycogen temporarily runs lower—as it would during a volume-training phase—fat-burning is given a healthy boost. This week, simply add 50% more sets to your typical training plan. Doing 12 sets per bodypart? Go up to 18. You can add sets to your current exercises or tack an additional 1-2 exercises onto your plan. Keep reps higher, in the 10-15 range. But make this just a one-week fix in your leaning-out cycle. Sticking to a greater-volume mind-set could eventually erode training intensity by lowering glycogen stores.

Week 6

Strategy 10: Take A Break

Ever take a break from training for 3-4 days, only to swear you look bigger and leaner? You’re not imagining things. That’s the beauty of rest. When you push the body all the time, it gets stubborn and does the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish. Take a break for three full days this week, then get right back on the plan listed above—your body will respond with even greater progress and gains. 

Order Chris Aceto’s training and nutrition books Championship Bodybuilding and Everything You Need to Know About Fat Loss.

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