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Balancing the variables when trying to drop body fat

The question always arises....."If I want to lose weight, should I do high reps and light weight?"

When looking at the resistance training portion of your program, in the dieting phase, it is important to balance both the strength work and the metabolic work. The strength work helps you maintain strength, obviously, and hopefully even gain it. Aside from that, the strength work will hopefully help you maintain some muscle mass while in a caloric deficit. We have our muscles on a "use them or lose them" basis. If we don't do something to stimulate them, then they aren't going to hang around. The metabolic work helps to get the metabolism cooking. We achieve this through shorter rest intervals and higher rep ranges (I like 10-15). This type of training will help to build up high amounts of lactic acid, which has been shown to be an indicator of increased GH release. This is basically your "bodybuilder" type training.

Combining these two can be done in a number of different ways:

1) Do both types of training in one workout. Lets use our upper body as an example. We will chose to work our horizontal movements with heavier strength work and our vertical movements and arms with higher rep, metabolic work. Our training day may looks something like this:

1) bench press- 4 sets x 4 reps; RI= 2min
2) seated cable row- 4 sets x 4 reps; RI= 2min.
3a) DB shoulder press- 3 x 10-12; RI=30sec
3b) chin up- 3x10-12; RI= 30sec
4a) BB curl- 2x15; RI= 30sec
4b) skull crushers- 2x15; RI= 30sec


2) Use a varied rep scheme for one of our exercises. If we were going to go in and squat today, using this method, our rep scheme may looks like this:

Squats
set 1-2= 4 reps
set 3= 8 reps
set 4= 12 reps

3) Work different variables on different days. Using this method, we may chose to create 3 different rep schemes for each of our training days (3 days a week) and have two different workouts. An example would be this:

Day A
1a) Squat
1b) pull up
2a) Db incline press
2b) step up
3a) Db hammer curl
3b) reverse crunches

Day B
1a) BB RDL
1b) bench press
2a) walking lunge
2b) 1-arm DB row
3a) triceps pressdown
3b) cable wood chops

Rep schemes:

mon- 3x5; RI= 2min.
wed- 3x8; RI= 75sec
fri- 2x12; RI= 45sec


These are just a few techniques that I have found to be helpful when trying to get lean. Hopefully you can use some of them to your advantage when planning your next phase of training.

Patrick