Personal trainer Stephen White is the man behind SWFitness. This month he explains how to fat strip before hitting Barcelona’s Circuit Festival or XLSior in Mykonos.
If you’ve been following our bulking programme, you’ll have gained your mass and will be looking stacked! Now it’s time to start ‘cutting’ – the fat stripping process – meaning a change in diet to reduce the fat percentage and a change in your training to ensure you keep size whilst getting rid of any excess weight. This will reveal that Adonis-like sculptured body which has been hiding under a covering of man-chub.
Bulking is all about low intensity, keeping the heart rate low with no aerobic training, and eating lots of carbs. Cutting is about increasing the resistance training intensity, upping the heart rate by adding 3 to 5 sessions of cardio a week and reducing carb intake. It’s extreme but without these changes you won’t achieve your desired results.
What to eat
The first and most important part is what to eat and when. Eating contributes to two-thirds of this process and it’s all down to carb intake. Of course, your training plays a huge part in helping to strip the fat, but primarily it’s the calorie deficit which will make the biggest difference. Below I’ve explained how your diet should differ from the bulking process.
Calories – within the bulking process your mission was to consume as many clean calories as possible through an increased consumption of protein, fats and carbs, and you should have been taking on a 2 protein, 3 carbs, 1 fats ratio diet. When stripping this changes to 4 protein, 3 carbs, 2 fats. This is because carbs not only give you energy but also make you hold weight, including the complex ones, so instead
of being on a calorie surplus (too many for your body to need) we alter to a calorie deficit (too few calories for your body to sustain its mass).
Admittedly the radical change in eating habits causes a lot of strain on the body, many people struggle for the first few weeks feeling very tired resulting in a dip in energy and strength. Over time this will ease and your body will return to being a kick arse machine.
The best piece of advice I can give around diet is eating as little carbs as possible: it’s bloody tough but it’s effective. Below is a pic of the sort of meal you should be consuming – chicken with salad and green veg.
The second part is ensuring you’re training properly. To do so you need to combine cardio, interval/HIIT and weights. Whereas before you would train heavy and then rest, stripping is about lifting harder with more super sets and drop sets to totally exhaust the muscle.
I always make my guys actively recover, which means they will be doing core exercises while resting after their sets on the main body part. When stripping, you really do push your body to the limit to keep the heart rate thumping. The following is a little combo I’d recommend but for more info please visit SWfitnesslondon.com for a stripping programme.
12 reps Bench Press
10 to 15 reps Push-ups
on a bar
15 reps Cable Chest Flys
15 Hanging Leg Raises
Fasted Cardio As part of your stripping programme you’ll need to include 3 to 5 sessions of fasted cardio per week. This means get up bloody early, don’t eat anything and get on a piece of cardio equipment; I recommend 40 mins on a stepper or cross trainer. Your heart rate should be 60 to 65 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR). Your MHR is 220 less your age in years.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) This style of training will ensure you strip fat and increase endurance ability. A typical 12-minute HIIT workout is equivalent to doing a 45-minute run.
HIIT uses a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercises with rest periods in between. I like to add a few additional exercises to the repertoire. Try the lovely programme below and see how you get on.
30 second Sprint
15 Crunch and leg raise combo
1 minute active recovery
Repeat 5 times and I guarantee you’ll be battered.
If you combine all of the above it will work a treat. If you only do one or the other, you’ll not get the results – it takes this combo to strip properly. At times, you’ll hate it but stick with it as you’ll look fabulous in your tight Speedos!
Other exercises to include are Bench Press, Squats, Shoulder Press and Deadlift.
For more info on Cutting Programmes check out SWfitnesslondon.com. And as always, do not start any exercise programme until you have consulted with a medical professional.