Make the Cut
If you still think a lean body requires punishing cardio and dietary deprivation, it’s time to quit the self-flagellation. Update your fat-loss rule book and you’ll burn away the excess faster than ever. Who knows? You might even enjoy it
NOT ALL PBS are performance-driven, but that doesn’t mean your pursuit of a fitness model physique is any less worthy. Or, for that matter, any less achievable. Whatever shape you’re currently in, the good news is that no man is inherently unable to acquire a lean body. With a little inside knowledge, your six-pack could arrive in under 12 weeks – and it needn’t cost you your sanity in the process.
As the lead trainer at Embody Fitness, Chris Walton specialises in fast transformations. “We often see clients losing 1 per cent of their body fat every week,” he says. That’s enough to take you from over-padded to ultra-athlete within three months.
If the mere mention of fat reduction has you composing a farewell note to all things soft and starchy, that’s your first mistake. Cutting carbs may trim your midline for a fortnight or so, but beyond that it starts to work against you. “Everyone’s quick to hop on the anti-carb bandwagon,” says Walton. “But if you cut out carbs completely, the body down-regulates its production of T3, a thyroid hormone responsible for metabolism and increases your levels of fat-storing cortisol.” Instead, carb up after each of your workouts so your muscles stay fuelled.
As for your training, think less about your kilojoule burn in the gym and more about how much you’re using up outside of it – your ‘afterburn’. Working at high intensity releases enzymes that keep your body burning fat for 24-36 hours after you’ve towelled down. Work every muscle in every session, concentrating on challenging fullbody movements such as squat presses and burpees. You’ll still be torching kilojoules while you’re sleeping it off later.