(The picture above is a past client of mine in Chicago that made decent progress, but once he took my advice and cleaned up his diet, his progress improved tremendously.)

There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to exercise/training for fat loss.

The first school of thought is that a good diet is responsible for fat loss and the training that you would do to build muscle shouldn’t change at all because the goal for fat loss in the gym is either to continue to build muscle or at least maintain muscle mass while in a fat burning state due to your diet.

The second school of thought is to modify your training by doing things like circuits of exercises with shorter rest intervals to cause more of a metabolic disturbance by increasing EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). EPOC is essentially when you increase your metabolic rate and increase your body temperature over a few hours you increase caloric burn over several hours as well, thus lowering your body fat.

I believe both schools of thought and methods are correct, but I also know from training people since 1999 that unless your nutrition changes to allow your body to preferentially use fat as a fuel source, called metabolic flexibility, then you will probably be unhappy with the results you get from simply relying on exercise to get you leaner. Many people that contact me with their primary training objective to lose fat think that their body fat is higher than they want because of an exercise deficiency. 

This is simply not the case. 

You need good exercise methods, enough volume and frequency to elicit a training adaptation, and long enough consistency for a change to be noticeable. But most importantly, you need to make the necessary dietary adjustments to allow fat loss to happen.

At Ascend Perform we establish what your current habits are and we help you make the nutritional changes needed that can be sustainable long term. We don’t ask anyone to do something so obscure that there’s no way you could ever do it long-term. We teach people principles to establish great habits for fat loss to occur forever. We even created a PDF to constantly gets updates based on new information and research called An Essential Guide to Nutrition Principles: Concepts That Make Up A Solid Nutritional Foundation.

In regards to the training aspects, we like to alternate methods to increase muscle and strength with methods to elicit EPOC by performing bigger circuits with short rest intervals between exercises to achieve more volume in your training in a shorter amount of time (density). One method we like is called Escalating Density Training.


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