Case Study: How To Burn More Fat and Tone Up The Midsection

Don't try to smoke yourself thin!
But Boxing Burns Plenty of Calories!

Your Question:
I just wanted to say that I completely like and respect what you are doing by releasing your book and taping videos of proper workout techniques. There are so many people out there that really have no idea how to properly work out and end up hurting themselves rather than helping their bodies.

I had a question and was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I was able to lose 50 pounds since my college football days a few years ago, but I was not, and still not not able to lose or tone my gut at all. I usually run 6 miles every other day and do a pretty decent ab routine before my lifting days. I admit that my diet sometimes sucks as I work shitty hours and really can't always treat myself to a good meal. Do you think you could suggest a workout or diet plan that you think would aid me?

When I run, I basically only do intervals. I will walk for 30 seconds, then jog 30 seconds. Walk 30, run 30, Walk 30, sprint 30 and repeat. I've learned that this is the best way for me to lose fat.

As for my lifting routine, I've been battling a rotator cuff injury since 2010 and finally got physical therapy done, so I can't put a lot of pressure on it. When lifting, I mostly focus on leg workouts as well as bicep/tricep workouts. Anything that really won't pressure my shoulder. I then follow up my workouts with a double serving of protein shake and some dinner.

I eat a cup of multigrain cheerios with 1/2 a cup of skim milk for breakfast, and a half wheat wrap with turkey lettuce tomato and hots for lunch, with a side of steamed veggies. I just have to concentrate on making the best of my dinners and I should be good.

Frugal Fitness Answer:

The running portion is fantastic, keep that up as long as your knees and ankles aren't being overworked. You might want to vary your runs, distances, and speeds by including some high intensity intervals to make them more efficient. Example, normal job pace for 3 minutes, followed by 30 seconds of faster running or inclined running, go back to your normal pace 3 minutes, 30 seconds sprint, etc. The better you get at these, the longer the high intensity portion can get. You might want to compliment your runs with other forms of cardio that your body isn't used to, and therefore will cause your body to burn more calories. Try to throw in a 4th day of cardio with bike 1 week, elliptical another week, row machine another week, jumprope the next week, etc. Other good options are stairmaster, boxing, step ups, or a mix of anything that I've mentioned.

Diet is crucial, do your best to take in plenty of protein and eat carbs that will fill you up/high in fiber (oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, vegetables, kashi cereal). I make sure I get in my protein by taking 3 protein shakes a day (really just 1 scoop of whey protein in 12 oz of skim milk). These fill you up, help muscle recovery, low in calories, low in cost for the most part, convenient on the road or if you're on the go. Bring some turkey sandwiches on whole grain bread, light mayo or spicy mustard, lettuce, tomato, etc, keep a bag of almonds on hand, drink tons of water/tea/black coffee.

I don't know what your lifting workouts look like but just in case: Make sure in your lifting workouts you are doing enough compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups and therefore burn more calories (squats, deadlifts, olympic lifts, chest presses, dips, rows, pulldowns, pullups, lunges, etc) and minimize isolation exercises like bicep curls, crunches, tricep extensions etc. I'm not saying don't do them, just don't make them the center of your workouts. Don't use Nautilus type machines, only freeweights, cables, and bodyweight exercises. Put on muscle! More muscle = more fat-burning metabolism 24/7
For your running, I'm assuming these days it's on a treadmill with the weather, is that correct? If it is a treadmill, make sure you are also changing up the inclines either throughout your run or throughout the week/month for variety. I sometimes even have my clients to quick alternating hammer curls with 3, 5, or 8 lb dumbbells for 3-5 minute intervals when they are speedwalking (never running). After awhile those light dumbbells start getting pretty tiring and it'll give you a little upper body cardio as well. Since the weights are so light, you can usually leave them on the dashboard of the treadmill until you want to use them again or you're done.

For a big guy like yourself, I'd recommend eating a little bit more with your breakfast, that is the meal to load up on and not dinner. Eating a medium or large breakfast, especially if its clean food, won't cause you to gain bodyfat. Add in some eggs, egg whites, a piece of fruit, protein shake or something else. Multigrain Cheerios aren't bad, Kashi cereals or oatmeal are better though.

Try to have a healthy snack between lunch and dinner, that way you won't be as hungry and prone to pig out on portions or eat an unhealthy dinner. Eating a couple small healthy snacks a day will help keep your metabolism up and blood sugar level anyways which are both good things. Again, good options include almonds, fruit, granola, veggies, hummus, scoop of natural peanut butter, handful of cereal, etc.

I've had a nagging rotator cuff tendonitis problem for years now so I know it's not fun for your workouts. While you have to go lighter and less range of motion on the chest and shoulder presses, you should still be able to work your upper back pretty well. If that is the case, work your ass off on the lat pulldowns, high rows, single arm dumbbell rows, bent over rows, reverse dumbbell flies, reverse cable flies, regular and wide grip straight arm pulldowns with a cable machine (hits lats hard), and deadlifts are all very good things if you can do them. Shrugs also as long as that doesn't aggravate the rotator cuff. Keepup with your PT stretches and rotator cuff strengthening exercises. Maybe do some light front and lateral dumbbell raises with 5 lb dummbells, even limited range of motion if necessary. Working extra biceps and triceps is fine if you are taking it easy on the pec and shoulder exercises.

Last but not least, it seems like dinner is a tough time for you (and most of us) so make sure you eat as many vegetables and drink as much water/skim milk/decaf tea as possible. This will help fill you up and reduce your appetite so you don't gorge on junk. Don't eat fruit for dinner or after dinner because the simple sugars won't be as easily burnt off before you go to sleep. Grilled chicken, turkey, salmon, or tuna for a dinner protein. Keep the carbs complex and in moderation. If you are really trying to get lean, I wouldn't recommend consuming anything after dinner other than a 20 gram scoop of casein protein, or a 12-16 oz glass of skim milk. Neither of those options will sabotage your weight loss and will help provide some amino acids and protein throughout the night for enhanced muscle recovery.

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