I know! I know! Efficient is in my site tagline so why the hell are we discussing inefficiency.
Well because it happens that training inefficiency actually is an efficient way to lose fat.
I have to give a huge shout to the man, the myth, and the legend Mr. Dan John for letting me in on this training secret.
A lot of people find their way to the gym, a diet plan, or both because of a desire to change the way they look.
For men this usually means getting "ripped" and for women this tends to mean getting "toned."
The funny thing is they are exactly the same goal in my mind.
They both involve losing body fat and either maintaining or gaining muscle mass.
Both of which are awesome because not only will doing both double your hawtness, but you'll also lower your risk for a developing an insane number of disease and increase the odds you'll live a long life barring some kind of final destination shit happening to you.
Okay so we've established that a lot of people want to lose fat and that those people and I think it's a worthy and valiant goal, but what we haven't established is how we should go about accomplishing that goal.
What in on a secret?
Seriously this is an enormous secret that literally makes thousands of people millions of dollars of income each year.
In fact the entire fitness industry is largely predicated on keeping this a secret and marketing the exact opposite.
Are you ready? Wait for it . . . .
Losing fat isn't really that complicated.
I'm being honest too. No bullshit.
It's actually really easy to see for yourself when you start looking at the commonalities between people who have successfully done it.
Losing fat requires the following:
1. Maintain a caloric deficit. Ideally the smallest one that allows weight loss to occur.
2. Practice some form of resistance training.
3. Eat plenty of protein.
Wanna know why each of these are essential for fat loss?
I knew you would and the reasons are pretty straight forward:
1. This helps you drop weight which is necessary to lose fat, but it also prevents excess muscle loss and adaptive thermogenesis.
2. This supports your current muscle mass and possibly stimulates further muscle growth. This also helps you burn additional calories.
3. Again this helps you support your current muscle mass and increase the thermic effect of food possibly contributing to your caloric deficit.
Do you see a trend in all that?
The two primary objectives when trying to lose fat is maximize fat loss and minimize muscle loss.
We use are training and nutrition to support this.
You're probably wondering then what the heck is this "inefficiency" business all about.
Well "inefficiency" is the next tool we can use in our training programs to support our fat loss, but don't forget about what we just talked about.
That is you must be eating in a caloric deficit, practicing resistance training, and eating plenty of protein or no amount of inefficiency in your programming will overcome the lack of those.
"Inefficiency" when we are talking about programming is basically summed up as doing something you aren't very good at which essentially becomes doing something you have never done before or something you haven't done in quite a while.
It's kind of funny when you think about it, but do you remember that exercise program Tony Horton created several years ago called "P90x" and one of the big marketing hypes behind the efficacy of the program was a term called "muscle confusion?"
Well in all honesty "muscle confusion" isn't a real thing.
Your muscle doesn't have a brain so it can't really get confused.
However you do have a neurological system that coördinates all our movements.
Novel movements require a lot of neurological effort to learn and execute meaning we are extremely inefficient at performing them.
That being said are neurological system is really good at quickly taking a newly learned movement that is practiced repeatedly and executing with increasing efficiency. In essence every exercise has a skill component and the close your skill level comes to mastery in a given exercise the less energy it takes to perform it.
Think about the effort involved in the first time you squatted versus the most recent squat session you did. Sure it might have still been hard, but that was likely because you were using either a more advanced variation or a larger load.
In reality what made P90x successful was the level of intensity it forced the participants to train at and that level of intensity was largely driven by "inefficient" programming aka "muscle confusion."
The program forced participants to constantly change the exercises they were doing giving them no time at all to develop any kind of skill or efficiency in the exercise or movement.
Inefficient exercise leads to more energy being expended and a higher level of intensity being gained with little increase in overall effort.
We can leverage this to our fat burning benefit!
The more inefficiently we train the more calories we burn the larger our caloric deficit becomes and the more fat we lose.
How then do you train inefficiently?
I've already told you!
You do something you have never done before or that you haven't done in a while.
Which means if you haven't squatted for a long time you squat.
If you are doing squats for 8 reps you should start doing some squats for 20 rep sets.
Are you catching my drift?
It's simple and straight forward.
If you want to lose more fat and you are already eating in a deficit, lifting weights, and eating protein then you add in some new stuff or some stuff you haven't done in a long time.
Happy moving and heavy lifting!
Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training