Skinny Guy Coach
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Antonio burbs
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| | Stubborn Fat Protocol
I was reading an article in REPS! Magazine
where they talk about the Stubborn Fat Protocol. This is a technique that combines HIIT at the beginning of your cardio to begin the fat oxidation process, a brief rest for recovery, followed by a longer steady-state to further oxidize the fat. After this, a typical diet is altered to include only protein to further mobilize fat oxidation, promote recovery, and control insulin levels. I've done this myself when I get near the end of my cardio or if I'm having a hard time burning fat, but I guess I never knew what it was called. Anyways, I'm going to type the article in here, then I'll summarize the steps at the end.
ON FAT LOSS
Losing those last few pounds blurring your abs can be the toughest. Here's where an unconventional cardio protocol and diet program may help.
By Seth Nash
No pain, no gain. That motto's especially true when it comes to your efforst to etch out a perfect physique. But what is perfection, you ask? By all accounts, you may have it all - striated pecs, sliced abs, wheels that rival tree trunks. A physique that most gym rats consider pure perfection may leave much to be desired for you, and in most cases, much is dependent on one factor: the layer of bodyfat that either obscures the quality of your muscle or shows off every contour of every bulge of muscle. Even then you may not be the type to be content and simply cruise along looking good, you may still be coming up short of your goals despite steadfast efforts. So how do you get rid of those last few pounds of bodyfat separating a good physique from a great one? Research now confirms that one technique, The Stubborn Fat Protocol (SFP), appears to be edging its way in front of the rest of the pack.
Without going into the complexities that led Utah resident and fitness author of more than 20 years Lyle McDonald, BSc, to this protocol, here's the short of how SFP works: This protocol combines basic high-intensity interval training (called HIIT) with steady-state activity, and does so in a precisely calculated ratio. The workout, done only with cardio regimens, preferably first thing in the morning, is made up of two segments. The initial 5-10 minutes are designed to mobilize fatty acids out of the fat cells. Then you rest - and that means complete rest - for five minutes before moving on to the steady-state segment (using a different machine than you did for the first part). Here you complete up to 45 minutes of cardio at a lower intensity, oxidizing the released fats. Just as important as the actual "work" part of this method, however, is the hour immediately following. This is what makes SFP unparalleled.
What's more, over the years, exercise and nutrition scientists have drilled in to our heads that you must consume a serving of protein immediately after your workout. Not so with SFP; this protocol forces you out of your comfort zone. Instead, you take in a serving of protein (25-50 grams) one hour after your workout. (Also, stay away from fiber, dietary fat and carbs at this time as they slow protein uptake). After 2-3 hours you can go back to your normal diet, with carbs and fats included in the meals. While the program sounds unconventional, there's some science to back up the recommendations.
:Waiting and then eating only protein keeps the anti-lipolytic (anti-fat-burning) hormone insulin at low levels," explains Bill Campbell, PhD, FISSN, CSCS, director of exercise at the Performance Nutrition Laboratory at University of South Florida (Tampa). "This type of protocol is very effective as it amplifies the catecholamine response." Adrenaline and noradrenaline, the main catecholamines, act to break down the body's fat stores and then burn them. "Growth hormone (GH) also increases during the short but intense exercise bouts, so you burn fat for several hours after the workout," says Campbell. In fact, several studies confirm that high-intensity exercise increases GH, which is known to be very lypolytic.
Chalk it up to genetics or pure biology, but there's no surprise in the fact that your body is hesitant to release bodyfat when it senses caloric restriction, even though it may be blurring out your abs. That makes it a real challenge to find the right balance between high- and low-intensity approaches for maximum fat loss and minimal muscle loss. Fat oxidation has been proven to be high at low rates of energy exertion, but decreases at high intensities. With steady-state cardio, you're able to use fat for energy, but only once your body's able to tap into its stores of bodyfat. HIIT traininng, on the other hand, easily releases fatty acids into the blood-stream, but may not use those fatty acids for energy, causing them to be redeposited into fat cells. That's why SFP is so effective for those who've followed either of those cardio options and have yet to beat stubborn bodyfat.
"When there's little fat available for fuel and the body has to cover the caloric deficit (from diet, exercise or both), what does it have to do? Break down muscle." argues McDonald. "An inability to mobilize fat for fuel is part of the struggle. If you can't get the fat out of fat cells to cover the deficit, the body will go looking for another source of energy and that's usually the skeletal muscle.
"To get stubborn fat mobilized, you have to overcome a fairly severe resistance in terms of both blood flow and lipolysis. This requires very high concentrations of catecholamines (adrenaline/noradrenaline).' McDonald points out. "Jacking up levels of catecholamines, which are necessary for fat mobilization, limits burning in the muscle and is exactly why you follow the high intensity with low intensity." Simply put, you ramp up catecholamine levels to mobilize fat and then you let those levels fall so they can be burned in the muscle for energy."
This protocol isn't for everyone. If you were hoping to spend the next few weeks shoving cheeseburgers in your mouth before doing some cardio using this program, you're not going to be impressed by the results you see. SFP is designed only for those who need to beat those final ounces of fat off an already lean physique - making your abs even more diced than you ever though possible. And just like any cardiovascular venture you take on with low bodyfat, you're bound to risk losing some mass. McDonald argues, however, that you'll be able to achieve an unparalleled level of conditioning despite some small sacrifices in muscle tissue. R
READY. SET. DROP.
If you're dieting to lose those last few pounds of bodyfat and seem to be stuck at a plateau, consider trying the Stubborn Fat Protocol (SFP) at the very start of your day.
SFP is ideally done under a fasted state - wither in the morning or five hours after eating. Protocol creator Lyle McDonald recommends taking 200 milligrams of caffeine 30 minutes before the workout. He argues that it's important to hold off on your first protein meal of the day for at least 60 minutes, and don't include any carbs or dietary fats with it. After 2-3 hours you can resume your regular diet. This shouldn't impact your total caloric intake for the day, since it just distributes your calories in a different way.
Start your workout with a low-intensity warm-up lasting approximately 10 minutes, and then follow the three steps listed here:
READY. Begin releasing fatty acids out of fat cells by performing 10 minutes of high-intensity cardio intervals, preferably on equipment that you aren't accustomed to. For example, if you normally perform intervals on the treadmill, try using the elliptical instead.
SET. With fatty acids mobilized, let catecholamine levels drop (so the fatty acids can be burned in the muscle) by resting for five minutes straight, and that means complete rest.
DROP. Start burning those released fatty acids by continuing with up to 45 minutes of steady-state cardio at medium-low intensity.
Here's a brief summary of the actions to follow the Stubborn Fat Protocol: 30 minutes before cardio
- take your fat loss stack (at the very least, have 100-200mg of caffeine) 5-10 minutes
- Warmup (I do 5, shooting for 75% of my MHR -145 by the end of the 5 min) 5-10 minutes
- HIIT (I try for 10, each day is different, but as long as I can get my HR to at least 95% of my MHR at least 2 times - 190, I've had a good HIIT session) 5 minutes
- Rest (complete rest) Up to 45 minutes
- Light, steady-state cardio about 60-65% MHR (Max Heart Rate) Stretch 1 hour after cardio
- 25-50g of protein only (personally, I use 50% whey, 50% casein) 2-3 hours after protein
- resume normal diet
Last edited by rockdawg21 : October 9th, 2010 at 09:25 AM.
Reason: I no longer recommend aspirin on an empty stomach - had ulcers and was told it could have been a cause.