One thing we’ll say: Your problem is (probably) your diet. We know that’s the last thing you want to hear, but it’s the first thing you need to fix. We’ll say this loud and clear: It doesn’t matter what kind of training you do, or how much—if you’re eating too many calories or the wrong foods, you will not lose fat. But before you jump to the meal plan, Derek Peruo, a celebrity trainer at Peak Performance gym in New York City, has a fat-loss plan that will take care of the exercise side of the equation.
The Heavyweight’s Profile
Mantra: “I Just Can’t Lose Weight.”
Body fat: 20% or greater
Waist size: 42 inches or greater
Diet: “Wait, you mean I can’t eat?”
Blood type: Ragu
3 Strategies to Lose More Weight
1. Cheat Only Once Per Week
You should be strict about your diet every day, but you get one meal a week to eat whatever you want. If your discipline wavers in any department, don’t let it be your nutrition. Did we mention that your problem is your diet? Eat Protein at Every Meal.
Losing fat requires a big shift in your daily habits—in the gym, the kitchen, and nearly every other place.
2. Drink Water
Start the day with at least 16 ounces. Water is filling, and more of it will help you recover from training.
3. Do More Work
To maximize fat loss in training, “you need to do a lot of work in a short amount of time,” Peruo says. Blitzkrieg-style workouts keep your heart racing and burn more calories than conventional weight training. In the sessions that follow, you’ll add reps to the exercises each week, accomplishing more work while being sure to keep your total workout length the same (use a stopwatch to record your time). Rest only as long as you absolutely need between sets. You’ll find you have to rest less over time, even as the reps add up. On days you don’t lift, perform high intensity interval cardio. Try 60 seconds of hard work (jumping rope, fast running, intense cycling) followed by 30 seconds of light activity or rest. Continue this for 15–20 minutes.
The Heavyweight’s Fitness Routine
It supports muscle growth, helps keep you full, and increases your metabolism. Lean meat, fish, eggs, and protein powders are the best sources.
Frequency: Perform each workout (Day 1, 2, and 3) once per week, resting at least a day between each session.
Time Needed: 45 minutes or less
How to Do It: Perform the exercises marked with letters as a circuit. Do one set of A, then one set of B, and then C before resting. Repeat until all the prescribed sets are completed for the circuit. You’ll do three sets for each exercise every week, but the reps will vary like so: Week 1: 8 reps per set, Week 2: 10 reps per set, Week 3: 12 reps per set, Week 4: Repeat the cycle with heavier weights
Expect to have lost about four pounds after one month. If you haven’t, you may need to reduce your intake of starchy carbs.
1A) Front Squat (Cross-grip)
Cross your arms over your chest, step under the bar. Press the bar into your collarbone with your fingers. Keep your elbows high as you lift the bar off the rack and lower yourself into a squat.
1B) Neutral Grip Pull-up
Use a pull-up bar with parallel-grip handles or hook a V-grip handle from a cable station over the bar. Hang with your palms facing each other and then pull yourself up.
1C) Triceps Press-down
Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable machine and grasp one end in each hand. Bend your elbows and hold them tight at your sides. Extend your elbows and pull the handle apart.
2A) Dumbbell Flye
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie back on a flat bench. Extend your arms over your chest. Keep a slight bend in your elbows as you open your arms wide and lower the weights until your hands are in line with your shoulders.
2B) 45-Degree Back Extension
Mount a back extension apparatus and brace your legs and upper thighs. Bend your hips and lower your body until you feel your lower back is about to lose its arch. Squeeze your glutes and pull yourself back up. 2C) Swiss Ball Knee Tuck Get into pushup position and rest your feet on a Swiss ball. Keep your arms straight and bring your knees toward your chest without closing the arch in your lower back.
1A) Incline Bench Press
Set an adjustable bench to about a 40-degree incline and lie back on it. Grab the bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width and lower it to your upper chest. Squeeze your glutes and press your heels into the floor as you press it back up.
1B) Wide-grip Romanian Deadlift
Hold the bar with an overhand grip as wide as you can. Keeping your lower back arched, bend your hips back until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Pull yourself back up to the starting position.
1C) Standing Calf Raise
Use a calf raise machine, or stand on a low box or step with a dumbbell in each hand. Lower your heels until you feel a stretch in your calves and then raise yourself up onto the balls of your feet.
2A) Goblet Squat
Hold a heavy dumbbell at chest height with both hands. Keep your lower back arched as you squat down.
2B) Alternating Reverse Lunge
Perform the reverse lunge on one leg and then repeat with the other leg. That’s one rep.
2C) Decline Crunch
Sit on an adjustable bench set to a 20-degree decline, arms crossed in front of you. Pull yourself off the bench and into a seated position using only your core.
1A) Dumbbell Suitcase Deadlift
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell by your side. Bend your hips back and lower your body as far as you can without losing the arch in your back.
1B) Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press
Lie back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand and palms facing each other. Press the weights up over your chest.
1C) Alternating Dumbbell Biceps Curl
Perform the biceps curl as desired, but alternate arms. Each curl on both sides is one rep.
2A) Cable Row With Rope Handles
Attach a rope handle to a cable station and sit with your knees slightly bent, back straight, and chest out. Grasp one end of the rope in each hand and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull the handle towards your chest.
2B) Standing One-arm Dumbbell Overhead Press
Perform the dumbbell overhead press using only one arm. With one dumbbell raised to shoulder height, brace your core and press the weight straight overhead. Complete your reps and then switch arms and repeat.
2C) Swiss Ball Rollout
Perform the roll out while keeping your abs braced and your torso straight. Roll the ball forward as far as you can before you feel your lowerback is about to sag. Pull yourself back to the starting position.