6 Week Fat Loss 2014: „Lean & Jacked Program“

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Time to get ultra ripped & lean. As I mentioned in my previous post, Winter Sleep Is Over – Time to Ramp Up Your Conditioning, warm weather is returning and summer time is about to strike. Over the winter I worked hard on building my physique and ate food ad libidum like an unstoppable tractor. This food destruction lifestyle culminated in my bodyweight shooting up to 88 kg (193 lbs) at the beginning of March. However, as the warm season forces me to wear less clothes and show off more skin, it’s my responsibility as a dedicated trainee to present myself in a well-conditioned state with little bodyfat.

For the next 6 weeks (14 April – 25 May), I will follow my own definition of getting my body in tip-top shape. Please note that my height is 185 cm (6’1″) and on 14 April my starting morning weight stood at 84.4 kg (186 lbs).

Goal #1 – Get my body fat into single percentage numbers (~7%)

I haven’t done a DEXA Body Scan to accurately determine my current bodyfat level but I am judging from the pictures I would guess it hovers around 11% at the moment.

Goal #2 – Clean up my diet

In the past few months I have been a bit loose with restricting certain food items. I don’t go overboard on sweets like chocolate or gellie gums. But I definitely went overdid with delicious homemade cakes/pies on too many occassions. Eating them was pure bliss and I don’t regret it one little bit. But for now it’s time to cut back on these and reconquer my food discipline. 

Goal #3 – Get so lean that I can see the muscle striations on my quads

Obviously not as extreme as Dennis Wolf’s crazy legs – but close. It seems that my quads don’t like to be as lean as my other body parts. In week 6, I will draw as much water from my muscles as I will handle without getting myself too dehydrated. 


Diet Principles I Will Use

Moving the body into single digit body fat numbers will probably depend 90% on getting the diet right. This is what every pro bodybuilder will tell you and this is why they start dieting down towards a contest roughly 3-4 months out. Check my favourite bodybuilder, Evan Centopani, describing this idea in The Process.

Even though I hate the word „diet“ (it carries so many negative connotations), what the next 6 weeks will be is essentially a diet. However, not your typical diet from a glossy magazine, i.e crazy caloric restriction, constant food cravings, yoyo effect afterwards etc. Instead, my thinking around a diet that will get my shredded revolves around the following principles:

1. Carlories actually matter. 

I don’t care what certain Paleo diet gurus like to propagate about total caloric intake not being significant for fat loss. My experience, and the experience of million others who have dieted, is that if you create a caloric deficit you will lose body fat.

Now, how big that caloric deficit will be is subject to individual body type and metabolism. This means that there will be room for individual variation. This is very important to realise and most people miss that point. A 500 kcal deficit per day may be ideal for your fat loss but maybe my fat loss metabolism (=lipolysis) works most efficiently closer to a 1000 kcal deficit per day. My current baseline caloric intake is around 3500 kcal/day. This serves for maintenance only. During the diet, I will probably sway between 2500-3000 kcal/day to create the necessary caloric deficit needed to progressively shed body fat.

2. Eat enough protein to stay satiated. 

I have no intention of starving myself to achieve the level of leanness I want. It’s no fun to walk around most of the day feeling hungry and constantly craving certain foods. This is why I will eat enough protein to feel satiated. No surprise here – protein does a wonderful job at accomplishing just that. This means that for the next 6 weeks I will consume a lot of eggs, beef, fish and cottage cheese.

3. Lower-carb on non-workout days.

I have previously written about how I auto-regulate my carb intake depending on how physically active I am. This means that on days that I don’t work out and sit more, my carb intake will be lower (<150 g/day). Please note that this WILL NOT be a no-carb diet. Having no carbs in your system makes you feel miserable, downregulates metabolism and messes with certain hormones (e.g. cortisol or thyroid). When I tried no-carb diets for a few weeks, it gave me cold hands and feet and I generally felt like shit.

4. Big carb refeed 2 days per week. 

I will be in the gym for 2 heavy barbell workouts per week (upper & lower body). These will also be the 2 days that I will load up on the carbs (mostly white rice & sweet potatoes). I love backloading my carbs in the evening and this whole concept jives well with auto-regulating my carbs based on activity levels. Check out John Kiefer’s well-researched book „Carb-Backloading“ for more detailed info.

5. Intermittent Fasting (IF) every few days.

Creating a caloric deficit means actually eating less calories. No brainer, right? Well, some people just don’t get it. I used to do Intermittent fasting (IF) in the morning for 1.5 years but finally started integrating more breakfast into my diet. However, for this diet I will go back to IF. Because you fast for a substantial part of the day (~12-16 hours), it’s a great tool to create that necessary caloric deficit for the day.

I usually wake up pretty hungry. But the morning hunger usually fades away pretty quickly if I load up on a well-brewed cup of coffee. I will then usually go without food till 2 PM or so. After that, I will have 2 big meals during the remainder of the day. Not only do I get to look forward to these big delicious meals, the fasting period also enhances my cognitive function and I get to be more productive. In addition, if you fast, you will always chase a caloric deficit – which is necessary when dieting.

Photos Work Best to See Results

Robb Wolf takes raw pictures of his clients before and after a diet intervention or workout program. He claims that the mirror will always win against the scale or measuring tape when it comes to tracking your physical transformation. I couldn’t agree more that taking !

Who cares if you lost 10 pounds if you still look like shit. Who cares if your biceps grew by half an inch. All people will care about and pay attention to is your body as a whole package – your level of leaness and how much muscle you carry on your frame at the same time. If the proportions are pleasing to the professional eye, all that you could care about is to get this right. Also, the way you can create that spacy symmetrical 3-D depth look with muscle at the right places will be appreciated among people.

With that said, below are my pre –„Lean & Jacked Program“ pictures. In 3 weeks, I will report back on how my diet is going when I am halfway through it:





































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  • M Hm

    Tuna is the highest in mercury. Why carbs in the evening? Almost every balanced diet suggests carbs in the morning (especially on high cardio days). The grains left in tiny spaces of teeth crevices ferments and is believed to aid in preventing cavities. Intermediate fasting is brilliant for a number of health reasons, but for fat loss skipping dinner is essential unless it consists of very basic one source protein post work out. I did it while living outdoors last summer – the body organically reverts to natural patterns waking up with the sun with a clear active mind that is ready to go out into the world with a roar, that’s when the grains come into play. Your thighs … are a separate being, skipping rope is a great way to bring definition in the hamstrings, 20 minutes is ideal, jumping on one foot then other, squattibg low then up, alternating pace and switching directions. Burn fat by smiling! 😀

    • http://www.biohacks.net/ Stephan R

      There’s a few points you mention that I have to disagree with. Using IF in the morning, it’s very easy to create a caloric deficit for the day. Having a big dinner in the evening (which includes a fair amount of carbs) will not create a caloric surplus unless I put down a dinner of 2000 kcal (at which point I would be throwing up). Go check out John Kiefer’s detailed book „Carb Backloading“. He has done a ton of research on the topic.

      The goal is to get extreme definition to my thighs and not my hamstrings. I found that rope skipping is great for activating the gastrocs – makes them really sore at times.

  • http://criticalmas.com/ MIchael Allen Smith

    Also pay attention to your face. When I was at my leanest, my abs looked great, but my face looked gaunt. This may not be a factor for you now, but you see it more as you age.

    I disagree with most of what M Hm posted. Skipping dinner is not essential for fat loss. Leangains has a piece that disproves that myth. And Chris Kresser has an article about how the benefits of tuna far outweigh the negatives including mercury. Carbs in the evening are fine too as for many they promote good sleep. No thanks on the grains too.

    • http://www.biohacks.net/ Stephan R

      I guess the body doesn’t like to stay too lean for too long – that’s why the face will look accordingly. :)

      Mercury toxicity is easily prevented with enough selenium. The selenium content of most fish outweighs the trace amounts of mercury you get from eating the fish. As Michael said, check out Chris Kresser’s brilliant interview: http://chriskresser.com/the-truth-about-toxic-mercury-in-fish

  • David

    Here’s something you might try: eat your carbs the day before, not the day of, your workout. You may find that this will help your performance. I eat lower carb 5 days per week (< 100 grams); and eat higher carb just two days per week (about 100 grams). By switching my intake of higher carbs to the day before a hard workout (consumed at night), my sleep improved, my recovery improved, my energy during the workout improved, and my mood all week improved).

    • http://www.biohacks.net/ Stephan R

      Thanks for the tip. John Kiefer actually argues that backloading the carbs in the evening serve the purpose of replenishing glycogen stores for the next day’s workout. That way (as you point out) you won’t hit the wall during your workout as quickly when a purely low-carb approach.

      „About 100 grams“ of carbs is hardly „higher carb“ in my book of definions. When I go high carb, it’s more like 300 g. :)

  • John

    I can’t believe you packed this amount of muscle and I still look the shit! Hahaha Way to go, man.

    Sometimes I wonder if I need to be babysitted to pack muscle, because I truly don’t know what I could be doing wrong. But I know that it always comes down to dedication. I still believe that no matter how fucked up your genetics are, you can still pack substantial amounts of muscle with proper nutrition/exercises, even though I can’t seem to prove it myself.

    Hope your efforts in losing body fat pay off in results :)

    • http://www.biohacks.net/ Stephan R

      Totally agree – dedication and patience are the way to go. I see too many who use their shitty genetics as an excuse to not work out in a dedicated manner. My genetics are average at best (partially ectomoroph/mesomorph) and I dont complain.

      If you put in the necessary work, people will notice but most importantly you will have this incredible self-satisfaction.

  • jacob ines

    thats good men don’t stop