Fat-Loss Circuit Routine - Need Criticism

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Pathoslogical
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Fat-Loss Circuit Routine - Need Criticism

Post by Pathoslogical » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:36 pm

Hey guys, I weigh 250 lbs (down from 295) and am looking for a way to burn fat quickly while building lean muscle. I thus created the following workout with a lot of help from other people on the forum (especially stuward and Jungledoc) revolving around the key ideas discussed in this article: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... f_fat_loss
So here is the workout, and I would greatly appreciate any criticisms or suggestions towards it!

M/W/F:
- Resistance Training Circuit (Repeat 2-3x; ~40 minutes)
Regular Squat
Bench Press
Straight Leg Deadlift
Barbell Upright Rows
Lat Pulldown
Assisted/Lever Tricep Dips
Pallof Presses
Dumbbell Bent-Over Row
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
Dumbbell Overhead Press
*Reps will be 10-15 for 3 weeks, 8-12 for 3 weeks, and 5-8 for 3 weeks, then will cycle back up to the 10-15 range.

- Aerobic HIIT routine (~20 minutes).


T/T/S (Off-Days):
Gentilcore's Toe Touch Progressions
Planks
Push-Ups
Bodyweight Squats
Mountain Climbers
Jumping Jacks
Hip Thrusters

Sunday:
Nothing, off day. Refeeding for one meal.

P.S. - My diet is pretty standard. Generally speaking: low calorie (2400-2800), high protein, low carb, low sugar, high fiber. Lots of fish, green vegetables, water, and lean meats. I take one multivitamin every day, and a fish oil pill with all 3 of my meals (I know I should do 5-6 meals per day, but it isn't that feasible to me, being a college student and all). All I have for post-workout recovery is a whey protein shake (ON Gold Standard - 1 scoop). Any other advice here is also greatly appreciated.

P.P.S. - Last comment, on Mondays and Wednesdays I have squash practice for 30 minutes. I was thinking about moving my circuit/hiit routine to T/T/S and moving my off-day exercises to M/W/F. This sound good?

Thanks for your time and input!


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Post by Velcropop » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:19 pm

Mate, I got tired just looking at your M/W/F routine! Are you sure your going to be able to accomplish all of those exercises, 2-3x in around 40 mins? Even if time constraints weren't a limiting factor, do you really need to do all those lifts? If you're interested in a full-body workout then I would suggest cutting some of those exercises (i.e. pick one shoulder/back exercise instead of 2 or 3). Otherwise, if you can manage it, employ some logic to split up your resistance training per day, e.g. push/pull, upper/lower body, legs+arms/chest+back, etc.

I like the idea of bodyweight training (a la your "off-days") to compliment any weight training and/or HIIT.

I found that I "leaned out" best when I cycled variable intensity cardio routines (intensity * work/rest = HIIT 10-15s/60-90s, MIIT 6-8min/3-4min, Enduro 45-60min/0) whilst undertaking a simple full-body program of weight training. This follows, generally, the ideas in that article, although in hindsight I probably should have lowered the volume on my major lifts (I was convinced I needed to squat/bench for 11-12 reps for them to be most effective).

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Post by Nevage » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:46 am

I'd definitely change the days if you have squash in the evenings! I played squash in my off days last summer for fat burning and its not something I'd want to do after a workout like that, not to mention the effects on performance it would have.

I didn't get whether you were doing this as a circuit or not? I think you should see good results with that, HIIT, your diet and squash. The exercise should be more than enough really. Another way of changing rep schemes you could try is all 3 per week. So rep scheme 1,2,3 m/w/f etc. When I'm losing fat I like to include heavier days otherwise I just feel like my muscles are wasting away, I'm sure it's mainly physcological. I think maintaining current strength isn't a main goal of yours anyway so I wouldn't worry too much, you will get a nice enough pump from that to feel your muscles working anyway!

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Post by Pathoslogical » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:16 am

Velcropop wrote:Mate, I got tired just looking at your M/W/F routine! Are you sure your going to be able to accomplish all of those exercises, 2-3x in around 40 mins? Even if time constraints weren't a limiting factor, do you really need to do all those lifts? If you're interested in a full-body workout then I would suggest cutting some of those exercises (i.e. pick one shoulder/back exercise instead of 2 or 3).
Does squat, bench press, barbell upright rows, lat pulldowns, pallof presses, DB bent-over row, and DB overhead press sound better? That's 7. Does it cover all of my bases, though? I'm hesitant to switch it down, however, as the article cited a study with a circuit of 12 exercises. Do you have any alternative ideas/suggestions for the circuit?
Nevage wrote:I didn't get whether you were doing this as a circuit or not? I think you should see good results with that, HIIT, your diet and squash.
Yes, the resistance training is in a circuit, repeated 2-3x for 40 minutes. Then, I do the HIIT, probably on a treadmill or a stationary bike. Thanks for the vote of confidence! Do you think that the circuit is too large like Velcropop mentioned?

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Post by Oscar_Actuary » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:44 am

I'm in a similar situation, and have been "working out" for about 10 months.
I'd encourage you to stay flexible and just get started on this plan you have. I'd be prepared to scale it back, maybe splitting it into two (A & B)workouts that you do altenately (I'm speaking of the M/W/F). So do A on Monday, B on Wednesday, A on Friday, B on Monday. and so on. I would think it would be tough or less efective at least, to switch between all those exrcises and get 2-3 rounds in in 40 minutes.
With Fat Loss as Goal #1, I'd concentrate on continueing your good overall diet and plugging holes there. And using the exercise time to do a basic strength training program. Unless you already are experienced lifter and know that this routine will not overwhelm (read: discourage) you.
It's "fun" getting excited and discussing our routines but you need to get a few weeks in with consitancy to start making tweeks to fit you

I'm not that experienced, so take this as you will

I read and started to do a prgram from a well known t-nation trainer and realized soon it was geared for more experienced lifters who were cutting after putting on some excessive mass. For me, I needed strength and time to focus on form and time to recover on off days


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Post by Velcropop » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:32 am

Pathoslogical wrote:Does squat, bench press, barbell upright rows, lat pulldowns, pallof presses, DB bent-over row, and DB overhead press sound better? That's 7. Does it cover all of my bases, though? I'm hesitant to switch it down, however, as the article cited a study with a circuit of 12 exercises. Do you have any alternative ideas/suggestions for the circuit?
I don't think I'm in a position to suggest any specific exercises and/or circuit program for you although I would offer the cursory remark that it is generally prudent to emphasise compound multi-joint movements. Personally I'd take a split program over multiple all-in-one sessions. I don't think I could adequately recover from what you've proposed if the intensity was high enough, especially if your planning on doing HIIT afterwards.
Alwyn Cosgrove wrote:Therefore, adding activities that promote or maintain muscle mass will make that muscle mass work harder and elevate the metabolic rate. This will become our number one training priority when developing fat loss programs.
That's a quote from the T-Nation article. It is located in the third point and is the highest in the "hierarchy" behind the obvious recommendations regarding correct nutrition. Following this it seems you would be better off concentrating on something low-to-mid volume, i.e. forget the "10-15 reps for 3 weeks" business (and, if you really concentrate on getting everything done in 40 mins, it's sure to be high intensity). That way your more likely to promote an increase in muscle mass and thus RMR which will not only help you lose the weight but keep it off too.

What have you been doing hitherto to lose the weight?

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Post by TimD » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:28 am

Circuits and complexes work great at fat loss, but Velcropop just made a good point. Why not take 1-2 lifts per session, work them fairly hard for strength/strength maint, say warm up to 2-3 worksets of 5-6 reps or so, then follow it up with a much morre reduced circuit/complex? I think you will find references to this in the Heirarchy article as well. For instance
Day 1
1. Main focus lift- say Squats wu to 2-3 X5-6
2. Circuit/complex 2-3 rounds x 8 or so reps, # not really that important, just to limit you to a moderate weight and go through circuits quickly.
SLDL, DB BP, DB Rows 1, Planks

Day 2
1.Another Focus lift, Say Pr or BP
2. Circuit, Pick exercises from your original list, and different from Day 1, limit to about 4 exercises.

Day 3
1. Another Focus Lift, your choice, just make it a big complex one
2. Another circuit, different, limit of 4

See the stickies I put up on complexes for fat loss, lots of different ideas in there for exercises.

Tim

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Post by Pathoslogical » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:31 pm

TimD wrote:Circuits and complexes work great at fat loss, but Velcropop just made a good point. Why not take 1-2 lifts per session, work them fairly hard for strength/strength maint, say warm up to 2-3 worksets of 5-6 reps or so, then follow it up with a much morre reduced circuit/complex?
This sounds really good. Thanks for the idea Velcropop/TimD Much more variety than I had, which sounds awesome. How about this?

Day 1 (Tuesday):
Squat 2-3x5-6
Circuit
20 minutes HIIT
Day 2 (Thursday):
Bench Press 2-3x5-6
Circuit
20 minutes HIIT
Day 3 (Saturday):
Assisted Chin-Ups/Pull-Ups or Lat Pulldown 2-3x5-6
Circuit
20 minutes HIIT

The circuit routine will cycle through Javorek's DB/BB and Cosgrove's complexes, with some others added in randomly (e.g. Chad Waterbury's, Dan John's, Michael Fry's, etc.) for variation.

One more question on the cardio HIIT. Should I be doing shorter, Tabata intervals or longer HIIT intervals? For example, 20s work 10s recovery for 8 rounds or 2min work 1min recovery for 7 rounds? The major difference here is timing, with the Tabata one being 4 minutes long and the longer intervals being 21 minutes (my original plan).

Edit: Changing nutritional program. Attempting to do 4-5 meals/day. Any suggestions for healthy, low cal, low carb, & high protein bars to eat as meal replacements? Myoplex Lite seems like a good choice.
Last edited by Pathoslogical on Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by TimD » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:43 pm

Sounds pretty good to me. Try it out, evaluate it, and tweak as necessary for your needs. As to HIIT, I'd start slow, with even work to rest ratio's, and try to improve on the work period. Sounds vague, but say 20 seconds sprint, 20 seconds walk, and try to kick it up on the sprint gradually. Tabata is typically 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 off, and you could try that, but be careful, it's awflly taxing. Start by trying a couple of rounds and improve on it from there.
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Post by Immortal » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:04 pm

o man... there was a talk on circuits and I wasnt here :cry: I love circuit training haha, we used to do it a lot during wrestling and it grew on me. Be careful with it though. Circuit training can have a massive impact on your nervous system and your recovery if you dont watch it. In fact its better to do it less often than more often due to the fact that sooner or later, you're gonna wear yourself out. Also you can have circuit t minus sets.

FOr instance say you go :
Squat 1 minute
Bench 1 minute
Dead Lift 1 minute
chin ups or lat pull downs 1 monute
military press 1 minute

After you do that, decrease the time by 20 seconds for each exercise and run at it again. This can also be the time for you to slightly increase the weight on each exercise.

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Post by Pathoslogical » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:11 pm

TimD wrote:Sounds pretty good to me. Try it out, evaluate it, and tweak as necessary for your needs.
I tried it out today, and it didn't seem as tiring as it should have been. I did Bench Press followed the Javorek Barbell Complex #1. I used 40 lbs for 6 reps of each in 2 back-to-back complexes. Should I increase weight or repetitions, preferably?
Immortal wrote:Be careful with it though. Circuit training can have a massive impact on your nervous system and your recovery if you dont watch it. In fact its better to do it less often than more often due to the fact that sooner or later, you're gonna wear yourself out.
This is what I'm trying to avoid, but, the work load I was doing just didn't seem to be enough to build muscle and burn fat.

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Post by Nevage » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:47 pm

I normally do 12-15 reps but also doing each exercise for 30 secs and not counting reps can be good. Makes me want to cry, the pain is intense. The circuits should be fast paced and make you out of breath, sweat a lot and never want to go through pain like it again, especially low carb.

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Post by Velcropop » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:30 am

Pathoslogical wrote:I tried it out today, and it didn't seem as tiring as it should have been. I did Bench Press followed the Javorek Barbell Complex #1. I used 40 lbs for 6 reps of each in 2 back-to-back complexes. Should I increase weight or repetitions, preferably?
Sometimes I think it misleading to judge a workout by how tiring it feels/should have felt. I've had some heavy days where I've felt good enough to play soccer after a workout only to feel twice as tired the next day. That being said it takes time to figure out what works for you, i.e. how much to do without digging to deep into the reserves.

As for the complexs, it's up to you whether you want to increase the weight, up the reps to 8 or so, or even just add another set or two into the mix. Again, as TimD pointed out, if your just starting a new routine you will need to tweak where necessary to get the best results for YOU.

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Post by Immortal » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:49 am

patho, ur just begginning it, its not like your gonna wear your body out in 2 days. Alsokeep the weight fairly good. For isntance if your bench max is 315, keep it at 225, you dont want to have the weight too late. You want enough to actually challenge everything

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Post by stuward » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:22 am

Make any increases in weight gradual. You should increase the speed of the workout and try to get another circuit in if possible without increasing the duration. You should be refreshed after the workout, not exhausted.


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