I spend most of my time working with bros who want to get shredded. Be it in the gym, where I work with actors who are trying to get ready for an upcoming role, or online where I help the average bro out when it comes to getting the body they’ve always dreamed of.
Because of this, I’ve seen more than my fair share of fat loss success stories, and failures. In fact, early on in my career I saw more failures than I care to admit. And from time to time I still do. It’s the nature of the game.
I always get excited when those failures happen though, because they always serve as a learning experience. I’m here to share 4 things I’ve learned from witnessing fat loss failure.
- You’re training for the wrong goal.
You need to train differently for fat loss. That’s a basic fact that for people for some reason still can’t seem to get through their head. A fat loss program has it’s own host of contingencies that you’ve got to deal, and training is one of them.
Sure, pulling a one rep max deadlift, or doing 50 sets of back in a workout may sound like a ton of fun. And it is. But when you’re on a strict deficit, you’re not going to be able to handle that sort of work.
Instead up the training density, cut down the rest periods, and turn your training towards a metabolic focus. Once you’re shredded and working your way back up, then you can start incorporating things like heavy work and high volume lifting more often.
- Your diet is shit.
Obvious, right? But what I actually mean by this is that your diet is full of shit quality food. The rise of if-it-fits-your-macros has been outstanding because we now know that we can fit the foods we love into a diet, but most people take it way too far.
I’m a huge fan of getting people onto a very strict eating plan for a very short period of time. Essentially eliminating all processed and shit foods. This functions as a way to help you get more nutrients, become more mindful about your eating, and actually alter your taste preferences to a more whole food based approach.
Packaged and refined foods are meant to be eaten sparingly, treat them as such.
- You aren’t recovering properly.
You can dial your diet in perfectly, and you can have the best metabolic training sessions out there, but if you’re not recovering well, then it’s all for naught.
If you’re barely getting any sleep, hooking up a caffeine IV to get you through the day, or have a ton of stress at work/at home then fat loss isn’t going to go your way. You’re actively working against your body, and at some point that’s going to backfire.
The sleep and caffeine are easy fixes. Focus on getting more quality rest, remove distractions from the bedroom, and those issues fix themselves. If work or home is exceptionally stressful, then realize that maybe fat loss isn’t the best goal for you at the moment.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Dial back your training, eat a bit more (quality foods of course), and then start trying to get shredded when life isn’t such a clusterfuck anymore.
- You’re doing too much.
I can’t begin to tell you how many guys I’ve worked with who try to do cardio every single day, lift, diet hard, and then wonder why the hell their so lethargic and can’t seem to control themselves at the buffet.
Sure, you can try and out train your diet. It’s absolutely possible, but if you’re trying to train for 3 hours a day while on a strict deficit you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Set one goal in your crosshairs and go after it. If it’s fat loss, then put most of your energy towards sticking to your diet, get 4 quality training sessions in each week, lasting no more than an hour, and call it good.
If you’re trying to add more on top of that at some point you’re going to crack, eat until you’re a beached whale, and then hate yourself for your lack of discipline, when in reality your body was just looking for the calories it so desperately needs.
Happy shredding season bros. If you’re not progressing the way you want, hopefully these tips will help put things in perspective for you.