Everyone has heard of (or experienced for themselves) the dreaded freshman 15 — the insidious weight gain that seems to engulf your once sleek physique overnight. While it may seem that just yesterday you had the body of Adonis, the truth is, those late nights of pounding pizzas, cheese fries, and beer have led to a lot of unwanted fat gain.

Well, those days of piling on the pounds are over, my friend. It’s time to drop those 15 pounds of fat NOW. That’s right, there’s no more late night bonbon binges, last call beers, or pizza parties. It’s time to get serious about your nutrition and training and we’ve got just the plan for you.

Introducing the Fast 15 — an 8-week weight loss tour de force that will melt unwanted body fat and reveal you former lean, muscular self.

Fast 15 Weight Loss Tips

Embrace Intervals

The days of spending endless hours on treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes trudging away at a slow and methodical pace or over. If you want to burn fat fast, it’s time to ratchet up the intensity of your workouts with interval training.

Interval training basically consists of alternating rounds of high intensity and low-intensity exercise that helps burn more fat in a fraction of the time of traditional steady-state cardio, such as jogging or cycling. Research backs this up too! Researchers documented that subjects who performed over 50% of their training at higher intensities lost more weight than those performing the majority of their training at lower intensities.[1]

Lift Weights Too!

Interval training (i.e. cardio) isn’t the only thing that you should be doing to burn off the goo either. You need to lift weights, and not just the little pink dumbbells in the corner. You need to get under the bar and lift some really heavy weight.

Heavy resistance training helps build and preserve lean muscle mass, which ramps up your metabolism, helping to burn extra calories during and after your workout. In fact, the combination of resistance training and aerobic training (cardio) burned significantly more body fat (twice as much!) compared to only performing aerobic exercise.[2]

Don’t Overdo It

While you might be tempted to exercise for multiple hours every day all in the effort to burn more and more fat, don’t. Follow the training program below exactly as it’s laid out. Exercising too much, while not recovering enough places too much stress on your body and central nervous system. In turn, cortisol levels rise, and then remain elevated, which eat away at your lean muscle mass, inhibits fat burning, and even encourages fat storage (particularly in the belly region).

When you’re in the gym, attack your training with everything you’ve got, but don’t be tempted to do more. Get to the gym, kill it, and get on with the rest of your day. More isn’t always better.

Protein and Fat First

Everyone knows that weight loss ultimately boils down to calories in vs calories out. Make sure you’re tracking every bit of food that goes into your mouth every day for the next eight weeks.

Prioritize fat and protein above carbohydrates. Proteins and fats are more satiating than carbs, which help you eat less each day, and are essential to maintaining lean mass, optimal hormone regulation, and health. Add carbs in to fill the rest of your macros, but make sure that protein and fat are at the forefront of your daily diet.

Focus

Focus doesn’t just apply to your workouts. It applies to everything you do over the next eight weeks. Focus on your nutrition, focus on your training, focus on your ultimate goal — fast fat loss.

Remaining focused on your goal will help you stay the course even in the midst of temptation and detractors. Even better, find a friend or family member to join in on your quest for leanness and tackle the next eight weeks together. The support will come in handy during the particularly tough times ahead.

Fast 15 Training Overview

Fast 15 training will involve 5 weight lifting days per week, using a mix of methods for maximum fat loss. This isn’t your traditional 5-day bro split. Fast 15 is extreme. It’s going to push you to your limits and them a bit further, carving off gobs of fat and chiseling the physique of an Olympian god (or goddess).

Don’t forget about your “cardio” training too. While you won’t be performing traditional steady-state cardio, you are going to be doing interval training several times per week. Ideally, you’ll perform these workouts separate from your weight lifting sessions. For example, if you’re strength training in the morning, you’ll do your intervals in the afternoon.

If you don’t have the time for two separate workouts, add the intervals on after your weight training session, but NEVER perform your interval training before lifting weights. Doing so will hinder your lifting performance.

Interval Training

Intervals are structured the following way, regardless of your training preferences (sprints, rower, bike, etc.). Each interval session will be constructed as such:

Warm Up:  2 minutes

  • 30 seconds all-out (“maximum”) effort
  • 90 seconds low-medium effort
  • Repeat for a grand total of 8 rounds

Cool Down: 2 minutes

Strength Training Descriptions

Outside of your warm-up sets, there will be no other straight sets in your workouts. You’re going to be using a mix of training methods (detailed next) during your sessions for maximum muscle activation and fat loss.

Supersets: 2 exercises performed back-to-back with minimal rest between the two.

Drop Set: Perform the prescribed number of reps, then set the weight down, pick up a weight 20% of your previous working set and rep out until muscle failure.

Rest-Pause Set: Upon reaching failure, rest for 10-15 seconds and continue banging out reps until you reach the desired number of reps.

Fast 15 Training

Note: Interval Training is performed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Monday – Legs

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

Barbell Back Squat (drop set on last set)

4

8-10

90 sec

Leg Press

4

8-10

0

Romanian Deadlift

4

10-12

90 sec

Leg Extensions (Rest-Pause Style)

1

100

90 sec

Smith Machine Calf Raises
(Superset with next exercise)

 3

15-20

0 sec

Hanging Leg Raise

 3

Max Reps

60 sec

 

Tuesday – Chest

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

Incline Dumbbell Bench (drop set on sets 3 and 4)

4

8-10

90 sec

Weighted Dip (rest-pause)

1

50

90 sec

Cable Crossover (superset with push up)

3

10-12

0 sec

Push Up

3

Max Reps

90 sec

Pec Deck (Drop set every set)

 3

15-20

60 sec

*Perform Interval Training

Wednesday – Back

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

Pull Ups (rest-pause style)

1

100

90 sec

Seated Cable Row (drop set on sets 3 and 4)

4

8-10

90 sec

Lat Pulldown (superset with next exercise)

3

10-12

0 sec

Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown

3

10-12

90 sec

1 Arm Dumbbell Row (rest-pause)

 3

15-20

60 sec

 

Thursday – Arms & Abs

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

EZ Bar Curl (superset with close grip press)

4

8-10

0 sec

Close Grip EZ Bar Press

4

8-10

90 sec

Rope Hammer Curl (drop set on sets 3 and 4)

4

10-12

60 sec

Rope Pushdown (drop set on sets 3 and 4)

4

Max Reps

60 sec

Dumbbell Curl (rest-pause style)

1

50

90 sec

Bench Dips (rest-pause style)

1

50

90 sec

V-Ups (superset with Planks)

3

15-20

0 sec

Plank

3

Max Time

90 sec

  • Perform Interval Training

Friday – Shoulders

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Rest

Standing Dumbbell Press (drop set on last set)

4

8-10

90 sec

Dumbbell Lateral Raise (superset with Arnold Press)

4

10-12

0 sec

Arnold Press

4

10-12

90 sec

Upright Row

1

50

90 sec

Face Pull (drop set every set)

 3

15-20

60 sec

References

  1. Stöggl T, Sperlich B. Polarized training has greater impact on key endurance variables than threshold, high intensity, or high volume training. Frontiers in Physiology. 2014;5:33. doi:10.3389/fphys.2014.00033.
  2. Willis LH, Slentz CA, Bateman LA, et al. Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. J Appl Physiol. 2012;113(12):1831-1837. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01370.2011.

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