There’s a wide variety of exercises to lose belly fat, but not all of them are that effective. Find out which ones are the most effective and will have your belly fat melting off in no time!
Then you have the people who want to get away from the gym and only weight train once a week.
There’s many different exercises for the arms, but are they effective at losing fat and building fat burning muscle?
It was like most overweight bellies and nothing that would take too long to see amazing improvements in the belly area. When it comes to losing weight, snacking can be a great way to ward off those pesky hunger pains we all get.
Combine this with a proper diet and you’re well on your way to achieving the body of your dreams! If you want to lose fat most effectively, then you’ll want to learn how to calculate the calories necessary to hit your fat-loss goals. This article, combined with the two aforementioned posts, will equip you with the necessary tools to take your fat-loss to the next level and get you closer to a leaner, more sculpted physique.
The details of how to calculate your TDEE for fat loss is outlined in Lose Fat and Reduce Body Fat Percentage with Basic Math.
As an example, based on my TDEE, my calorie target to lose fat is about 1,400-1,500 calories per day. In calculating your macros to lose fat, the first macronutrient we should focus on is protein.
The easiest way to determine your protein requirement if you don’t have a way to measure your body fat percentage is to consume 1g of protein per pound of body weight.
Using myself as an example, if I currently weigh 105 pounds, I should be eating about 105g of protein per day. Using myself as the guinea pig, if 25% of my calories should come from fat, then I should consume roughly 360 calories of fat (1,450 x 25%). The last macronutrient ratio we should determine is our contribution of calories from carbohydrates. Since I know my calorie requirement for proteins and fats are 420 and 360, respectively, I can now determine what my calorie needs should be from carbohydrates.
As my body has been my personal science project for quite some time, I’ve experimented with a variety of splits. In the end, improving body composition is about understanding how you respond to certain diet and training protocol and sticking to what works.
To lose fat but keep the muscle you worked so hard to build, here are a few tips to focus on. You have to watch what you eat, regulating intake to meet your goals of gaining or losing weight. Now, how do things change once you’ve achieved the type of body you desire? Do you have to work just as hard to keep a good physique as you do to build one? How can you maintain muscle and strength when you’re not able to follow your regular exercise routine? Although some of us would love to be able to hit the gym 5 times per week without any unplanned breaks, year-in, year-out…life will inevitably throw us curve balls. It’s much easier to maintain a good physique and level of conditioning than it is to get there. Over the course of the following 8 months, group 1 lost muscle (of course), but both groups 2 and 3 were able to maintain most of the muscle they had gained in the first part of the study, and even increase their strength. You can not only maintain muscle and strength training only 1-2 times per week, you can actually make gains. Sure, you won’t be able to make the same kinds of gains as you can training 3-5 times per week, but you can do better than most people think.
One study conducted by The University of Queensland showed that subjects that trained a muscle group twice per week made about 70% of the gains of those training three times per week.
A study conducted by the University of Florida showed that subjects doing isometric training twice per week made about 80% of the gains of those training three times per week. Researchers from Laurentian University found that one group of subjects training twice per week, performing 27 total sets per week, made equal gains to another group training three times per week for the same number of sets. The key takeaway here is that weekly workout volume is at least as important, if not more important than, workout frequency. Regardless of what’s going on in your life, if you can sneak away from the hustle and bustle for a couple hours per week, you can minimally keep your hard-earned gains. Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

The bottom line is when you reduce workout frequency, you have to increase volume and, most importantly, intensity (the amount of weight you’re lifting). You also want to focus on exercises that recruit the maximum amount of muscle, which are the big compound lifts like Deadlifts, Squats, Bench Press, and Military Press. I could delve into some more advanced physiology here to further explain the relationship between frequency, volume, intensity, and exercise choice, but let’s save that theory for another post and get to the practical. When you can only train twice per week, I recommend you use one day to train your push and pull muscles, and another day to focus on your legs, with a little additional push.
This is a brutally simple and effective workout. With it, you should expect to make gains, not simply remain the same. It trains every major and minor muscle group in your body, and the emphasis on the 4-6 rep range focuses on inducing myofibrillar growth, which is ultimately what creates the big, strong, dense muscle that we all want. As with any program, the most important factor in terms of making gains is progressive overload.
The following workout hits every major muscle group in the body, and takes about 1:15 to complete.
So, if you’re short on time or just want to cruise for a bit and maintain your physique, I hope this article helps!
You see, depending on how you eat, train, rest, and supplement, building muscle and losing fat can be incredibly simple or seemingly impossible.
I've also learned a lot about what DOES work, and I wrote Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger to teach you EVERYTHING you need to know to build the body you've always wanted. I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams. If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.
I’m going to talk more about frequency in my follow-up book to BLS, but it boils down to workout volume and intensity.
Splits that have you train your entire body 2-3x per week DO work when they’re programmed correctly, but so do splits that have you training everything once per week. The last little tidbit is if you’re following BLS and want to improve a weak point, you can train it again.
Hi Mike, i suppose the 2day heavy compound lifting would give your nervous system a better chance to recover as for 3-5 days of Heavy lifting every week, the reason i am asking would be that i have be doing heavy lifting for more than 1year did saw gains but never took a week off for my nervous system too recover and got very sick not doing so, would you recommend doing the 2day Heavy compound lifting week 1 and then the following 2 weeks you do moderate hypertrophy lifting(moderate weight) and then Volume lifting(light weight) and would you still make the same gains prior to only doing HCL every week? For instance, my BLS program has you lifting heavy weights 5 x per week and deloading every 2 months and people rarely have to change anything due to overtraining. Why does a routine focused on only a few key compound exercises produce faster strength gains than a routine where you perform lots of exercises (compound movements included) for each muscle group? The big, primary compound lifts like the Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, and so forth not only fully stimulate the muscles being trained but allow for heavy weights to be safely lifted. Will doing too much cardio, a la Crossfit, be a detriment to gains while you’re maintaining? Another GREAT article – a big focus for me currently in all areas of life is to be as time efficient as possible. There will be a bit of basic math, and it may get confusing, so grab a pencil and some paper. The reason why we should focus on protein first is outlined in How to Lose Fat and Maintain Muscle Mass. If you are overweight or obese, it’s a better idea to consume 1g of protein per pound of lean body mass. Because 1g of protein contains four calories, then 105g of protein equals 420 calories (105 x 4).
For accelerated fat-loss or those who are already lean and training intensely, you may benefit by consuming about 35% of calories in protein because it has been shown to be the most satiating of all macronutrients, which can be helpful when you’re in a calorie-restricted diet to keep you feeling fuller.
A good starting point is to target a range between 20-25% of your calories coming from fats. While protein requirements can stay pretty stable, carbohydrate and fat intake are often the most manipulated substrates in contributions to a bodybuilding diet depending on your goals, training volume and intensity, and the body’s response to them.
It is key to test what works best for your body and lifestyle as individual circumstances and needs can vary greatly. After 10 weeks of weightlifting 3 times per week, 18 varsity female rowers were split into two groups. Both groups improved their strength in two exercises they performed each week, and maintained strength in the four others in their routine. What type of workouts will deliver the best results when you’re only training 1-2 times per week?
Rest 2-3 minutes in between each set, and take at least one day of rest in between each (two days of rest between each is ideal, I think).

Go up 10 lbs, whether by adding 5 lbs to each side of the barbell, or moving up 5 lbs on dumbbells.
Would you recommend to train specific musclegroups, which you want to improve, more than one time per week? The more reps you do in a workout, and the heavier those reps are, the less often you will be able to repeat the workout. The big difference between the two is the latter workouts have you doing more in each workout.
Train it per BLS, then wait 3-4 days and start your workout with a warm-up and 6 sets for the weak point, followed by your normal workout.
No more having to fret over missed workouts due to schedule crunches (sorry, terrible pun). My only question is, BLS makes you hit the arms quick but hard, it also has some specialization like training upper chest, abs, calves, lats, side delta, etc etc.
In my experience you’ll more or less maintain those smaller muscle groups, but you can also add some isolation work back in if it becomes an issue. Is it reasonable to consider using one of your workouts listed above while cutting, then return to the full BLS workout while bulking? When you’re ready to be incredibly dialed into your nutrition and improve your body composition, you’ll also want to be in tune with your macronutrient breakdown. Write down your numbers, and you’ll be well on your way to understanding and utilizing a highly effective method for fat-loss. To determine the protein percentage of my total caloric target for weight loss, I simply take the 420 calories and divide by my calorie goal of 1,450, which equals to about 29%. Protein is also the most expensive substrate to metabolize, meaning it has the highest thermic effect of all macronutrients. Keep in mind that is a lot of genetic variation with each individual, so some could benefit with more or less.
If I know my total calorie goal is 1,450, then my remaining calories left should be 670 (1,450 – 780). I am in the process of testing a high fat diet so my numbers will vary quite a bit depending on what I’m testing. Play around with your calorie-intake and macronutrient breakdown and hone in on what’s effective for you and not the person next to you at the gym. The only exception to this rule is when peaking for a bodybuilding contest, where reducing water intake for a couple days prior to a contest helps in preventing water retention which blurs muscle definition. Both groups then did 6 weeks of maintenance resistance training, with one group training once per week, and the other twice per week. I feel like in the 2 days after the workout I need more and not so much for the rest of the week. These studies training a muscle group 3x a week (say M, W & F) must be new to weightlifting wouldn’t you think? I have been looking for a maintenance schedule and i found this post to be most useful than any other articles. Also if you have more muscle, creatine monohydrate keeps them hydrated and reasonably intact.
From this article, this approach seems logical, unless you feel I would be risking too much muscle loss during cutting. Your body will use a larger percentage of the calories to digest and absorb the protein relative to carbohydrates and fats. From here, you can modify the distribution according to how you feel and perform in the gym and how your body responds to this combination.
Since your body cannot efficiently break it down, it takes more energy (calories) to process.
I agree with you that one hard workout per muscle group per week will you from losing what you worked so hard for. This is the split that Arnold Schwarzenegger used in his career in bodybuilding as mentioned in Arnold Schwarzenegger Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding. I recommend this book for anyone interested in fat-loss, muscle building, and ultimately improving body composition.

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