by Alan Levi, a personal trainer with over 7 years experience in the industry. He has trained under Charles Poliquin in Biosignature (Levels I and II), as well as a private internship in Body Composition Training.
As trainers, we are familiar with typical training goals identified by new clients: the delightfully vague “lose weight and tone up.”
The problem is that we often fail to follow a science-based protocol to achieve fat loss, or simply believe them to be mutually exclusive. This may be because we feel entrenched in an existing training modality or because we (rightly) realize that there is no ideal way to achieve these results. Regardless, understanding science-based training methodologies can open up a whole new paradigm of program design to you and jump-start the rate at which your clients can safely and quickly lose fat.
One caveat: while this article is going to dive into the nuts and bolts of sensible training protocols, it’s important to never neglect the vital importance of hormonal optimization and good diet in achieving superior fat loss.
The Limitations of Cardiovascular Training
Cardiovascular training (and here we are speaking specifically about slow, long-distance training) is a highly catabolic activity. Dr Robert Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University, found that cardiovascular activities caused declines in luteinizing hormone:
Professional soccer players and runners who cover more than 40 or 50 miles, have less LHRH, LH and testosterone in their circulation, smaller testes, less functional sperm. They have higher levels of glucocorticoids in their bloodstreams, even in the absence of stress (Sapolsky, 2004).