THREE WAYS TO MAKE THIS DECEMBER THE BEST MUSCLE BUILDING AND FAT BURNING MONTH OF YOUR LIFE WHILE EATING THE FOOD YOU LOVE- BY LUIS RYAN DIAZ
Let’s face it December’s here and you are going to be put through hell if you try and go on a diet right now.
Instead embrace holidays, enjoy amazing food, build some substantial muscle and stay lean while doing it.
December means family get togethers, office and school parties and awesome food! Homemade cookie and pies, holiday hams, eggnog, decadent turkey’s covered in gravy, and stuffing till your blue in the face…..Tis the season to BULK!
In this article I’m going to show you four ways to use those extra calories to build muscle and not store fat. I’m also going to show you few secret training techniques I use to add more muscle and keep off fat gains during the high calorie holiday season.
#1 ADDING SOME NEW INTENSITY VARIABLES INTRA-SET/POST WORKOUT
SHIFTING YOUR BODY FROM A FAT STORING MACHINE INTO A MUSCLE BUILDING MACHINE:
Tweak your training so you can accelerate fat loss and let all those extra calories work for you and not against you. By ramping up your training volume/intensity or both you can accomplish this.
But lets get into specifics such as how and when exactly should we do this??
First the how, while there are plenty of ways to make your workouts harder the goal is to make them more effective so you eat what you want and build a stupid amount of muscle over the holidays.
Its been shown that training till failure (failure sets) and extend set training will do both of these things at the same time.
How to do it: There are many ways to create more muscle damage and accelerate fat loss. But I only want to give you the BEST ways I know in order to have you looking massive and lean by January 1.
A. The old school 50 rep last set blaster: Simple but brutal old school move. On your last set your going to drop the weight by more than 30% (30 to 40%). Get 25 reps with that weight after some short rest get the other 25 do not drop the weight.
So lets say your doing a normal bench press routine and it normally looks like this 4 x 12,10, 8,6 With the 50 rep blaster its not 4 x 12,10, 8, 50 (drop the weight 30% to 40%).
B. INTRA-SET 45 Second Bodyweight HITT: Nothing like blasting a body part with a simple bodyweight exercise between sets to increase muscle fatigue and calorie expenditure. The pump you will get from this is insane! Not to mention you will only need 3 to 4 sets of this and you will be pretty gassed.
How to do it: In between sets of your normal exercise you’re going to do a bodyweight movement for the same body part for 45 seconds. The goal here is to get AS MANY REPS AS POSSIBLE.
In between every set of a bench press routine do 45 seconds of push ups (get creative and do variations of push ups). Yes you will fatigue much faster but this will give your chest more volume and a super pump!
Listed below are the bodyweight or band exercise to do for each body part:
• Chest: Push ups (all kinds)
• Back: Pull/chin ups
• Triceps: Dips
• Shoulders: Band Lateral Raises or shoulder push ups
• Quads: Jump Squats /tuck jumps/ jump lunges
• Hamstrings: Swiss Ball curls
• Calves: Bodyweight calve raises off an elevate surface
• Biceps: Bands curls
This is just a sample menu if you know better ones go ahead and sub those in and email them to me please!
Some other great moves for ramping up the intensity intra set are:
• Mountain Climbers
• High Knees
• Toes to bar
• Box Jumps (especially in between sets of squats)
If those don’t suit you then I have one more muscle building and fat burning killer that will take some real balls to do….
C. Resistance Tabata Training Sets (RTTS): A normal tabata set is 4 minutes long and if you have ever tried them you know their pretty tough. But nothing like RTT sets….if your okay with being normal then go right ahead and do regular old tabata…
If you’re as obsessed about building muscle as I am then listen up RTTS is for you my friend. Here is what your going to do.
How to & Guidelines of RTTS:
I. RTTS is 7 minutes long 20 seconds work 10 seconds rest.
II. Use some sort of free weight or a machine (barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells etc.)
III. Pick a weight that you can handle for 7 minutes straight.
IV. Pick a compound movement (bench press, squat, deadlift, clean and jerk, hang clean, push press, etc.) and an Isolation movement that you can switch to in less than 10 seconds (Iso move is optional).
V. Do this at the end of your workouts only.
VI. Go hard for 20 seconds aim for as many clean reps as you can get, then rest for 10 until the clock hits 7 minutes.
VII. You can pick up to TWO exercises and alternate back and forth between them also one can be an isolation movement just make sure your keep with in the 10 seconds rest time when switching.
VIII. Up to TWO muscles that’s it no more than that. (I want this to be stupid simple)
EXAMPLE OF RTTS AFTER A PUSH DAY: With 2 exercises (DB Bench Press & Standing Shoulder Press)
• DB PRESS (20 seconds)
• Rest (10 seconds)
• Standing Shoulder Press (20 seconds)
• Rest (10 seconds)
• DB PRESS (20 seconds)
• Rest (10 seconds)
• Standing Shoulder Press (20 seconds)
• Etc….until the clock gets to 7 minutes.
The weight will start out light but the cumulative stress and lactic acid build up should create a good bit of muscle damage and soreness. If your not struggling by minute 5 your going too light.
I suggest using this two to three times a week for a weak body part. Remember to keep the weight medium to light the goal here is volume.
When to use these intensity variables:
If you’re a hypertrophy freak like me that love to pour on the volume for short periods of time (three to five weeks at a time is my sweet spot) then I recommend using a combination of these or one of with every work you do.
BUT if you’re not there yet there are some specific times that you can use this to get the maximum muscle building advantage. Here is when you should do it if you only can use can’t use them regularly:
A. Before a party or get together when you know there will be goo food. Before you go and indulge in some awesome holiday foods you need to bust your ass to earn those calories.
Implement one of the strategies above to ramp up the training intensity. Ideally you want to eat within 3 hours of completing an intense workout. Eat your normal protein shake after your workout but save your appetite for the holiday FEAST!
B. After there’s nothing like training after a feast. If your stomach can handle it the sooner the better.
Obviously don’t train so soon that you will get sick but as soon as you can. The pump you will get from those high glycemic holiday sweets is second to none!
I’ve found things like brownies, cookies, and peanut butter desserts to give me a skin splitting pump when matched with the right intensity.
This doesn’t mean go an eat this stuff before a workout every single time (you will get fat, plus a host of other medical issues will set in). But if you find yourself at a Christmas party and there are some foods you can’t resist then you should go ahead and enjoy them. Just remember to be ready push yourself during your next training session and aim for getting a massive pump
MUSCLE BUILDING TIP: If you plan to train after you indulge then train a weak body part and really pound it. The pump you get from the extra calories will do wonders for that muscle by enhancing both oxygen and nutrient uptake, facilitating a potentially more favorable growing environment. SO FUEL THAT PUMP AND TRAIN HARD!
#2 Have A German Christmas
Give your muscles the gift of volume
Another option for packing muscle on like a bull this holiday season is to adopt German Volume Training for the season and let the hypertrophy gains begin!!
Adopting this training method will send your volume through the roof and be very effective for fat loss. The shear amount of total work will bring about a wave of change in your physique. The extra calories will be put to good use with GVT guaranteed.
German volume training is tough but effective. You will want to quit but stick with it and remember all the food you will enjoy after training so hard.
Here is a sample set up for a kickass week of GVT:
• Front Squats – 10 x 10
• Stiff Legged Deadlifts – 10 x 10
• Hack Squats 3 x 12
• Leg extensions 3 x 12
• Single Leg Lying Leg curls 3 x 12
• Lunges around the perimeter of the gym (with light dumbbells)
Tuesday – Chest & Back
• Barbell or T bar Rows 10 x 10
• Incline Dumbbell Press or Barbell Flat Bench 10 x 10
• Kneeling High Incline Cable Flys 3 x 12
• Hammer Strength High Rows 3 x 12
• Flat Bench Cable Flys 3 x 12
• Pull Ups 3 x 12
• Chest Dips 3 x 12
Wednesday – Rest (Optional CALVES & ABS DAY)
• Hanging Leg Raises 10 x 10
• Weighted Decline Crunches 3 x 12
• Smith Machine Standing Calve Raises 10 x 10
• Leg Press Calve Raises 3 x 12
• Pick one movement for you Weak Body Part (10 x 10)
Thursday – Arms
• Incline Curls or French Curls- 10 x 10
• Dips (or close grip bench) – 10 x 10
• Zottman Curls – 3 x 12
• Rope Overhead Extension – 3 x 12
• Slow Cable Hammer Curls- 3 x 12
• Tate Press – 3 x 12
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Legs
Sunday – Chest & Back
#3 Strategic Two-a-day Split for Weak Body Parts
Overtime training for the day after your binge
Introduce twice a day training on days after you eat way more then your suppose to.
After a night of holiday shenanigans and stuffing your face sending a lagging body part into beast mode with this 2X split.
The Am/Pm Split For Massive Muscle Growth Response
The goal with 2x a day training is a simple 2 prong attack on a muscle. In the morning your going goal is to move heavy weights with explosive fast movements.
THE A.M. SESSION:
This is going to be where the type 2 muscle fibers are going to get blasted. Do this only when your fresh and full of energy. Go heavy go hard. Really tap into those type II muscle fibers and push some manly.
I would add a 10 minute HIIT Session after this to increase the metabolic stress at the end since this will be a power lifting type session, with the focus on moving heavy ass weight for 3 to 5 reps. (see below for sample workout)
THE P.M. SESSION:
The evening training session is going to be the reverse of the AM session. Your going back in the gym to finish what you have left, essentially trying to deplete those glycogen stores as much as possible using drop sets, RTT, iso-tension sets, giant sets, partials, forced reps, and 50x sets to really tap out the muscle.
The evenings are essentially a super hypertrophy session….all the tricks in the bag come out at night. You should look like you took a shower when you’re done.
Use the following training setup for this two-a-day training method:
2x Training for a Push Day
Morning: Strength Focus
Rest 2 to 3 minutes between sets:
A1. Floor Press 5x 4,4,3,3,2
B1. High Incline DB Press 4×4
C1. Weighted Dips 4×5
D1. Strict Push Press 4×5, 5,4,4
E1. Thick Bar Bench Press (use chains or bands if possible) 4 x 6,4,3,3
F1. HIIT 10 mins
Night: Hypertrophy Focus (AKA Balls out of your purse time)
TRI SET- 30 seconds Rest
A1: High Incline Chest Fly (cable) 3 x15
A2. Dips 3×12
A3. Smith Machine Incline Bench Press 3x 15,12 (double drop set on the last set)
TRI-SET- 30 seconds rest
A1. DB Decline Press 4×12
A2. Bent Over Reverse Fly’s 4×15,13,10,F
A3. Lateral Raises 4×15 (Iso-tension hold for 15 seconds here last 2 sets)
TRI- SET- 30 seconds rest
A1. Chest Supported DB Front Raises 3 x 12,15, 50x (rest at 25 reps for 10 seconds the finish)
A2. Incline DB Press 3 x 12, 15, 50x
A3. Wide E-Z Bar Upright Rows 3 x 12, 15, 50x
This should not be used often trust me you need to eat A LOT after completing a day like this.
BONUS TIP FOR STAYING LEAN
ONE CRAZY NUTRITION HACK FOR HOLIDAY BULKING AND STAYING LEAN:
FASTING….Yes I said fasting. More specifically IF (intermittent fasting) a 18 to 24-hour fast will help minimize fat gain especially if your eating like a cow the other six days of the week. Do not train on this day, maybe some moderate cardio but that’s all. The nuts and bolts of IF can be found in more depth here.
Benefits of Implementing a Fast (Source: This article by Dr. John Berardi)
• Increased growth hormone
• Increase fatty acid oxidation
• Reduced risk of cancer
• Improved appetite control
• Reduced blood lipids
• Reduced inflammation
• Increased cellular turnover and repair
What you CAN have during your fast:
• BCAA’s (2 to 3 servings throughout the fast)
• A green supplement AKA( superfood supplement ..one serving)
• Lots of water
Play with this protocol and use it properly (remember: only on SOME rest days). I would use this once a week at most and only if you’re in a caloric overload or around 1200 to 1500 calories of your TDEE the other days of the week.
The holidays are a time for fun with your loved ones and family get together’s not just going around and eating a crap load of junk. It unfortunate that massive weight gain and bad nutrition habits have grown to be some what of the norm in western society during this time of year. But I digress. A well balanced diet should ALWAYS be a priority when striving for your fitness goals.
Remember the true purpose of this time of year…spending time with loved ones and being grateful for all that we have.
Follow the guidelines listed here whole-heartedly and you’re on your way to bulking success and massive gains this holiday season. Happy bulking!
Luis Ryan Diaz
Luis is a certified personal trainer and NPC Mens physique competitor in West Palm Beach, Florida. He coaches individuals and groups online and in person. Most of his work is with athletes and young adults for strength, size and aesthetics. You can contact Luis at Luisryanfit.com or at [email protected]