A review of “Lose Fat Like You’re on Crack”, via Metabolic Alchemy

Posted: September 12, 2010 in Interviews, Training
Tags: , , ,

This is Part I of an article published at Metabolic Alchemy covering my popular circuit workout, Lose Fat Like You’re on Crack. In Part II (which should be published shortly), John Stone interviewed me about the program. After you read the article I would encourage you to check out the rest of the Metabolic Alchemy site, lots of great information.

How are your fat loss results coming along? Are you eating lean meats, healthy fats, copious amounts of vegetables and enough fruit just to keep your engine going through workouts? Great. OK, seriously now, are you really doing that? Show of hands (ok this is just for dramatic narration, I can’t see you) how many of you are sticking to a supremely strict diet? If you’re like me it’s tough to keep to a paleo-type diet every day and yet it takes that level of control to really see the kinds of results you dream about every time you open a Men’s Health magazine and wish you could look just like George St. Pierre.

But if you’re making relatively solid progress,and for the most part sticking to a diet that’s delivering results, but you’re still wanting to finally wear that pair of spandex fight shorts and not look like a tube of jell, then let me tell you about one of the net’s best kept secrets.

What I’m about to share with you is a training program designed by one of the top trainers I’ve come across on the internet, and its primary focus is on maintaining (in some cases even increasing) strength while at the same time burning the maximum amount of calories in as short of a time as possible, all while correcting some imbalances in your posture and increasing your level of cardiovascular conditioning. We’re talking about the ultimate in achieving positive body composition (lose fat, build muscle).

I can’t promise you’ll ever look like St. Pierre, and for that matter if you’re not french canadian then that’s probably a good thing, but what I can promise is this. Stick with this program for six weeks and you’ll look like a whole new you. And yes, if there’s a little wiggle room in your diet, this training program will get rid of that jiggle in your wiggle.

The program is aptly called “Lose Fat Like You’re on Crack” and while the name is funny, the program is anything but. I also have to add a quick disclaimer. If you relied only on crack cocaine for your fat loss efforts you’d never come close to lean and muscular physique you’ll get from this program so don’t think you can just cheat the system and start blowing your bank roll on a crack pipe.

LFLYOC, the abbreviation, has become well known in discussion forums like Mind and Muscle (you can read the original article here: http://www.mindandmuscle.net/node/242?page=all) and was developed by Marc McDougal (check out his blog, Body of Evidence) who has been a personal trainer for over XXXX years and has developed countless programs for people as diverse as soccer moms all the way to professional soccer players.

Marc developed the LFLYOC program with several very important results in mind:

  1. Significant body fat loss
  2. Increase in Work Capacity (more work in less time)
  3. Increase in Cardiorespiratory Capacity
  4. Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy (growth and accumulation of fluid around muscle fibers)
  5. Increase in Metabolic Byproduct Clearance Rate (all of the byproducts of muscular contraction clear quicker, allowing you to repeat the same force and length of contraction with a shorter refractory period)
  6. Increase of Mitochondrial Density (force muscle cells to adapt by increasing your intracellular energical machinery)
  7. Force everyone else in the gym to feel like complete candy-asses after watching you train

The program consists of two groups of four exercises, each exercise selected to rotate upper and lower body movements rather than a classic bodybuilding “split”, where the focus is purely on muscle pump and little effort is made to lose fat, or higher reps type program, where the focus is purely on type 1 fibers which limits hypertrophy (muscle growth).

Five exercises (A) are performed one after another, and then a very short rest period (2 minutes) before repeating those five exercises. A new set of five exercises (B) is performed in the same fashion. This first run-through is admittedly fairly manageable, and it was designed to be that way, because each week things get tougher and tougher.

Here is how the progression goes. First week you simply repeat group A twice then move on to one set of B. Week two, you add one more round of set B, bringing the total of sets to 20. Week three finds the rest periods cut in half to one minute rather than two (this is where things start getting intense). Week four is hell. In between each set of exercises you perform twenty revolutions of a jump rope. Your cardio capacity is now getting tested severely but you do get 2 minute rest periods again (hint: you’re gonna need ‘em)! Week five you keep the ropes and lower the rest periods to 1 minute (if you’ve made it this far you can count yourself one of the few) and finally on week 6 there is NO rest period. You simply carry yourself, shaking and sweating, on to the next group of exercises once you’ve completed the previous round. If you make it this far and you’re not looking like something resembling an MMA fighter, then in the words of McDougal “you’re an idiot and there is little hope for you, so good luck digging ditches…”

Here’s a quick look at week 1. You can find the whole program here: Lose Fat Like You’re on Crack

Week 1

Workout A (Quad Dominant/Horizontal Push/Horizontal Pull)

A1: Overhead Squat 1×10

A2: Push Up 1×10

A3: Split Squat 1×10

A4: Bent Over Row 1×10

A5: Hanging Leg Raise 1×10

Rest 2 minutes

Repeat A1-A5

Rest 2 minutes

Move to B’s.

B1: DB Front Squat 1×10

B2: Flat DB Bench Press 1×10

B3: Elevated Full Lunge 1×10

B4: Horizontal Ball Pull Up 1×10

B5: Incline Leg Raise 1×10

Total Sets: 15

Total Rest: 4 min

Prehab/Rehab:

C: Seated External Rotation 2×15 (Teres Minor emphasis)

(This is included mainly because if I see one more person with underdeveloped external rotators and corresponding humeral internal rotation, I’m going to quit and become an astronaut. Always train the weaker side first, if one exists.)

Workout B (Posterior Chain Dominant/Vertical Push/Vertical Pull)

A1: Hang Clean 1×10

A2: Pull Up 1×10

A3: Hip Pull Thru 1×10

A4: Dips 1×10

A5: Cable Crunch 1×10

Rest 2 Minutes

Repeat A1-A5

Rest 2 Minutes

Move to B’s

B1: Deadlift 1×10

B2: Standing Cable Pulldown 1×10

B3: Glute Ham Raise (Natural or Dedicated) 1×10

B4: Standing DB Overhead Press 1×10

B5: Cable Crunch 1×10

Total Sets: 15

Total Rest: 4 min

Prehab/Rehab:

C: Low Cable External Rotation 2×10 (Infraspinatus emphasis)

(Again; included for shoulder health. The infraspinatus typically contains a higher percentage of fast twitch fibers than the teres minor, hence the lower rep range. We still need to keep the reps moderate, as the rotator cuff is poorly vascularized so increasing blood flow and nutrient delivery is paramount.)

It’s recommended you do this program four times a week. A sensible split would be Monday Tues (*rest wednesday) Thursday and Friday (*rest saturday and sunday). So in the case of week one it would go like this:

Monday: Workout A

Tuesday: Workout B

Wednesday: Throw up, rest, throw up some more…

Thursday: Workout A

Friday: Workout B

Saturday: lay in bed

Sunday: Pretend Monday won’t come.

In all seriousness though this is an amazing workout that will provide excellent benefits for those wanting to get in the best damn shape of their lives. Combine this program with a solid diet and supplement regimen and you’ll look absolutely amazing in just six weeks, less than two months. At that point, McDougal recommends you employ a completely different training style such as a classic 5×5 split (my recommendation would be something like Stronglifts 5×5)

So with all the specifics out of the way I bet you have a lot of questions. I did too when I first tried this program, and better questions than “where do you keep the bucket to puke in after workout a?”. Because I want solid answers to these questions I invited the designer of this program, Marc McDougal, to answer these questions and provide any other details or feedback he’s received since the original conception of the program years ago. In part 2, I will be sharing with you all those answers to my questions and invite all of you to fire away some of your own so that there’s no more excuses when it comes to your training efforts.

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