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Table of Contents

1 About Mark Carroll

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2 About Clean Health Fitness Institute

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3 Introduction

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4 The Fundamentals of Fat Loss

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5 What is Reverse Dieting?

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6 The Myth of Starvation Mode & Metabolic Damage

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7 Benefits of Reverse Dieting

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8 Understanding Fat Cells

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9 Understanding Metabolic Adaptation

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10 Leptin Versus Grehlin

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11 Efficient versus Inefficient Metabolic States

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12 The Cost of Getting Lean

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13 Short Term Dieting versus Long Term Under Eating

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14 The Exit Strategy

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15 How to Track Your Macros

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16 How to Reverse Diet Successfully

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17 Example System 1: The Exit Strategy for ‘Gen Pop’ Transformation Clients

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18 Example System 2: Not at goal body fat levels, although just completed a 12 week diet

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19 Example System 3: The Exit Strategy for The Long Term ‘Under Eater’

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20 Example System 4: Comp Prep Reverse Diet

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21 Post Transformation Training Systems

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22 Exit Strategy NEAT / Cardio Systems

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23 Conclusion

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24 Further Reading

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25 References

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abouT

Mark

Carroll

1 abouT Mark Carroll With over a decade of experience in the fitness industry, Mark is
1 abouT Mark Carroll With over a decade of experience in the fitness industry, Mark is

With over a decade of experience in the fitness industry, Mark is the senior presenter for the Clean Health Fitness Institute, regarded as the world’s leading fitness industry education organisation.

Mark began his career working in commercial gyms, then in 2014 he joined the coaching team at Clean Health Fitness Institute where he progressed his way up through the ranks to the position he holds today.

Mark is regarded as an industry leader when it comes to achieving maximal results for clients. He specializes in achieving rapid transformations with not only general population clientele, but also elite level athletes.

Mentoring over 2,000 personal trainers, Mark is known as the ‘trainer of trainers’, motivating and guiding those also wanting to become leaders in the fitness industry.

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2

abouT

Clean

HealtH

Fitness

institute

2 abouT Clean HealtH Fitness institute Since 2008, Clean Heath Fitness Institute has been regarded as
2 abouT Clean HealtH Fitness institute Since 2008, Clean Heath Fitness Institute has been regarded as

Since 2008, Clean Heath Fitness Institute has been regarded as Australia’s premiere fitness industry educators and personal training organisation. Having certified over 10,000 personal trainers and fitness professionals in over 15 countries globally, we have developed a reputation as pioneers in the health and fitness industry worldwide.

Clean Health Fitness Institute was founded by industry titan, Daine McDonald. In 2012 Clean Health Fitness Institute opened their first high end personal training studio, over the 5 years that followed the company facilitated over 100,000 personal training sessions and developed a global reputation for results and excellence.

Over the years, Clean Health Fitness Institute has been featured throughout numerous media publications and TV shows including Sydney Morning Herald, GQ Magazine, Men’s Muscle & Health, Men’s Fitness, Australian Women’s Health & Fitness, Oxygen Magazine and The Australian Biggest Loser Club.

Clean Health Fitness Institute has featured in other publications such as Channel 9 with Kerri Anne, Fitness First Magazine, Nine MSN’s Health and Well-Being site, along with lecturing at some of the biggest health and fitness conferences globally including Filex, the Mefit Pro Summit and the Australian Fitness Expo.

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introduCtion

3 introduCtion “The world is becoming overweight” Every year obesity levels continue to grow and grow

“The world is becoming overweight”

Every year obesity levels continue to grow and grow around the world, whilst the supplement industry is making more money than ever. There is information and misinformation everywhere you look on how to lose weight, how to drop body fat fast and how to get your ‘dream body in just 30 days’. Social media is overrun by fitness accounts of bikini girls and guys with abs claiming to have the knowledge to help you get into the best shape of your life!

As of writing this, I am 30 years old and I started my own training journey at 13! Back then, my knowledge came from old bodybuilding magazines from the 80’s teaching me either how to look like the Hulk, or how to have a 6 pack to win over the ladies.

Fitness information back then was limited to bodybuilding magazines, I remember going to the newsagent each month to buy the new ‘Muscle and Fitness’ magazine and being embarrassed as bodybuilding was so taboo then. Now? Now the fitness industry is very much a global powerhouse. It seems that everyone is a member of a gym (whether they use that membership is a different story) or is following aspirational social media accounts for guidance & ‘#inspo’.

following aspirational social media accounts for guidance & ‘#inspo’. Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty Ltd 2019.

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Today, health and fitness adverts are seen everywhere you look, there is a supplement add on ‘building muscle’ or ‘torching body fat’ daily on your TV screen. All over the news each night there is a new magic pill or diet to fix our body fat levels. There are now gyms and fitness centres on every corner of town and ‘gluten free’ and ‘organic’ products and health stores have become staples at every shopping centre.

Despite all of this, as a society we are still fat, fatter than ever. Regardless of the overwhelming amount of information available on how to lose weight (some information is good while the majority is questionable at the very least and non- evidence-based) society is becoming larger & larger. This is why it’s imperative we understand this statement…

“The world does not have a weight loss problem. The world has a weight management problem.”

People all over the world are losing weight faster than ever! Detoxes, juice cleanses, fad dieting, you name it, it’s all available and it all seems to work initially! The issue is, we all know how to lose the weight these days, but we can’t keep it off. In fact, we get fatter and fatter each time we put the weight back on. Lose 5kg, put on 7kg, lose 8kg, put on 10 kg and so on.

put the weight back on. Lose 5kg, put on 7kg, lose 8kg, put on 10 kg

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Your solution?

tHe eXit strateGY

So with this, the concept of ‘The Exit Strategy” was born. Everywhere you look there is a detailed plan of attack for how to lose the weight, yet there is rarely (if ever) a plan on how to keep it off long term and sustain your result! Congratulations you lost 10kg, now what?

Well, studies show you are likely to put it back on in half the time you lost it [McLean et al., 2015; Duloo et al., 2011; Ochner et al., 2013; Field et al., 2003] .

Yes, that’s right, if it took you 12 weeks to lose 10kg, there’s a good chance you with gain that 10kg back in as little as 6 weeks. Crazy, I know!

In 2015 I first started to build my reputation for achieving rapid fat loss transformations. Back then, I was training a lot of general population (gen pop) clients and also personal trainers who wanted to learn my methods. I would sign up a client for a 12week period, use one of my many methods to achieve their goals, and that was it.

Over and over again, I was training clients for short periods, getting amazing results, then we were done. But then, I was finding an interesting concept. Almost 50% of my clients would message me within 3 to 9 months on asking me to coach them again. Explaining, they fell off from training and particularly their ‘diet’. When I would meet up with them again for their consult, I was finding, the majority of the time they looked nothing like they’re ‘after” photo we achieved working together sometime before. So, we repeated the process.

These moments, 4 years on still stay with me. It hit me that although I was good at achieving 12 week results with my clients, I wasn’t addressing their future or the longer term. I thought that the epic before and after transformation was a job well done and that was it. But what I didn’t realise was, without a sound ‘exit strategy’ or, “the diet after the diet”, I was simply contributing to the world’s problem.

I would help people get fit, healthy and the body they wanted, then they would return to their old way of life and before we knew it, they were back at square one, often even worse.

of life and before we knew it, they were back at square one, often even worse.
of life and before we knew it, they were back at square one, often even worse.

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“Remember, the world doesn’t have a problem losing weight, it has a problem keeping it off.”

Yes I can achieve “from flab to abs” in 12 weeks, but can my clients look this way long term? Can they maintain this result? Or did they simply get that before and after transformation photo and revert back to their before status? Or even worse, did they end up worse than they started? The majority of the time, this was an overwhelming yes.

In this guide book, you will learn my methods to sustaining the physique we achieved together through my transformation programs. Through this guide book, we will dive into some of the science of fat loss and explore the metabolic adaptations that come with dieting. I believe the further you read, the more you will personally resonate with the concepts and scenarios in the book.

I often like to say fat loss is simple, but the execution is the hard part. Conversely, maintaining a low body fat is not simple, as you will see. Yet, with superior knowledge, you will be better equipped to sustain your fat loss result.

Within this book, we will break down different options post transformation. Remember, just as fat loss diets need to be specific to the client, the “exit strategy” should be as well. For instance, a physique competitor who dieted for 24 weeks, completing hours of weekly cardio and consuming 1,100 calories will generally require one approach whereas a ‘Gen Pop’ client who lost 5kg in 12 weeks on 3-4 training sessions a week will require a different method.

What about the chronic ‘under-eater’? The person who cannot lose weight despite living off consistently very low calories. This is despite regularly tracking their calories, training every day and still having a large amount of weight to lose. Well this book is most definitely here to help them too. For these particular clients (this is why I now have an initial minimum of 24 weeks) the first 12 weeks is spent rebuilding their metabolism up, before we switch gears and drop body fat in the second 12 weeks.

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this guide will teach you how to go backwards to go forward in the long run

It’s now time to dive into the fundamentals of fat loss, but before we do I first want to say congratulations and thank you! Congratulations on the decision to prioritise your long-term health. Humans are notorious for spending enormous amounts of money chasing short term gains at the expense of their long-term health.

Yet this often comes at a cost and ultimately it often ends up in us returning to exactly where we started, or worse. Well done for attempting to break away from this cycle! The thank you is for choosing me to guide you through this process. I believe your future self will thank you. So, enjoy and please learn with an open mind.

Realistically I expect many of you will have to read and re-read these concepts multiple times as they’re fairly complex. Yet when you finish, I believe you’ll be ready to apply these methods to your life to achieve your ultimate sustainable result.

Now, the position from which I have written this book, is that of your coach. I am not a scientist and I do not have a PhD, like some of the elite coaches in the industry that I look up to have such as Layne Norton, Eric Helms etc.

I do however, have a history of some of the best fat loss results in the entire world, combined with a love for learning. The concepts in this book are the combination of personal experience and the knowledge I have acquired over the years. I have had the privilege of learning from literally dozens of the leading coaches and nutritionists.

This has provided the foundation to then experiment with, which has resulted in my own unique methods evolving. Finally, this book will touch on the science but not turn into a science textbook. Rather, this book is designed for those wanting a detailed understanding of what to do when a reverse approach is required. The focus is to provide you with a practical exit strategy to aid your future success! This is what I specialise in.

Please enjoy,

Mark Caroll

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tHe FundaMentals of faT loss

4 tHe FundaMentals of faT loss Amazing things happen when we understand the basic, for this

Amazing things happen when we understand the basic, for this reason, I’m keeping this guidebook simple. My job as a coach is to learn information and then apply it. My success over the years has come from a firm understanding of the basics. Now, with that, let’s once again go over the fundamentals of fat loss.

My go to resource for explaining the hierarchy system of fat loss is “The Muscle and Strength Nutrition Pyramid” written by the great Dr Eric Helms (which I highly recommend reading to all coaches). This guide has been my ‘go to’ system for understanding where to focus my efforts as a coach. Without understanding this hierarchy, it’s easy to get caught up in the factors which don’t matter all that much, whilst not spending enough time focusing on what really matters. According to Dr Eric Helms Nutrition Pyramid, the 5 tiers to maximising changes of body composition are:

tHe PYraMid oF nutrition Priorities

suPPleMents Meal tiMinG MiCronutrients
suPPleMents
Meal tiMinG
MiCronutrients

MaCronutrients

enerGY BalanCe

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That seems simple enough, and a topic I delved deeper into in my recent book

“The Art of ‘Gen Pop’ Transformations” which you can purchase HERE. Now in case you missed it, I want to focus on the importance of ‘energy balance’.

If we understand energy balance, we understand fat loss. Energy balance is

calories in vs calories out. We must burn more calories than we consume in order to lose body fat.

energy balance = Calories in vs Calories out

A simple example of this is a client that requires 2,500 calories to maintain their

weight. The client most likely, would begin their calorie deficit on 2000 calories give or take. This is a 500 calorie deficit. What this means is, our body requires 2,500 calories to fuel it to perform its daily tasks from keeping us alive, basic movement and also training. If we consume 500 calories less than our daily energy

requirements, then the body will have to rely on its stored energy (body fat) for fuel for its daily needs.

Creating a caloric deficit, allows us to tap into stored energy. Stored energy or ‘body fat’ is used to fuel our energy requirements, and now fat loss occurs. We now lose body fat. This is what we call a negative energy balance. This is fat loss 101!

BMr daily scheduled activity neat teF
BMr
daily scheduled
activity
neat
teF

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WHAT IS ‘reverse dietinG’?

5 WHAT IS ‘reverse dietinG’? Reverse dieting is a controlled linear increase of calories, with the

Reverse dieting is a controlled linear increase of calories, with the goal to combat the negative metabolic adaptations that arise from being in a calorie deficit. When we lose body fat, the body has mechanisms it uses to slow down fat loss and make the process much harder for the body. Your body doesn’t care if you want to look amazing in a bikini, your body wants to protect you at all costs.

The leaner we become, the more the body senses potential danger. This dates back to the days that food was scarce. Evolutionary our metabolism has not really changed. Although, food is abundant in our society, our metabolic processes are designed to maximise nutritional efficiency and energy availability for periods of food scarcity. Combine this with the availability of food in the western world and you have a recipe for an overweight and obese society.

As we diet, the metabolic rate naturally decreases as a part of this mechanism. Reverse dieting is the building of calories with the aim of the body expending more energy again. As long as our calories stay lower than our initially estimated energy needs, the calories we expend will stay down, affecting the metabolic rate. The goal is to build our calories up to our true total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).

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tdee is the sum of our resting energy needs or “BMR” plus the energy we spend for our standard daily activities known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT, the energy spent while digesting and absorbing food known as thermic effect of food (TEF) and the energy spend during structured activity known as physical activity level (PAL).

A simple way to look at is via the image below…

tdee = BMr + neat + teF + Pal

These four factors can be explained in more detail as:

Basal metabolic rate (BMr) BMR is related to the calories which the body requires to “run” or function. Running BMR is related to the calories which the body requires to “run” or function. Running the machine that is the human body is energy costly and is our greatest contributor to our overall calorie expenditure. BMR is linked to our bodies’ total mass – the more we weigh, regardless of it being muscle or fat, is going to lead to greater calorie expenditure in regard to our BMR. However, lean mass does require more energy to fuel than fat, which is why it’s always imperative we preserve as much lean mass as possible to keep metabolic rate as high as possible. In fact, the BMR typically declines by about 1-2% every ten years after the age of 20, which is attributed mainly to the gradual loss of fat- free (lean) mass.

non exercise activity thermogenesis (neat) NEAT levels are another factor of TDEE which actually has been shown to be the NEAT levels are another factor of TDEE which actually has been shown to be the most variable of factors contributing to TDEE. NEAT includes actions such as twitching, walking, incidental movement and even talking. Any activity which is not planned or thought about by the body. It is shown that over the course of a diet, neat levels plummet, when neat levels fall, so does calorie expenditure which again directly affects our energy balance. Remember it’s not just calories in, it’s also calories out which is the crucial component to losing body fat.

thermic effect of food (teF) Food digestion and assimilation (breakdown and absorption of food) costs the body energy. The processes that facilitate these actions are small but still significant contributors to the calories out component of energy balance. Protein is our most energy costly macronutrient which makes high protein levels a key to optimising fat loss success. A person who eats a diet higher

levels a key to optimising fat loss success. A person who eats a diet higher Copyright

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levels a key to optimising fat loss success. A person who eats a diet higher Copyright

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% of tdee

in protein will directly lead to a greater ‘calorie out’ response to that of an individual with the same calorie intake and activity. Fats and carbohydrates do contribute to thermic effect of feeding but on a much smaller scale to that of a protein which is by far a more thermogenic macronutrient.

a. About 20-30% of the energy consumed from protein is used by the body

just to digest and absorb it, making it a great, satiating snack, particularly when dieting.

b. It is also important to ensure that our diet is mainly composed of whole

foods rather than processed foods as aside the density of nutrition in terms of micronutrients in whole food sources like vitamins and minerals, these also have a much more potent metabolic effect in terms of TEF.

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Physical activity level (Pal):

This is our planned training, whether resistance training, cardio, or anything in between. Planned exercise falls under PAL. This, like NEAT, is going to be variable between people but unlike neat, we can control the calorie expenditure.

The relative contribution of the four factors of TDEE will vary according to context.

Generally, though it will look roughly like the below image with BMr being the primary contributor [Trexler et al., 2014]:

100%

 

90%

nree

80%

70%

 

60%

50%

40%

30%

ree

20%

10%

0%

Figure 1: Percentage of Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). REE: Resting Energy Expenditure. This is our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) i.e. the energy the body requires to operate at rest e.g. for the heart, lungs, digestive system and other involuntary processes. NREE:

Non-Resting Energy Expenditure. This is the Energy the body requires to perform tasks such as digestion and absorption of food (TEF:

Thermic Effect of Food), structured activity e.g. exercise (EAT: Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), and non-structured activities, e.g. fidgeting and daily movements (NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).

fidgeting and daily movements (NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty Ltd 2019. 14

Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty Ltd 2019.

fidgeting and daily movements (NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty Ltd 2019. 14

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When we diet, our TDEE lowers. By strategically building up calories after the diet ends, we can mitigate how much body fat we put on whilst building up calories back up to our true TDEE.

Reverse dieting is a structured method to control the rate of fat gain after a fat loss phase. The key concept of the ‘Exit Strategy” is ensuring our results from a fat loss block become a long-term result, and not a typical quick fix. I strongly believe in reverse dieting being a tremendous tool for clients to ensure the result, in maintained not for a few weeks, but for the next few years.

Now, to really understand why I am such an advocate of reverse dieting, we need to understand the negative adaptations of dieting, and why we want to manage these at all costs and thus ensure long term success.

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and why we want to manage these at all costs and thus ensure long term success.
6 THE MYTH OF starvation Mode & MetaBoliC daMaGe I have been a coach in
6 THE MYTH OF starvation Mode & MetaBoliC daMaGe I have been a coach in

6 THE MYTH OF starvation Mode & MetaBoliC daMaGe

I have been a coach in this industry for 11 years and something I have not only

heard over and over again, but also taught, was the idea of “starvation mode”. Then the last few years the term “metabolic damage” was coined and sold. Both of

these concepts were lectured on by many of the best coaches of the era. Naturally

I believed it and then taught it to my clients. When you are a young coach, you naturally respect those at the top and then listen to what they have to say.

However, the industry has changed greatly the last five or so years. With the emergence of greater research, “evidence based” coaches have grown and with it the abolishment of many pre-existing ‘myths’. The notion of a “damaged metabolism” is one such myth proven to be wrong.

Previously I was told if you ate consistently too low calories and couldn’t lose weight, your metabolism must be “damaged”. If you dropped calories any lower you would activate your body’s self defence mechanism, triggering “starvation mode” which was dangerous to the body. However, while this concept may appear to have validity, it is misguided and simply incorrect.

Yes, there is a defence mechanism to dieting the body activates, but not in the way we once thought. Thankfully, modern science has explained what is actually happening. So to summarise, no, you will not activate “starvation mode” on lower

no, you will not activate “starvation mode” on lowe r calories and no, metabolic damage isn’t

calories and no, metabolic damage isn’t an actual thing.

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let’s look further into both of these concepts

starting with “starvation mode”

We know through research of energy balance (calories in vs calories out) that fat loss will come when we have a negative energy balance, meaning we burn more calories than we consume. Simple enough. Now, for starvation mode to occur it would basically dismiss the entire concept of thermodynamics and energy balance.

We know from mass research, if you restrict energy intake and create an actual calorie deficit, you will lose body fat, no matter what your species is.

Yes, this has been done for years on animals and also during a very famous study from the 1950’s called the ‘Minnesota study’ [Keys et al., 1950].

In this study, army soldiers were all literally starved, consuming calories as low as 400 a day. To give this some context, the lowest calories I had a male on last year for a comp prep was 1,800. These men were eating less than a quarter of that. So yes, they were very much in ‘starvation mode’. Then you know what happened? They lost weight and a whole lot of it, body fat and also lean mass, but the key is they lost weight. Lots and lots!

The concept I previously believed was if the body is in a severe calorie deficit, it will become stressed out and therefore prioritise the holding on to fat, as fat is literally the bodies stored energy, so the body would do everything it could to keep the body fat. However, again, this dismisses energy balance. Yes, when calories are low, and we are very lean we are more prone to losing muscle mass. But regardless, by being in a calorie deficit we will always lose weight, and always preferentially lose body fat first.

Stress also interferes with dieting, initially stress leads to weight loss by suppressing hunger as the digestive system is slowed due to the fight or flight response. Then, when cortisol stays elevated, hunger and cravings are increased. So stress does impact fat loss, indirectly. It can lead to us making bad decisions and overeating. But again, if we are over eating McDonalds when we are stressed out, we are clearly not in starvation mode.

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Moving onto metabolic damage…

This again is an interesting concept which has been thrown around a lot the last 5-10 years of my career as a coach. An idea usually associated with the functional nutrition/ naturopath groups. It commonly goes something like this:

A client cannot lose weight, so that client goes to functional nutritionist or naturopath.

Without actually looking at the client’s calories or understanding energy balance, this practitioner tells the client since they cannot lose weight, it must be their metabolism that’s damaged.

They then offer to the client their “10 supplements that can “fix” their metabolism and restart weight loss.

Unfortunately, this is an all too common theme in the fitness industry. People with little to no qualifications,” diagnosing” and “treating” metabolic issues, with very little understanding of the metabolism, not even looking at blood work, and lastly failing to address the elephant in the room, which is whether or not the client is actually even eating the calories they think they are. In my experience, when asked to complete a 24 hour or 7 day recall, people grossly underestimate their calorie consumption.

so can your metabolism be damaged?

In short, not really, but your metabolism can be lowered or slowed. Are the majority of the metabolic adaptations normal to dieting? Yes! Simply put, the metabolism which we refer to as the metabolic rate, will indeed be lowered when we lose weight as a result of decreasing food intake. But this is normal. We will delve deeper into this as we go. But for the most part, even months and months of under eating has been shown to cause a down regulated metabolism, which is reversible.

So no, under eating does not cause metabolic damage. But yes, there are adaptations that occur which are not favourable. These adaptations are what lead to this guide book being created. These adaptations are imperative to understand as they are generally the reason why people put all the weight back on post weight loss transformation.

reason why people put all the weight back on post weight loss transformation. Copyright CHFI IP

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In summation, there is no ‘starvation mode’ which puts a total stop to fat loss. However, there are survival mechanisms the body will use to make fat loss slower and harder. Having said that, Fat loss will still happen if (and it’s a big if) we are in a calorie deficit. The concept of a damaged metabolism is just not true, there are naturally adaptations of under eating, however these are normal, and not so much damaging, but essential mechanisms to human survival.

If we understand these adaptations, we can understand how to lose body fat effectively, but also how to not put it all back on immediately after!

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BENEFITS of reverse dietinG

7 BENEFITS of reverse dietinG The Exit Strategy is centred on the concept of ‘Reverse Dieting”.

The Exit Strategy is centred on the concept of ‘Reverse Dieting”. Reverse dieting is something I first heard of about 3-4 years ago by the well-known Bodybuilder, Powerlifter and published scientist, Layne Norton.

However, I never took much notice of it I must say. That was until my coach and biggest mentor, former Education Manager of the Clean Health Fitness Institute, Stefan Ianev taught me exactly what it was and how to execute. Then, I was hooked. Here was a nutritional system that could fill in the missing links to my success as a coach. Remember, I was amazing at getting the result.

But I had no plan or idea of what to do next! Now, here was all of a sudden, the answer to where I was failing as a coach. It’s funny, when you find something which gives you so much clarity, you generally become very passionate about it. Since that day, I have been a huge advocate of the system.

so what is reverse dieting?

Well I can tell you what it isn’t first of all. It isn’t a diet aimed at losing weight. Weird right? It’s a diet, strategically designed to mitigate the amount of weight gain post weight loss. With the goal of rebuilding up the metabolism post period of under eating.

Simply put, reverse dieting, is the “diet after the diet” or the plan after the plan ends. A strategic approach that helps consolidate and solidify the transformation by incrementally building up calories slowly post weight loss or once achieving the desired weight or end goal.

slowly post weight loss or once achieving the desired weight or end goal. 20 Copyright CHFI
slowly post weight loss or once achieving the desired weight or end goal. 20 Copyright CHFI

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Once again, most people don’t struggle losing weight, the problem lies with keeping it off. By slowly building calories up, and going by the bodies feedback to the calories, we have a very successful structure to staying lean… for good! Or at the very least, limiting the damage post fat loss.

We have all been there, dieted hard, ate clean, did cardio every day, eating low calories, being hungry, craving every fast food out there, being shredded. For a wedding, an event, a bodybuilding competition, a photoshoot, a birthday, god forbid, a festival. Whatever the goal, it’s powerful enough to negate the negatives of the calorie deficit. We reach our goal, look great for the day, and then… well and then, we say ‘f**k it I am done dieting”, then proceed to eat ourselves sick.

We do this for weeks. Thinking “I look good, how damaging can it be” … well it can be very damaging. Which we will get to in a bit. But have you ever looked amazing, then literally within a week, your physique couldn’t resemble that of last week? Well I have been there, we all have.

This situation is where the “Exit Strategy’ comes in to play… having a plan after the plan is so crucial. Stop throwing months and months of hard work away, months and months of sacrifice, and within 2-6 weeks it’s gone. Then most likely in the future months we are actually in a worse place before we began the original diet thinking “f**k me, what happened?”. This guide book is going to help fix this horrible “I f**ked up” feeling.

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8 UNDERSTANDING Fat Cells The aim of this guide is to have the normal person

8

UNDERSTANDING Fat Cells

The aim of this guide is to have the normal person understand the basics. In doing so, I think it’s actually going to be very crucial information most personal trainers don’t even know either.

Fat Cells 101

Fat cells that form our adipose tissue do exactly what we think. They store as fat. Body fat is integral to life and has other roles in the body as well such as thermal insulation, electrical insulation (brain and nerves in the body), produces hormones etc. In fact, every cell in our body is encapsulated by fat, as the membrane of all cells is made of fat. However, excess of body fat is proven to result in health problems. The biggest chronic epidemics worldwide are diabetes and obesity and they are both conditions of what we call the “metabolic syndrome”, penalties of obesity. As always, the right amount is best.

there are no clear guidelines on this, however according to the american Council on exercise (ACE) [ACE, 2009], generally fit males have between 14-17% and fit females between 21-24% Athletes have even less fat than this, with male athletes between 6-13% and females ones between 14-20%.

But how about the minimal fat that we can have? Males can go down to extremes of 2-5% body fat and females between 10-12%

any leaner and we are looking at death!

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You may wonder “why don’t females go as low as males in terms of body fat percentage”? Well it is actually because fat is responsible for what makes a female feminine. Testosterone is known as the “male hormone”, important for producing masculine characteristics such as facial hair growth, deeper voice, more muscle tissue etc.

In females, more testosterone is converted into estrogen, which is the female hormone, responsible for producing all the feminine characteristics. The conversion of testosterone into estrogen actually takes place in the adipose tissue, via the activity of an enzyme there called aromatase. This is why females have more fat.

The fat cell is interesting because when we lose body fat in a calorie deficit, the fat cell does not simply disappear. Rather, the fat cell shrinks. We can never lose fat cells. On the flip side however, we can create new fat cells by overeating. That’s the kicker, we cannot lose fat cells but can create more.

the more frequently we diet, studies show the harder it gets to continually get lean again [Dulloo et al., 2015].

The issue is that each time we get fatter, we build new fat cells. But the problem with this is, not only do we have greater potential to store fatter and get fatter, we also make the dieting process harder each time.

then more interestingly, research is showing, post diet, after we have lost considerable amount of body fat, and the fat cells have shrunk [van Baak et al. 2019], well this period when we are either very lean or if we have dropped a lot of weight, this time period is when the body is very anabolic in fat not muscle [Ochner et al., 2013; McLean et al., 2015]. Meaning in a calorie surplus, the body seems to preferentially fill up fat cells with the additional surplus of energy over that of building up muscle mass, albeit initially.

When we drop body fat, the fat cell shrinks. But this cell getting smaller also leads to lowered leptin levels. Leptin is a key hunger hormone which regulates satiety via binding to receptors in the hypothalamus in the brain to signal us to stop eating What happens when we get leaner is that the fat cell becomes smaller and less leptin is being produced. Therefore, the less full we feel.

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This might not sound like an issue too much on a diet, as most people understand unfortunately, hunger and weight loss work hand in hand. However, what this leads to when we finish the diet, is a person very, very hungry. Combine this state of low satiety with the mentality of ‘the diet is over I am going to reward myself now with all those calorie dense foods I’ve been depriving myself of for months” and you’re at risk of a nasty weight gain ‘rebound’.

Let’s go over that combination. Hungry, low satiety, goal is finished, months of restriction, viewing food as a reward, combined with the mentality of ‘f**k it how much damage can I do in a few days or weeks of eating what I want?’ This is a recipe for disaster.

Remember, the body is primed post diet to favour anabolism of fat not muscle with the excess calories. The reason for this is the fat cell wants to be full. It’s very sensitive from months of dieting meaning, it has an enhanced ability to take in nutrients. The cell has shrunk and post diet, the body wants to get itself back to its usual metabolic set point, the body fat level you seem to comfortably maintain your weight on.

Now you are in the mindset of eat what you want, very calorie dense foods, combined with low satiety signals due to low leptin levels. Meaning you can put on a lot of fat here in just a few weeks. Which is what we routinely see. The person goes from lean to looking like their pre diet self in half the time it took to get that fat off.

This is also damaging remember as this is the time that the body has a great ability to form new fat cells. From just a few bad weeks post diet, we have drastically put on body fat, but have also potentially made future abilities to get very lean harder and harder by the accumulation of new fat cells.

In summary, fat cells when we lose fat shrink, but they are not eliminated, they never go away! Fat cells in a surplus of calories will grow and expand, but we also have the ability to create new fat cells. Again, we can create new fat cells, but we cannot lose them, only shrink them 10.

When a fat cell shrinks, leptin our satiety hormone secretion lowers meaning satiety goes down and hunger levels increase. Thus, making the body primed post diet to have the ability to eat an abundance of calories and create new fat cells.

to have the ability to eat an abundance of calories and create new fat cells. Copyright

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9

UNDERSTANDING

MetaBoliC

adaPtation

Metabolic adaptation, also known as adaptive thermogenesis, is a natural adaptation of being in a calorie deficit where the body purposely slows down energy expenditure as a defence mechanism to slow and ultimately stop the rate of fat loss. This is fundamentally an evolutionary survival mechanism designed to keep us alive in times of famine as previously explained.

When metabolic adaptations have occurred, the “calories out” or “TDEE” is going to be significantly impacted.

so how does metabolic adaptation affect tdee and why does it matter?

Remember, metabolic adaptation is an evolutionary defence mechanism the body uses to help slow down fat loss. How can it slow down fat loss when we are eating low calories? It’s simple!

it slows down metabolic rate by slowing down our BMr [Trexler et al., 2014].

Let’s demonstrate metabolic adaptation this with a practical example:

Client A is dieting, at the beginning of Client A’s deficit, their BMR was originally 2,000 calories. After 6 weeks of dieting, Client A’s BMR has lowered to 1,700 calories.

of dieting, Client A’s BMR has lowered to 1,700 calories. Metabolic adaptations are occurring, which have

Metabolic adaptations are occurring, which have a direct effect on lowering NEAT levels. Remember, NEAT is highly variable and has been shown to be one of the bigger influencers of calories out lowering.

has been shown to be one of the bigger influencers of calories out lowering. 25 Copyright

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Client A has lost 5-6 kg’s over the last 8 weeks, now the body will naturally try to conserve energy and slow down rate of fat loss, lowering NEAT levels.Client A was originally burning 500 calories from incidental activity a day. Now the body

Client A was originally burning 500 calories from incidental activity a day. Now the body forces metabolic adaptation and calories expended from NEAT lower to 300 calories a day.energy and slow down rate of fat loss, lowering NEAT levels. What we now have here

What we now have here is 2 factors effecting affecting our energy balance, a reduction in BMR and lowered NEAT levels. This is important to understand because even though we are eating the same number of calories that once achieved a calorie deficit, the rate of fat loss has now come to a halt as that deficit has been diminished.

understanding Fat loss

To achieve ½ a kg of fat loss or a pound of fat depending where you are in the world. We require a 500 calorie deficit a week. Why? A pound of fat equates to 3,500 calories. Here are some key stats:

Fat is stored in adipose tissue (AT).

AT is about 20% water.

Therefore, AT contains about 80% fat.

½ kg of AT is therefore 500g x 80% = 400g fat.

I.e. 400g x 9 Cal/g = 3,600 Cal

Thus, to lose ½ kg of AT, you need to burn 3,600Cal.

Therefore, over the week we require a weekly calorie deficit of about 3,500 calories. The simplest way to achieve this is with a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day, multiplied by 7 days a week, equating to 3,500 calories. Hence why we routinely see the ‘500 calorie’ deficit used and recommended by our coaches at the Clean Health Fitness Institute.

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Let’s use another practical example…

Client B’s baseline calories are 2,500.

They eat 2,000 calories a day and lose body fat successfully the first 4-6 weeks.

Then the rate of fat loss starts to slow down, each week fat loss slows down more and more and now the client 8-9 weeks in is still perfectly eating to their numbers of 2,000 calories.

Client B is now getting very frustrated as they say, “I am in a calorie deficit but it’s not working anymore”.

So here is where the client is incorrect. Yes, they are following their meal plan of 2000 calories correctly and yes it isn’t working anymore. However, they are wrong in thinking they are still in a calorie deficit, they are not. They were but due to metabolic adaptation the 2,000 calories are no longer a calorie deficit.

Why is this no longer a calorie deficit?

Metabolic adaptation has slowed BMR, which means less calories out, simultaneously NEAT levels have dropped. Both natural and normal adaptations of under eating. However, this means the body has purposely slowed these mechanisms as a means of defence against fatter loss.

The body has slowed these processes and reduced calorie expenditure to greatly limit the calories out component of energy balance. Client B has done nothing wrong, but is no longer losing weight, simply because they are no longer in the calorie deficit they think they once were.

this is metabolic adaptation!

Calories

out Calories Calories in out Calories in
out
Calories
Calories
in
out
Calories
in

Calorie deFiCit Created

MetaBoliC adaPtation

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lePtin VERSUS GHrelin

10 lePtin VERSUS GHrelin Leptin and ghrelin are hormones commonly associated to hunger and cravings which

Leptin and ghrelin are hormones commonly associated to hunger and cravings which become very apparent in a period of under eating. Leptin is the hormone which mediates satiety and regulates body weight. Leptin acts on the brain after having a meal to give us the feeling of fullness.

When leptin is high, satiety is high and our ability to overeat is significantly reduced. Leptin, in synergy with other factors, regulates the body’s weight, maintaining it at

a constant level. Do you ever feel like you just can’t break past a certain weight, like the numbers on the scales are stuck? For me 85kg is that point. To go past it, I have to strategically eat in a surplus. Then to lose, I have to again have to consciously restrict calories.

Now how does leptin regulate our weight? Leptin is made and secreted by our fat

cells. When there is excess body fat, our body secretes more leptin to stop us eating. The opposite, occurs, when fat levels drop in the body, then so does secretion of leptin too, resulting in increased appetite. Our body wants homeostasis, to maintain

a constant weight.

This is our happy spot and the body will do everything it can to keep us here. When we diet, and lose body fat, the fat cell shrinks. Remember, fat cells shrink,

they do not disappear! When the fat cell shrinks, the leaner we get, the less leptin

is secreted. This is believed to be a natural survival adaptation to losing body fat.

The more weight we lose, and the more we drift below that usual set point body weight, the less leptin is released. The less leptin released the lower the satiety signals.

leptin is released. The less leptin released the lower the satiety signals. 28 Copyright CHFI IP
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Now satiety levels go down and down. Simply we feel less full when we consume

a meal. But this is made worse by the fact leptin and ghrelin our hormone that

regulates hunger have an inverse relationship. When leptin is low, ghrelin is high. Meaning, satiety will be low, and hunger levels are high. Not what we want when we are dieting trying hard to stick to a calorie deficit.

GHRELIN LEPTIN
GHRELIN
LEPTIN
GHRELIN LEPTIN
GHRELIN
LEPTIN

HUNGER

SATIETY

lePtin &

GHrelin

STOMACH
STOMACH
GHRELIN Produced by cells the ADIPOSE gastrointestinal TISSUE tract LEPTIN BEFORE EATING
GHRELIN
Produced by
cells the
ADIPOSE
gastrointestinal
TISSUE
tract
LEPTIN
BEFORE EATING
LEPTIN Hormone made by adipose cells AFTER EATING
LEPTIN
Hormone made
by adipose cells
AFTER EATING

The body doesn’t care if we want abs or a bikini body. The body wants to preserve its weight as evolutionary the physiology is still “stuck” to when food was scares. This

is why after a period of fat loss, whether its post transformation, or comp prep, we

naturally feel ravenous and want to eat everything in our sight.

Those hunger levels whilst we are a few weeks out of comp or from a photo shoot we can control. Our eyes are on the prize and the goal is more powerful than the hunger. But what happens when the goal is achieved?

This is where we start to have a more carefree attitude to nutrition, combined with low satiety and hunger being through the roof. It’s a very bad combination, and a recipe for disaster. Our body wants us to eat, then when we have lost the power of our goal, this is where we routinely see people put ALL that weight they just lost back on, often in half the time. 12 weeks to lose 7-8kg, and then post transformation within 6 weeks all that weights back on!

7-8kg, and then post transformation within 6 weeks all that weights back on! 29 Copyright CHFI
7-8kg, and then post transformation within 6 weeks all that weights back on! 29 Copyright CHFI

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This is the sad reality of most transformations. Firstly, they don’t last, and secondly, we often get fatter than we were when we originally started. This is, if you don’t have a plan of attack post fat loss result. But, we will get to that as we go. Back to leptin.

As previously stated, leptin regulates the homeostatic weight. I covered this earlier, when in a calorie deficit, and fat loss is achieved, the fat cell shrinks and produces less leptin. This response is aimed at the body wanting us to be hungry, so we eat more and put body fat back on to get back to our original weight. Now on the flip side, leptin is also a key player when in a calorie surplus.

Have you ever intentionally tried to bulk up before? To all the guys out there, I am assuming it’s a resounding ‘yes’! It goes something like this, when in a calorie deficit ending your cut, you are thinking “i am starving, i cannot wait till it’s time to bulk. i am going to get so jacked and eat all the calories in the world”.

Then, you start bulking and eating in a calorie surplus. Initially you easily hit your numbers, but each week the numbers you were so desperately praying for in a calorie deficit, now are not anywhere near as appealing, now you are in the surplus.

Your body fat levels rise, and hunger levels keep dropping. You get to the stage that the thought of even your favourite cheat food, is no longer appealing. So, what is happening here? Simple. The fat cell has now expanded and filled with fat. The more filled the fat cell, the more leptin is secreted resulting in high satiety, and low hunger. We now feel full, so we stop eating, and get back to that original homeostasis weight set point.

so now, you may be thinking “But then why are people obese”?

If we get signals to stop eating, and it becomes almost impossible to put body fat on for a lot of us at a certain point. Well, when we chronically over eat and therefore chronically over secrete leptin, the body eventually becomes resistant to the leptin signalling. This means, that although the hormone is still present in adequate levels, the body does not respond to it, and thus we never feel full leading to putting on weight and becoming overweight and obese.

This is a dangerous place to be and why you routinely see people get so overweight, is simply because the satiety signals that tell them to stop eating and that they are full, are no longer being received. Leptin resistance results in low satiety and concomitant weight gain. A key reason why obese people eat and eat, and only get fatter. Their satiety signalling is impaired.

people eat and eat, and only get fatter. Their satiety signalling is impaired. Copyright CHFI IP
people eat and eat, and only get fatter. Their satiety signalling is impaired. Copyright CHFI IP

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people eat and eat, and only get fatter. Their satiety signalling is impaired. Copyright CHFI IP

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11

eFFiCient

VERSUS

ineFFiCient

MetaBoliC

states

11 eFFiCient VERSUS ineFFiCient MetaBoliC states When we diet, we have a variety of survival mechanisms

When we diet, we have a variety of survival mechanisms that kick in to make fat loss harder. Firstly, we have metabolic adaptation, the purposeful slowing down of our BMR and NEAT levels to slow down the rate of fat loss. This is generally considered phase 1 of the survival mechanism.

The second phase is when our metabolisms become “efficient”. Efficiency is universally seen as a positive in life, however, this time it’s not. Everybody reacts differently to a calorie deficit. Ectomorphs usually are able to diet very successfully without breaking a sweat.

They will have their calories set quite high, and consistently lose body fat on this number. Whereas endomorphs generally will need to consistently lower the calories over the weeks to continue to get a fat loss response. This appears to be very much related to their metabolic types.

Ectomorphs are largely seen as inefficient metabolic types. Endomorphs are efficient metabolic types. So, what does this all mean?

We will use 2 clients as an example:

Client 1

Inefficient Metabolic Type

Client 2

Efficient Metabolic Type

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Both clients have the same body weight, and body fat levels to begin with, therefore TDEE is identical. For the purpose of this exercise, we will say both TDEE’s are 2,500 calories.

To lose ½ a kilogram of body fat a week we need roughly a 500 calorie deficit a day (as previously explained), both clients begin their fat loss phase on 2,000 calories a day.

The whole concept of this number is that we need 2,500 calories a day to basically function, based off the TDEE. TDEE takes into account our BMR, NEAT, thermic effect of food and also our activity levels, 2,500 calories mean we can do all those jobs successfully and maintain our weight.

By consuming 2,000 calories a day, we are negatively impacting our energy balance.

500 calories are not being consumed, but we require those 500 calories to perform all our tasks for the day.

Where do we get those additional calories then? Well from our stores, i.e. primarily from our adipose tissue (fat cells). The fat in the adipose tissue is our stored energy for this very reason. If we don’t consume enough calories for fuel, our body will tap into the stored energy, mobilise it and then use it for fuel.

We are now fat burning.

All simple enough. Now back to the metabolic types.

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Client 1 – Inefficient metabolic type:

Inefficient here means, they easily consume those 2,000 calories. They run through that energy being consumed nice and quickly, and then tap into their stored energy. Each day, very easily using 500 calories of energy from stored body fat to help their bodies function. This person is able to easily and consistently drop body fat week to week.

There is no reason for them to drop their calories much, as they keep dropping body fat weekly. As Client 1 continually keeps tapping into energy reserves aka ‘body fat’, this person has a much easier time dieting, and also generally is able to diet on much more food. this is generally the ectomorph client.

Client 2 – Efficient metabolic type:

Just like client 1, needs to eat 2,000 calories a day to create a 500 calorie deficit, and tap into 500 calories of stored energy. Initially they do the first few weeks and drop body fat at a nice rate. However, fat loss slows down. After 3-4 weeks instead of dropping 0.5kg a week, it becomes .3, then .2 then finally 0 weight loss. But they are still consuming 2,000 calories and their friend client 1 is still dropping their half a kilogram a week.

What has gone wrong with Client 2?

Nothing technically, it is just that client 2 has an efficient metabolism. What this means is the body becomes very good at functioning with low calories. They are able to eat 2,000 calories, but as a survival mechanism, their body has become very efficient at utilising all those 2,000 calories to do its daily requirements. Now instead of inefficiently using the 2,000 calories quickly and tapping into the stored energy for fuel.

The efficient metabolic type’s metabolism has purposely slowed as a form of survival. It struggles to tap into body fat as fuel, as their metabolism has been taught to run well off the lowered calories. This is great in famine; the efficient metabolic type will live longer. However, not great when trying to get comp prep lean or that dream bikini body.

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Client 1 – Inefficient metabolic type:

Inefficient here means, they easily consume those 2,000 calories. They run through that energy being consumed nice and quickly, and then tap into their stored energy. Each day, very easily using 500 calories of energy from stored body fat to help their bodies function. This person is able to easily and consistently drop body fat week to week.

There is no reason for them to drop their calories much, as they keep dropping body fat weekly. As Client 1 continually keeps tapping into energy reserves aka ‘body fat’, this person has a much easier time dieting, and also generally is able to diet on much more food. this is generally the ectomorph client.

Client 2 – Efficient metabolic type:

Just like client 1, needs to eat 2,000 calories a day to create a 500 calorie deficit, and tap into 500 calories of stored energy. Initially they do the first few weeks and drop body fat at a nice rate. However, fat loss slows down. After 3-4 weeks instead of dropping 0.5kg a week, it becomes .3, then .2 then finally 0 weight loss. But they are still consuming 2,000 calories and their friend client 1 is still dropping their half a kilogram a week.

What has gone wrong with Client 2?

Nothing technically, it is just that client 2 has an efficient metabolism. What this means is the body becomes very good at functioning with low calories. They are able to eat 2,000 calories, but as a survival mechanism, their body has become very efficient at utilising all those 2,000 calories to do its daily requirements. Now instead of inefficiently using the 2,000 calories quickly and tapping into the stored energy for fuel.

The efficient metabolic type’s metabolism has purposely slowed as a form of survival. It struggles to tap into body fat as fuel, as their metabolism has been taught to run well off the lowered calories. This is great in famine; the efficient metabolic type will live longer. However, not great when trying to get comp prep lean or that dream bikini body.

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12

THE COsT of GettinG lean

12 THE CO sT of GettinG lean Getting lean and/or losing the excess amount of body

Getting lean and/or losing the excess amount of body fat is absolutely a positive thing to do for your health, that lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the two biggest chronic epidemics worldwide.

In addition, it reduces systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, DNA damage and aids in dna repair [Włodarczyk et al., 2019].

In the process of getting leaner, the following adaptations may occur::

1
1

Metabolic adaptation

2
2

Metabolic efficiency

3
3

Leptin levels lowering (satiety goes down)

4
4

Ghrelin levels rising (hunger and cravings rising)

5
5

Muscle protein synthesis lowering and muscle protein breakdown increasing (increased risk of muscle loss)

6
6

Thyroid hormone levels lower – calories out further go down [Vaitkus et al., 2015]

For the aforementioned reasons losing body fat is not as simple a concept as it may sound. As previously discussed, whilst hard, our goal generally over rules the difficulty of dealing with hunger, lowered calories and missed social events. Herein lies the issue.

with hunger, lowered calories and missed social events. Herein lies the issue. 35 Copyright CHFI IP
with hunger, lowered calories and missed social events. Herein lies the issue. 35 Copyright CHFI IP

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What happens once the initial goal is achieved?

When the initial goal is achieved, we are left with a person who has a lowered metabolic rate, a more efficient metabolism which has learnt to run effectively off lowered calories, and combine this with a very hungry person means, fat gain potential is heightened. The next issue is post weight loss, when our fat cells shrink, it also increases their sensitivity. Insulin and leptin sensitivity are a great thing. However fat cell sensitivity post diet is not exactly a positive.

Post diet, when we increase calories into a surplus, the body is in fact very anabolic in fat but not as much when it comes to protein and building muscle.

Why this is interesting? Because this flies in the face of general muscle building processes. People always ask me “should I bulk or cut first”? My response is, if you want to be lean and build muscle, ideally diet down to a lower body fat level first – males I would recommend aiming for under 15% body fat and females under 22% body fat.

Why would this be recommended? Because the leaner, generally the greater our insulin sensitivity. The better our insulin sensitivity, the greater our nutrition partitioning i.e. driving nutrients to the right places. What we mean with nutrient partitioning is utilising the different nutrients i.e. protein, carbohydrates and fats for the best purpose.

All of them can contribute to energy generation and energy storage. Ideally, we wish to utilise amino acids derived from protein for muscle building purpose and glucose to replenish and boost our glycogen stores that one of the main energy stores that optimise performance especially in endurance sports. All three of them can be stored as fat but ensuring the right macronutrient breakdown and provided that we are lean, we can facilitate the shuttling of these nutrients into the appropriate tissues.

can facilitate the shuttling of these nutrients into the appropriate tissues. Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty

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By being in a calorie surplus we are naturally creating an anabolic environment in the body. But what we are anabolic in – muscle or fat – is determined to an extent by our body fat levels.

When a fat cell shrinks in diameter, the smaller it gets, as more and more fat is pulled out, the more sensitive the cell becomes to hormonal signals such as insulin and leptin. This is an issue, when we go back to a surplus. Despite being lean, the fat cells are so sensitive and desperate to get the body back to homeostasis or that metabolic set point.

Thus the body favours fat gain over pushing the surplus of energy to muscle building. Post comp or transformation, the body, despite being lean, is very anabolic overall including boosting the fat stores! Combined with a low metabolic rate and increased hunger levels, the body will do everything it can to put that fat back on and very fast!

the body will do everything it can to put that fat back on and very fast!

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sHort terM dietinG VERSUS lonG terM under eatinG

13 sHort terM dietinG VERSUS lonG terM under eatinG It’s important we identify different dieting scenarios

It’s important we identify different dieting scenarios to recognise, not all diets lead to the same adaptations, for instance, the man who says “I have a beach holiday in 6 weeks’ time and I want to drop 3kg to get my abs back”, who then eats in a 20% deficit for 6 weeks, gets his abs back, has no major metabolic adaptations, no hunger, calories don’t need to drop below 20% and basically goes through a simple and successful dieting period.

All of this is still a fat loss block, but shorter in nature, a conservative deficit, combined with not losing much weight. Thus, the client does not get fat from his/ her usual weight and the metabolism does not change much.

Does this scenario require a reverse diet? Generally, no. As calories were able to stay the same number over the diet, it means we have had very little to no metabolic adaptation. We simply re-calculate TDEE and bring calories back to his maintenance.

Now, if we diet for longer periods of time, such as 16-24 weeks, even if it’s a conservative deficit (e.g. 10%), there will still be negative adaptations. A small deficit is still a deficit. Which still results in lowering of BMR, NEAT levels dropping and also when weight is lost, albeit slowly, leptin levels dropping.

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14 tHe eXit strateGY The exit strategy is exactly that, a plan of attack for
14 tHe eXit strateGY The exit strategy is exactly that, a plan of attack for
14 tHe eXit strateGY The exit strategy is exactly that, a plan of attack for

14 tHe eXit strateGY

The exit strategy is exactly that, a plan of attack for when the initial plan finishes. The plan AFTER the plan ends, after you’ve achieved your initial transformation and achieved your goals. Everyone is always so focused on getting from point A to point B, forgetting the goal is not to just get to point B, but live at point B long term.

What is the point of working your ass off for 12-16 weeks, or even longer for some of you, to get to the body fat percentage you want for a few days, a week or god forbid some of you literally reach it for one day, get your photos, and then fall right off immediately?

I was that guy! When we really think about it, the concept of killing ourselves in all or nothing mode for a time period, to reach our goal, and then as Layne Norton would say, reach “f**k it” mode, then immediately fall right off. This is common in comp prep when competitors reach scary low body fat percentages.

The difference is, those body fat percentages for most, are not sustainable. Competitors need to get too lean, and naturally will need to put on some body fat to be considered healthy and also maintain that physique year-round.

The issue with competitors is that they fall off BADLY. Within 4-6 weeks, their bodies quite often don’t resemble how they looked on stage. Actually, their bodies don’t even resemble how they looked 6 weeks before they stepped on stage. It is not uncommon for them to fall backwards badly with no plan. It’s the cost of getting so lean.

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Those survival mechanisms are so pronounced. Once the goal is achieved or the comp is over, the body’s defence system combined with that lack of goal equals disaster. Unless there is a plan of attack for what’s next, an exit strategy.

For the ‘Gen Pop’ client or non-competitor, the difference is that post fat loss phase, they will reach a body fat percentage which is very much maintainable. They have not gotten “stage lean” nor would they ever need to. They have simply gotten into a healthy body fat range which is where we want to keep them long term. This is crucial. We don’t want the usual rebound. We need to make sure that this time is different.

We want to set this new body fat level as the new set point long term.

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15 HO w To traCk Your MaCros Before we enter into the details of how
15 HO w To traCk Your MaCros Before we enter into the details of how

15

HOw To traCk Your MaCros

Before we enter into the details of how to execute the “Exit Strategy”, I need to emphasize the importance of tracking macronutrients on an app e.g. MyFitnessPal

/ iNutritionPro.

this is not a meal plan.

I do not do meal plans, as I strongly believe they do not educate clients on the finer details of food intake such as the energy content of meals (calories) and the macro- nutritional breakdown i.e. carbohydrates, protein and fat. In the Art of ‘Gen Pop’ Transformations, I taught my clients (over 12,000 of you and counting as of March 2019) how to calculate calorie requirements and set calorie deficits.

If you haven’t read this book, I strongly advise you to do so. You can read more about it in the further reading section of this guide book. Now my goal in that book was to give you the power to take charge of your weight, and that power begins with understanding the energy value of food.

When you start tracking your calories, this will be truly the first time that you understand how much food you are consuming. This is a key step to success with weight management. Tracking can be very much a light globe moment of “oh s**t,

I am actually eating so much more than I thought I was” and explain immediately why results have not been achieved.

and explain immediately why results have not been achieved. I recommend using “MyFitnessPal” app, as it’s

I recommend using “MyFitnessPal” app, as it’s simple and affordable for all. Now, with saying this, let’s move into the “Exit Strategy”.

for all. Now, with saying this, let’s move into the “Exit Strategy”. 41 Copyright CHFI IP

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HOW To reverse diet SUCCESSFULLY

16 HOW To reverse diet SUCCESSFULLY Reverse Dieting involves slowly building calories back to maintenance levels,

Reverse Dieting involves slowly building calories back to maintenance levels, the TDEE.

Example: Pre-Fat Loss Training Phase Client on 2500 calories per day

For this example, the client is pre fat loss training phase, their TDEE is 2,500 calories

a day, they began their diet on 2,000 calories, a 500 calorie deficit. They lost 7-8kg’s and due to metabolic adaptations and metabolic efficiency, during their 12 week cut, their calories had to keep dropping to continue getting a fat loss response.

By the last week of the diet their calories are down to 1,400. They end up losing ½

a kg a week to complete the fat loss phase and reach their goal weight. After the

weight loss, the TDEE is recalculated and is found to be 2,370 calories, 130 calories less than the previous TDEE. This happens because now their body weight is lower than previously.

Now, the issue is, this TDEE estimate is not accounting for the fact they just spent 12 weeks dieting. It’s purely going off body fat and body weight. Not what they have previously been doing.

So, it is not taking into account the survival mechanisms mentioned previously. Remember the client finished their fat loss phase on 1,400 calories. They were on average losing ½ a kilogram a week thus they were on a 500 calorie deficit. Therefore, their TDEE at the time would be (1,400 + 500=) 1,900 calories, which is below the estimated 2,370.

would be (1,400 + 500=) 1,900 calories, which is below the estimated 2,370. Copyright CHFI IP

Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty Ltd 2019.

would be (1,400 + 500=) 1,900 calories, which is below the estimated 2,370. Copyright CHFI IP

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TDEE is lower due to BMR and NEAT levels dropping due to metabolic efficiency. If we just immediately increased their calories up to 2,370, this would be an initial surplus for them rather than their maintenance calories. Which is why we often see people putting on weight, as they have overestimated their TDEE and not allowed enough time for their metabolism to pick up.

How would we reverse diet the client in this scenario?

As the client was finishing the fat loss phase on 1,400 calories, we know as they were losing, their estimated actual baseline calories right now are 19,00. So this is where we begin.

The client’s calories begin on 1,900 as we start their reverse diet.

The goal is to build the client from 1,900 calories a day up to their estimated TDEE of 2,370.

Now the question is not just about calories, but what do we do with the macronutrients? How do we make these calorie jumps?

Let’s say the client who finished on the 1,400 calories had a macro split of

Protein 140g Carbs 120g Fats 40g per day

As protein is already set to the correct body weight level, there is no need to change protein. Since the goal is to provide extra energy, it is best to rely on the macronutrients that are primary sources of energy, which are carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, the goal of the reverse diet or exit strategy is to hold protein levels steady whilst incrementally building up carbohydrates and fats.

What I usually do with reverse dieting clients is have them increase their calories by 150- 250 calories every 10-14 days, provided that their weight holds steady.

Smaller increases for a more conservative reverse diet, the higher end number for a more aggressive reverse diet protocol.

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The key to understanding how to execute a perfect “exit strategy” is to recognise there are a variety of different levels to dieting. Not all fat loss diets are equal, so not all exit strategies are equal. In this guide, I have summarised a variety of scenarios that you should be able to relate to, in order to choose which exit strategy suits you best.

A ‘gen pop’ client who loses 10kg’s, but still has another 15kg to lose, would use

different methods to a gen pop client who loses 10kg’s and is then at their goal body weight.

A comp prep client like Lauren Simpson, who only needed 8 weeks to be “stage

ready” and win the WBFF World Bikini title is going to have much less serious metabolic adaptations, to the comp prep client who dieted for 24 weeks to get lean, had calories drop extremely low and needed cardio 4-6 times a week.

This client has had to go through a large amount of metabolic adaptation. They had cut calories very low and pushed calorie expenditure through the roof in order to continually get a fat loss response. This is due to metabolic adaptation constantly wiping out their calorie deficit. The only way to continually create that deficit is to manipulate energy balance.

The harder it is for you to get lean, the more likely you will rebound post diet.

The more you have to “suffer” to get lean, the more likely you will rebound post diet. These people require a slower and steadier reverse diet to that of a person who cruised through to their dream body.

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sYsteM 1:

THE ExIT STRATEGY FoR ‘GEN PoP’ TRANSFoRMATIoN CLIENTS

THE ExIT STRATEGY FoR ‘GEN PoP’ TRANSFoRMATIoN CLIENTS This first scenario, is aimed at all of

This first scenario, is aimed at all of you who have completed my ‘Art of Gen Pop Transformations” guide book (which you can read more about in the further reading section of this guidebook for those that have not) and have successfully achieved your incredible transformation (well done!), like some of the photos below. Now, we are going to go deep into how to make changes successfully over the next 12 weeks to ensure our transformation is maintained.

over the next 12 weeks to ensure our transformation is maintained. Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty
over the next 12 weeks to ensure our transformation is maintained. Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty
over the next 12 weeks to ensure our transformation is maintained. Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty

Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty Ltd 2019.

over the next 12 weeks to ensure our transformation is maintained. Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty

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The other scenarios won’t be anywhere near as deep, so read this one to ensure you understand the finer details to a successful Exit Strategy. In 12 weeks most likely you have achieved your goal ranging from losing 7-10% of total body weight in 12 weeks. This is a great result, but it also is a lot of weight to lose in 12 weeks. The more weight we lose in a short period of time, the greater potential for weight regain or ‘failure’ if we don’t have an “exit strategy”.

What we need to do, is tell your body that this is the new YoU!

A few keys to understand here, is with a Gen Pop transformation, we have not reached a body fat percentage so low that it’s not maintainable. This is not comp prep, where we reach extremely low levels of body fat that is virtually impossible and even unhealthy to maintain long term. This is a great thing for you!

What we need to do, is tell your body that this is the new YOU! We do this by holding you at this body fat for a good 6 months! I want this body maintained. The longer we can keep you here, the higher the chance we keep the body fat off long term.

Now, because we have lost a large amount of weight in a short amount of time, the goal is a very conservative reverse diet. I don’t want to rush things, and I want to build you up slowly.

so how does it work?

Firstly, when the period of calorie restriction is over, or transformation is achieved we must take down our finishing calories.

Then we recalculate our TDEE – this is crucial!

For instance we will use a female client:

Her finishing weight is 65kg and 24% body fat. She has reached her goal and dropped 7kg (just over 10% of total body weight).

Her calories finished on 1,400.

We recalculate her TDEE with her new body weight and body fat which gives us a TDEE 2285.

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The goal of the reverse diet is to take the client from 1,400 calories up to her estimated TDEE of 2,285 over the next 12 weeks!

From the numbers, she has finished in about a 37% calorie deficit to reach her goal transformation numbers.

Where do we start the client and why not just jump back to baseline calories?

The issue with going back to baseline immediately is that this female client has metabolic adaptation, even though the estimated TDEE says 2,285, it’s not accounting for the fact she has just been in a 12 week period of dieting, and therefore has lost a good amount of weight. The fact that she was on 1,400 calories to get a fat loss response, says her actual TDEE, is actually substantially lower than

2,285.

Now, how do we fill in the gap of calories between 1,400 and 2,285, without putting on excessive amounts of body fat. Remember, if we just jumped her immediately to 2,285 it’s very much likely, this would currently be a surplus for her, and she will experience fast weight gain.

Post fat loss period, is when the body is primed to put on body fat AND accumulate new fat cells. For the Gen Pop client, we have just gone to all the effort and sacrifice to get them their goal body weight, now we need to ensure we take a conservative route.

so what would it look like over 12 weeks and how do we execute the “exit strategy” for the post ‘Gen Pop’ transformation?

As the goal of an Exit Strategy is to increase the metabolic rate back to a healthy rate, we need to look at finishing numbers first. The client finished on 1,400 calories and was losing body fat. This tells us 2 things; firstly, the client is in a deficit, and secondly, 1,400 calories are not their baseline. This is important as we want to begin the client on a theoretical but conservative baseline.

We don’t want to begin on 1,400 calories as we know this is a deficit, the goal is to take them out of a deficit. The more we build their calories up, the more it will allow the metabolic adaptation to lower, which naturally leads to an increased BMR and NEAT levels rising again. This is how metabolic rate gets back up!

BMR and NEAT levels rising again. This is how metabolic rate gets back up! Copyright CHFI
BMR and NEAT levels rising again. This is how metabolic rate gets back up! Copyright CHFI

Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty Ltd 2019.

BMR and NEAT levels rising again. This is how metabolic rate gets back up! Copyright CHFI

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1,700 Calories - thIS IS whERE I LIkE to BEgIn REVERSE DIETS

I increase finishing calories up by 300. The reason for 300 is simple, the clients TDEE

is probably closer to 1,800 – 1,900, not 1,700. It’s important to remember, that post

fat loss block, steps and cardio will be lowered, not completely cut, but lowered. This means less calories out than when they were eating 1,400 calories, somewhat altering the numbers.

A big goal of my first jump in calories with the gen pop client, is showing them that

an increase in calories is not going to make them fat immediately! We need to take into account a client’s psychology. Finally, they have reached their goal body after years of trying! Thus, the thought of going backwards can be quite scary.

I find with my clients, especially females, that convincing them that now it is time

to eat more can be a very hard process. This first calorie jump is crucial to helping

ease the mindset of a client in the reverse diet, which is why we increase calories, but albeit in a conservative manner.

Finished calories – 1,400.

Starting Reverse diet calories – 1,700

Goal calories – 2,285

The difference is 585 calories, which we want to build up slowly. How do we do this?

Let’s first start with the clients finishing macros from Gen Pop plan of Protein 140g Carbs 120g Fats 40g.

From these numbers, protein levels will stay consistent. Do not raise or lower protein. Keep it here! This means carbs and fats will rise. With the goal of building up both macronutrients in a 2 :1 ratio, favouring carbohydrates.

Meaning each jump of calories, 2/3 of calories will come from carbohydrates, and 1/3 will come from fats.

A rise of 1400 to 1700 calories is a 300 calorie increase. This will be 200 calories

allocated to carbohydrates (i.e. 50g) and 100 calories to fats (i.e. 11).

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Macros to begin reverse diet: Protein 140 Carbs 170 (+ 50) Fats 51 (+ 11).

This is our beginning macro breakdown. The goal is to hold our weight on these calories/ macros for 2 weeks. Every 2 weeks we will raise calories and macros, if the weight is holding steady.

Now, how much weight should we expect to go up? As carbohydrates are rising as well as food quantity in general, it is normal for scale weight to rise, often in the first few days of a bump in calories. This is generally going to be related to water retention after 3-4 days and after that, the weight will hold steady.

For a Gen Pop reverse diet, as they are currently at a maintainable body fat percentage the weight gain should be absolutely minimal. Ideally no more than ½ a kilogram per jump in calories.

The next step is understanding how many calories to jump up every 2 weeks. How I suggest doing this is going off a percentage base.

Every 2 weeks I want to raise calories by about 5-10%.

Weeks 1-2: THE CLIENT bEGINS AT 1,700 CALoRIES. WITH THE GoAL oF bUILDING To 2,285.

A 5% calorie increase is 85 calories. A 10% calorie increase is 170. As the jump is only 585 calories between starting calories to goal TDEE, and we want to take a conservative approach. We will use a conservative end of 6% which is 102 calories. I do not like jumps less than 100 calories, which is why 6% jump makes sense.

Too small of a jump, and we need to remember, human error with tracking will happen. Not every day is the client perfect with tracking so it’s important we have a minimum number when it comes to calorie increases. Now if it was a male starting on 2500 calories, a 5% jump is 125 calories, which makes 5% a more realistic option.

Macros: Calories 1,700 - Protein 140 Carbs 170 Fats 51

Weeks 3-4: 1804 CALoRIES

Here we will use a rough 70/30 percentage split of carbs to fats increase 17 carbs increase – 68 calories – 5g fat increase – 45 calories equal 104 calories total.

Macros: Protein 140 Carbs 187 (+ 17) Fats 55 (+4).

Now, everything goes well, the client’s weight remains the same, we bump up using our 104 calorie jump again. With 17g increase to carbohydrates and 4g to fat.

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Weeks 5-6 - 1908 CaLoRIES

Macros: Protein 140 Carbs 204 (+17) Fats 59 (+4).

Let’s take a look at the 5-6 week mark, how calories and macros have changed since the client finished their Gen Pop Transformation and the client is now eating 508 calories more and 84g more carbohydrates! Whilst most likely maintaining their body weight.

This is how reverse dieting works!

Weeks 7-8 - 2,010 CALoRIES

Macros: Protein 140g Carbs 221g (+17) Fats 63g (+4).

Weeks 9-10 - 2,112 CALoRIES

Macros: Protein 140g Carbs 238g + (17) Fats 70g (+4).

Weeks 11-12 we will jump up all the way to 2,285 which is a bigger jump to get to, so for weeks 11-12 we will continue the 104 calorie jump.

Weeks 11-12 - 2,215 CALoRIES

Macros: Protein 140g Carbs 255g (+17) Fats 74g (+4).

Now, everything goes well, the client’s weight remains the same, we bump up using our 104 calorie jump again. With 17g increase to carbohydrates and 4g to fat.

This may seem like a slow way to build calories up, but for the gen pop client, it’s a crucial aspect to helping them stay on track and keeping this body fat. Ideally for gen pop clients, the time it took them to diet down, needs to be matched with the time spent reverse dieting back to baseline.

Now the client has dramatically increased calories over 12 weeks, and they should have kept body fat within 1-3 % of what it was at the end of the transformation. Additionally, they have also built their metabolism back to where it should be!

This is how to reverse diet for a Gen Pop client post transformation.

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now, let’s recap:

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Re-calculate TDEE post 12 weeks or initial fat loss phase

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Begin reverse diet calories 300 above finishing mark

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Raise calories every 2 weeks with the increases going towards carbohydrates and fats

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Keep protein levels consistent

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Depending on how fast you want to reverse diet, raise calories 5-10% every 2 weeks, provided that body weight is kept within 1kg.

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Use a 70:30 ratio of calories towards carbs to fats

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Ideally spend 12 weeks building calories up to baseline as we dieted for 12 weeks to get the goal body weight.

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sYsteM 2:

NoT AT GoAL boDY FAT LEVELS, ALTHoUGH jUST CoMPLETED a 12 wEEk DIEt

This is a very common scenario, so I want to delve deeper into it. Many times we complete a 12 week transformation program, but we don’t reach our end goal physique.12 weeks is a great amount of time to build momentum, but if you have more than 10 + kilograms to lose, 12 weeks is simply not going to be a sufficient period of time to reach your goal body fat. So, what happens after 12 weeks of dieting?

This is where we will introduce a 2 week diet break! Yes, 2 weeks! It is important we don’t live in a calorie deficit, and after 12 weeks of dieting negative metabolic adaptations become more pronounced. At that time, a diet break is a fantastic tool to give the body a break from the rigours of under feeding.

Remember

steP 1 – After 12 weeks, you need to recalculate your TDEE

Let’s demonstrate with a male client, we will call him ‘Client A’:

Male Client A started at 100kg’s and 35% body fat. By the end of 12 weeks he has dropped 10kg and 8% body fat. Nice These are great results, but he is still not at his desired body fat level.

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so let’s recalculate tdee!

Client A is now 90kg’s with 27% body fat – his new TDEE is 2,874.

Despite the new TDEE being 2,874, we will not diet break on this number. Remember, this number is not taking into account metabolic adaptation of having recently done 12 hard weeks of dieting. On average, metabolic adaptation studies show accounts for roughly a 10% decrease in energy expenditure. Therefore, we will subtract 10% off the TDEE of 2,874 to account for metabolic adaptation. It’s crucial, we are not putting body fat on here, so we must account for all variables.

Now we subtract 287 calories or 10% from their predicted TDEE to give us their diet break number of 2,587!

steP 2 – Set Macros for Diet break

Before we get to the numbers, let’s revisit why we diet break. The longer we diet, the greater the metabolic adaptations we experience, these include but are not limited to:

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bMR and NEAT levels dropping

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Protein synthesis lowering

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Leptin plummeting

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Ghrelin rising

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Severe hunger and cravings

The goal of the diet break is to help drive up leptin levels again which will do a few things:

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Improve satiety

2
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Manage hunger

3
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Raise thyroid hormone levels which raise the metabolic rate

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Potentially drive up bMR and NEAT levels

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In addition, diet breaking will give the client a psychological break from the rigours of dieting! Now, back to the numbers for the diet break. The diet break is high in carbohydrates because we need carbohydrates through the roof and calories at maintenance to drive up leptin hormone.

Protein – set at 1.8g per kg of body weight

Fats – set at 0.8g per kg of body weight

Carbs – the remaining calories after setting the above

How would this look for the Male Client A from the example above?

We know that calories are set at 2,587 from the above example (minus 10% from TDEE)

Protein = 1.8g x body weight of 90kg = 162

Fats = 0.8g x body weight of 90kg = 72

Carbs = [ TDEE calories less 10% - calories from (protein + fats)] / 4

let’s do the calculations…

162 protein x 4 = 648 calories

72g of fat x 9 = 648 calories

Let’s plus these together, 648 + 648 = 1,296 calories.

Now, to figure out carbohydrate total, 2,587 (total calories) minus 1,296 (calories of protein and fats) = 1,291 calories or (1,291/4 =) 323g of carbohydrates. Based on these calculations, carbohydrates for diet break will be 323g.

diet break Macros for Male Client a:

P 162g

C 323g

F 72g

We want to diet break for 2 full weeks. Then, we will return to a calorie deficit, because Male Client A still wants to achieve greater fat loss.

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steP 3 – Reset Calorie Deficit

Now that we have spent 2 weeks in a diet break, it is time to return to a calorie deficit. For this next period of dieting, I prefer the client to follow a more conservative approach. The initial 12 weeks are about creating momentum and improving overall health markers. By losing a good amount of weight in the first 12 weeks, we have achieved this momentum.

For this second period of dieting I suggest a more conservative approach. This will often have you dieting on more calories than you finished, as due to the 2 week diet break, the metabolic rate should have increased somewhat.

Set calorie deficit at 20% of TDEE used for diet break. Remember this is TDEE minus 10%. We will continue to Male Client as the example.

Male Client A - New calorie deficit for diet ‘phase 2’

Diet break Calories 2,587 → Macros: P 162g, C 323g, F 72g

From here, we want to create a 20% calorie deficit from 2,587 → 2,587 - 20% = 2,070 calories

Again, we are creating a 20% calorie deficit from the TDEE number which accounts for metabolic adaptation of 10%.

Macro breakdown recommendations can accommodate personal preference here.

For those who feel better on higher carbohydrates

P 2.2g per kilogram of body weight

F 0.9g per kilogram of body weight

C the remaining calories

For those who prefer eating more fats

P 2.2g per kilogram of body weight

F 1.1g per kilogram of bodyweight

C the remaining calories

For Male Client A, the macro breakdown on 2,070 calories for each scenario would look like this”

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Higher Carbohydrates Macro Break down

P 198g (2.2g per kg of bodyweight)

F 81g (1g per kg of body weight)

C 137g (remaining calories)

Higher Fats Macro Break down

P 198g (2.2g per kg of bodyweight)

F 99g (1.1g per kg of bodyweight)

C 97g (remaining calories)

How to Create shorter Periods of Calorie Deficits?

Since we are in a second 12 week block of dieting, I want to avoid long periods in a

calorie deficit. The macros listed above will be your calories and macros for 4 week

blocks.

Every 5th week, you will do a 1 week diet break. For this, you will need to recalculate

the TDEE and reset macros using the numbers listed previously for the diet break.

Our program will be 4 weeks calorie deficit, 1 week diet break. Then repeat with

another 4 week calorie deficit. Followed by another 2 week diet break!

12 weeks following the art of ‘Gen Pop’ transformations would look like this:

Week 1-2: 2 Week Diet Break.

Week 3-6: Calorie deficit set at 20% of TDEE after accounting for 10% metabolic adaptation.

Week 7: 1 week Diet break. Again, recalculate TDEE.

Week 8 – 11: Calorie deficit set at 25% of TDEE after accounting for 10% metabolic adaptation. We drop a further 5% calories to account for further adaptation.

Week 12 & 13: 2 Week Diet Break. Again, re-calculate TDEE.

This is 13 weeks of the diet after the initial Gen Pop transformation. Of those

13 weeks, 5 weeks are at baseline / maintenance calories. The longer my clients

diet for, the more frequently they come out of a calorie deficit.

In these 13 weeks, 8 weeks are spent in a calorie deficit. Plenty of time to still

lose a good amount of body fat, whilst also ensuring we are consistently trying

to restore hormonal markers by diet breaking.

we are consistently trying to restore hormonal markers by diet breaking. 56 Copyright CHFI IP Holdings
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sYsteM 3:

THE ExIT STRATEGY FoR THE LoNG TERM UNDER EATER

The “Exit Strategy” is primarily aimed at those who have just finished a fat loss phase. But what about those people who have been “under eating” for a long time and can’t seem to lose body fat? They are simply “stuck”, you know it, the fat loss plateau.

Now, before getting into this scenario, we need to really identify what is the actual issue. A statement commonly made statement is that “I can’t lose weight because I don’t eat enough”.

This in a way doesn’t work so much with understanding the concepts of energy balance. If you are in a true calorie deficit, a big ‘IF’ for most, then it’s impossible not to lose weight. For most people, they simply underestimate their daily food intake and grossly overestimate their daily activity.

People think they eat less and move more than they actually do.

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Time and time again, clients tell me they cannot lose weight on 1,200 calories. I then set their caloric intake to 1,500-1,600 calories and guess what? They lose body fat and rapidly too, I’d like to add. The client then says “wow, who would have thought eating more would lead to fat loss”, to which I explain, it’s not that they are eating more, quite the opposite actually. They are just now more accurately tracking their food intake and thus are actually in a true calorie deficit.

But this is not everyone. There are cases where people have dieted too aggressively too quickly, combined with too much training activity, resulting in significant metabolic adaptation. Due to metabolic adaptation being so severe, their total daily energy expenditure has plummeted. Although they may think they are in a calorie deficit, in reality they aren’t.

For instance, let’s say a female client, does the new cool juice cleanse or keto or fasting diet that some Instagram “influencer” has released. The client is put on 800 calories and does fasted cardio every single day. In a case like this, we usually find that initially they lose body fat and total weight rapidly.

They do this for 10-12 weeks and drop about 10 kilograms and of course metabolic adaptations follow. As previously explained, BMR and NEAT will drop and the body will become very efficient at running well with lower calories.

The issue is, post diet, the client naturally will not be able to sustain this lifestyle and with no exit strategy in place, when they go back to eating as before they will rapidly put weight back on. It’s at time like these that people decide to hire a coach to help them.

A lot of the time, the coach will put the client into a 20-25% deficit, however the client does not lose weight the coach then usually decides to increase deficit to say 30%, and still, the client just maintains their weight. Now they are not losing body fat, this is how the concept of “damaged metabolism” came about.

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However, as explained before there is no such thing. Instead of “metabolic damage” what happens metabolic adaptations occur, dramatically minimising the “calories out” component of energy balance. So, what is the solution? The client has 2 options:

option 1 is to recognise that the calorie deficit is still the key, albeit, due to the adaptation, they will need to drop calories dangerously low to get a fat loss response.

option 2 (which I highly recommend), is to reverse diet. So, we go a step “backwards” to make a leap “forwards”. We spend 12 weeks building up the metabolic rate to their true TDEE, and then we introduce a deficit, and then the client will start losing body fat on substantially more calories than they were eating just to maintain their weight.

now on to the reverse diet!

This approach is slightly different to the other scenarios. The majority of people who come to me at this stage, “think” they are eating 1,200 or 1,400 calories but are simply not. So, step 1, is always figuring out whether or not the client is actually eating as much as they think, or if they are simply under tracking calories.

steP 1 – Set calories to where they “think” they have been eating and see what happens

An example of this is, if a client comes to me thinking they are eating 1,200 calories and cannot lose, then I set their calories to 1,200, to have them prove to me that this is the case. One of 2 things will happen:

The first is the ideal situation, that they lose weight. This shows that they were simply under tracking. If this happens, use my ‘Advanced Gen Pop Transformation” Guide to then get the transformation you are after.

However, it may be that they are tracking properly and what will happen then is that they maintain their weight, if the weight stays the same for 2 weeks then what has happened is metabolic adaptation.

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steP 2 – begin reverse diet

As this client is likely to be someone who has been on low calories for a long time, the goal here is a slow and steady reverse diet.

Again, we will first calculate the estimated TDEE, then we look at the difference between their current energy intake and their TDEE. Let’s say they are currently they are on 1,400 calories, but their estimated TDEE is 2,200 that’s an 800 calorie difference that we will need to build up, it’s important to know and respect that this will take time.

We will start with a more conservative jump compared to the previous reverse diet scenarios, which involved caloric increases of 300. For this scenario, I suggest a 200 calorie jump. The client will begin their reverse diet on 1,600 calories, the extra 200 calories will be broken down to 70% carbohydrates and 30% fats.

We follow this conservative approach for this person, as they have not yet reached their goal weight, meaning their body fat is still high and the last thing we want is accumulating too even more body fat.

steP 3 – Add 5-10% total calories towards their intake every 2 weeks

This is on the proviso that the body weight is maintained. My suggestion is again, the lower end (5%) for someone who wants to minimise potential fat gain the most and the higher end (10%), for a client who wants to build back up faster but can potentially open themselves up to greater potential of increasing fat mass.

If total body weight fluctuates, wait for it to hold steady for a full week, before rising calories again. Ideally this reverse diet period will take 12 weeks minimum, as the more time we take to recalibrate the calories the better chance of limiting increase of body fat.

So what happens when we reach our estimated TDEE? Congratulations, you have built your metabolism back to the setpoint and successfully reverse dieted!

What do we do now? Ideally if you are mentally ready for the rigours of a calorie deficit, you simply enter back into a fat loss phase. Once optimal metabolic rate has been achieved, simply drop 500 calories from your current TDEE, and begin a fat loss phase.

simply drop 500 calories from your current TDEE, and begin a fat loss phase. Copyright CHFI

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sYsteM 4:

CoMP PREP REVERSE DIET

20 sYsteM 4: CoMP PREP REVERSE DIET now we enter into the world of Comp Prep….

now we enter into the world of Comp Prep….

Firstly, I think it is crucial to understand the difference between a comp prep diet, and a Gen Pop transformation. The key difference is just how lean someone needs to be to get on stage for a comp. There is ‘transformation lean’, then ‘photo shoot lean’, and then there is ‘COMP PREP LEAN’!

What I mean by this is, to lose weight and get in a healthy body fat percentage for life for a male, may be around 15%. This is a body fat which can easily be maintained all year round. However, for ‘comp prep’ or a bodybuilding stage, the goal is to get as lean as possible in order to showcase human anatomy on stage! Clearly this is going to evoke greater metabolic adaptations.

Remember, the leaner you get, the more you get away from your metabolic set point and the more the body wants to signal the survival mechanisms. Yes, you want to be shredded on stage, and have this insane bikini body, but guess what? Your body doesn’t care! Your body will do everything it can to fight you all the way to stepping on stage.

the more the body fights you, the more we drive in the negative metabolic adaptations.

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When you become ‘comp prep lean’, you reach a body fat percentage that is more than likely (for at least 90% of competitors) unrealistic to maintain year-round. This means that some fat gain is not only normal, but also necessary for your health. Not having an “Exit Strategy” after competition can lead to serious problems, mentally, emotionally and of course physically.

Spending a long period of time, dieting down to very low calories, increasing to higher training volumes, resulting in high metabolic adaptations and hunger hormones being all over the place, is essentially priming the body to put body fat on rapidly when all of the above ends.

Remember, post fat loss periods, (especially when large amounts of fat are lost) fat cells are primed to not only be highly sensitive to uptake the surplus of calories, but rapid weight gain post period of under eating leads to a high chance of accumulating new fat cells! Not only do the current fat cells fill quickly, we create new fat cells and then dieting in the future becomes harder and harder due to this excess storage capacity we have because of the increase in fat cell population

This is where we need to recognise the negative metabolic adaptations of dieting. Some people will cruise through to comp, not suffer, calories don’t get too low, they don’t need much cardio and they will look amazing. Others will need to go on super low calories and do hours cardio to get similar results. This is due to their bodies having greater metabolic adaptation.

But, the people who experience severe adaptations, by end of comp prep, are feeling simply terrible. This is where we need to understand, that the best way to reverse negative adaptations, is by getting out of a calorie deficit. We need to eat more, put some body fat on, and then all of a sudden, the hunger lowers, energy rises, libido finally comes back, and we start feeling like less of a zombie!

This is why a comp prep reverse diet needs to have options on the speed of which you increase calories. I generally prefer a more conservative approach for gen pop and comp prep clients who have suffered to get lean. The harder they worked to get lean, the more likely of rebounding hard.

Competitors who cruised through prep and onto stage, without having to lose much weight, I bring up faster. Competitors who are feeling terrible post comp with severe adaptations, I also bring up faster, as I want them to get their health back on track. Yes, mitigating fat gain is important, but feeling terrible for another 12-16 weeks is not ideal either.

important, but feeling terrible for another 12-16 weeks is not ideal either. Copyright CHFI IP Holdings

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steP 1 – Find the new TDEE

Just like previous scenarios. We want to estimate the TDEE first, to identify goal calories to build up to over the course of our reverse diet. Then, we want to ideally add 400-500 calories to our finishing comp prep diet number.

For instance, if a female client finishes comp prep on 1,200 calories (which is low, but pretty standard) but her estimated TDEE is 2,400 calories, we know due to metabolic adaptation if we simply just drive her to this number, this most likely will lead to immediate fat gain.

Now the 1,200 calorie number, we can recognise was leading to fat loss, therefore is a calorie deficit. We want to ideally begin the reverse diet at a maintenance level, so what I do with my clients is begin their reverse diet 500 calories above their finishing number.

Therefore, in this scenario, the client would begin their reverse diet on 1,700 calories. Which leaves them with 700 calorie difference between the starting point of reverse diet and estimated theoretical TDEE. Now from this mark, we will begin to drive calories up. However, the speed of which we do this will depend on a few determining factors.

The first group will be my usual “slow and steady wins the race” approach. This is ideal for comp prep people who have suffered to get lean. The harder they worked to get lean, the more likely of rebounding hard. Often these competitors started their prep not in an ideal comp prep condition, so we want to ensure that post reverse diet, their new set point in not as high. Being conservative is the key here.

steP 2 - Gradually Increase Calories

Following the same scenario as used earlier, every 14 days, calories will increase 5-10%, provided that weight is maintained. For competitors, I am of the opinion that it’s more than ok if weight increases by 2-3kg in the 12 weeks post show because this is helping them build a year-round sustainable body fat level.

It’s important to also note that a large amount of post-show weight gain can also be attributed to an increase in carbohydrates, as well as having more food in general in your body. It will never all be just from fat! Thus, the 5-10% jumps should also follow my 70:30 ratio of carbohydrates to fats.

the 5-10% jumps should also follow my 70:30 ratio of carbohydrates to fats. 63 Copyright CHFI
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Here, I again suggest being patient. Ideally, we will spend 12 weeks building up to maintenance calories and the closer we get to the estimated TDEE, we will use smaller percentage jumps to hold off any potential fat gain.

The second group – the competitors who either only had to diet for an easy 8-12 weeks for their competition (yes, these people exist), they only dieted for a short period and did not require losing too much weight as they are naturally lean.

These people can be brought up to maintenance much quicker as they have not suffered the same metabolic adaptation. They drop body fat easily and generally have a much more inefficient metabolism making the fat loss process much more achievable.

Another type I like to bring up quickly, is someone who has had a very long prep, gotten super lean, but have suffered badly. Conventional wisdom is just like the first group, bring them up slowly. But the issue with this is, if they are feeling just absolutely crushed, their hormones such as thyroid ones, leptin and sex hormones would have plummeted. These people are going to struggle massively with sticking to a conservative reverse diet and most likely fall off and binge badly.

This is why a more aggressive approach is ideal here. The best way to reverse the negative metabolic adaptations is to actually get out of a deficit and put body fat on! We still want to build them up slowly, to counter the metabolic adaptations that have set in, however, we will drive up the calories faster to get them back to baseline to counter the negatives effects such as loss of libido, low energy levels etc.

The percentage increase I suggest for them is still a 5-10% increase in calories. But I prefer to do this jump every 7-10 days, unlike my other reverse diet methods of building up at 5-10% every 14 days. Might not sound like a big difference, but it can make the difference of reaching estimated TDEE numbers at 6 weeks instead of 12.

The shorter time frame of building up the calories does carry some potential risks such as fat gain, but again, we need to weigh the positives versus the negatives. For the client who easily loses, bringing calories up quickly is more than ideal. 6 weeks will generally be more than enough time to help lose the little bit of metabolic adaptation acquired from their shorter prep.

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Post transForMation TRAINING SYSTEMS

The ‘Exit Strategy” is very much about reverse dieting and having a plan after the plan ends. But, one of the key reasons why people fall off so badly post transformation or comp prep is, they stop training with any purpose. We either go from doing 5-6 sessions a week to 3 or 4, then after a couple more weeks, they are down to 1 to 2, and sometimes down to zero.

Combine this with eating in a head space of “I will eat whatever I have not been able to previously”, with zero tracking and there you have it a dreadful formula of rapid fat gain.

This is why the ‘Exit Strategy” includes complete 12 week training programs, specifically designed to not only keep you coming back to the gym, but to also drastically improve your physique. It’s important to understand that a fat loss training block is very taxing, mentally and physically.

It will most likely, on the advanced level, include very high volume workouts and lots of reps. This is fine, but what I like doing post 12 weeks is getting away from higher reps and focusing more on strength development.

Higher reps do lead to hypertrophy, but it also leads to greater increases in stress hormones. In our reverse diet, I want to again manage stress, and a good way to do this is train for a different goal in the gym. Which is why, our ‘Exit Strategy” programs are going to be focused on more strength and functional hypertrophy.

programs are going to be focused on more strength and functional hypertrophy. 65 Copyright CHFI IP
programs are going to be focused on more strength and functional hypertrophy. 65 Copyright CHFI IP

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Consistently setting new goals is a great way to keep clients motivated long term, I have found this to be the case throughout my career and this not just in reference to aesthetic goals but strength & nutrition goals too.

Strength goals are a great way to keep people interested and focused! Especially when the focus cannot be the typical goal to get leaner. People have a strong ‘all or nothing’ work ethic when it comes to fat loss, but when the focus in maintenance, that work ethic lowers. Which is why again, it’s imperative we continue to set new goals in the gym, and our focus in these 12 weeks, is going to be developing the big lifts!

THE ‘eXit strateGY’ INCLUDES 2 ProGraMs!

ProGraM 1: INTeRMeDIATe - ADVANCeD TRANsFORMATION

This system is for you if you have completed my 12 week Art of ‘Gen Pop’ Transformations guidebook and are new to the big compound lifts. This system is the program I recommend for those of you who have bought my guidebook and are after a reverse diet but have not actually done the previous training systems. Finally if you are a comp prep athlete who is wanting to rebuild your health and physique post competition, this system would also be your ‘go to’ program.

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FeMale interMediate advanCed Client PHase 1 overvieW:

Client: FEMALE GEN PoP CoaCH: Mark Carroll daY Workout stePs MONDAY Squat 10,000 TUESDAY upper
Client: FEMALE GEN PoP
CoaCH: Mark Carroll
daY
Workout
stePs
MONDAY
Squat
10,000
TUESDAY
upper
10,000
WEDNESDAY
Deadlift
10,000
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
upper
10,000

Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty Ltd 2019.

upper 10,000 WEDNESDAY Deadlift 10,000 THURSDAY FRIDAY upper 10,000 Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty Ltd 2019.

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Client:

 

Phase: Phase 1 day: squat

 

Program:

 

Coach: Mark Carroll

 

day:

 

A1) HeeLs eLeVATeD HIGH BAR squAT

 

Week

sets

rePs

rests

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

2 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

3 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

4 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

A2) LyING LeG CuRL - TOes DOWN AND IN

 

Week

sets

rePs

rests

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

2 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

3 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

4 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

B1) BuLGARIAN DB sPLIT squAT

 

Week

sets

rePs

rest

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 3

10-12

45

2110

                                       

2 3

10-12

45

2110

                                       

3 3

10-12

45

2110

                                       

4 3

10-12

45

2110

                                       

B2) BB HIP THRusTs

 

Week

sets

rePs

rests

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 3

12-15

45

2110

                                       

2 3

12-15

45

2110

                                       

3 3

12-15

45

2110

                                       

4 3

12-15

45

2110

                                       

C1) LeG PRess - FeeT MIDDLe

 

Week

sets

rePs

rests

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 3

20

30

2110

                                       

2 3

20

30

2110

                                       

3 3

20

30

2110

                                       

4 3

20

30

2110

                                       

C2) seATeD ABDuCTOR MACHINe

 

Week

sets

rePs

rest

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 3

20

90

2110

                                       

2 3

20

90

2110

                                       

3 3

20

90

2110

                                       

4 3

20

90

2110

                                       

Copyright CHFI IP Holdings Pty Ltd 2019.

Client:

 

Phase: Phase 1 day: upper

 

Program:

 

Coach: Mark Carroll

 

day:

 

A1) seATeD DB ARNOLD PRess

 

Week

sets

rePs

rests

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

2 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

3 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

4 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

A2) LAT PuLL DOWN - NeuTRAL GRIP

 

Week

sets

rePs

rests

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

2 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

3 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

4 4

8-10

60

3010

                                       

B1) FLAT DB BeNCH PRess - NeuTRAL

 

Week

sets

rePs

rest

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 4

10-12

45

2110

                                       

2 4

10-12

45

2110

                                       

3 4

10-12

45

2110

                                       

4 4

10-12

45

2110

                                       

B2) BeNT OVeR BB ROW - suPINATeD GRIP

 

Week

sets

rePs

rests

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 4

12-15

45

2110

                                       

2 4

12-15

45

2110

                                       

3 4

12-15

45

2110

                                       

4 4

12-15

45

2110

                                       

C1) sTANDING DB LATeRAL RAIses

 

Week

sets

rePs

rests

teMPs

set 1

set 2

set 3

set 4

set 5

set 6

set 7

set 8

set 9

set 10

1 4

20

30

2110

                                       

2 4

20

30

2110

                                       

3 4

20

30

2110

                                       

4 4

20

30

2110

                                       

C2) ROPe TRICePs exTeNsIONs

 

Week

sets

rePs

rest

teMPs

set 1

set 2