Hugo's Rules For Getting Lean In 8 Weeks, Part 2.

Summer is the time when the temperature is just right to hit the beach and show off. It is time to hit full gear to get the winter fat off. Read below to learn how you can start cutting.
Part 1 | Part 2

In Part 1 of this article we discussed the steps necessary to get on your way to a lean physique. In Part 2 we will finish discussing the steps necessary in order to continue making progress from week to week.


Week 2

Weight Training

Cardio

    Keep cardio to the four 30 minute sessions prescribed last week. Remember to work hard and try to bring your heart rate to 85% of your maximum: (220-age) x .85 = beats per minute at 85% of max. Try to get better at the activity and burn more calories every time you do it. When you hit a plateau then you can increase the intensity of the machine.

Maximum HR Calculator
Target Heart Rate Calculator


Enter Your Age - Then press Calculate.
Maximum
Heart Rate
Target
Heart Rate per minute
(75% - 85% of Max)
Target
Heart Rate
15 sec count

    If you approach the cardio with the same enthusiasm and work ethic as your Weight Training, you will get the most out of it. If you can read something as you perform your cardio then you are certainly not working hard enough.

Diet

    If you lost 1-2 lbs last week, then keep the diet the same for this week and do not change a thing. If you are not losing at least one pound bodyweight per week it's time for a calorie adjustment in the neighborhood of a 200 - 300 reduction.

    These calories will come from the starchy carbohydrate department so we are looking to reduce between 50-75 grams of carbs per day. Stay on the lower end if you are on the 5 or 6 meal plan. Higher end for those following the 6 and 7 meal plan. Still keep the 500 calorie increase on Sunday from carbohydrates.

Supplementation


Week 3

Weight Training

Cardio

    Perform a couple of extra cardio sessions, thus bringing your sessions to six 30-minute sessions. Again, remember to work hard and try to bring your heart rate to 85% of your maximum: (220-age) x .85 = beats per minute at 85% of max.

    Try to get better at the activity and burn more calories every time you do it. When you hit a plateau then you can increase the intensity of the machine. If you can read something as you perform your cardio then you are certainly not working hard enough.

Diet

    If you lost 1-2 lbs last week, then keep the diet the same for this week and do not change a thing. If you are not losing at least one pound bodyweight per week it's time for another calorie adjustment in the neighborhood of a 100 - 200 reduction.

    These calories will come from the starchy carbohydrate department so we are looking to reduce between 25-50 grams of carbs per day. Stay on the lower end if you are on the 5 or 6 meal plan.

    Higher end for those following the 6 and 7 meal plan. Still keep the 500 calorie increase on Sunday from carbohydrates.


Week 4

Weight Training

Cardio

    If you lost 1-2 lbs last week, then keep the cardio the same; six 30-minute sessions. Otherwise, you will need to up it to 45 minutes everyday. Again, remember to work hard and try to bring your heart rate to 85% of your maximum: (220-age) x .85 = beats per minute at 85% of max.

    Try to get better at the activity and burn more calories every time you do it. When you hit a plateau then you can increase the intensity of the machine. If you can read something as you perform your cardio then you are certainly not working hard enough.

Diet

    If you lost 1-2 lbs last week, then keep the diet the same for this week and do not change a thing. If you are not losing at least one pound bodyweight per week it's time for another calorie adjustment in the neighborhood of a 100 - 200 reduction.

    These calories will come from the starchy carbohydrate department so we are looking to reduce between 25-50 grams of carbs per day. Stay on the lower end if you are on the 5 or 6 meal plan. Higher end for those following the 6 and 7 meal plan. Still keep the 500 calorie increase on Sunday from carbohydrates.


Week 5

Weight Training

    This week, we will slightly increase the volume of training by adding a few exercises to the program and in some instances also decreasing the rest.

    Day 1 - Shoulders & Arms (Monday/Thursday)

    Day 2 - Legs (Tuesday/Friday)

      Superset:
      Barbell Lunges (press with toes) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      Seated Leg Curls 5 sets x 10-12 reps (45 second rest)

      Superset:
      Leg Extensions (Toes In) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      Wide Stance Leg Press (press with heels) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (45 second rest)

      Superset:
      Adductor Machine 2 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)
      Abductor Machine 2 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)

      Superset:
      Calf Press (Toes In) 5 sets x 15-20 reps (No rest)
      Calf Press (Toes Out) 5 sets x 15-20 reps (30 second rest)

      Click For A Printable Log Of Day 2 Legs (Tuesday/Friday).

    Day 3 - Chest, Back & Abs (Wednesday/Saturday)

      Superset:
      75-Degree Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 5 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Two Arm DB Rows laying face down on a 30 degree incline bench 5 sets x 10-12 reps (60 second rest)

      Superset:
      45-degree Incline Flyes (palms facing forward) followed by Incline Dumbbell Press using the same weight 5 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Wide Grip Pull-up to Front (Palms facing each other) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (60 second rest)

      Superset:
      Barbell Shrugs 2 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      External Rotations (for strengthening of the rotator cuff) 2 sets x 15-20 reps (No rest)

      Superset:
      Lying Leg Raises on Swiss 5 sets x 20-25 reps (No rest)
      Ball Bicycle Crunches (go up to a 30 degree angle only) 5 sets x 20-25 reps (30 second rest)

      Click For A Printable Log Of Day 3 Chest, Back & Abs (Wednesday/Saturday).

Cardio

    If you lost 1-2 lbs last week, then keep the cardio the same; six 30-minute sessions. Otherwise, you will need to up it to 45 minutes everyday. Again, remember to work hard and try to bring your heart rate to 85% of your maximum: (220-age) x .85 = beats per minute at 85% of max.

    Try to get better at the activity and burn more calories every time you do it. When you hit a plateau then you can increase the intensity of the machine. If you can read something as you perform your cardio then you are certainly not working hard enough.

Diet

    If you lost 1-2 lbs last week, then keep the diet the same for this week and do not change a thing. If you are not losing at least one pound bodyweight per week it's time for another calorie adjustment in the neighborhood of a 100 - 200 reduction.

    These calories will come from the starchy carbohydrate department so we are looking to reduce between 25-50 grams of carbs per day. Stay on the lower end if you are on the 5 or 6 meal plan. Higher end for those following the 6 and 7 meal plan. Still keep the 500 calorie increase on Sunday from carbohydrates.


Week 6

Weight Training

    This week, we will keep the volume of training and rest the same. Only change will be the exercise selection.

    Day 1 - Shoulders & Arms (Monday/Thursday)

    Day 2 - Legs (Tuesday/Friday)

      Superset:
      Leg Extensions (Toes Neutral) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      Lying Leg Curls (Toes In) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (45 second rest)

      Superset:
      Medium Stance Squats 5 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      Wide Stance Squats (press with heels) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (45 second rest)

      Superset:
      Adductor Machine 2 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)
      Abductor Machine 2 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)

      Superset:
      Single Legged Calf Press 5 sets x 15-20 reps (No rest)
      Standing Calf Raises 5 sets x 15-20 reps (30 second rest)

      Click For A Printable Log Of Day 2 Legs (Tuesday/Friday).

    Day 3 - Chest, Back & Abs (Wednesday/Saturday)

      Superset:
      30-degree Incline DB Bench Press (Palms facing each other) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Two Arm Reverse Grip DB Rows laying face down on a 30 degree incline bench 5 sets x 10-12 reps (60 second rest)

      Superset:
      Decline Bench Press 5 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      Reverse Close Grip Pull-up (Palms facing you) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (60 second rest)

      Superset:
      Smith Machine Shrugs to Back 2 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
      External Rotations (for strengthening of the rotator cuff) 2 sets x 15-20 reps (No rest)

      Superset:
      Lying Leg Raises on Decline Bench 5 sets x 20-25 reps (No rest)
      Rope Crunches 5 sets x 20-25 reps (30 second rest)

      Click For A Printable Log Of Day 3 Chest, Back & Abs (Wednesday/Saturday).

Cardio

    If you lost 1-2 lbs last week, and are at six 30-minute sessions then keep the same. Otherwise, you will need to up it to 45 minutes everyday. If you already are at 45 minutes everyday, then you will need to increase it further to 45 minutes before meal 1, seven days a week and 30 minutes after the workout. Again, remember to work hard and try to bring your heart rate to 85% of your maximum: (220-age) x .85 = beats per minute at 85% of max.

    Try to get better at the activity and burn more calories every time you do it. When you hit a plateau then you can increase the intensity of the machine. If you can read something as you perform your cardio then you are certainly not working hard enough.

Diet

    If you lost 1-2 lbs last week, then keep the diet the same for this week and do not change a thing. If you are not losing at least one pound bodyweight per week it's time for another calorie adjustment in the neighborhood of a 50 - 100 reduction.

    These calories will come from the starchy carbohydrate department so we are looking to reduce between 12.5-50 grams of carbs per day. Stay on the lower end if you are on the 5 or 6 meal plan.

    Higher end for those following the 6 and 7 meal plan. Still keep the 500 calorie increase on Sunday from carbohydrates.


WeekS 7 & 8

Weight Training

    These two weeks, we will keep the volume of training the same and exercises the same for the two-week period but introduce Giant Sets.

    Day 1 - Shoulders & Arms (Monday/Thursday)

      Giantset:
      Wide Grip Upright Rows 3 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      DB Laterals 3 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      Smith Machine Military Press 3 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      Bent Over Laterals 3 sets x 10-12 reps (45 second rest)

      Giantset:
      Barbell Curls 5 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      Triceps Pushdowns (use straight bar) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      Reverse E-Z Curls 4 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      Triceps Dips on Parallel Bars 4 sets x 10-12 reps (45 second rest)

      Superset:
      Wrist Curls 2 sets x 15-30 reps (No rest)
      Reverse Wrist Curls 2 sets x 15-30 reps (No rest)

      Click For A Printable Log Of Day 1 Shoulders & Arms (Monday/Thursday).

    Day 2 - Legs (Tuesday/Friday)

      Giantset:
      Leg Extensions (Toes In) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      Standing Leg Curls 5 sets x 10-12 reps (45 second rest)
      Close Stance Leg Press 5 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)
      DB Lunges (press with heels) 5 sets x 10-12 reps (45 second rest)

      Superset:
      Adductor Machine 2 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)
      Abductor Machine 2 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)

      Superset:
      Donkey Calf Raises 5 sets x 15-20 reps (No rest)
      Seated Calf Raises 5 sets x 15-20 reps (30 second rest)

      Click For A Printable Log Of Day 2 Legs (Tuesday/Friday).

    Day 3 - Chest, Back & Abs (Wednesday/Saturday)

Cardio

    If you lost 1-2 lbs last week, and are at six 30-minute sessions then keep the same. Otherwise, you will need to up it to 45 minutes everyday. If you already are at 45 minutes everyday, then you will need to increase it further to 45 minutes before meal 1, seven days a week and 30 minutes after the workout.

    If you are at 45 before meal 1 and 30 after the workout already and still need to lose some more then increase to 45/45 everyday (except for Sunday where one of 45 in the AM will suffice).

    Again, remember to work hard and try to bring your heart rate to 85% of your maximum: (220-age) x .85 = beats per minute at 85% of max. Try to get better at the activity and burn more calories every time you do it.

    When you hit a plateau then you can increase the intensity of the machine. If you can read something as you perform your cardio then you are certainly not working hard enough.

Diet

    If you lost 1-2 lbs last week, then keep the diet the same for this week and do not change a thing. If you are not losing at least one pound bodyweight per week, keep diet the same this time and let the extra cardio take care of the rest.


So What's Next?

If you were at a low percentage of body fat like 12% or less (a male) or 15% or less (a female) then by now you should have attained your goals. If you were at higher body fat levels, I would keep the 45/45 min of extra cardio for an extra 4 weeks and keep changing the exercises of the fast paced routine presented for weeks 7 & 8.

After 12 weeks of hardcore dieting/training it's best to increase calories and decrease cardio and training to baseline levels again. Reason for this is because too much dieting and training can lower your metabolism by shutting down your thyroid. Also, a concurrent increase in cortisol caused by the hard training/dieting can start robbing you away from muscle.

So what I would do, even if you have not reached your ultimate low body fat percentage goal, is increase your calories to baseline levels, lower your cardio to the levels prescribed for the first week, and follow a training program like the one advertised in my Mass Training Tactics articles for 8 weeks or so.

In this manner, you add some muscle while keeping the new low % of body fat, you re-set your metabolism and then after 8 weeks, you are ready to do another cutting cycle.

I hope that these two articles have provided you with a pretty specific roadmap on how to get lean. Remember that the main ingredient for getting lean is determination. Without it, it will be impossible for you to make the sacrifices that are required in order to achieve an ultra lean physique.

About The Author

Hugo Rivera is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, Sports Nutrition Specialist and Computer Engineer graduate from the University of South Florida. Hugo is owner of www.hrfit.net, an informational, free fitness and nutrition website.

Hugo is author of a self published bodybuilding e-book called Body Re-Engineering geared towards the natural bodybuilder and co-author of one of the most popular Men's Health book in the country (according to Barnes and Noble) called The BodySculpting Bible for Men and the very popular BodySculpting Bible for Women.

Hugo also just released his new book called The Hardgainer's Handbook of Bodybuilding in March 2005 and also serves as a nutrition consultant to several professional football players and other elite athletes. Hugo serves as business consultant to many personal training studios as well.

Hugo continues to publish several articles on the subject of health and nutrition in several magazines and websites and has been with Prolab Nutrition for over three years. Hugo competes as drug free NPC athlete at the National Level and his core supplementation has always consisted of Prolab products.

Take care and train hard!

Part 1 | Part 2