What Type Of Workout Will Keep Fat Gain To A Minimum During The Holidays?

What type of workout will keep fat gain to a minimum during the holidays? Our forum members have put together some very effective training routines, cardio ideas, and more to make sure you get through the holidays with success!

TOPIC: What Type Of Workout Will Keep Fat Gain To A Minimum During The Holidays?

The Question:

You've worked hard over the summer and well into the fall, now the dreaded holiday season of fattening food, candies and egg nog is upon us. Many of you will succumb to the temptations and regain the winter fat you worked so hard to keep away.

What type of workout will keep fat gain to a minimum during the holidays? Please be specific: list types of exercises, sets, reps, etc ...

How does this training differ from that of the spring and summer training?

If a gym and/or training equipment are not available what would be a good substitute? Be specific.

Bonus Question: Will you be letting go this holiday season or will you fight through the haze of fattening food, and are there any additional tips you will employ during this time for fat loss success?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.

1st Place - Opiewags99
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

What Type Of Workout Will Keep Fat Gain To A Minimum During The Holidays?

The holidays are always something to look forward to, but unlike most people, this year the plan is to keep the gaining of fat to a minimum. This will require a strict diet of fresh baby spinach and protein powder, right? WRONG.

2007 Holiday Super Feature 2007 Holiday Super Feature.
We have put together this super feature so you can find all of our holiday related material in one easy to find location. Check it out now and stay healthy!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Just like everyone else you want to indulge a bit during this holiday season, which means turkey, stuffing, CRANBERRY SAUCE and later on in the season egg nog and of course Grandma's special oatmeal cookies. Since the fact that indulging WILL happen, there are three holiday guidelines that we have lined up for you to keep the fat gain to a minimum:

1. Follow This Special Holiday Workout:

2. Don't Ditch Your Diet Completely!!!

    Eating only one piece of pie rather than four will help keep those sexy abs showing through!

Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Only One Piece Of Pie.

3. Supplements Still Can Be Part Of Your Life During The Holidays!

    This holiday season make sure to continue (or start) taking creatine and more importantly whey protein supplements to aid in fast recovery from the workouts. You'll need it because the next workout isn't far away.

    I also advise people to have a nice casein protein shake just before bed because it's digested slowly due to its clotting effect in the stomach. This allows the body to have a constant protein source through the night where it might otherwise go into "starvation mode" and catabolize muscle1.

      View Creatine Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.
      View Whey Protein Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.
      View Micellar Casein Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Differences From Spring & Summer
How Does This Training Differ From That Of The Spring And Summer Training?

This training differs from spring and summer training in the fact that our priorities are different. In the summer everyone wants to be lean and ripped to the bone to show off those abs as well as some nice vascularity throughout the body.

Spring is similar in the sense that it is the preparation for summer. In the fall and winter months there is no such stress to lose your shirt, and therefore it is an excellent time to begin more of a bulking session. A small amount of fat gain is acceptable now, as long as an equal or larger amount of muscle is being added to offset it. Essentially a workout like this will hopefully turn a good portion of those extra holiday calories into muscle rather than fat.

Substitute For A Gym Or Equipment?
If A Gym And/Or Training Equipment Are Not Available What Would Be A Good Substitute? Be Specific.

Although without a gym or at least a functional home gym it is hard to get a complete full body strength training workout, but there are definitely substitutes. Let's pretend that you have to spend the weekend at your parents' house this Christmas. There would be three strategies I would employ:

  1. Always make sure you have a nice hard workout the day before, or the morning of leaving. The workout will raise your metabolism for hours afterward, some experts say even up to 36 hours2.
  2. Incorporate a mini workout with exercises that don't require anything more than your body. For example, a mini workout could consist of:

    This should get you through a tough indulgence filled weekend.

  3. Bring along a nice bottle of fat-burners. Since it'll be cold outside and you might get some criticism from Mom for "going out in the cold" for a jog, but this is a perfect solution to help lower the amount of calories that will be stored as fat.

Training At Home Alone: Can It Work For You?
[ Click here to learn more. ]
Training At Home Alone: Can It Work For You?
My years of weight training have been in the basement of my parent's home and now at my own home gym studio where I do personal training.
Joe Franco

Bonus Question
Will You Be Letting Go This Holiday Season Or Will You Fight Through The Haze Of Fattening Food, And, Are There Any Additional Tips You Will Employ During This Time For Fat Loss Success?

This holiday season I plan on beginning a bit of a bulking session, meaning I will not be so worried about the quantity of the calories I'll be consuming, but will more concerned with the quality of these calorie. For instance, whole grains and adequate protein sources will be my choices as opposed to super refined carbohydrates and greasy side dishes. That's not to say there won't be a bit of cheating going on in my diet as I was born with an unnatural love for chocolate ...

+ Click To Enlarge.

One of the key tips that I would suggest to any readers is that if you can't stop yourself from indulging in the sweet foods, at least keep lifting. This will ensure the addition of muscle and not only fat. Another key tip, although I said it before, is that fat burners can support fat loss with little effort, so keep that in mind.

Enjoy the holidays!

-K (Opiewags99)


  1. Article: "Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion"
    Authors: Yves Boirie, Martial Dangin, Jean-Louis Maubois and Bernard Beaufrere.
    Source: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/94/26/14930

  2. Article: "Accute Effects of Resistance Exercise on Energy Expenditure: Revisiting the Impact of Training Variables"
    Authors: Claudia de Mello Meirelles and Paulo Sergio Chagas Gomes.
    Source: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/rbme/v10n2/en_a06v10n2.pdf

  3. Note: Exercises were taken directly from Bodybuilding.com's exercise guide database, if descriptions of the exercises or tips are needed, please visit http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.htm.

2nd Place - jdog60
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

What Type Of Workout Will Keep Fat Gain To A Minimum During The Holidays?

The key elements of a workout that will keep fat gain to a minimum are the following:

  • Short rest periods between sets
  • High repetitions (no fewer than 10 repetitions per exercise)
  • Stimulation of Growth Hormone production (plays a role in growth and fat loss)

-> Supersets:

    One of the most effective means of achieving the three goals stated above is to base your workout on supersets. A superset is a set that is actually made up of two sets (hence the term "super"). One moves directly from the first set (labeled "A" below) to the second set (labeled "B" below) with little (15 seconds or less) or no rest in between.

    Performing supersets is an effective means of minimizing fat gain because the lack of rest in between sets within the superset leads to a rise in body temperature (thermogenesis) and an increase in heart rate. Both of these factors contribute to fat loss. Thus, supersetting allows one to simultaneously build muscle mass and burn fat.

    One can superset two exercises that target opposing muscle groups (e.g. barbell rows for back and bench press for chest) or the same muscle group (barbell curls and concentration curls for biceps). Additionally, supersets can be broken down into isolation supersets and compound supersets.

    An example of a compound superset would be Squats and Bench Press. An example of an isolation superset would be alternate dumbbell curls and preacher curls.

Superset Video

WMV (7.9 MB)
MPEG (6.2 MB)
Video iPod (.8 MB)

-> Compound Movements:

    The below program is based primarily on supersetting opposing body parts, and emphasizes compound movements over isolation movements. Compound movements recruit a larger number of muscles groups than isolation movements and put more strain on the body as well as the nervous system.

    1 of 3: The Central Nervous System (CNS):

    The human central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. These lie in the midline of the body and are protected by the skull and vertebrae respectively.

    This collection of billions of neurons is arguably the most complex object known.

    The central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system comprise a primary division of controls that command all physical activities of a human.

    Neurons of the central nervous system affect consciousness and mental activity while spinal extensions of central nervous system neuron pathways affect skeletal muscles and organs in the body.

    Learn More... Back Next

    They not only help increase heart rate and body temperature, but also elevate Growth Hormone levels, which has been shown to aid in fat loss 2,3,4.

-> High Repetitions:

    Furthermore, studies have shown that increased lactic acid build up, which begins accumulating after 6 heavy repetitions is a key factor in triggering the release of Growth Hormone throughout the body 1. Elevated levels of Growth Hormone, in turn, have been shown to increase fat loss. Thus, keeping a high repetition range not only helps you burn calories during exercise, but also elevates GH levels, which can promote fat loss even after the workout is over.

Human Growth Hormone And Exercise.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
Human Growth Hormone And Exercise.
Two of the biggest factors that play a role in the release of human growth hormone are sleep and exercise. How do HGH and the others effect each other?
Shannon Clark

-> The Plan:

Differences With Spring & Summer?
How Does This Training Differ From That Of The Spring And Summer Training?

If a bodybuilder is consuming fewer fatty foods during the spring and summer, he or she may not necessarily be too concerned about burning fat while lifting. Therefore, the workout need not be built around supersets with high reps, little rest between sets and compound exercises.

Cardio can instead be performed independently of lifting (pre-workout, post-workout, or on rest days). Because supersets are not only anaerobic but also aerobic, a bodybuilder will not be able to lift as heavy as if he or she were getting a full minute to minute and a half between of rest in between each and every set. Thus, it is probably more useful to employ a more conventional workout style, i.e. one that relies on single sets of 8-12 repetitions with adequate rest in between each set, in order to make the greatest gains in muscle mass.

Adequate rest between sets allows lactic acid build up to flow out of the muscle, and for greater force to be exerted on the following set. This is not to say that supersets should never be employed during the spring or summer. I am merely pointing out that supersets should be used more sparingly and not be the core of the workout during these seasons.

Lactic Acid. Lactic Acid.
Does anyone knows a way to reduce lactic acid production using certain nutrition factors (vegetables, meat, etc) or a specific supplement?
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Substitute For A Gym Or Equipment?
If A Gym And/Or Training Equipment Are Not Available What Would Be A Good Substitute? Be Specific.

If one did not have access to a gym or training equipment, I would suggest that they either attempt to construct simple weights (such as filling gallon jugs or paint cans with cement) or use objects found in nature for resistance. For example, one could do pull-ups on a tree branch, bench dips on a chair or any other elevated and flat surface. Push-ups and numerous abdominal exercises can also be performed without training equipment or a access to a gym.

The principle should be the same as if , high repetitions, minimal rest between sets and plenty of compound movements.

Another option is to engage in various types of cardiovascular exercise to keep fat gain to a minimum. Examples include jogging, running, sprinting, cycling, or swimming. Of these, sprinting and swimming are probably the most efficient options. Not only does sprinting burn calories and strengthen the leg muscles, but it also elevates Growth Hormone levels, which can aid in fat loss.

Additionally, a set of six maximal effort sprints, each lasting about 30 seconds, with a light jog or power walk back to the start, will only take 15-to-20 minutes and burn more calories than a 20-minute jog.

How Can One Create A Walking Workout? How Can One Create A Walking Workout?
People love to walk. Maybe they do it for exercise, to get a breathe of fresh air, or to take their dog out. Walking can not only be enjoyable, but also a good form of cardio.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

The above sprint workout has been scientifically proven to dramatically increase Human Growth Hormone production for one and a half to two hours after the workout 5. Likewise, several studies suggest that elevated levels of HGH can contribute to fat loss 2,3,4. Swimming is also an excellent option, as it is a full-body resistance exercise in addition to a great aerobic and fat burning exercise.

Bonus Question
Will You Be Letting Go This Holiday Season Or Will You Fight Through The Haze Of Fattening Food, And, Are There Any Additional Tips You Will Employ During This Time For Fat Loss Success?

I will fight through the haze of fattening foods this holiday season. That does not mean I need to miss out on the holiday dinners though. For example, Thanksgiving dinner typically includes many nutritious foods such as turkey breast, yams and/or baked potatoes and plenty of vegetables. The key is portion control.

I will make sure that I don't eat a huge meal at each holiday celebration and instead try and stick to my usual 4-6 meals a day. Instead of eating too much at one sitting, I will take home left-overs for later that night or the following day. I'll also make sure that I stay hydrated, especially so I feel full quicker and don't pig out at big holiday dinners.

I will also make sure not to indulge in any alcoholic beverages. But if for some reason I do decide to have a drink or two, I'll be sure to keep plenty of water handy to remain hydrated. I'll also make sure I take in plenty of slow digesting protein (I prefer casein) prior to drinking, so that my body is continually fighting off the catabolic effects of the alcohol.


[ Click here to learn more. ]
Alcohol's Effects On Body Fat.
Many people enjoy alcohol's sedating influence and use it as part of our society's traditions. I've put together details about alcohol and it's main concerns.
David Robson


  1. www.csmngt.com
  2. jcem.endojournals.org
  3. http://content.karger.com
  4. Baechle, Thomas R., Ed. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. National Strength and Conditioning Association: 1994.
  5. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov