Breaking the plateau- how to lose fat from your trouble spots: Part 2

Telling it like it is...


In my last post I discussed breaking a plateau by making some critical changes to your diet. In this post I am going to provide you with an exercise plan that fits well with this diet and will help you to lose those pounds of trouble spot fat that just won’t go away.



As discussed, fat burning is turned on and off through the action of insulin and its effect on Hormone Sensitive Lipase or HSL. When insulin is triggered HSL is shut off.


In order for us to burn off body fat we need HSL and the main hormones that activate HSL are the catecholamines: adrenaline and noradrenaline (also known as epinephrine and norepinephrine).


And here is the juicy part- the way in which you exercise can affect how these two catecholamines are released in your body.


When you think of fat burning what you are really referring to is the release of stored fat from the fat cell into the blood stream where it can be used to provide energy for another cell in your body (like muscle for example).


Getting the fat out of the cell is critical but we must also make sure that it is taken up or utilized by another cell or else we risk having that same fatty acid redeposit itself somewhere else on your body.


Accomplishing this through exercise requires a two prong approach.



You are probably familiar with the term “H.I.I.T” which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. In the world of fat loss and exercise this is nothing new. In fact, many trainers have been expounding the benefits of HIIT training for fat loss for many years now and if you listen to what they say you would be lead to believe that HIIT is the exercise equivalent of the Holy Grail when it comes to losing body fat.


But this is only partially true.


Before you freak out and call me names please hear me out. HIIT is good. It does an excellent job at increasing the release of your body’s catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline), mobilizing fatty acids and releasing them into the blood stream. But HIIT is not a panacea.


The problem is that during periods of high intensity exercise your body does not burn fatty acids- it burns glucose.  In addition, the fatty acids that are released during HIIT are not burned off (due to the short duration of the activity- you simply cannot perform long periods of HIIT) and as mentioned earlier these fatty acids are re-deposited elsewhere on your body (and never where you want them to end up).


HIIT PLUS Steady State

The solution to this problem is to combine both HIIT and steady state cardio in the same session. The reason is simple- the intervals will release the fatty acids into the bloodstream and the steady state will help burn them off (and prevent them from being re-deposited).


This can be done in many different ways but here is something that combines both resistance training and the use of a cardio machine of your choosing;


Note: in order for this to be effective you must keep insulin low. For this reason I recommend performing this either in a fasted state (consume 5-10 grams BCAAS’s or 10 grams of whey protein prior) or while following a severely reduced carbohydrate diet. Always wait at least 2 hours after eating before doing this workout.



Phase 1: Warm up- 10 minutes

Perform a light, 10 minute warm up.


Phase 2: Short duration interval resistance training- 5 minutes

There are many ways in which this can be done so don’t think that this is written in stone. The main thing to keep in mind when selecting exercises is to choose multi-joint type movements (exercises that involve several muscle groups at one time) and to leave the single joint movements for another time.

*Note- perform the following as “super sets” by completing each exercise pair back to back with minimal to no rest in between. Rest minimally (30 seconds max) after each super set and repeat 2- 4 times for a total of 5 minutes. Keep the weights light but in order for this to work you must really push yourself to your max so no slacking off!

A1) Barbell squats- 15-20 reps

A2) Lat pull-downs- 15-20 reps

B1) Dumbbell bench press- 15-20 reps

B2) Seated rows- 15-20 reps

Rest for 5 minutes


Phase3: Steady state cardio- 30 minutes

Perform 30 minutes of steady state cardio on a machine of your choosing. Keep the intensity relatively low (you should be able to speak with not too much difficulty).


Phase 4: Long interval cardio – 5 minutes

Perform 5 minutes of long intervals on a cardio machine of your choosing. Keep the intensity higher than the steady state portion but not as crazy hard as the short intervals you did earlier. An example would be 5 rounds of 30 seconds hard alternated with 30 seconds easy.


Phase 5: Cool down- 5 minutes

That’s it- you are done. Now go eat something healthy and don’t blow it by downing some sugar packed bottle of liquid candy. A post workout recovery shake is something I always recommend. Some folks believe that if your goal is fat loss it is best to wait 30 minutes before having your shake but I usually can’t wait that long and give in far sooner. Either way I don’t think it would make much of a difference so do what works best for you.


This program is tough but you can modify it to make it suit you better. For example, instead of using weights in the beginning you could perform short intervals using a treadmill, bike or elliptical machine. I just like the combination of cardio plus resistance.


Give this a go but don’t overdo it- about 2 times per week is all that should be needed (in addition to your normal resistance training work). Any more than that may be too much for your body to handle.



This post was written by

Bruce – who has written posts on Cutting edge muscle building and fat loss secrets.
bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

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bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

4 Responses to “Breaking the plateau- how to lose fat from your trouble spots: Part 2”

  1. Julie says:

    Hi Bruce it’s me again!
    I did my homework and find this all extremely helpful! I would say i eat 3 or 4 pieces of fruit each day. It’s good to knwo i still can eat fruit but only do so when making sure i’m not in a calorie surplus! I’m so relieved. My favorite fruits are apples, bananas, grapefruits, and berries. So I’ll try to eat more of the lower fructose ones, and just keep my fruit intake in check.
    secondly, the workout you provided makes sense…combining interval with a longer, steady workout.
    I was wondering if you had any suggestions for someone like myself who enjoys the “Insanity” videos, and also enjoys long runs…. Could I do a type of Insanity workout like sports drills, and push ups, and jumping jacks, where you’re sweating to death and can barely breathe…. and then go on a long run? Right now I don’t have a gym membership so the whole lifting thing requires more effort… but anyway let me know. I know i DO need to start lifting again.
    So, when I get down to like 18 percent body fat, then can i start cheating again??? haha!

  2. Alejandra says:

    I really love training intervals, i would like to know your opinion in my exercise plan, since i am a nutritionist i think i have that settled ans i share your opinion od the fat loss program but slight.y modified to my own body needs. I do intervals 3 times a week on teh treadmill 10 minutes warm up, 20minutes of running,mostly 1minute sprint, 1min jog,3minute sprint 1 minute jog and so on util the 20 minutes are over, i also p,ay tenis 5 times a week for like an hour, some sessions are intense some not. I find it hard to add strenght program, sonce i dont want to be hurt to keep playing on ten court, but i really dont like my arm and thighs fat, sont get me wrong i am slim but this areas seem to show no muscle at all.
    I would apreciate a suggestion to add my strenght program and try to keep my joints safe for the game.

    • admin says:

      Hi Alejandra- you must begin a structured resistance training program. Cardio is not enough. Start by training your whole body twice per week with an emphasis on compound exercises. If you would like a very personalized program check out this site- It is very detailed and an inexpensive alternative to hiring a personal trainer.

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