For most guys, shedding unwanted body fat is a persistently difficult task. And while there is no shortage of fat loss diets and programs, few of them seem to work as promised. However, few fitness professionals know and understand the dynamics of fat loss better than John Romaniello, the well-known fitness author, expert and founder of Roman Fitness Systems. Based in New York City, John has worked with clients of all kinds and is regarded as one of the premier body transformation specialists in the fitness industry.
For his latest effort–Fat Loss Forever–John has teamed up with Dan Go, an internationally-renowned fitness boot camp instructor and real-world fat loss expert.
The basic premise of FLF is that many of the supposed experts are either using the wrong approach to fat loss or they are touting a strategy that only works for those who are overly or morbidly obese. For example, the metabolism of the very obese man functions very differently from the one in the guy who just needs to shed a few pounds of excess fat. So what works to shed fat in the very large guy will not be effective in ‘not-so-fat’ guy. The fact that they have built-in, self-sabotaging ‘guilt triggers’ is another reason that John and Dan say many other fat loss programs miss the mark. FLF is a breakthrough program that overcomes those inherent and takes an entirely different approach to fat loss. Let’s take a look at the program and see what it’s all about.
First, let me start by saying that Fat Loss Forever is not just another ‘fat loss’ book. In fact, it’s not a book at all but a complete program that includes a nutrition manual, training manual, diet calendar, food guide and grocery list, supplementation guide and a complete set of workouts, all of which total 10 volumes. Of these, the Nutrition Guide is really the heart of the program because it really all starts there. If you don’t have the proper nutritional foundation, you’ll never achieve your fitness goals, whether it’s shedding fat, gaining lean mass, or both.
Strategic Fasting Boosts Anabolic Hormones!
FLF is presented as a 12-week program that John and Dan say is intended to do two things: 1) help you burn fat faster than ever before; and 2) help you maintain your results throughout your entire lifetime. That second point is important because studies show that the overwhelming majority of people who lose weight or fat end up putting it back on over time. This is because most diet or fat loss programs are only geared towards short term results. They don’t really care what happens to you in the long-run.
The Nutrition Guide opens with a brief introduction and discussion about the basic problem with most diet approaches, which is that they focus on the symptoms, not the systems. Focusing on the symptoms is like treating a headache (the symptom) by taking aspirin, when in reality the cause (system) of the headache is the fact that you’re hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. In other words, treat the system (the hammer hitting you in the head) and you eliminate the symptom (headache).
A concept known as Intermittent Fasting is the core component and underlying foundation of the FLF approach to nutrition and fat loss. Intermittent Fasting is defined as strategically alternating periods of not eating (fasting) with times where you are allowed to eat (feeding period). FLF includes varying levels of fasting, depending on where you are in the program. While Intermittent Fasting may sound unpleasant, it really does produce remarkable results. It does so because it stimulates the production of powerful fat-burning hormones—including muscle building Growth Hormone—while simultaneously suppressing the fat-producing hormones.
The rest of the Fat Loss Forever Nutrition Guide outlines the various approaches to Intermittent Fasting that you can utilize to achieve your fat loss and muscle-building goals. The book also includes a section that helps you determine the appropriate levels of macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) that you should be consuming every day. It also includes a brief section on pre- and post-workout supplementation and some tips about organization and water intake.
The Food Guide and Grocery List and Diet Calendar provide all the support you need to carry out the nutritional component of the FLF program. The Training Manual presents four different training modalities: 5-4-3 Dynamic, Growth Hormone Surge, Density-Based and Complexes. Each of these focuses on a targeted approach towards burning fat, increasing strength and gaining muscle. The Training Guide provides the overall direction of each modality, with each being supported by a specific workout guide.
I’m happy to say that John and Dan have put together an excellent program that presents a solid foundation for effective fat loss. The guys use a straightforward approach that’s easy to follow and not difficult to read. For anyone who has been frustrated in his efforts to shed unwanted fat, you ought to consider the FLF approach—it’s built on solid science that can deliver the desire results!
By Mike Westerdal author of Lean Hybrid Muscle RELOADED
When growth hormone travels from the pituitary gland to the liver it stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), which are polypeptide protein hormones. Though there are a number of varieties, among the various IGFs, IGF1 is of the most interest to weightlifters due to its capacity to stimulate anabolic, muscle-building effects. It is comprised of 70 different inter-connected amino acids and is produced when growth hormone levels in the bloodstream rise, increasing the production of binding proteins. IGF1 is known to be the mediator of growth hormone anabolic effects. As such, the interconnected relationship between IGF1 and growth hormone is frequently referred to as the Growth Hormone/IGF1 Axis.
The growth of skeletal muscle cells (hypertrophy) is largely regulated by at least three identified processes:
1) satellite cell activity
2) gene transcription
3) protein translation
Evidence indicates that IGF1 can positively influence each of these mechanisms. Research has shown that an increase of IGF1 in the bloodstreams spurs growth and regeneration by the body’s cells—particularly among skeletal muscle cells, where it is shown to positively impact muscle strength, size and efficiency. Specifically, it contributes to skeletal muscle growth (hypertrophy) by provoking the synthesis of protein while helping to block muscle atrophy.
Other cells that are positively affected by IGF1 include cartilage, liver, kidney, skin tissue, lung, nerve and bone. IGF1 deficiencies can result in stunted growth as well as a host of other related health problems. There are also indications that because it is capable of activating insulin receptors, IGF1 has the ability to complement and enhance insulin’s effects on muscle development. Because IGF1 levels are so closely tied to growth hormone levels, lower levels of growth hormone in the bloodstream correlate to similar reductions in the production of IGF1. As is the case with growth hormone, IGF1 production peaks during childhood and adolescence and declines as we get older.
We know that the ability of muscle cells to bet bigger and stronger is the result of their unique capacity to continuously adapt to the stress of resistance training with weights. Part of the cells’ capability to accomplish this remarkable feat is attributed to muscle precursor cells that reside in and around skeletal muscle cells. These precursor cells are often referred to as satellite cells. For the most part, satellite cells sit dormant until they are called into duty by hormones such as IGF1.
Once activated by IGF1 the satellite cells divide and their nuclei become genetically similar to those found in skeletal muscle cells. This is a process known as differentiation. Once the satellite cells’ nuclei become similar to those of skeletal muscle cells they become critical to muscle growth and development. This is because skeletal muscle cells must increase their number of nuclei in order to grow larger and repair themselves. The larger the muscle, the more nuclei it requires.
Whenever a muscle grows in response to the stress of resistance training with weights, you will always find a correlating increase in the number of nuclei within the skeletal muscle cells.
But this is not the only way that IGF1 facilitates muscle development, growth and repair. IGF1 also interacts with a number of different stress-activated proteins that assist in the regulation of reactions in the muscle cells that maintenance, repair and growth. When IGF1 binds with these various protein receptors it stimulates a host of biological processes that contribute to and regulate muscle cell growth and development.
There are a number of strategies you can employ to stimulate production of IGF1 in your body. First, because it stimulates a strong hormonal response, resistance training with weights will boost production of IGF1. In particular, it induces its most potent anabolic state in skeletal muscle cells during the intense physical stress generated by heavy weight lifting. This is due in part to the fact that lifting heavy weights stimulates the production of growth hormone, which in turn signals the liver to produce IGF1.
Nutrition also has a very strong effect on the body’s ability to manufacture IGF1. For example, a structured regimen that includes occasional fasting combined with periods of undereating has been shown to have a positive impact on the body’s production of IGF1. Note that carb intake has a significant influence on IGF1 production. Evidence indicates that carb consumption should be minimized to one meal per day or immediately after an exercise session. Overall it is important to maintain sufficient calorie intake and increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 not only enhances anabolic actions but it also assists in protecting against insulin resistance.
CLICK HERE to learn more about a step-by-step system for eating the right foods, at the right times, with the best training program for maximum anabolic hormone production.