In a new video on the Athlean-X channel, strength coach Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. offers advice for anyone who is looking to get lean as a part of their New Year's resolution. As simplicity tends to lead to a better chance of consistency, he keeps it as straightforward as possible, focusing on "calories in vs. calories out." In other words, the calories you are eating, vs. the calories you are burning through physical activity.
While running and other forms of cardio are popular calorie burners. Cavaliere recommends a 3:2 workout ratio, with around 60 per cent of your routine focusing on strength training, and around 40 per cent on cardio and conditioning. "The overall effect you get from a conditioning aspect in terms of creating that deficit isn't really that much," he says. "If getting lean is your main goal, conditioning cannot be your main weapon of attack for getting there."
The reason Cavaliere suggests programming your training around strength workouts isn't necessarily because of the caloric burn they create while performing them, but rather the benefits in terms of building new muscle tissue, and the subsequent metabolic increase which will improve the body's ability to burn calories at rest. "You're really going to want to focus on those multi-muscle, multi-function splits, like total body, or push-pull-legs," he adds.
However, the most important part of getting lean isn't about what you're doing to burn calories in the gym—it's the calories you're eating. (continued below)
"It's not possible to out-train a bad diet," says Cavaliere. "No matter how many calories you burn, no matter what it is you do, you're going to quickly see that the nutrition side, the calories in, is going to matter the most." He advises looking at the level of satiety you get from what you eat, drawing a comparison between Doritos and eggs. You don't eat a single Dorito, you eat an entire bag. Meanwhile, you might only eat one egg, and struggle to eat more than a few, because they make you feel fuller quicker.
Of course, with all that strength training, you'll need to support your workouts with sufficient protein intake. Cavaliere uses the formula of between 0.7 and 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to determine how much protein you should be eating each day.
One common pitfall that many people stumble into, he adds, is getting too restrictive on their carb intake, or even cutting out carbs from their diet entirely—but this is a recipe for failure. "What happens is you take such a departure from the lifestyle path you're on that you can't continue to keep that consistent path going, and wind up coming back to where you started."
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