Perceived Effort is the Secret to Avoiding Fat Burning Plateaus

January 10, 2008

Have you ever reached a fat burning plateau? All of us have, but there is a way to minimize how long you wind up stuck at the same weight.

One of the keys to rapid fat loss is creating a calorie deficit along with doing cardio. What if you you are doing cardio many times a week and still aren’t losing body fat? Well…this post will most likely pinpoint the problem.

picture of red haired woman on beach
[Heather is shown here doing an exercise called the “Lying Sexy Beach Pose”…she is using near perfect form!]

To Keep Making Progress, the Workout Has to Feel Tough!

You want to know one of the big reasons beginners drop a lot of weight when they begin a workout program? They are out of shape, so any bit of aerobic exercise that they do “feels” brutal.

Have you ever seen an overweight man or woman walking on a treadmill and they are drenched with sweat. It is because in a weird sense, they are working out harder than you! Their workout “feels” much more brutal than yours.

I Am Motivated By People Who Push Their Limits

I don’t look at how ripped someone is to get motivation, I look for the people who are breathing hard and drenched with sweat.

It doesn’t matter if I’m maxing out the treadmill and doing impressive looking sprint intervals…if I see another person who is obviously pushing past their pain barrier, I am motivated by that. I don’t care is that person has 90+ pounds to lose, they are going to get more out of their workout.

I love seeing this, by the way…because these are the people who will succeed.

You Will Get Stuck If You Workout Within Your Comfort Zone

Here is a really common occurrence. You drop 20 pounds when you are aiming for 30. You have a really tough time losing those last 10 pounds.

You diet harder and increase the amount of time you workout. You drop another 2 pounds and you are stuck. The problem is that those last few pounds are a bit stubborn and a calorie deficit alone will not do the trick.

To really access that last bit of fat you need to boost your natural fat burning hormone (HGH). HGH isn’t released by longer workouts, it is released by intense exercise. So adding an hour or two of cardio per week won’t necessarily help you lose that last little bit of fat.

How to Release HGH in Your Cardio Workouts

Here is why it is important that your workout “feels” tough. An effective way to tell your workout boosts HGH is to perform cardio at a level where you are short of breath and your skin gets hot to the touch.

They call this the “HGH Flush”. The reason interval training is so effective is that you can push past the pain barrier for 30-60 seconds followed by active rest for 30-60 seconds.

This really creates the conditions necessary to create the HGH flush. You can increase HGH by steady state cardio, you just have to push past the pain barrier the whole time without active breaks. This is a really tough way to go.

The Better Shape You Get In The Harder You Have to Push

Just because you can run on the treadmill for an hour on level 10 does not mean you are pushing hard. That would be really hard for most people, but someone like Lance Armstrong could do that in his sleep.

Lance would get very little benefit from a workout like this, but an intermediate athlete would get an HGH boost through the roof! As soon as your cardio workout gets comfortable, you need to do something to make it tough.

Ways to Increase Perceived Effort in Your Workout

If you are used to doing intervals with 60 seconds rest in between, cut the active rest period to 30 seconds. If you are doing intervals on a treadmill at a 2 degree incline, try that same workout at a 4 degree incline. If you are doing nothing but cardio machines, try running outside. Cover the same amount of distance is less time. You get the picture.

Fitness Tip: Do your cardio workouts on a completely empty stomach to insure the maximum boost of HGH. Also if you have no carb energy in your system, your body will be forced to burn body fat.

----> (New) Facebook Comments..."Cause all the cool kids are doin' it!"

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

DangeRuss January 10, 2008 at 2:07 am

Great Article thanks for the tips. I really need to work on pushing through my cardio sessions as it is I always wanna stop and rest, this reminds why I need to push through.


Tee January 10, 2008 at 4:48 am

This is by far the best, most useful and comprehensible websites I have visted in all my months of searching. You do a great job of explaining what to do, why to do it, and provide the science behind it.
And the pictures definetly help to provide inspiration.

Thank you and keep up the good work!!!

Jason January 10, 2008 at 8:12 am

Hi Rusty,

That’s a really interesting article and has confirmed what I suspected. That the cardio workout must ‘feel’ tough to you no matter how fit you are otherwise you are’going through the motions’ and just ticking the cardio box for that day.

Yesterday I felt totally stuffed at the end of my HIIT cardio workout and my shirt was drenched. I got a real sense of satisfaction out of this and it obviously did me more good than just cruising through. I tried to conciously push that bit harder in each intense interval, and whereas in the past I had been doing 10 seconds work, 15 seconds rest I changed it to 20 seconds work and 30 seconds rest. Even though it was the same time ratios it felt much much tougher.

I’m going to continue to strive to push myself in cardio, resistance training and diet.

Rusty, your website is awesome and I find yourself and the other forum contributors very inspiring.

I have recently adopted planks as my prefered abs exercise, and various types of HIIT (treadmill, oliptical, rowing, skipping etc) cardio thanks to your info. I’m really happy with the changes in my routine and i’m noticing visible results already.

I’ve also changed my resistance training to relatively high weight, low reps, low volume and slow concerted reps. I think this has also been a change for the better.

The other funny thing is i’m currently consuming only around 50%-60% of the daily calories that i used to (about 1800 now, previosuly around 3000 or so) and I never get as hungry as I used to and I have heaps more energy! I also feel way more rested in morning after sleepiing 6-7 hours instead of the 8 or more i used to sleep.

Anyway, I feel great and can’t wait for further hard work and improvments to my body and health.



Helder January 10, 2008 at 10:24 am

You’re right once again, people usually have the notion that they have to progress when training with weights, but often forget about progression when they do cardio. Progression is the key in any type of training you do, make things harder not easier and the results will come.

David January 10, 2008 at 10:51 am

Great advice as always Rusty.

I have actually experienced the “HGH flush”. I didn’t know it at first. I was the first time I did HIIT. My skin was really flushed and hot to the touch. When I was finished the workout I felt a bit nauseous, so I went into the backroom to see if it would pass. After about 5 minutes I felt fine. But the mirrors where all steamed up form the heat coming off my body!

That was the only time I felt nauseous doing High Intensity Interval Training. I stuck with it and my body fat is consistantly 5%.

Brad January 10, 2008 at 10:57 am

Another great post! Last spring/summer when I got into the best shape of my life, I still had about 3-5 pounds of stubborn bodyfat that I couldn’t quite get rid of on my lower abs.
It makes sense to me that said HGH isn’t released by longer workouts but more intense exercise. I will definitely be doing much more HIIT cardio then before.


admin January 10, 2008 at 11:04 am


Thanks for the compliment, I just try my best to keep it focused on people who want to get the lean and slim Hollywood look. Many other sites try to be everything to everyone, which makes it tough to find the right info at times.


Funny how you mention that you need less sleep. I have been averaging 6 hours per night and have more energy than ever. Eating a bunch of food all of the time slows you down. Once you get rid of all that excess waste by eating fewer calories, your body becomes more efficient.


Good call…it is all about progression. I even try to make progression in my diet, by eating better and figuring out exactly how my body reacts to certain foods, etc.


See you are a great example of someone who has pushed hard enough to jack your HGH levels through the roof. That is why you maintain 5% body fat. Great job!

Great comments everyone!


star777 January 10, 2008 at 11:04 am

Thanks Rusty!

admin January 10, 2008 at 11:08 am


Another benefit from HIIT is that you will sweat a lot more and release a lot more water from directly under your skin. If you want to look amazing at the beach, drink a bunch of water the day before. The night before you hit the beach, do a super tough HIIT workout. If your body fat is low at all you will look outstanding at the beach the following day.


Brad January 10, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Thanks for tip, I’ll definitely give that try the next time I go to the beach. Thanks!

Jason January 10, 2008 at 4:38 pm

I quick question Rusty. At my work gym we have a set of electronic ‘Tanita’ brand body fat scales. They have 2 male settings being a ‘normal’ and an ‘athletic’ setting. I have been doing both and taking the average in the middle and both readings have been significantly coming down but i really don’t know how to accuratley estimate my BF%.
I few month ago the ‘normal’ had my at around 18.5% and the athletic at 11.5% whereas now the ‘normal’ has me at 14.4% and the athletlic at 6.9% (i wish!).

I know i’m not 6.9% (not even close) and i know not as high as 14.4%. I’m guessing around 11%-11.5%. I mean i don’t have a visible toned six pack yet but i think i can sort of see the starting of one if that makes sense. I have definitely dropped a lot of abdominal fat since going from 198 pounds to 186 pounds. I’m 6’2″ tall and small/medium frame. I have a goal around 180 pounds initially and will reassess than.

So i guess my question is how best for my to estimate my BF%


Lorna January 10, 2008 at 6:52 pm

This is EXACTLY the advice that I needed. I have been struggling with the last ten pounds forever. I also wanted to add that varying your workout along with increasing intensity also helps. Thanks.


Ron January 10, 2008 at 8:34 pm


I heard about this fellow and caloric restriction years ago. Just wondering if you were familiar with it.

Also, do you think 20 min. of swimming is a good follow-up to HIIT? It’s not really steady state, since I tend to stop a bit (might one even consider it a form of HIIT?) to catch my breath and/or stop choking. Not the strongest swimmer yet, but I’m getting much better now that I’m figuring out how to breath correctly. I also tried jump rope today (I forgot my running shoes, so I skipped the treadmill & opted for the rope & pool), but again, I tend to stop a lot due to messing up. Would the rope be steady state, HIIT, or something else entirely?

Sounds like I’m going to have to try a little harder on my HIIT. So far I’m able to do 15 minutes (1 min to 1 min intervals), getting up to 10 mph. After that I get afraid that I’ll go flying off if I try any harder. I’m thinking I’ll try going up .2 after that. Must…get…to…20…minutes…

…what was my question again? I guess I had several worked in there 🙂


P.S. Auditions for Midnight Schlock Theater are in Milwaukee, WI this Saturday & Sunday! I actually had one of the local DJs (in IL) call me up to see if I wanted to come on their show because he’d seen one of our audition notices in the smaller local paper (in IL).

Ron January 10, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Also, let’s all hope to look this good at 60!

Hell, I’d be happy to look that way now!

admin January 10, 2008 at 11:03 pm


Stay away from that elctronic stuff. Do the skin fold caliper method instead. Believe it or not, it is a more effective way to go…you can get them online for around $20-$30 if your gym doesn’t have one.


I have heard of the calorie restriction groups. These people look REALLY unhealthy to me. Plus severe calorie restiction shuts off hormon release and causes sexual dysfunction in men. No THANKS! Plus, I like my Friday Beer and Happy Hour food WAY too much. Do a Youtube search for these people, they barely look alive. Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet (one meal per day), is completely against this way of eating. I agree with him. He looks incredible and very healthy.

I think Iggy Pop looks completely cool. He has a “wildly lean” look. It works really well for him. Good call on that one.


Good luck with your auditions! I really enjoy people in the creative arts…you guys make the world a wackier place in a good way!

Brad January 11, 2008 at 12:43 am

No doubt, I agree completely with what Jason said above. This site is encouraging, not only you Rusty but most of those who contribute to the foruma as well. Keep up the good work!

Jason January 11, 2008 at 4:31 am

Thanks Rusty,

I’ll look at picking up a set of those skin fold calipers.

Helder January 11, 2008 at 11:36 am

Rusty if you don´t mind i’ll tell Ron a trick i do about rope jumping, Ron you say that you stop a lot when you do rope jumping due to messing up, yes rope jumping can be hard to learn and i had the same problem, so i’ve started to jump but without the rope, you can do the exact same movement with your body, and you can even jump faster, you get the cardio benefits without the trouble of coordinating the rope. Rope jumping can be steady or HIIT it all depends on how you do it. Give it a try.

Remon van der Pol January 11, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Great article Rusty, and while it’s not completely new information for me, this article definitely is a great reminder!

To be honest with you, I tried HIIT, kept at it for two weeks, and then dropped it. It was brutal, but that was actually a good thing, it made me feel satisfied and proud of my accomplishment every single time! The reason why I dropped it is because it (running) gave me a really bad pain in the back. My back isn’t really that great, I get back pain quite easily.

So i’ve turned to intense steady state cycling and it works great for me because I can intergrate it with a daily routine: going to school and back. It takes about 20 minutes, so thats 2 times 20 mintes per day, four times a week (resting day on wednesday, I take the bus then).

After doing this for a couple of weeks I got uncertain about the intensity of the workout, because it felt easier to do. So, today I took my Heart Rate Monitor along for the ride. The results? An AVERAGE heartbeat of 168bpm and 293 calories burned, in less than 20 minutes! I was so amazed at seeing those numbers, because two months back I was having a hard time at doing more than 140bpm’s per minute 🙂

– Remon van der Pol

The Netherlands

Remon van der Pol January 11, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Oh, and one more thing: You are right about breaking a certain plateau. When you are going through that plateau your muscles will feel quite sore for the first couple of minutes if you sustain the intensity, but will quickly disappear after that.

That’s what I experience durinh my cycling routine. My legs will feel sore when i’m just starting, but when the routine progesses, they will feel almost, wel, like they are not there anymore! No pain at all, at least, not untill you lower the intensity again.

So cycling at a higher speed can actually feel better for me than cycling on a low speed, quite amazing!

bruno January 11, 2008 at 2:58 pm

rusty a quick question. right now 6 0 175 6 % body fat. I got 8 weeks till my spring break trip. Yeah i am pretty lean and have done this all with taking the last month off of cardio just been pretty strict with diet. I was wondering in the next 8 weeks how would do cardio to get the leanest possible. would you do 3 times for 2 weeeks and increase it one session per every two weeks until im doing 6 times for two weeks. or would you doing it 6 times for 8 weeks whats your take on this?

Peter January 11, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Hey rusty, love the site and this is def true about play to your best asset. Where the hell did you find this chick on the beach picture. Shes phenomenal and never seen her in years of reading sport illustrated, GQ, the like.

Julian January 11, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Hi Rusty
Thanks for all your studies, your info is really PROFOUND, and i’ve had put it to the test, On how to get the chestline, and how to activate my HGH levels, It is so simple, but yet so tough, also thanks for the link to TOM VENUTO WEB address, i’m glad to see that i’m not the only NATURAL body builder out there. Thanks to u once again Mr. Moore
Julian Maasdorp, South Africa.

Julian January 12, 2008 at 1:35 am

Your stuff really work Rusty, thanks again, i’m starting to see the line in the middle of my chest now.

admin January 12, 2008 at 3:09 am


Yeah…the idea with this site is to take the “shopping cart”
approach…just pick out the things that work for you…or give some of these tips a try. If something here doesn’t work, then try something else. You have the right idea to work around your injury while still getting great results. Keep it up!


That sounds like a great game plan to me! If you can work your way up to 6 times a week for 2-3 weeks ahead of time, you will get ripped. If you are at 6% body fat, then you really don’t have too much work to do. Great job!


Thanks buddy! I try to keep my sources of photos a secret 🙂 I take a lot of pride on having photos of really attractive people. This girl has unbelievable eyes and a very nice, yet attainable body.


Loving the readers from places far from where I live! I need to visit South Africa some day. I appreciate the comment.

Thanks guys,


Remon van der Pol January 12, 2008 at 9:27 am


Exactly! It’s a very important approuch indeed! This site has been very helpful so far in keeping me informed about things that actually work and keeping me motivated! Also, I forgot to say that that girl on the picture is absolutely smoking hot, lol! 😀

Helder January 12, 2008 at 11:15 am

Hi Rusty i have a question that´s a bit off topic, it’s about soy milk, i had to stop drinking milk because i’m intolerant to lactose. I’ve been reading a lot about soy, in most articles i’ve read, soy seems to be very healthy, it brings lots of benefits to health, it’s rich in protein, zero fats, but some articles say that due to its richness in phytoestrogens it can afect the male hormone production, personally i don’t believe it, i believe millions of asian men don’t have testosterone problems, it doesn’t make sense to me, do you know something about it? what´s your advice? thanks Rusty

admin January 12, 2008 at 11:25 am


The only way to know how soy will effect you is to give it a shot. I have also read about it increasing estrogen levels in men, which lead to stubborn fat that is hard to get rid of. I can’t drink it, because the stuff gives me stomach aches. Give it a shot, and if you can still get really lean, then it means that it won’t effect you in those ways.


Julian January 13, 2008 at 9:37 am

Hi rusty,

I Have a question about CLA, is it for Natural bodybuilders, or should i rather use OMEGA 3, 1000mg, i still have 19.8% bodyfat, i’m doing loads of cardio, and i gym, and i want to shed my last pounds to more or less 10% bodyfat, this is one of my main goals for 2008.
Thank for all your support.

admin January 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm


I don’t know if CLA is worth the cost until you get really lean. I think when you have a lot of weight to lose, you just need to concentrate on the bigger picture…a lot less food, a lot more activity, etc.

You will do well!


Hulbs January 13, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Hi Rusty,

I got myself a pair of skin fold calipers yesterday and found them very easy to use. Thanks again.

I came in at 11.2% bf, (my guess that i was 11-11.5% bf was a accurate flook!) which i’m happy with as far the progress i’ve made in just a few months. I suspect i was well over 16% around Oct 07 as i’ve gone from 198 to 184 in that time.

I’m keeping things simple with a low calorie intake (around 1500-1750 a day) 30 min cardio a day (mainly HIIT which i love in a painful way!) and low rep low volume resistance traing 3-4 times a week using the Back/Chest, Bi/Shoulders/Tri divide. Despite the low calories i have noticed significant strength gains already.

I also have gradually started getting rid of my old ‘uncool’ wornout and daggy clothes and slowly replcae them with more modern hip stuff. I actually love trying on new clothes now as i look so much better in them then i used to!

Oh, and lastly but not least my wife sarah loves my new body and commmented on how i have never been this ‘muscular’.


p.s previously Jason

bruno January 13, 2008 at 6:31 pm

thanks rusty

i think with 8 weeks ill be this
week 1- 3 times
week 2-4 times
week 3,4,5- 5 times
week 6,7,8- 6 times

does that sound goood

Carlo January 14, 2008 at 2:07 am

Hello there – your blog is fantastic! I typed in “small meals” + “logic” into google and I stumbled upon your site and I must say I was pretty lucky. Make no mistake I will be a regular at your blog. I was looking for your contact e-mail all over the site but to no avail, so here I am leaving you a comment instead.

I think I have reached a plateaus. I was “morbidly” obesed at 85kgs 5 years ago, being only 168cm tall. Because of the constant ridicule by everyone I started to work out – I am happy to say I lost 20 kgs over the next year. I put on a bit of weight after that, and then I have been stuck at 68kgs for the longest time. I think that is because I hate doing cardio, and I will jump off the threadmill as soon as exhaustion sets in. I am looking to shed at least 5 more kilos because my tummy fat is scary! 🙁

Any advice/comment on how to get rid of excess(ive!) tummy fat apart from doing interval cardio training (which I will be doing starting today)? Thanks mate!

admin January 14, 2008 at 2:51 am


You are following almost exactly what I do to stay lean. It will work for sure. If anything, you are outworking me a bit. I’ve only been hitting the gym 3-4 times per week the past 2 months. I want to bump that up to 5-6 times per week for the next 3-4 months. That is great you are at 11% body fat. That is a lower body fat percentage than most people who workout. I bet you have a “4 pack” with slightly less definition in you lower abs. Am I right? Well you will get a really nice 6 pack in short order if you do exactly what you described in your comments. Great Job!


That is a great progression schedule. It will work for sure. I love it that you guys are typing out your goals for everyone to see. You will make progress if you know others are going to hold you accountable.


Thanks for the compliment and welcome to my site. You really, really need to make sure that you don’t eat any calorie whatsoever for 4-6 hours before your cardio. Drink coffee, tea, water, whatever it takes…we just need to make sure there isn’t a carb in your body when you hit that treadmill. You are going to want your body to burn fat for energy every minute you are on that treadmill. You will begin to love that treadmill, once it works wonders on your body. There is a lot to read here…dig in because It is important for me to help you.

Great stuff guys!


Hulbs January 14, 2008 at 6:51 am

Thanks for your encouragement Rusty much appreciated.

Yeah i’d say a “4 pack” starting to poke through. I’d say I’m as lean as i’ve ever been or at least since high school/early universiy days. I turn 34 in May so I’m happy with that.

Not one to rest on my achievements I’m aiming to get under 10%bf and then i hope to evenn 8%.

thanks again for a great blog


admin January 14, 2008 at 10:58 am


Somewhere between 8-10%, you will see an even 6 pack. Go for it!


Ron January 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Since we seem to be posting goals/achievements, I figured I’d put in my two cents…

First, I was rather proud of myself on my last HIIT attempt. I got up to 18 minutes at a 1.5 incline and a top speed (for that last minute) was 10.4. And I didn’t fly off the treadmill! I did, however feel like my heart was going to explode. Throat was also extremely dry. Still, I was rather proud of myself. How many times a week should I do this? Rusty, did I read somewhere that you wrote that it’s unsafe to do over 2x a week?

Also, I finally got my body fat percentage measured. Holy cow…what a disappointment. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. I’m at 20.5%/29.7 LBS fat weight. So I think you were right when you said about 130. I figured that’d put me at about 10%. Man…I haven’t weighed that much since HS and I think I was an inch shorter back then! I figured I could have that by the time we go to the lake – Mid-July. Though I wouldn’t object to having it sooner!

Any tips? I mean besides exercise hungry and keep to around 1 meal a day…I’ve been following my workouts with a fruit/protein/yogurt/milk smoothie. Then maybe some fruit later and a reasonable dinner with meat and veggies later.

Man…I think I tend to ask too many questions at once. I’ll have to start breaking these up more so nothing gets missed. Eh…what can I say? I’m a writer!

admin January 15, 2008 at 2:05 pm


You can do that interval workout more than twice a week if you want…but a better approach may be to do 2-3 days of HIIT alternated with 2-3 days of “Steady State” cardio. I have wrote in the pas that there were studies against doing it more than twice a week…but I think for certain periods of time it is alright.

Here’s that post I was referring to:

Balancing Steady State Cardio With HIIT

As far as your game plan goes it looks spot on! I think now it is just a matter of time for you to get the look you are aiming for. It is a “done deal” now if you just put in the work. You will look great for your trip to the lake this summer.

Have a great one!


Julian January 16, 2008 at 5:14 am

Hi Rusty

U seem to get a lot of compliments about your HIIT teaching, and i can’t seem to find it anywhere, unless it is the same as HGH, can u just give me some sort of explaination on HIIT please? I really find your teachings very, very useful.
Thanks again.

Julian January 16, 2008 at 9:43 am


I got hold of u on a google search by accident, and i like what i see and hear, how do i get to your Home page?

admin January 16, 2008 at 1:04 pm


At the top you can hit “Home” or “About” they are two separate pages (one has a scary picture of me in a James Bond swimsuit). Totally corny, but I think it makes my site memorable.

Here is a great post on HIIT that I wrote:



Note: The Search Box up in the right hand corner is pretty useful. Type in anything you want to know about and all the posts that I’ve written about it will come up.

DangeRuss January 16, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Good post. A couple months ago I came across this website: after looking at it for a while i decided to try it out. So i made through the first week and it was pretty good. Every workout gave me an HGH Flush. So i stopped during the second week because of school i think can’t remember. But I was wondering what you think of this site, I’m thinking about starting it again and finishing the 16 weeks this time.


admin January 16, 2008 at 9:25 pm


This guy certainly has a nice looking site. I commend anyone for giving out free information on the Internet. I haven’t looked at his workout, but will when I get some time. If it involves boosting HGH levels then it certainly is a step in the right direction. The guy also has a decent six pack, so he “walks the walk”…which is very important in my opinion. My guess is that he has a really good thing going with his site.


Julian January 17, 2008 at 11:39 am

Hi Rusty

Tell me what u think of this Hi/Lo intensity cardio exercise.
3min warmup on fast walking pase,
30sec,Run Very hi
1min, run low
1min, run hi
1min, run low
45sec, Run Very hi
1min, run low
1min, run hi
1min, run low
90sec, Run Very hi
1min run low
1min run hi
1min run low
45sec Run Very hi
1min run low
1min run hi
1min run low
30sec Run Very hi
1min run low
1min run hi
1min run low
3min cooldown on fast walking pase.

admin January 17, 2008 at 12:01 pm


I love it! That workout is going to kick your butt (and burn fat like nobody’s business). Great job at taking these principles and customizing them. This is exactly what I want you guys to do! I don’t list too many workouts with specific sets and reps, because I want you guys to understand the principles and do exactly as you did here.

Awesome Job Julian!


Amed September 20, 2008 at 6:36 pm

hi rusty , i’m really glad that i’ve come across this blog … it’s really enlightening , i’m a 17 year old guy who’s looking to add muscle mass now and i was so confused about my goals , and kept asking what do i want to look like ? big with bulging muscles or just moderate muscles with cuts … i was so confused but i had to pick a goal to go for , something to keep me pushing and striving. finally , i stumbled upon this awesome blog of yours. now i realized that being heavy with too much muscle is not really that good for many things. like walking heavily , not having the ability , stamina or endurance to run … etc

btw , i was just wondering … you think HIIT is fine on EMPTY STOMACH without losing much muscle ? … i’m not like those bodybuilders who are way to anxious over losing 0.1 pound of muscle. but assuming that i have a moderately muscular body , i want to hold onto as much muscle mass as possible.

i’ve seen those transformations of Body-For-Life program where all of the BFL followers are doing HIIT on empty stomach and even waiting an hour after the workout and still losing fat. and none of them looked anorexic after the completing the challenge!!

thanks in advance …

CBreezy April 19, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Hey Rusty….I’ve been addicted to your blog these last few days. I really love how you take the time to respond to people who post on your site. Maybe you can let me know what you think about my goals and my plan of attack so to speak. Ok…I think a little background info is in order. So me: I’ve always been the athletic pudgy guy, who really can out-do probably 75% of the population while not even trying. I am getting ready to turn 30 and have never seen a six pack on my body. It’s been a goal of mine off and on my entire life though. I’ve been REALLY close more than once (after basic training, 3 yrs later after almost completing a BFL challenge, few yrs after that doing crossfit) blah blah blah…fact of the matter…I’ve shot myself in the foot each and every time success has been just around the corner. I REALLY want to change that this time around, my life has turned upside-down and I feel that I need to accomplish this goal first and foremost. If your familiar with the movie Apocolyto, the main character, Jaguar Paw…is called “almost” by his captors. I relate to this SOOOO very deep in my soul. I no longer want to be “almost” I want to be successful, and believe me when I say that now is the time. I’ve never been so focused. OK…I’m kinda rambling here, but I just wanted to convey how bad I bad I “need” this, this time around. So, I started tracking my BF, BMI, weight, food intake…as well as made a virtual goal board of where I want to be and a timeframe for when I intend on being there. Can you let me know if I’m on the right track and also maybe some suggestions/words of wisdom/encouragement? I recently moved to central FL in early Feb. My sister had Wii Fit, and I got on and whoa….205lbs. Not cool, but this was just the start of waking up so to speak, that’s when I got serious, and scoured the internet to gather info and stumbled upon your site. So as of 1APR2009 @5’8″ I weighed in at 195lbs 30.64%BF (calc method) a 31BMI. I have been basically eating the warrior diet and feel great as of yesterday (actually record every wed) I am down to 193 (-2lbs) 22.4%BF (-8.24%) By my calculations I have gained 14.44 lbs of lean muscle mass. Not my goal…I am shooting for the Craig Horner in “Legend of the Seeker” Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden, and Mickey O’Neil, Cam Giganet in Never Back Down…I’m sure you get my drift. I’m lifting whole body and sort of crossfit-esque…I gotta Tabata. I don’t really want anymore muscle…but I’m sort of thinking my body will hit that natural ceiling stop with the muscle and my fat should continue to just burn away. My goal is to be at my estimated goal weight of 159 by the beginning of Sept…but to get truely razor cut I realize that I will need to maintain about 6% for a few months after that. My question I guess is this, does my plan seem reasonable enough and is there any advice you may have for me. Sorry about this being such a long post, but I’d really love to hear what you have to say. I’m sure I’ve probably brushed over some details, but I can let you know more about what I’ve put together in search of my goal. Thanks in advance for any help.

Sherah January 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I love your site SO much. It has made such an incredible difference in my frame of mind regarding exercise and eating clean. This article makes alot of sense to me.

I’ve been hitting HIIT cardio HARD the past couple of days, especially after reading this. I pushed myself to sprint faster today, and to keep up the speed even on the hills. Hills are so awesome, I love the way I can very clearly feel my muscles working especially in my glutes.

When I got home I was pretty fatigued, but I pushed for more. I am doing the 4-week Turbulence Training Body Sculpting Workout for Women by Craig Ballentine. Gosh those Mountain Climbers are hard – they work my shoulders AND my abs which feels so great!

I’m working hard on getting rid of my body fat – I am currently at 26% body fat, 131 lbs. I can’t wait for summer! Thanks for all you do. =)

Sherah January 20, 2010 at 1:02 am

I love your site SO much. It has made such an incredible difference in my frame of mind regarding exercise and eating clean. This article makes alot of sense to me.

I’ve been hitting HIIT cardio HARD the past couple of days, especially after reading this. I pushed myself to sprint faster today, and to keep up the speed even on the hills. Hills are so awesome, I love the way I can very clearly feel my muscles working especially in my glutes.

When I got home I was pretty fatigued, but I pushed for more. I am doing the 4-week Turbulence Training Body Sculpting Workout for Women by Craig Ballentine. Gosh those Mountain Climbers are hard – they work my shoulders AND my abs which feels so great!

I’m working hard on getting rid of my body fat using many of your recommended techniques. I started at – I am currently at 26% body fat, 138 lbs 4 weeks ago and am now at 25% and 131 lbs. I can’t wait for summer! Thanks for all you do. =)

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