The Stubborn Fat Solution, Lyle McDonald’s Latest Fat Burning Book

April 6, 2008

Lyle McDonald is the go-to guy when it comes to reaching low body fat levels. If you have been reading posts on my site for any length of time, you know I have referred to a book called “The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook“. I give this book my highest recommendation. Anyway, Lyle just released his newest book that he has spent the past 10 years working on: The Stubborn Fat Solution. I have just placed my order for this book and I expect it to be outstanding! Although I haven’t received the book yet, I trust that Lyle will over-deliver as always.

blue bikini with white sand all over it

[Oh no! Jennifer just got sand all over her swimsuit and beautiful bod! Who is going to help her wipe it off? Anyone?]

“The Stubborn Fat Solution”. Who is This For?

The Stubborn Fat Solution is aimed at men who are already at 10-12% body fat and women who are at 15-17% body fat and want to go even lower. It isn’t designed for people who need to lose a lot of weight. This book is aimed at people who are already pretty darn lean and who want to get extremely lean and defined. This would be the ideal diet for someone who had an upcoming photo shoot, or a lead actor or actress in an upcoming movie role, etc. Make no mistake about it…this is for those of us who want to look absolutely outstanding!

Not Just a Simple Diet or Exercise Book!

Lyle’s books will educate you more on the subject he is writing about than any other fitness books on the market. If it was just an outline of a diet and exercise plan, the book could be 30-40 pages long. In Lyle’s words…”My books always educate and, at 101 pages, The Stubborn Fat Solution will give you more information about fat cells and fat metabolism than you thought there was to know.”

More Background About the Book

I didn’t realize that Lyle was famous for a cardio routine called the Stubborn Fat Protocol (SFP). I guess he came up with this cardio program 3 years ago. The funny thing is that I have been doing a similar version of this cardio routine for about 8 years! My cardio routine isn’t exactly the same, but it uses similar principles. Here is SFP in a nutshell…

  • Take 200mg caffeine 1-2 hours before cardio

  • Do 10 minutes of intense cardio (can be HIIT, but doesn’t have to be)

  • Rest 5 Minutes

  • Do 30-45 minutes of Steady State Cardio at moderate to moderately high intensity

  • Wait an hour before having a small protein meal

  • 2-3 hours later go back to normal eating
  • Why This Works (in Lyle’s words): “To get stubborn fat mobilized, you have to overcome a fairly severe resistance in terms of both blood flow and lipolysis, this requires very high concentrations of catecholamines (adrenaline/noradrenaline). Sadly, jacking up levels of catecholamines (necessary for mobilization) limits burning in the muscle which is why you follow the high intensity with low intensity. Basically, you jack up levels to get the fat mobilized, and then let them fall so that the fatty acid can be burned in the muscle.”

    The Stubborn Fat Protocol…Taken to the Next Level

    It still boggles my mind that SFP is basically the way I recommend that you guys do cardio. Today was the first time I read about Lyle’s version! The main differences are that I recommend a longer period of HIIT and a slightly shorter period of steady state training. The principles are the same, but just slightly different periods of time doing each type of cardio. Part of The Stubborn Fat Solution, is Lyle taking SFP to a different level. In his words…”When it was all said and done, I had developed the Stubborn Fat Protocol (2.0), the single most effective approach to stripping stubborn body fat in existence. Outside of my test cases (and the coaches who used it with their athletes to further help me optimize it), nobody knows about it…Until now.”

    Is This Book Right for You?

    This book is simply a “must have” for me. No doubt about it! At $39.99 it isn’t as cheap as many other diet and fitness books on the market, but Lyle always delivers more value than what he charges. If you have a lot of weight to lose, I wouldn’t recommend the book. If money is tight I wouldn’t recommend the book. If you want 10+ years of exhaustive research on the subject of getting rid of stubborn body fat, by a top scientific mind in the field of fitness and nutrition…you can’t go wrong.

    Note: I don’t want anyone to ever feel like any product is a “must have” product. You can get extremely lean following the free advice on this site. I just like to give out recommendations to “info junkies”, like myself, who want deep knowledge on the subject of fat loss.

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

    { 63 comments… read them below or add one } April 6, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    What would be the best workout routine to get hard, dense, & lean muscle? Also, I have a really fast metabolism.. I’m pretty sure if I don’t eat like a pig, I get super thin and burn muscle, when I actually need to eat like I’m bulking to achieve the density and leanness of a fitness model.. I’m naturally a bit like Ed Norton.. Thin and lanky.. I know you’re not a fan of bulky, but I”m thinking about Ed Norton in American History X vs. (any other movie he’s been in).. He looked great in History X, but had to gain about 30 lbs to achieve that look..Just like this case, some people actually look better thicker than thin.. What’s your thoughts on how to achieve his results in that movie with those genetics? Thanks buddy.. Looking forward to hearing back from you..

    Sandy April 6, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Awesome info. as always, Rusty! When I get to the point that my body fat is down more, I will order this book. So, if you have more body fat to lose do you still recommend HIIT for a longer time period followed by steady state cardio???

    I am still working out carb depleted. I also dont eat 4 hrs before my workouts. I wait about 45 mins to 1 hour after a workout to eat. I feel somewhat weak after waiting so long without eating. Is it okay to have a small protein shake before working out? (maybe one of those 100 calorie ones? Or is there something else i can have before a workout?) I want to burn as much body fat as possible. I want to look like that girl in the pic above!


    Burak April 6, 2008 at 8:12 pm


    It’s good to hear that the SFP is such an established concept. I’ve been telling friends and family about this and all I hear in response is “that sounds unhealthy! What you should do is…” followed by alternate advice. I know you made this site to spread the wealth, so-to-speak, but don’t you ever feel like giving up on the people who resist your advice? How do you deal with that?

    I did well for myself. People ask me how I did it, so I link them to your site and then summarize my personal interpretation of your great info, but I typically just get major resistance in return.


    karie April 6, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    i can’t wait to get this book. i’m going to order it right now. I have read Lyles rapid fat loss book and it was amazing. thanks for the heads up on the new book!

    Jon April 6, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    This sounds really great – another terrific article, Rusty!

    Brad April 6, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    That is a lot like what you have already recommended. I’ve been using your’e approach for 6 weeks already and with great results!

    I haven’t been taking the caffeine before my cardio but I will give it a try after my little break here from intense cardio and dieting. Also, I will try the small protein meal after the cardio. I’m assuming there is no carbs and fat in this meal?

    I have a question regarding the protein meal. I do my cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomache and then I’ve been eating my oatmeal, egg whites and an apple about 45-60 minutes later. Should I just eat the egg whites instead if I follow Lyle’s method?

    Thanks, great post!

    AFDerrick April 7, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Question on your HITT. I haven’t been doing any steady state cardio afterwards at all, mainly because in the morning I don’t have time so I typically come back in the afternoon and will do about 45 minutes of medium intensity cardio (maybe a 4 – 5 mile run). Is that ok? The HITT I’ve been doing is walking 5 minutes to warm up, alternating sprints and walking for 1 minute for 15 – 25 minutes, then doing a 5 minute walk cool down then hitting the shower and trying to make it to the office on time. Is that ok but not recommended or should I shorten the actual sprinting to 10 minutes and then just jog for 20? I like the long time of HITT, it kicks my butt.

    admin April 7, 2008 at 1:37 pm


    I would recommend 6-8 weeks in the 6-12 rep range for muscle size…and 6-8 weeks in the 3-5 rep range for muscle density. I know this would work very well for you. When you are doing the lower reps, do a bit more cardio…when you are doing higher reps, do less cardio.This will work well.


    If you are completely starved and weak before working out, a small quick digesting protein shake of 100 calories will be fine. Also…keep doing the HIIT and steady state cardio. It works well.


    Yeah…I knew without a shadow-of-a-doubt that this method works…and works better than any other method of tried. I have never seen or heard of anyone doing this type of cardio, so I thought I was the lone-wolf in this case. I figured I was the only person who was endorsing this type of cardio routine. I have taken a lot of flak over the years, but I didn’t listen to these people. I knew it was a fool-proof way to get to a super low body fat level. It is nice that I have now found out that Lyle McDonald endorses this method as well. I read a decent amount of scientific journals each month, but Lyle tears this stuff apart. Believe me…Lyle knows more about exercise physiology than any of your friends and family. Don’t worry about what they think…you will continue to get outstanding results following this type of cardio routine.


    I can’t wait to get my copy. His material is outstanding!


    Continue to do exactly what you have been doing until you get stuck. You should continue to drop body fat doing what you have been doing. Maybe switch it up a few weeks before summer or do something along those lines.


    Continue to do the longer HIIT. If at some point you reach a sticking point, switch it up. What you are doing now will work very well.

    Great questions guys,


    Helder April 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Lyle is ver well known name, i believe his book has to be really good, nice tip Rusty

    Ricky April 7, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Cheers mate. Rusty, after one loses all the fat they want, how do you maintain it? Just about everyone I know who has lost a significant amount of weight. In about 2 months I will reach a bodyfat level of 5% (I am 14% right now). I don’t mind a little initial gain to 8% but this is something I want to maintain for many years to come. What do you think is it that these people do, eat normally at calorie maintenance level or return to bad habits? I just don’t want a lifetime of yo-yo dieting.

    Sandy April 7, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks, as always, Rusty!

    Joe April 7, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    hey Rusty, I must admit your site is most likely the coolest site about fitness,fat loss, etc ive come across to date. it just seems like a real friendly and humble community here and you seem like you really wanna help people. i have a few questions for you if you dont mind. a lot of people will tell ya that if you skip meals, it will slow down your metabolism. is there any proof of this? i particularly dont like eating small meals every few hours like everyone says to do. i dont know if you remember serge nubret, bodybuilder from the 70s. he also ate one big meal a day at night and he was ripped to shreds. even had a more ripped look than arnold. i know this may not be the section, but instead of heavy weight low reps, is it ok to do ,lighter weight slower reps concentric and eccentric to maintain muscle while on a fat loss diet? as you most likely know, doing reps slower makes the weight feel a lot heavier than it really is. your muscles are under a lot more tension and momentum doesnt really do any of the work for you. my last question is you mentioned before doing hiit on an empty stomach. everyone that i have asked about this says to treat hiit like weight lifting, have something to eat before or you will be burning muscle doing hiit on empty. what do you think about this and do you think youll be burning a lot of muscle doing hiit or weight lifting on an empty stomach? what do you personally do and recommend? it makes sense to me in order to burn fat you need to have an empty stomach, but since hiit is a very intense thing, im kinda worried that i may be doing more harm than good meaning i dont wanna lose any muscle. thanks a bunch rusty and take it easy bro.

    Hassan April 7, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    would this work for people just doing normal cardio? or is it just for stubborn fat?…and umm was wondering, should i do this cardio, because i play football everyday for about 2 hours, and i do lots of running, would extra cardio be too much or should i just carry on with my football everyday?, some days i will play for 5 hours.

    TJ April 7, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    I’m a female without about 22 percent body fat, and I dance to stay fit, so I’m not a beginner to running and cardio, but i’m not in great shape or anything. Should I start working out with a different routine than stated, or can I jump into this? I want to get my body fat down to like 17 percent.

    admin April 8, 2008 at 2:00 am


    I only recommend books by people who I consider “trail blazers” in the field of fitness. Typically people either love these guys are totally disagree with them. Their stuff is on the edge, it isn’t stuff you would find in your typical Muscle Mag…that is certain.


    People who gain that weight back, typically view getting to a low body fat level as a destination rather than an ongoing thing. The great thing about maintaining is that you can eat a bit looser as far as diet goes and you don’t have to work quite so hard at cardio, but you still have to do this stuff! I’ve been hovering between 6-8% for years…my secret is that I have learned to enjoy challenging myself on cardio and HIIT. I get in a tough cardio about 2-4 times per week and have for years. I do it in a a fasted state. That along with eating healthy 5 out of 7 days per week, seems to do the trick for maintaining a low body fat percentage. You have to be a bit more strict to get down to this point. I should do a full post on this.


    Thanks for the compliments…I do my best to keep this place down-to-earth with a bit of humor (and the best picture selection out of any other fitness site). I will point you to a few posts that will answer a lot of your questions.

    Question 1: “a lot of people will tell ya that if you skip meals, it will slow down your metabolism. is there any proof of this?”

    Answer: Skipping Meals Will NOT Slow Your Metabolism and Cause Weight Gain!

    Question 2: “i know this may not be the section, but instead of heavy weight low reps, is it ok to do ,lighter weight slower reps concentric and eccentric to maintain muscle while on a fat loss diet? as you most likely know, doing reps slower makes the weight feel a lot heavier than it really is. your muscles are under a lot more tension and momentum doesnt really do any of the work for you.

    Answer: Lift Light Weights for Low Reps to Gain Strength and Muscle Definition

    Question 3: my last question is you mentioned before doing hiit on an empty stomach. everyone that i have asked about this says to treat hiit like weight lifting, have something to eat before or you will be burning muscle doing hiit on empty. what do you think about this and do you think youll be burning a lot of muscle doing hiit or weight lifting on an empty stomach? what do you personally do and recommend?

    Answer: Your body experiences a major increase in HGH if you do intense training on an empty stomach. This includes weight lifting and HIIT especially. HGH is the body’s most potent fat burner and it helps you maintain lean muscle mass on an extremely strict diet. When you have calories in your system, you will experience less of a surge in HGH. Any slight negative effects that happen are more than made up for by the increase in HGH. HGH also helps with nutrient partitioning as does easting a meal after a period of fasting…the protein gets absorbed better than if you ingested calories before or during your workout. Bottom line…you come out ahead when you exercise on an empty stomach.


    If you play football to the extent you described, you have to back way off on this type of cardio. You will probably get great results with just a bit of cardio and a clean diet. That is A LOT of football!


    This will work well. Just do tough cardio for 10 minutes followed by easier cardio for 30 minutes. As you get in better shape you can increase the intensity of the tough part. Lyle says you should be breathing and sweating like crazy after 10 minutes, but work your way into this type of intensity.

    Hope that helps!


    Baz April 8, 2008 at 5:58 am


    Just as you mentioned to Justin with the rep ranges to develope muscle density, at the moment i do 3-4 weeks of excercises with 3 sets of 15 reps, then i do 3-4 weeks of 4 sets of 10 reps, and again 3-4 weeks of 5 sets of 5 reps etc. I know some of this is a little higher than you recommend but i don’t perform too many excercises. My workouts dont go for longer than an hour each. I’ve been doing it for 3 and have put on about 2-3 kg, i’m not sure if all this is from my muscle or from the food i eat. I’m just curious with your cardio recommendation ( little cardio while doing higher reps and more cardio for lower reps) why is this? At the moment im do 2-3 days of cardio on my non weight resistance days.

    Thanks heaps

    karie April 8, 2008 at 7:42 am

    i just have to say thank you! this is the only website that actually promotes cardio. i’ve been on all these other women fitness websites and they will jump down your throat if you so much as mention doing cardio. anyway, this is what i have been doing:
    monday: 40 min run, pushup, tricep dips, squat, 1 ab exercise
    tuesday: 40 min elliptical, lat pull down, hammer curl, dead lift, 1 ab exercise
    wednesday: 40 min run, hip adduction exercise, hip abduction exercise, shoulder lateral raise, 1 ab exercise
    thursday: 40 min elliptical, chest fly, tricep extension, lunge, 1 ab exercise
    friday: 40 min run, bent over row, bicep curl, lateral lunge, 1 ab exercise
    I do 3 sets of 12 lifting as heavy as i can for those 3 sets. my ab exercises change each day and i do 50 reps of whichever exercise i choose. each week i will choose different exercises. i used to do a typical 3 day split with minimal cardio and it just got me bulky. i’ve been doing this for 2 weeks and i’ve already seen a decrease in bulk and i’ve lost 3lbs. i haven’t incorporated HITT or intervals yet just because i would rather do intense steady state cardio but i will give lyle’s method a try once i get the book. sorry this is so long but i just wanted to say thanks again for going against what is the mainstream out there and supplying support for those women who don’t want to be muscle bound.

    Mike April 8, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Hey Rusty, another informative and interesting post. I like how you make them straight and to the point and at the same time give the info-junkies the technical side too. So would this SFP routine work better in the morings and then a weight lifting routine in the evening/afternoon, or better in the evening/afternoon with a weight routine in the morning? When combing this with the Warrior Diet my guess is do this in the AM and lift in the PM to get all the nutrients you need after lifting, is this right? Thanks

    Mike April 8, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Also would you still follow the alternating of higher carb days with lower carb days?

    Jaan April 8, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Hi Rusty!

    Not really related to anything but weight loss and your site, but once again I have to say thank you for everything.
    Went on a 3-week holiday at 164lbs and came back at 182lbs.
    I’ve been a reader for a while now and I know you tell people to take it easy sometimes. So I did. But thanks to this knowledge I’m down to 169lbs after 7 days. (Additional info: age 19, height 6ft.)
    I am really keen on achieving the “lean” look and I must say that everyone who has a similar goal do what Rusty writes about and do it now!

    Thanks once more, keep up the good work!


    Jaan April 8, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Oops, overdid a conversion with 10 pounds on the “after” weight. 🙂

    Hassan April 8, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    lol…naah i cant play football for that long anymore, i have a job now, so its limited to about 4 times per week for about 1-2 hours now, is that relevant enough now lol, because that is one sport i love and never get bord of

    admin April 9, 2008 at 12:21 am


    Justin is a guy who is naturally lean, so I don’t think he needs as much cardio as the rest of us. higher reps have a slight calorie burning effect…the low reps not so much. I just recommend that he adds a bit of cardio on the low rep days for that reason. I would recommend that most people do cardio after both types of workouts. He is just a special case…pretty good genetics!


    If the women on the other forums are bashing cardio, they are messing up big time! Every girl who I know over the age of 27 that has a hot body, runs on a regular basis. I like circuit training and interval training as well as Turbulence training, but it needs to be supplemented with a healthy dose of cardio in my opinion. I know most women would love to have a body like a woman on the cover of Shape magazine. A lot of cardio is needed to achieve this look. Let the other women in the fitness forums get legs too bulky to fit into their favorite jeans…or better yet, send them to this site 🙂


    I don’t think their is too much need to workout twice per day. Well, maybe just for a 4-6 week period of time before a vacation or summer…If you were to do it, I would recommend a SFP type workout in the morning and lifting at night. I don’t like to lift heavy in the morning because I feel there is a chance of injury since your muscles and joints aren’t warmed up. As far as eating goes, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Eat the majority of your carbs after lifting…stick with low total carbs each day when you are trying to drop weight quickly…once every 5-6 weeks do a moderate carb week to insure that your metabolism doesn’t slow down…then go back to low carb for another 5-6 weeks. Do this until you reach your target body fat percentage. It works well.


    Thanks a bunch for the endorsement. I think a ton of guys would rather look “GQ” than look like a Mr. Olympia wannabe. That look is quickly dying, and I’m trying to help guys and girls slim down to a healthy body weight. Having excessive muscle taxes the system to a certain extent and slows you down…plus you just can’t look stylin’ when you are too big. Big guys and girls look kind of “out of their element” in nice clothes. It doesn’t look right.


    I’m a slow guy from the U.S…I just realized you were talking about “real football” (what we in the U.S. call soccer). Football is an outstanding form of cardio. It is basically a random way of doing HIIT…walking followed by sprinting the whole time. I have never seen a chubby professional soccer player. It is an excellent way to burn body fat.

    Thanks for the comments guys!


    Hassan April 9, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    lol…yeeah i meant soccer not football, should have said so, my bad lol…yeah like i was saying, i lay alot of soccer, im not really chubby lol…but its just use my power to play and i have speed, its really wierd, but i love the sport, and want to get my body more fitter and get my match fitness better, so that i can perform better in games.

    karie April 9, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Rusty, i wanted to know what your opnion is on working just one muscle group per day? if hitting hard and only once a week, would this way avoid bulking the muscle? it would be like this
    monday: 40 min intense cardio, chest and abs
    tuesday: 40 min intense cardio, back
    wednesday: 40 min intense cardio, legs and abs
    thursday: 40 min intense cardio, biceps and shoulders
    friday: 40 min intense cardio, triceps and abs
    if i chose 3 exercises for each muslce group and supersetted them so its like doing a circuit, would this bulk me? i’m just trying to find that fine balance between weights and cardio.

    benjie April 9, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    hey rusty just wondering how long it took you to get your book? i ordered my copy off Lyle’s site a few days ago and was just wondering how long i should expect to wait until i get it. want to have it by the weekend so i can read it all then. thanks rusty and keep up all the good work man!

    Matt April 9, 2008 at 6:15 pm


    How many days a week can someone do SFP? Or is is something to use sparingly for when you hit a plateau? Thanks Rusty!

    Ron April 10, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Tried out the 200 mg of caffeine today. Holy crap. I was a jittery mess when I stopped at the back (before going to the gym, of course). My hands felt kinda shaky. Does he say that it should be a different amount if you’re a smaller fellow? Let’s say, oh, about 5’5″?

    Shoot…I had another question, but I’ve forgotten it.

    Ron April 10, 2008 at 12:56 am

    …the bank…I stopped at the BANK…

    shailja April 10, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Hi Rusty,

    I fell off the wagon! I got the flu and haven’t worked out in 10 days.My diet was ok but I’m sure I ate more than I needed to.

    I’m aiming towards 15 pounds of fat loss.Now I’m afraid I will have lost my endurance.

    Can you tell what kind of program I can follow.I’m feeling lost.

    Also, If i switch up cardio exercise with an exercise video like Trubo jam will I get any benefit.

    Thanks so much for all the information you provide.

    Done April 10, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Rusty,

    Brilliant Post and ive already bought the book… im in the UK though so im not gonna be happy if Customs decides to keep it for a while (ive had problems before buying things from the US) … i want to get started ASAP hehe 🙂

    Just one question though…. since you have such good advise and i must say, i practically live by your site…. have you got any advise for unwanted C..? (cellulite)
    Cos it does seem to get worse the more weight you lose… or maybe its just me…

    Im a size 10UK and im actually quite happy with that but when im wearing long trousers… not wearing a bikini though… then i just want to hide everything!!! Hate it! 🙁

    Your help – as always – will be much appreciated!!!

    Have a good day

    Doné 🙂

    Herb April 10, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Hey Rusty,

    Usually when I get hungry in-between meals, I make myself a bowl of cereal. I was wondering if you would recommend cereal to snack on or if there are any other alternative healthy snacks out there that I should try out?

    TJ April 10, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Since this routine is for already very fit people, I think i’m gonna wait a few weeks to do it, but is it still recommended to take caffeine for a less intense routine and HIIT?


    admin April 11, 2008 at 12:33 am


    Soccer along with a good diet and workout plan is going to help you get in amazing shape. Keep it up.


    The one muscle per day group is actually a strategy that a lot of bodybuilders use. The reason they do it is that they blitz the muscles and need more time to recover and repair. They obviously hope the muscles come back a bit bigger.

    As someone who is trying to tone, you really don’t need to rest so much in between muscle groups. Since you are still keeping the volume low, you won’t build muscle mass by working out as you described. For someone who is training for strength, resting too long in between working muscle groups would be counterproductive, but it looks like you are more after the fat burning effects of circuit training. Give this routine a try. The one thing that I do like about it, is that it is less time intensive. Tell me how it works for you.


    I haven’t received it yet, but I live downtown and for some reason it takes me forever to get packages now. I’m worried it will arrive when I’m away on a business trip…then they may send it back. I’m itching to get my hands on it as well!


    I can’t see any reason why someone wouldn’t be able to do this 3-4 times per week, but sometimes it is a good idea to keep a tool like this for when someone reaches a sticking point. My short answer, if what you are doing is working don’t change it until you get stuck…and then do SFP.


    Give it another try on a different day. Every once in a blue moon, I get the same feeling…I’m not sure why. Most of the time it feels fine.


    Here is a simple strategy for people who haven’t jogged for a while and are out-of-shape. Hop on the treadmill and walk for about 5 minutes…then jog as long as you can…walk for 5 minutes…jog as long as you can. Do this for 30 minutes. As you get in better shape you will be able to jog longer with less rest periods. At some point you will be able to jog the entire 30 minutes…then you will work on speeding up the pace you jog over time.


    Cellulite does look bad when you first begin to lose weight…it is the same as other subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin). You will look worse before you look better. At some point you will look better again…just keep burning that body fat. Here is a post that doesn’t address cellulite, but talks about the same principles:
    Why You May Look a Bit Fatter When First Losing Body Fat


    I hate to break the bad news, but cereal is brutal as a snack. Almost all cereal causes a massive blood sugar spike (even the healthy stuff). This causes the body’s insulin levels to get out of whack. The body cannot burn body fat when your insulin and blood sugars levels are out of whack. If you do choose to eat cereal, the perfect time is after working out. The best snack in my opinion by far is fruit. Read this post…it shows you just how good fruit is for the human body: Incredible Fruit Facts: Why Fruit Should Be A MUCH Larger Part of Your Diet!

    Hope that helps!


    admin April 11, 2008 at 2:25 am


    You certainly don’t need to take 200mg of caffeine before ever cardio session. I drink green tea quite a bit and do the 200mg caffeine pill a few times per week.


    Zumi April 11, 2008 at 11:57 am

    HI Rusty,
    I have a question for you. I am EXTREMELY busy. I honestly only have time for the Ballet class I have twice a week. In order to work in any more cardio I will definitely need to give up sleep. I’m pretty slim but I NEED to slim down my thighs. I was a basketball player all though high school and did boxing training through college. I stopped working out, lost muscle, gained weight, found your site and then lost a bunch of weight. Now that I finally have a female body… (basketball training turned me in to a boy!)… my THIGHS! And I have about the same amount of fat on my thighs as I do on my stomach… which isn’t much. How do I slim down the muscle? The ballet has helped a lot! But what else should I do? Any recommendations?

    admin April 11, 2008 at 8:05 pm


    All the girls I know with great legs that aren’t too bulky do a decent amount of running. Hit that treadmil…both intervals, but make sure and include a lot of Steady State cardio as well. It will give you the look you are shooting for!


    Sandy April 11, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Your tips are working! I have been working out in a carb depleted state (strength training 2 days followed by HIIT for 30 mins and steady state cardio for 15 mins). Im also doing another 2 days of HIIT along with steady state cardio. I’ve lost 2.8 pounds this week!!!!! I am noticing that my body fat is going down. I need to get it measured. Guys, Rusty’s tips work!!! (:

    Sandy April 12, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Im down a size!!!! (:

    admin April 13, 2008 at 2:34 am


    I’m pumped my tips are working for you. The people who make the best progress are the ones who use and tweak these principles to fit their personal circumstances…that is why I speak more in terms of “principles” vs. exact workouts. It sounds like you are kicking butt and learning what works for you. Keep it up!


    Sandy April 21, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Hey Rusty!
    How was your trip???
    Well, you’ll never guess what happened at my gym today. I went in for my workout and the new trainers were showing people HIIT. WOW! Ive been doing it for months now! I noticed it was more of a beginner workout. The fastest they had them going was 5- 6mph. You ever heard of doing HIIT like that?

    Im up to almost 8 mph on my 30 second intervals. Ive been trying to increase my speed by .1 each week. I started out at 7 mph so its an improvement.

    Sandy April 22, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Oh, one more thing…i thought Id asked you this before but cant seem to find my question and your response! I seem to be losing fat in places I dont need to…. such as my butt but yet not losing as much in my midsection where I need to lose the fat. Pretty soon, I wont have a butt LOL. Any recommendations?

    I dont gain like typical women. Most I know are pear shaped. Im more of an apple shape. I gain in my chest and midsection first.

    Sawyer April 22, 2008 at 3:50 pm


    Very solid post. I am huge on the HIIT.
    I’m wondering if 30+ minutes of HIIT 2 times a week and then the 10 minutes HIIT with 30 minutes steady state the other 5 would be a good way to approach the situation.
    Also I lift 6 days a week and am currently on week 3 of the 5x5s; is going to a 4 week period of 3x15s and 4x10s a good call to get a little bigger? Would I need to do more cardio than I already do on those days?

    admin April 23, 2008 at 12:39 pm


    Glad to be back! I like trainers who are gentle on beginners. There is nothing worse than a trainer that pushes a beginner too hard. They will do their best to prove that they know what they are talking about by pushing the person to exhaustion. For a lot of people the gym is an intimidating place. I think a trainers first job is to spend a couple of weeks helping the new person to get comfortable with their surroundings.

    That being said…I would certainly want someone to increase the speed by the 3rd or 4th workout. If the interval isn’t tough enough, then it really isn’t HIIT. About losing fat…your body will lose it in a specific order and you can’t change that. What will eventually happen is you will lose it all over your entire body, but it never goes in the most desired order. I know exactly what you are talking about!


    Yep…you have a great understanding of how to gain a bit of mass. You won’t need to add more cardio than what you are doing. What you have outlined looks demanding, but will work very well. A perfect “pre-summer” type of routine.

    Have a great one!


    Sandy April 23, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    That is so true about trainers. My first experience with a personal trainer was one to remember and not in a good way. This ex-Army guy worked with me for a week when I was in college. I could not walk for 2 weeks. He worked me way too hard! Needless to say, I didnt use him again!

    Dancer April 25, 2008 at 12:21 am

    I have never really committed to a workout plan. I’m not used to all these “strange words.” I want to try to follow this plan. So the first thing i’m supposed to do is drink Green Tea or Caffine. Have an empty stomach. Then I need to do 10 min. of intense cardio. WHAT IS CONSIDERED INTENSE CARDIO??? Then I need to rest 5 min. Then I need to do 30 min of Steady State Cardio. WHAT IS CONSIDERED STEADY STATE CARDIO??? Then I wait an hour and eat a protein meal (do those protein bars…like tigers milk or others count?)…then a few hours back to “normal”

    Is this right?
    I need to start ASAP! I actually do have a photoshoot in a few months…followed shortly by a HUGE dance competition where my whole body is practically showing…I need to look AMAZING.

    I currently have about 18% body fat…need to get it lower =) My tummy and THIGHS…yikes!

    THANKS…this is a great site. I’m looking forward for your reponse.

    admin April 25, 2008 at 9:32 am


    The intense cardio is as tough as you can do for 10 minutes. Run on a treadmill at a speed that you can barely keep at for 10 minutes. By the end of 10 minutes you should be completely out of breath, your skin should be hot and you should be sweating.

    Steady state cardio is just jogging for 30 minutes. You don’t want to go as hard as the first 10 minutes, but you don’t want to walk either. Just jog for 30 minutes.

    Hope that helps,


    Brad April 30, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Hey Rusty, have you received Lyle’s new book yet on stubborn fat? If so, what do you think of it?

    admin May 1, 2008 at 4:41 pm


    My sister picked up my mail when I was away on a business trip, now she is on vacation so I haven’t had the chance to get it from her. It is kind of killing me that I haven’t been able to read it yet. I know it will be good. Lyle puts out amazing stuff…although really technical “text book” like at times.


    Brad May 4, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Hey Rusty, is it necessary to rest for 5 minutes in between the HIIT and steady state? Do you know why Lyle recommends that? Thanks!


    Lurena May 7, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Hey Rusty,
    I’ve been following your website (quietly) for the last few months. I’ve gone from 130 to 120 pounds, but i still feel like i look 130 pounds just smaller. I run for about 50 minutes a day, 6 days a week. I do HIIT 2 or 3 days for about 30 mins, then after that i’m too tired to run so i just walk the remainder. I am pretty happy with my weight loss, but I just feel like i look too flabby – so flabby in face. I don’t like lifting weights, nor does my body look right with lifting. I am short – 5’2″, so lifting weights makes me look like the little short and stocky chick, instead of looking taller (like Sarah Jessica Parker – who is so short but looks so much taller b/c she is so thin). Anyway, what can I do to change things up. I eat a lot of carbs, so maybe this is why. My stomach (more like digestive system in general) just doesn’t handle too much protein well. Also, I wear a size 4, but have awful cellulite only on one leg (so weird!) Please I’m getting really depressed b/c I eat only about 1000 calories a day, but I’m so flabby looking. Also, my body fat is around 21%. Does Lyle cater to any of us females that aren’t yet on the super lean side? I’m not fat, but just need to get rid of some extra skin and flab.
    Thanks so much!

    admin May 8, 2008 at 8:53 pm


    You will look better in time. You just need to wait to have your skin catchup a bit to your lower body size. Lyle’s stuff isn’t aimed at women specifically, but his stuff works very well. Focus on staying in shape and your sagging skin will tighten up over time.


    Tasha June 14, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Are there any other types of intense cardio for HGH release other than sprinting?

    admin June 16, 2008 at 2:28 am


    Any cardio will do. Sprinting, the exercise bike, elliptical, etc. Just do an intense effort followed by a moderate effort for a set amount of time.


    chris July 19, 2008 at 3:02 am

    Hi Rusty, After I do 10 mins of intense Hiit, im screwed! I can hardly do another 10 mins of cardio let alone 30-45 mins, should i be takin it easier on the hiit?

    Jace February 26, 2009 at 6:03 pm


    I just gave that “Stubborn Fat Protocol” routine a try on my treadmill and had to come back to your site to thank you..minus the caffeine jolt 30 mins prior to starting I did exactly what it suggests and I cant believe I finished!! I mean sure I’m sweating like a pig right now but I feel AMAZING!! I’m 5’11 193lbs and trying to get down to 175-180lbs. Your site kicks arse!! Keep up the great work!

    admin February 27, 2009 at 11:13 pm


    If you are toast doing the HIIT then that is enough…just don’t add the steady state cardio. You do want the HIIT to be intense, so keep up the intensity. It should be pretty tough.


    Thanks for saying my site kicks arse…I like that term! You will love the results you are going to get from SFP. You will get as lean as you desire following this technique (provided that your diet is in order).


    tabs March 19, 2009 at 9:27 am

    great site!

    very laymen.

    lookin forward to see results after applying them

    Destiny February 26, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks so much for this info on the stubborn fat protocol. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for in solving this puzzle. My remaining question is this: where does resistance training fit into this picture? I’ve been doing “fat loss circuit training”, combining my weight routines with 45 second bursts of cardio between sets/groups of sets and finishing up with 4-5 minutes of hills on the treadmill at variable speeds/inclines. Can I just extend the moderate cardio at the end of my workout, or what?

    Troy March 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Rusty,

    Man, I love how you answer everyone’s questions on ALL blog post from different subjects! that’s crazy, crazy awesome! hahaha

    I’ve read a respond up above where you wrote: “once every 5-6 weeks do a moderate carb week to insure that your metabolism doesn’t slow down”
    this was referring to keeping a high protein diet for a few weeks.

    okay, so intermittent fasting does not slow metabolism, i got that, but what say above is that a high protein diet potentially will? eventhough the calories consumed daily is the same?


    max March 26, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I do 16/8 fast every day and was wondering if I can do this HIIT in the morning (fasted obviously) and then wait 6-7 hours until my first meal? I wouldn´t like to brake my fast early. Is this safe or would this possibly cause muscle loss. I also don´t use to BCAA or any other suplements.

    Thank you.

    Sherryl August 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Rusty

    I have lost 11 kilos and I weight 50 kilos now. I have some muscle definition and my upper abs are showing but my lower abdomen and love handles do not want to go away. I lost all this doing HIIT 6 times a week for 15min and I worked but now I am stock. I’m lifting weights but
    i am confused now with my cardio! what type of cardio and how many times at week should i do for my stubborn fat HEEEELP


    Hillary Coates August 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Rusty,
    I have been following your cardio program, 10 min HIIT/5 rest/40 steady state cardio, several times a week in a fasted state in addition to my weight training program 3 times a week and have seen body fat literally melt off! I eat low carb as well and have had no problem with energy or stamina since adjusting. Training has so far been late afternoon and I finish up an hour before dinner. All of this has worked out so perfectly for me but I will soon be facing a change in my schedule and it is looking like the only time of day I will be able to work out is right before bed at night. What would you suggest I do to make this schedule most effective for reaching my fat loss goals? I can’t see how I will be able to continue fasted training, caffeine and occasional yohimbine HCL are out of the question at that hour.

    Thanks in advance!

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