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How to Safely and Healthily Lose Weight Fast: Part 2

How to Safely and Healthily Lose Weight Fast: Part 2

You don’t want to just “lose weight fast”–you want to lose fat fast, and do it without sacrificing muscle, metabolism, or health.


In the first part of this weight loss article series, we went over the nutrition side of rapid weight loss in detail.

In this article, we’re going to look at exercise tips that can help you lose weight fast without losing muscle, damaging your metabolism, or otherwise harming your health. In the final article in this three-part series, we’ll talk about how to use supplementation to further help your weight loss efforts.

If you’re a man around or above 20% body fat, or if you’re a woman around or above 25% body fat, and you combine all the strategies outlined in these three articles, you should be able to lose 15 – 20 pounds in one month, with a large percentage of it fat, and little-to-none of it muscle. (A certain percentage of weight loss is always water and glycogen).

So then, let’s get to the training strategies that help you lose weight fast!

Training Frequency and Losing Weight Fast

The more you exercise, the more fat you burn, but if you push things too hard, you can quickly find yourself burned out.

You see, just being in a calorie deficit raises cortisol levels (cortisol being your body’s “stress hormone”), and intense exercise—both lifting and cardio—further stresses the body.

In terms of weight loss, the proper training frequency is one that provides maximum fat loss while keeping physiological stress levels moderate and under control.

There are many opinions as to what this means in actual hours spent in the gym.

On one end of the spectrum are the “no pain, no gain” types that want to spend 10+ hours per week exercising, and on the other end are the extremely “conservative” types that believe you should dramatically reduce training frequency while cutting to avoid over-stressing the body.

The reality is there is no one-size-fits-all answer to optimal training frequency, as some people’s bodies deal with stress better than others. In my experience, however, both with my body and with the hundreds of people I’ve worked with, it’s quite a bit harder to reach this point of overtraining than some experts believe.

Generally speaking, readers on my programs have absolutely no issues lifting 3 – 5 times per week and doing cardio 3 – 4 times per week while cutting. I’ve actually yet to meet someone that had to dramatically scale back their lifting or cardio due to issues of overtraining.

The success of my readers is likely due to a combination of factors:

If, however, one were to make the workouts too long or too intense, make the calorie deficit too severe, replace nutritious foods with junk, sleep too little, or drop out supplementation altogether, it’s more likely that the training frequency cited above would result in burnout.

So, my recommendation for losing weight quickly and healthily is this: Lift weights 3 – 5 times per week, and do cardio 3 – 4 times per week.

Why Heavy Weightlifting is Best for Weight Loss

Many “gurus” recommend that you follow a high-rep, low-weight routine to really help “shred up,” but this is actually the complete opposite of what you want to be doing.

The reality is your body is “primed” for muscle loss when you’re in a calorie deficit, and by focusing exclusively on muscle endurance (higher rep ranges), you’ll be setting yourself up for rapid strength loss, with the potential for significant muscle loss as well.

The key to preserving strength and thereby muscle while losing weight is to lift heavy weights. When you do this, you continue to progressively overload your muscles, which is one of the primary mechanical drivers of protein synthesis and muscle growth.

There are fat loss benefits to heavy weightlifting as well.

study published by Greek sports scientists found that men that trained with heavy weights (80-85% of their one-rep max, or “1RM”) increased their metabolic rates over the following three days, burning hundreds more calories than the men that trained with lighter weights (45-65% of their 1RM).

Yes, hundreds more calories. That’s significant.

And if you want to really score extra calories burned, focus on compound lifts like squats and deadlifts, because these are the types of lifts that burn the most post-workout calories.

(This, by the way, is one of the reasons why people do so well on my programs both in building muscle and losing fat–they are performing heavy, compound lifts every day.)

Do High-Intensity Interval Training for Rapid Weight Loss

You’ve probably heard of “high-intensity interval training” or “HIIT,” but in case you haven’t, or have and aren’t sure what it is, here’s how it works:

You start your HIIT session with a short (1 – 5 minute) warm-up, followed by 30 – 60 seconds of all-out exertion. This spikes your heart rate and really gets you huffing and puffing. You then do 30 – 60 seconds of low-intensity “cooldown,” followed by 30 – 60 seconds of all-out exertion, and so forth. You repeat this for as long as desired.

Why do I recommend this type of cardio for rapid weight loss instead of the traditional, “low-intensity steady state” type of cardio?

Well, studies such as those conducted by Laval UniversityEast Tennessee State UniversityBaylor College of Medicine, and the University of New South Wales have shown that shorter, high-intensity cardio sessions result in greater fat loss over time than longer, low-intensity sessions.

According to a study conducted by The University of Western Ontario, which had subjects exercising for 6 weeks, doing workouts consisting of just 4 – 6 30-second sprints in a workout burns more fat over time than workouts consisting of 60 minutes of incline treadmill walking.

That’s how much more effective HIIT is for burning fat.

Researchers have found several reasons for HIIT’s superiority in weight loss:

  • Increased resting metabolic rate for upwards of 24 hours after exercise.
  • Improved insulin sensitivity in the muscles.
  • Higher levels of fat oxidation in the muscles.
  • Significant spikes in growth hormone levels (which aid in fat loss) and catecholamine levels (chemicals your body produces to directly induce fat mobilization).
  • Post-exercise appetite suppression.
  • And more…


Research has also shown that the longer your cardio sessions are, the more they impair strength and muscle growth. Thus, shorter cardio sessions are better for preserving muscle and strength.

Only high-intensity interval training allows you to do short (under 30-minute) workouts and burn an appreciable amount of fat.

Types of HIIT Cardio You Can Do

My hands-down favorite type of HIIT cardio is cycling (recumbent cycling to be specific).


Well, not only is it convenient that I can bring my iPad and read or watch a show or movie while doing it, it turns out that cycling itself has special benefits for us weightlifters.

According to research conducted by Stephen F Austin State University, the TYPE of cardio you do can have a profound effect on your ability to gain strength and size with weightlifting. The study subjects that ran and walked gained significantly less strength and size than those that cycled.

What made cycling special? Well, scientists concluded that it was due to cycling more closely imitating weightlifting movements that cause muscle growth (like squats, for instance).

Therefore, I recommend recumbent cycling for your high-intensity interval training (the next-best choice would be sprinting, as this too involves many of the same muscles; my third choice would be the elliptical machine), and I recommend keeping your sessions relatively short (20-30 minutes).

In terms of an exact protocol, here’s what you can do.

  1. You start your workout with 2-3 minutes of low-intensity warmup on the lowest resistance.
  2. You then bump the resistance up to 4-5, and pedal as fast as possible for 30 seconds.
  3. You then reduce the resistance to its slowest setting and pedal at a moderate pace (about 100 RPM) for 60-90 seconds. If you’re new to HIIT, you may need to extend this rest period to 2-4 minutes.
  4. You repeat this cycle of all-out and recovery intervals for 20-25 minutes.
  5. You do a 2-3 minute cool-down at a low intensity.

Before we move on, I want to note that while HIIT cardio is best for maximizing fat loss and preserving muscle, it does place more stress on the body than steady-state cardio.

If you follow my recommendations of lifting five 3 – 5 times per week and doing HIIT cardio 3 – 4 times per week and begin feeling overtrained, then I recommend you replace HIIT cardio sessions with LISS (low-intensity steady-state) and see if that helps.

Start with replacing one HIIT session with LISS and see how you feel that week. If you’re still having issues, replace another and see if that does it. Continue this until you’re feeling better or all HIIT sessions are now LISS.

Try Training in a “Fasted” State for a Weight Loss Boost

When you eat food, your pancrease produces insulin and releases it into your blood.

Insulin’s job is to shuttle nutrients out of the blood and into your cells, such as the amino acids from protein, the glucose from carbohydrate, and the fatty acids from dietary fat.

When your insulin levels are elevated–when you’re in a “fed” state–no fat burning occurs. Your body uses the glucose in the blood for all its energy needs, and stores the excess. Depending on how much you eat, this state can last for several hours.

But, as the nutrients eaten are absorbed, insulin levels decline, and the body senses that its post-meal energy is running out. It then shifts toward burning fat stores to meet its energy needs.

Day after day, it juggles these states of storing nutrients you eat, and burning its stores when the temporary supplies run out.

Now, your body is in a “fasted” state when insulin is at a “baseline” level, and your body is relying completely on its energy stores. After you eat a moderate-sized meal, it takes 3 – 5 hours for your body to enter this state.

Exercising in this fasted state accelerates fat loss, with weightlifting particularly effective in this regardFasting for longer than 6 hours has been shown to further increase your body’s ability to burn fat, so early-morning fasted training is a great option.

Fasted training does have one significant drawback, however: accelerated breakdown of muscle tissue. Fortunately, preventing this is simple.

You should supplement with 10 grams of BCAAs or 5 grams of leucine (as this amino acid directly stimulates protein synthesis) 10 – 15 minutes before training, which will suppress muscle breakdown during your workout.

I should note that some people simply don’t do well with fasted weighlifting. They have very low energy levels and their strength really takes a nosedive. If that happens to you on your first fasted lifting session, try it for a few more days.

If, after a week or so, your body still hasn’t adapted and you feel like going to sleep during your workouts, then you should reduce the frequency of fasting lifting (maybe only 1 – 2 days per week), or stop altogether. Keeping your workouts intense is more important.

Another option is swapping your cardio and lifting workouts if you’re separating them, doing your cardio fasted and your lifting later in the day.

A Summary of the Rapid Weight Loss Strategies Covered Thus Far

We’ve covered a lot of ground in the first two parts of this series, so I want to just give you a quick summary of the key points thus far:

  • Maintain a mild-to-moderate calorie deficit, not a severe one
  • Don’t just focus on calories, but on proper macronutritional ratios to maximize weight loss while preserving muscle
  • Create an exact meal plan to follow and stick to it every day
  • Don’t cheat on your meal plan as it will only slow things down
  • Train with as high of a frequency as your body can take, which is likely no more than weightlifting 5 times per week and HIIT cardio 4 times per week
  • Lift heavy weights, and focus on compound lifts
  • Do high-intensity interval cardio
  • Train in a fasted state

Well, that’s it for the exercise advice for rapid weight loss.

In the third, and final, part of this article series, we’ll go over how proper supplementation can help you lose weight fast.


What did you think about these exercise strategies to lose weight fast? Have anything else you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Pingback: How to Safely and Healthily Lose Weight Fast: Part 1 | Muscle For Life()

  • Cody

    Great article Mike! Looking forward to getting going and finally getting lean again!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Cody! Lemme know how things go!

  • Matt

    10grams of BCAA? Or did you mean mg?

    • Ângelo Fornazari

      10g, Matt. Im sure!

    • Michael Matthews

      10 grams. That will give you 3-5 grams of leucine. 10 mg would do absolutely nothing.

      • Matt

        On the label of ON BCAA says “2 pills before or after workouts” 2 pills = 1g….I’d have to take20 pills!? lol?

        • Michael Matthews

          If that’s the dosages on those pills, they suck. Get this instead:

          https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/strength-growth-and-recovery/mrm-bcaag-reload/

  • Hadi

    Great Artical, Thanks
    The BCAA supplement that you recommend is not available in Australia, Is there any other one that you recommend?

    • Michael Matthews

      Sure, I liked USP Labs’ Modern BCAAs.

  • Ângelo Fornazari

    Thank you very much for article, Mike. Btw, Legion is shipping to Brazil? Best wishes!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks and yes, we are!

  • Anthony Pampillonio

    This was great Mike,thanks for the knowledge especially the bcaas if I’m gonna fast.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Anthony!

      • Anthony Pampillonio

        However if I’m Gonna train fasted should I drink a pre workout protein shake or are the bcaas enough?

        • Michael Matthews

          BCAAs because protein will break the fasted state.

          • Anthony Pampillonio


          • Michael Matthews


    • HittinTheSlopes

      I train fasted. I usually drink 10g of BCAA before heading to the gym. Then towards the end or after training I drink another 10g. My 2nd 10g is consumed about 1 hour after my first. Then about 45 min after training I eat my first meal. I’ve been doing this for 3 months and my results have been good while cutting. I was new to BCAAs when I first started my cut but I think the supplement is worth it after seeing the results first hand.

      • Michael Matthews

        That’s great. Keep it up.

    • Mike Thompson

      I’ve noticed BCAAs have made a huge difference in my fasted training and pushing through. Definitely on the right track!

      • Michael Matthews


  • Jenny Leadem

    Great stuff, even though some of it’s stuff I’ve already been doing it’s nice to have it all in one(or two) article(s) like this so I can keep it all together. I’ve been doing HITT with the bike for a while now, 30sec resistance up, 1min down. I feel fine but I’ve been getting horrible charlie horse cramps in my feet and calfs, both while sleeping and when awake. I know by tracking my nutrients that I get plenty of potassium so it can’t be that. Should I cut back on HITT? I really like it and don’t want to go to steady state cardio unless I have to.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Jenny. 🙂

      Nice on the HIIT and that may be a calcium or magnesium issue. IMO pick up a cal-mag drink and have a serving or two every day and see if that handles it…

      • Jenny Leadem

        Sounds like a plan. I’ve never bothered tracking magnesium or calcium so definitely possible I don’t get enough.

        • Michael Matthews

          Cool. Yeah I don’t track micros either but I guess I just get enough between the foods I eat and multi. I know that the shaky arms and cramping are related to cal/mag tho.

  • Corey Nacin

    What kind of sprint workout would you recommend?

    • Michael Matthews

      5 min of walking for warm up, 70-100 yard ALL-OUT sprint, 200 yard walk, rinse repeat. Pretty killer.

      • Corey Nacin

        Thank you. Would you say 10 sprints is enough or push more.

        • Michael Matthews

          10 would be really good.

          • Corey Nacin

            Stationed over seas for the next year. I just got your book! Going to follow it religiously . I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you for the advice.

          • Michael Matthews

            Thanks Corey! Do keep me posted on how it goes!

  • Manish Arya

    Hey Mike, great article, if someone is not getting results after doing everything right, how can anyone know whether it is because of overtraining or diet or anything else? i mean how do u know the problem area just by looking at the person?


    • Michael Matthews


      Well, if you’re doing everything right, you would get results. Not getting results means you’re doing something wrong…

      Overeating, improper macro rations, training improperly, etc.

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  • Sergio

    Thanks, Mike.
    Does training programs like INSANITY are the equivalent as a HIIT cardio sesion?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes, definitely.

    • Mike Thompson

      How long have you been doing the program Sergio?

  • getlean

    Good read man!! I usually do my weight training in the evening Mike… But my fat loss has plateaued. Should I switch my workouts to mornings in a fasted state to keep losing fat?? Or drop my calories below 1800 per day?? I’m 5′ 11″ 195 lbs and 17% bf, 35 yrs old… Thanks bro

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks brother!

      Hmm I would say neither. Let’s add some HIIT cardio instead:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /high-intensity-interval-training-and-weight-loss/

  • Chuck

    Hi Mike,
    Great Article, I’m already using some of the methods above (ie: lifting heavy) but haven’t tried it fasting. Is the fasted workouts and HITT good for someone who’s already under %10 B.F. and is lookign to get a little sharper?



    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Chuck!

      Yes, fasted training and HIIT are particularly good for when you’re already lean and want to get rid of the last bits of stubborn fat.

  • Nik

    What do you think of kettlebell workouts for HIIT? I got in great shape with kettlebells when I was a bit over weight. Am now bulking, but will be cutting in the spring.

    • Michael Matthews

      I think it’s fine if you keep the intensity low if you’re also lifting. You don’t want to overtrain…

  • Ted

    Would you say that different recumbent bicycles have varying scales for their resistance levels? In your HIIT scheme, you mention that you switch between 0 resistance and 4-5 resistance for low-intensity and all-out effort, but on the recumbent bike I have available in my gym (that looks very similar to the one you link to), I can barely notice a difference between 0 and 5 resistance, and both seem like there’s practically no resistance at all. I usually cycle casually at 8 resistance and bump it up to 12-14 for 30 seconds. I could certainly feel some resistance on both the low and high ranges, and I’m pretty spent by the end of a 25 min workout, but I’m wondering if I’m unnecessarily bumping up the resistance, or if it’s just a difference between scales on our two machines. By the end of the 25 mins, the amount of effort I can put into each 30 second all-out period diminishes quite a bit, but I try to push through and do what I can.

    • Michael Matthews

      Ah okay yeah, I’m sure different models have different resistance settings. I believe 4/5 is about 1/3 total resistance on the bike I use.

  • Lyndal

    This was a great read and helpful to know I’m on the right track still – I have lost about 25% of my body fat over the past year through being consistent and eating clean, im so close to my goal fat % of 18 I can almost smell it! This week however, has been the most bizarre in my entire journey – I just can’t get myself out there to train. I feel completely flat.. not quite as bad as burnt out, not depressed… just flat and its the last thing I want to do. I’m focusing on eating really well, but is missing a week of training going to undo all my hard work or is it sometimes a necessity and a way to help your body ‘recover’?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Wow great job on the weight loss! That rocks.

      That can actually be a sign of overtraining. When was your last rest week?

      No, missing a week won’t do anything bad to your body. Just keep your diet in.

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  • Julia Robinson

    Well from experience I have learned that natural ways work best to reduce weight and I agree that weight loss is easily possible without having to sacrifice health. Recently, my friends were pretty shocked to learn of my miraculous weight loss which I had lost because of the most natural solution offered by http://healthbynature.info/, which not allowed me to flush out toxins and cure my inflammation and digestive problems but helped me to look fresher, feel confident and more energetic than ever.

    Julia Robinson

  • Jeff

    Hi Mike,
    I just found your articles and find them easy to follow, thanks for that. I’m about 280lbs and 6′ 3.5″ , late 40’s, male and I’m ready to get healthy again and lose fat while gaining muscle. It’s been a while for me and I have a bum knee, where do you think I should start, it’s a bit overwhelming. Thank you

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Jeff!

      Cool on your stats and that’s great you want to get rolling. I would start with a proper diet, cardio, and a lighter resistance training program. 10-12 reps, focusing on form, working around your knee.

      What do you think?

      • Jeff

        Hmm, lighter resistance training program? Could you explain what you mean? Thank you for responding 🙂

        • Michael Matthews

          Yeah just using a higher rep range to start. Like 10-12. Same exercises as BLS, just lighter weights…

  • Sandra Marr

    Any thoughts on when to have a protein shake after a fasted training session for maximum weight loss? Immediately after finishing or to wait 20 minutes or longer?

    • Michael Matthews

      Doesn’t matter either way.

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  • Adam Clancey

    Hi again Mike,

    I’ve recently started a new job and I don’t start til 11am so I’ve decided to start lifting before work in a fasted state. I’m thinking I’ll try and roughly stick with the leangains 16/8, but I want to do my cardio in the evening, so is it better to eat my last meal 90 mins before the cardio, then not eat until after the lifting the next day, or would you recommend moving that meal to after the cardio (this would only give me about a 12 hour fast before lifting, but would mean that I wouldn’t be eating for 5 1/2 hours before the cardio)?

    The former approach would give a 17 hour fast. I can’t decide if it’s better to have two shorter fasts or one long one (I’m guessing I’ll enter a fasted state quicker if there’s cardio at the beginning too.)

    • Michael Matthews


      Cardio 90 mins after your last meal should be totally fine. You don’t have to eat after.

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  • Smooth SP

    Hey Mike, I have a question on cutting or losing wieght for a photo shoot and I’ve been following the correct steps such as mild calorie deficit, working out 5 days a week with heavy wieghts in 4-6 range and even taking some of what you recomend on supplements (green tea extract, yohimbine, caffiene pills) and it’s been going pretty well and I’ve lost some weight but I’ve started to notice especially recently like the past week that my muscle are starting to get flat even tho i’m having good workouts in the gym and I’ve heard something about this before but i don’t know what it’s tied to specifically so i just wanted to get your take on it if you might know what the cause of it is and how to correct it so i can continue progressing cause i especially don’t want to look flat for a photo shoot, thanks

    • Michael Matthews

      Great! I’m glad to hear it.

      Yeah you lose visual size. No way around it brother. You’ll get some back when you carb up for the photo shoot but welcome to the “struggle” of being lean, haha.

  • Rodrigo

    Hi Mike! Great article! I like to lift 5 times a week in the morning and I can’t go to the gym 2 times a day due to my work, so i haven’t made any cardio. Could I make my HIIT sasions after my workout? Thank you!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yes that’s fine. Not IDEAL but it won’t cause major issues.

  • Hi Mike
    Question. How would you recommend coming off of the rapid weight loss plan and going back to your traditional TLS plan say after a month. Would you increase all at once, or do more of a reverse dieting method? Please help : )

  • Sly

    Hey Mike, I do Insanity as well but not Max as this is how I lost way too much muscle last year. I recently started supplementing with some Aminos with higher Leucine content as well as use an Intra-workout BCAA, will try your recommendation when its done. What’s your view on the Insanity program for fat loss/muscle retention?

    • Michael Matthews

      It’s good cardio. Just a bunch of HIIT, which works well!

      • Sly

        Indeed, I also do Asylum which is appropriately named imo

        • Michael Matthews

          Haha nice

  • Can I do my cardio after my weight training in a fasted state due to time constrictions?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah personally I would take leucine before the lifting, finish, more leucine, cardio, then eat.

      • Thanks that is exactly what I did this morning. I also got the the meal plan from you guys but when I first did my bodyfat I used a four site reading of 16% but today I used a seven site that read 12%, do you think this will screw up my plan?

        • Michael Matthews

          Great. No worries on the bf %. That doesn’t change much at all.

  • Chris P

    Hi Mike,

    I’ve been cutting for the last 2 months and whilst it has gone well I’m wanting to sharpen it up a bit. Currently I’m having 1 scoop of protein with 300ml of rice milk before and after my workouts pretty much as per BLS. Is this still a wise decision for getting the most out of my workouts and as far as cutting goes, as long as over the day i am within my macros?


  • queenierz

    I think I have a problem with my calories intake, because my BMR is only 1130, and I exercised 6+ hours per week, so thatmakes it around 1600 ish. Now, you said, to lose fat, I need to eat less 20%, and that makes it around 1300 calories per day… I tried eating this range before and I barely have any energy… I am a skinnyfat person, small bones. Do you have any suggestions? (Currently I’ve been eating around 1600 calories range and I don’t gain any weight or fat… my muscles are growing instead).

    • Michael Matthews

      How much do you weigh?

      • queenierz

        44.4 kg

        • Michael Matthews

          Okay well those numbers sound about right. What types of foods are you eating when you restrict calories? What is your exercise schedule like?

          • queenierz

            Sorry for the late reply, Michael!

            Actually I am around 45.6 kg now… my exercise schedule keeps changing… I’m eating a lot of proteins, and follow the 40/30/30 ratios of carbs, proteins, and fats. I go a little high on carbs on lifting days, and low on carbs on rest days.

            Currently, my exercise routine follows New Rules of Lifting for Women, so I’m lifting 3 days a week, one rest day in between (one two-rest day too). I have lessened my cardio sessions and intensity now, and I’m still confused on what to do with my cardio because I want to still maintain my fitness level without destroying my muscles. I’ve commented and ask another question in https://www.muscleforlife.com/build-muscle-lose-fat/ about when should I do HIIT…

          • Michael Matthews

            This all sounds good but what foods are you actually eating?

          • queenierz

            Oh, and I eat about 5-6 times per day: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. My TDEE is calculated around 1750 cals, and since I am trying to do body recomposition, I am eating at maintenance.

          • Michael Matthews

            Ah okay. Remember that eating maintenance won’t help you lose fat.

  • Alec Mackenzie

    Hi Mike,
    You mention cycling being the best form of HIIT, but what about rowing, checked the research you cited but was only for lower body HIIT.
    i usually do 500m sprints with a min rest keeping my time under 1.50 and can do this for 25min. should i be swapping this out for cycling?

    • Michael Matthews

      Rowing is good too. It mimics upper-body weightlifting work. It would be my pick if I didn’t enjoy cycling. 🙂

  • Morgen

    Hi Mike,

    Great article series! 🙂 So, it’s pretty obvious that fat/weight loss results from a calorie deficit. However, does it make a difference whether the calorie deficit comes from diet (reduce calories consumed) or exercise (burn more calories than consumed)?

    • Michael Matthews


      Yeah it matters as using exercise to create a deficit tends to spare muscle whereas continue to reducing calories without exercising accelerates muscle loss.

      Weightlifting in particular is effective for preserving lean mass, of course.

      • Morgen

        Awesome, thanks!

        It seems to me that if you get your calorie deficit from exercise, you have to be a lot more diligent about determining/tracking how many calories you burned through exercise so you know how much to eat. Do you have any suggestions for how to determine calories burned? I’ve tried multiple HRM (jawbone, garmin, nike, etc) and they never give me consistent/accurate results (I mean, seriously, a 4 min jog does NOT burn over 900 calories!)

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  • Kevin Ross

    Regarding “fasted” and BCAAs *or* Leucine, would a scoop of Legion Whey with Leucine 10-15m before a workout qualify as a fasted state for the purposes of aggressively going after stubborn fat?

    • Michael Matthews

      Whey protein will break the fasted state, so you’ll want BCAAs or leucine instead. Save the whey until after.

  • Lenin

    Hey Mike, What do you think about swimming for the HIIT cardio session? You could do a different style for either the low and high intensity (butterfly then freestyle or breast stroke). Have you had some experience with that?

    • Michael Matthews

      Swimming is great. Enjoy.

  • Pingback: How to Safely and Healthily Lose Weight Fast: Part 3 | Muscle For Life()

  • Poe

    Hi Mike, thanks for for the informative article.
    So i was wondering how much weight lifting do i need a week while cutting? Don’t quite understand what 3-5 times means.

    I do deadlift/ squat/ bench press, shoulder press/ pull up, row(2sets). Each exercise for 3 sets(4-6 rep) a week, and scatter them into 4 days.
    So my workout routine looks like this:
    1. One weight train session
    2. Cardio 20-30 min
    Is this too much or too little? Or what do you recommend me?
    And may you share your workout routine while cutting?
    Thanks a lot!!

    • Glad you liked it!

      3 to 5 weightlifting sessions per week is enough. 45 to 60 minutes per session.

      It sounds like you’re doing it right. 🙂

      I follow BLS when cutting.

  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

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  • mark bill

    build muscle burn fat

    blog. Thank you for sharing.

  • Nathan Hanak

    Will black Coffee break the fasted state? I’m probably going to try to get going on a few fasted workouts throughout the week but I have a deep habit groove of coffee being a first thing in the morning to get me awake.

  • Spencer

    HI Mike, I purchased MRM BCAA reload, watermelon flavor and for whatever reason I just cant stomach it. Any alternative recommendations? Thanks

    • Ah yeah just go with something artificially sweetened I suppose. A lot of people like Extend.

  • Tiago Gomes

    Hi Mike, I I’ve got two some questions:

    a) Doesn’t lifting weights on a calorie deficit makes you loose muscle tissue, as your muscle fibers are being damaged and you are not eating enough calories for the body create new ones? Wouldn’t be better to just do HIIT when cutting? Or lifting in the 4-6 rep range doesn’t cause muscle fibers to be damaged?

    b) You say that you use resistance 4/5 in the bike for HIIT. How many resistance levels your bike has? I was using resistance 12 on the intensive part.

  • Brittaney

    I love this article. I’m currently a 8/16 IIFYM dieter and I also do HIIT Training. I do mine differently though I do mine 30sec on 10 sec rest or 50sec on 10 sec rest for 20mins with tonnes of heavy lifting, and some cardio moves involved, then do 10 mins of fast skipping, high knees and mountain climbers. I might try just lifting then HIIt cardio to compare!

  • Ivo Naves

    If I gradually raise the resistence on HIIT sessions… I wonder how much that’s going to make my leg strenght improve and if I’ll ever be sprinting at 100-110 RPM at max resistance. haha

  • John Mcmado

    will coconut water break my fast?!

    • Depends on the calories. I don’t do more than 30ish cals when staying in a fasted state.

  • Anderson Basdao

    Can I eat right after the fasted cardio workout though?

  • Livo

    Do you recommend then to do weight lifting and Hii same day one after the another? Should I take any suplement before doibg Hiit?

    • You can do them on the same day yes. Lift first. You don’t have to supplement before HIIT, no.

  • This is a great article! I do agree with a lot of the information in here,
    but you can have some food that isn’t only healthy if you are able to balance
    it with your total calories and macro nutrients for the day. This is a life
    style, something you will maintain for your whole life. You don’t have to
    completely cut back on some of your favorite foods, just weigh them out and use
    moderation. Burn The Fat was an eye opening book that teaches you so much about
    nutrition. I wrote a review on my blog about it because it has helped me so
    much and I would recommend it to anyone. https://physiquesofgreatness.wordpress.com/

  • Rouge Surreah

    Hi Mike,
    Im just wondering… I do fasted cardio in the AM and I take my BCAAs, L cartinine and ECGC. I also take a scoop of Casein and Glutamine before bed. I just want to know, if I sleep 7-8 hours and am at the gym within 30 mins of waking up… what would be the latest I should eat breakfast? I dont want to wait too long, right? To preserve muscle and all?
    By the way I LOVE your website, so informative and straightforward. And you are basically very potent, epic nerd/mancrush material. <3

    • Cool on what you’re doing. If you eat within an hour or so of finishing your workout you’ll be fine.

      LOL thanks. That’s the first time I’ve heard that.

  • Rouge Surreah

    Also another question – when you do HIIT on the bike, are you fully seated during your high intensity segments, or do you rise over the seat?
    What do you think about the stair master for HIIT?
    I honestly have never used the bike for cardio, ever, because I felt like my upper body didn’t get much of a workout….


    • Haha I stay on the seat. SM is good. Tough on the legs and butt.

  • Cole

    What kind of HIIT do you recommend on the treadmill (I don’t own an exercise bike)? I assume short sprints 30 seconds followed up with LISS for 60-90 seconds back and forth for 30 minutes? Would I do this on an incline?

    • Hmm. With a tread mill it’s kind of tough. You may as well do the running outside!

      You go as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then walk for 45-60 seconds. You repeat that for 25-30 minutes.

      LMK what you think!

      • Cole

        Thanks, Mike. Outside should be fine for the next few months although winters here are brutal. Perhaps I should invest in a bike when that time rolls around.

        • YW!

          True on the winter. We don’t have that issue down here in FL. 🙂

          I personally use a recumbent bike for my HIIT.

  • Scott

    Think I’ll give fasted training a try one or two times a week as I’ve done it before and not noticed any problems. Curious though, are you doing fasted training as a simpler way of cutting some calories by cutting out a meal? Or is it better to keep the same calories but all after training? And is 10 minutes HIIT an appropriate re-workout warm up? Or something to keep for whatever energy you have left after weights/on non-weight training days? I generally like to do weight train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Although this week I’m doing Monday, Wednesday and Friday as I’m trying out different training plans to see what I feel better with. Going to try 8 x 8 next week.

    • Cool. 🙂 Check this out:


      I don’t like doing cardio before lifting. I would do after or separate altogether.

      • Scott

        So could this work for a morning game of 5-a-side football?

        • It won’t as intense as when you go all out in HIIT, but you’ll also be doing it for longer so you’ll be burning a good amount of cals.

          Make sure you don’t go too long and over-train! 🙂

          • Scott

            No way I’ll ever overtrain, I’m a bit of a peoplephobe (‘dick’ as others call it) so it’s sort of my foolproof motivation to do everything as quick as possible. Tempted to do 20-30 minutes of fasted HIIT on my stationary bike at home in the mornings a few days a week. I decided to take something from Carb Backloading and do the whole delaying breakfast until 11am and have a cup of coffee with some cream or coconut oil upon waking. Seems worthwhile taking something from that without subscribing to the whole ‘eat carbs at this time, don’t at this time, train during these hours’ thing. I might be going off topic here, but I’ve also just started the plan that you have on the free PDF I got from you (the five day version). I almost crushed myself under a barbell on bench press making sure I could only lift it for four reps, almost 😉

          • Lol I hear you.

            Cool on the HIIT and back loading.

            Nice that you started the program! Good to know you’re pushing hard haha. Stay safe in the iron jungle. 🙂

          • Scott

            Is the five sessions a week one the optimal plan? I’d check the link I saved but all my bookmarks have disappeared and I can’t find it >.< I wish I'd wrote the four day and three day a week plan down as well just incase life dictates I don't have so much time.

          • That’s the one that will get you the best results. The 3 or 4 day splits are still great programs and you will get results if you follow them.

            You can find them here:


            LMK what you think!

          • Scott

            Michael, I’m sure I read a comment you’d made somewhere saying if you were struggling with a certain part of your body you could do more sets to focus a bit more on it? And if I could further trouble you, how come you go with 4-6 reps when everyone else seems to advocate 6-8 or higher? Clearly your way works but I’m very curious and like to know stuff so the science behind this would be interesting. I’ve ordered a couple of your books by the way, one year challenge and beyond bigger, leaner, stronger challenge. Do these have training plans in like on that link above? I’m keen to start planning ahead longer term now, fat loss is a real struggle for me now as those troublesome ‘hunger signals’ keep getting the better of me every so often. I’m hoping if I spend a while building muscle I can then cut again later and find it a bit easier. Thanks.

          • Yeah BLS has you hit your upper body with some extra work but you just have to balance recovery. That’s the key.

            Have you seen this?


          • Scott

            Interesting read, thank you. I took delivery of beyond BLS challenge and year one challenge today by the way. I’ve not read them in full detail yet so I dare say I’ll find out the answer to this when I do, but I noticed a lack of set reps in the training plan for the year one challenge. Which book would you suggest for me to follow first please? Thanks.

          • YW.

            Ah okay you can read BBLS but you’ll want to start with BLS. That’s the book that goes with the Y1C.

          • Scott

            Nice sales technique, bro 😉 I hear ya, makes sense – do the first book first, just ordered it off that Brazilian rainforest site. Guess I’ve got three years worth of stuff to go off now. At least I will once I’ve sorted out some eating issues, one challenge at a time 🙂

          • Haha okay let me know how you like BLS. 🙂

          • Scott

            Hi again, just wondering on your plan can you add another set of squats on another day or do you advise just doing it once per week? Sure I remember you saying somewhere in response to someone you can add in another few sets either on leg day or on back day. Thanks. Haven’t started yet by the way due to feeling a bit off. Hoping to next week.

          • Let’s start with the standard program for the first few months. If you’re not happy with the progress, we can add in 3 additional sets on another day of the week.

            What do you think?

          • Scott

            Makes sense, I’m usually feeling leg day for up to a week afterward so it’d be silly to try and be a hero unnecessarily. Thanks.

          • Lol, exactly. No problem.

          • Scott

            Thought I’d ask you, have you ever heard of Eat To Perform? If so, what are your thoughts on it? Currently on it and doing 2400/1800 calorie days. Also, ever heard of an illness/condition which makes you hungry pretty much constantly and drains your focus?

          • I’ve heard of it but haven’t looked into it. Is it low-carb?

            Not specifically no.

          • Scott

            It’s 290 grams of carbs on training days and 150 grams on rest days. I don’t think 150 grams is low carb for a rest day? At least not for someone of my small stature (165 cm). I’m desperate to get completely lean as this 16-20% range I’m in is not comfortable. But they advocate ‘fuelling for performance’ and that initially there may be some fat gain. I’m giving it until September at least but I’m awfully tempted to stop it and cut calories some more. 1800 and 2400 seems a bit too high for fat loss I think.

          • Yeah those cals are most likely too high for weight loss.

            I recommend just setting up a proper cutting meal plan and sticking to those cals and macros daily. You can do that here:


            What do you think? LMK

          • Scott

            The Katch-Mcardle calculator says I should be eating 1700 calories a day, that doesn’t seem right? Based on your five day plan and doing 10 minutes of HIIT after each session.

          • Activity multipliers are too high on Katch. That’s why I’ve modified mine.

          • Scott

            So it should be less?

          • Yep.

  • Thomas Wang

    Hi Mike,
    I’m currently at 15% body fat, and aim to get to 10% by the end of this summer (within 2 months).
    Do you think that’s possible?
    People have told me to start lean bulking, but I feel I should drop my bodyfat first. What do you think?

  • Bushra Dando

    Hi Mike,
    Am currently writing up a meal plan using this 3 part article.
    I have used all my carbs for breakfast lunch and dinner but still have fat and protein left. Can I go over carbs say using protein shake or fruit etc as the carbs arent very high in those things or should I stick exactly in my limits….otherwise I’m stuck how to use only protein and fats ?
    Thank you in advance

    • You want to stick to the macros.

      There are a lot of meats with protein and fat! You may need to change up the meals to help hit the targets on all three though.

  • seistoes

    Will taking 10 grams of BCAA ‘ s prior to working out automatically end your fasted state? Is there evidence that BCAA ‘s do not induce an insulin response? Also, will using an artificial sweetener in your black coffee while in a fasted state also break the fast? I heard varying opinions. What do the latest clinical trails have to say? Thanks!

    • Nope! Neither BCAAs nor artificial sweeteners in coffee (assuming they’re very little to no cals) will break your fasted state.

      You want to make sure you take BCAAs, leucine, HMB or Forge before fasted training to prevent muscle breakdown.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Heath

    When you say you bump up the resistance to 4 or 5…what kind of scale are talking here? The bikes in my gym go up to 15 or 20

    • Not sure actually I haven’t seen how high this one can go, haha. I just want enough resistance to push against that my legs don’t “spin out” but they also don’t get fried.

  • Ira

    Hi Mike – been asking you lots of questions via e-mail – thanks for always getting back to me. Been cutting for about 7 weeks now. Started at 16.9% body fat (via pod test – not the best accuracy, I know) and get checked tomorrow. I’ve lots a good 10 pounds in these 7 weeks (mostly fat but I’m sure some glycogen, water and, unfortunately, some muscle). I think I’m around 13%. How long would you recommend cutting for? I’d like to get down to 10% but don’t know if its realistic in one cut. Tomorrow is my first re-feed day (haven’t gone over 1800 calories in 7 weeks – 2320 estimated TDEE). I really want to do a mini-bulk to gain some more size but aren’t quite at my body fat percentage goal yet.

    • NP! Happy to help. 🙂

      Good job on the weight you’ve lost!

      Definitely a good call on the refeed. You should be doing those weekly. Check this out:


      You could get down to 10% in 4-8 weeks depending how fast you lose and how close you are to your BMR. Once you’re at BMR and not losing 1-2 pounds a week, you should reverse diet and then continue cutting if you haven’t reached your 10% BF goal.

      Once you reach your BF% goal, you can focus on building muscle.


      • Ira

        Thanks for the response Mike. As it turns out, I’m actually down to 10.2% (as per the bod-pod that had me at 16.9% at the end of August). The pod says the 11 pounds I’ve lost is pretty much all fat. I’m pretty stoked.

        I did a re-feed day on Saturday. It was sushi so tough to log the calories and macros with certainty but I did the best I could and think I came pretty close on calories and macros (kept to the lower fat fishes).

        The problem was the sodium and the scale was up 5 pounds the next morning – I know its fake weight but it hurts mentally (and its still up 2 pounds 40 hours later)

        Anyways, I figure I’m going to keep cutting until the end of October but what if I’m getting below 10% and still losing fat?

        Should I still continue to cut?

        So far I haven’t had to reduce calories (BMR of 1620 and estimated TDEE of 2320) and have been steady in the 1700-1800 range for the entire 7 weeks.

        I think I can continue to lose more fat but I also am looking forward to trying to put on some more muscle especially since I’ve ordered Recharge for the first time (along with my Phoenix, Whey and Pulse). – although I guess the order is now delayed by a few weeks.

        Maybe the answer is, if I’m still losing fat, keep cutting?

        • YW! Good job on the results! You’re lean man!

          I hear you on the weight gain from the cheat meal. Keep this in mind:


          If you want to build muscle, there’s no need to keep getting leaner. I’d reverse diet and focus on building muscle.

          Cool on everything you ordered! Sorry for the delay. 🙁

  • Phillip

    Hey Mike,
    Just started a cut after I finished reading BLS! Why a great read! It’s kind of expensive to buy all of your supplements so I have only purchased Legion protein and Forge. Before my fasted morning weight or cardio exercise would you recommend a cup of coffee along with forge or just forge for caffeine?

    • Phillip

      Also, what should I ingest before a cardio session later in the day(if I lifted in the morning)?

    • Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      Cool you started your cut! Glad you were able to pick up Whey+ and Forge. 🙂 LMK how you like them!

      You do not need to take coffee with Forge, but Forge is synergistic with caffine so there’d be some added benefit.

      If you’re fasted during the cardio session, you can take Forge again. If not, you can follow the standard pre-workout nutrition recommendation:


      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Phillip

        Awesome! Thanks for the quick response. So far I love the products tho!

        • Welcome! Glad you’re enjoying them. 🙂

          Definitely keep me posted on your progress and write anytime if you have any questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

  • Jess M

    Hey Mike,
    Could you please tell me the reason why you shouldn’t eat below your BMR? I’m 145lbs, currently eating at 1600cal (I weigh everything), I lift weights (6-10rep range) 5-6 days a week for 40-50min and am doing two HIIT sessions a week at 30 minutes each.

    I’ve been losing 500g (roughly 1lb) a week for the last 3 weeks but if my weight loss stalls (which I feel like it is about to this week) I was going to reduce my cals to 1500 and add another HIIT session but then as far as I have read I shouldn’t reduce my cals any further (if weight loss stalled again) as 1500cal is my BMR.

    I was just wondering what damage it would do if I did reduce them further (below BMR) as I really didn’t want to reverse diet until I finished my cut as I am heading right into summer in Australia!

    Thanks so much Mike!

    • Hey Jess,

      Because that’s when the real problems can begin that are normally associated with starvation dieting (muscle loss, mood disturbance, lack of energy, poor sleep, etc.).

      And it’s just not necessary to go below BMR unless you’re at the very end of a cut and you’re going to dip slightly below for maybe a week or two to squeeze out the last bits of fat loss.

      Great on what you’re doing and check this out:


      I think it will help!

      • Jess M

        Thanks Mike! I’ll see how I go on 1500cal and 3 HIIT sessions and if/when weight loss stalls with that I think I’ll have to reverse diet for a bit. Thanks so much for your help 😀

        • My pleasure! Sounds good. 🙂

          • Jess M

            Hey Mike, I read your Thinner Leaner Stronger book (again!) and you state in there that a loss of 0.5-1lb per week is fine (I thought I should be losing at least one 1lb a week) so if I’m losing 0.5lb am I good to stay where I am? And only change things up if weight loss completely stalls?

            Thanks again for helping me, it was great to read your book again and refresh my memory with everything! So far I’ve lost 6lbs in 5 weeks 😀

          • As you get leaner it slows down, so yes, 0.5 is okay if you’re around 20% body fat. If you’re quite a bit higher, you could be more aggressive and be okay.

            My pleasure! Great job!

          • Jess M

            Hey Mike, what body fat percentage/range would you put me at currently? Thanks in advance!

          • Hmm it’s hard to tell from this angle but probably around 20%?

            Check this out:


  • Kal-El

    Does bodybuilding affect your speed and agility negatively?
    I was thinking of using a high intensity agility and speed training routine instead of traditional cardio during my cut. It mostly involves an agility ladder and coordination exercises performed in 2 minutes followed by 30 seconds of rest(for 30 mins) . What do you think?

    • Generally speaking building strength is going to help speed and agility.

  • Anthony Renzi

    What would be more ideal, fasted weight lifting or fasted HIIT in the morning? (both sound like death btw).

    • If I had to choose, I’d recommend fasted HIIT. It’ll help accelerate fat loss, and it’ll allow you to have a proper pre-workout meal before lifting to improve performance.

      Fasted training isn’t so bad. 🙂 Try it out and LMK how it goes!

  • Gabriel Lehmann

    HI Michael, I live in the UK and have recently bought Forge (3 pack). I am following Kinobody’s WSP (intermittent fasting). With fasting I have no issues but due to work nature I am only able to train on the evening (7pm). Please can you help as how do I incorporate use of Forge in my daily routine. I do resistance training only 3 days a week and rest other days cardio.

    • Hey Gabriel! Cool you’re following Greg’s program.

      You’ll just need to make sure you’re fasted for your 7pm workout. Depending on what you ate beforehand, it take 3-6+ hours to be fasted.

      Hope this helps! LMK!

  • Joe Marcum

    Michael, I like to work out from home and have a small home gym with free shipping weights (5-50lbs), bench, and pull up bar with dip. I can expand my power block free weights to 85 lbs but have not done so yet. At 5-8 140 lbs, 50lbs each side makes for heavy bench press. My question is can I use your book to build a work out program that I can do at home using my free weights ? And what are your thoughts on if I need to just go ahead and expand the weights to 85? So far 50 has been heavy.

    • Cool you’re doing your training at home!

      You want to be working in the 4-6 rep range. So, if 50 pounds is enough where you can’t get more than 6 reps you’re good. Eventually, you will need to increase the weight though.

      Working out with only dumbbells is a bit tough because you can’t squat, deadlift, bench press, or military press (and these are the most important exercises in any program, really).

      My first standard recommendation is to get a proper home setup (a power cage or multi-press rack with an Olympic bar and plates), or work out in a gym instead. Here are the products I like:


      That said, if neither are possible, you can focus on the dumbbell exercises given in the “approved exercises” section of the book.

      You can also add a couple exercises to make your legs day more challenging:

      Goblet squats are decent, albeit limited.

      One-legged squats are challenging even without weight.

      For your back, I recommend doing a lot of dumbbell rows and weighted wide-grip pull-ups.

      You also have the option of working in some modified body weight exercises, as discussed here:


      I hope this helps and let me know what you think!

  • dizzyblonde3

    Hi Mike, I have TLS and YOC, am on phase 2, week 2, and even though I love the book, these articles are so useful too. I’m squatting at 25kg (I couldn’t squat at 5kg’s when I started lol), but when I exercise with dumbbells, (eg incline dumbbell bench press, tricep extensions), I’m only at 16/20kg’s. At what weight should I start repping in the 4-6 range? Thanks

    • Nice! Glad you’re enjoying both the books and the articles. 🙂

      Awesome job on the progress you’ve made!

      I recommend at least 6 months of the standard TLS program. Then you can move to the 4-6 rep range on the following exercises if you’d like:

      Bench press
      Military Press

      Stick to 8-10 on all others.

      Welcome! Thoughts?

  • Mohammed

    Hi what are your thoughts of doing fasted weight training and fasted HIIT (sprints) first thing in the morning? Is this ok? Is there any advice you can give? Will appreciate your reply.

    • Mohammed

      my goal is weight/fat loss. I have a lot of weight to lose…

  • Jason

    Hey Mike,
    Should one refeed during a more aggressive fat loss phase or just maintain a straight 20-25% deficit the whole time? I ask because when running the math if the normal person running a 20% deficit and refeeding once per week would lose 1 pound of fat per week at the very most which seems to be more in line with slow cutting rather than aggressive cutting.

    • Yep, I still recommend you refeed every week or two.

      With a proper 20-25% deficit and a standard refeed every week or two, you should be able to lose 1-2 pounds a week which is what I recommend. Any more than that and you risk losing muscle.


      • Jason

        Thanks for clarifying that, plus it’s a relief lol weekly refeeds are awesome. Running a 20% percent deficit with a weekly refeed is pretty easy to sustain.

  • Kelly

    Hi Mike!
    I just bought TLS and I LOVE it! I am learning so much. Question on fasted training : I understand the benefits of caffeine on performance, but I cannot do black coffee lol. Will the half n half (I measure and log it!), impede the fasted training?
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, I’m soaking it up like a sponge 😀

    • Hey Kelly! Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      I completely understand, haha. Up to 2 tbsp of half & half is fine. Any more and you risk breaking the fast.

      My pleasure! Happy to hear it. 🙂

  • Phillip

    Hey mike! I’ve been following BLS and I have never seen faster results! Even the people at my gym are asking me what I do and I’ve referred 4 people to your company!! So great!

    Anyway, I will be finishing my bulk by the end of the summer, but I have a problem….I am going to have to dedicate a lot of my time to an organization I am apart of. So I won’t have a lot of time to exercise. What do you think is the absolute minimum I can exercise and effectively cut fat and preserve LBM? I know that kinobody recommends “properly”lifting 3 times a week with not cardio but I feel like that isn’t enough to preserve muscle mass.
    What do u find the most efficient? I should be able to lift either 4-5 times/week but it’ll b hard to put cardio in there without taking away from time lifting. LMK what you think!

    Thanks again

  • Tuan

    Hey mike! I plan on doing HIIT cardio in the morning and lifting in the afternoon. Therefore, I won’t have access to recumbent cycle machines in the morning. Should I do HIIT with my bicycle or should I sprint instead? Which one would be better for building muscle and losing fat? Thanks!

  • Kirk Schlafer

    Yes, one other thing to add/offer… I’ve found great success in doing HIIT intervals in the swimming pool. It’s nice when you’re doing HIIT a few times per week, because it breaks up the monotony by doing an UPPER-body-heavy HIIT routine. Here’s how I do it: wear a heart rate monitor strap with recording watch (Polar makes a great one that works under water, other companies probably do too)… after a few gentle laps to warm up, I “start the clock”… front crawl as fast as possible to one side of the pool, then turn around and breast stroke as fast as possible to the other end, and do this as many times as you like until you’re ready to rest (I wait until my HR reaches mid 160s — I am 46 years old so set your goal rate accordingly)… then I stop, completely stop and rest, breathing heavy at the edge of the pool til my HR drops back down to 120… and then I hit it again as fast as possible… repeat these “sprint” swim and rest cycles for up to 30 minutes. Here’s what it looks like when you’re done: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1edd7f085ea1c0bbddd56e7eae33d28b49f6dfbf095eac63e9795e958bff8ea8.png

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