Muscle for life

Everyone “Knows” Targeted Fat Loss is Impossible…But Is It?

Everyone “Knows” Targeted Fat Loss is Impossible…But Is It?

If you’re looking to reduce the fat in a specific area of your body, you’re going for “targeted fat loss.” Some people say it’s possible, some say it’s not. Who’s right?


Targeted fat loss, or “spot reduction,” has long been–and still is–a hot button pushed to sell fitness books, magazines, DVDs, supplements, and more.

One workout is for “slimming” your thighs and another is for “sculpting” your midsection. This food is supposed to reduce belly fat and that food can somehow make your hips leaner.

Is any of this actually possible, though? Are we actually able to influence where our bodies pull fat from?

Well, the answer is no…and yes. Let me explain…

You Can’t Directly Exercise Fat Off Certain Body Parts

Pick up just about any fitness magazine and you’ll find workouts for getting a six pack, slimming the thighs, getting rid of love handles, and the like.

I wish it were that simple.

While research has actually shown that training a muscle results in increased levels of blood flow and lipolysis in the area (the breakdown of fat cells into usable energy), it’s not in a large enough quantity to matter.

The reality is training the muscles of a certain area of your body burns calories and can result in muscle growth, both of which certainly can aid in fat loss, but it doesn’t directly burn the fat covering them to any significant degree.

You see, fat loss occurs in a whole-body fashion. You create the proper internal weight loss environment (a calorie deficit) and your body reduces fat stores all over the body, with certain areas reducing faster than others (more on why in a moment).

You can do all the crunches you want–you’ll never have a six pack until you’ve adequately reduced your overall body fat percentage, and that’s more a function of proper dieting than anything else.

Ironically, if you want an area of your body to be leaner, training the muscles without also ensuring you’re reducing your body fat percentage will only aggravate the problem. The muscles will grow and the layer of fat will remain, which will only result in the area looking bigger.

I run into this fairly often with women that get into weightlifting without also addressing their body fat percentage. This is why many women believe weightlifting makes them “bulky.”

You see, when you start out with your body fat percentage too high, lifting weights without also dieting properly only makes you look a little bigger. Some guys welcome this as it’s better than just being skinny fat, but most women hate it. They got into weightlifting to look lean, toned, and athletic, not to have even more trouble fitting into their clothes.

This is why I often repeat a simple rule of thumb: the more muscle you build, the leaner you have to be to avoid looking big and bulky. (Click here to tweet this!)

A woman that has built an appreciable amount of muscle (1+ years of weightlifting) will want to stay under 20% body fat to maintain the type of look most women want (toned arms, tight stomach, shapely legs, big butt, etc.). For us guys, we need to stay under 10% for the look we’re usually after (abs, small waist, vascularity, “dense”-looking muscle, etc.).

You Can Accelerate the Loss of “Stubborn” Fat

And now we come to why I added the “or is it?” question to the title of this article.

While you can’t do a bunch of squats to get leaner thighs or crunches to get a six pack, you can utilize some training and supplemental strategies to help those areas get leaner faster.

How is that possible?

Well, if you’ve ever tried to get below 20% (women) or 10% (men) body fat, you’ve probably noticed that a few areas of your body lost fat a lot slower than others. If you’re a woman, your hips, thighs, and butt were probably the last to really tighten up. If you’re a guy, it was almost certainly your lower abs, obliques, and lower back.

This isn’t a genetic curse–it’s simply a physiological mechanism.

You see, your body uses chemicals known as “catecholamines” to break fat cells down into usable energy. Catecholamines travel through your blood and “attach” to receptors on fat cells, which then trigger the release of the energy stored within the cells so it can be burned off.

Fat cells have two types of receptors for catecholamines, however: alpha-2 and beta-2 receptors. To keep this simple, beta-2 receptors speed up fat mobilization, whereas alpha-2 receptors hinder it.

The more alpha-2 receptors a fat cell has, the more “resistant” it is to being mobilized by catecholamines. On the other hand, the more beta-2 receptors a fat cell has, the more “receptive” it is to the fat-mobilizing molecules.

As you’ve probably guessed, the areas that get lean quickly have a lot of fat cells with more beta-2 receptors than alpha-2, and the areas that don’t have a large amount of fat cells with more alpha-2 than beta-2.

Another problem with these “stubborn fat” areas relates to blood flow. You may have noticed that fat in areas like the lower back and thighs are slightly colder to the touch than fat in other areas of your body like the arms or chest. This is simply because there’s less blood flowing through the areas.

Less blood flow = fewer catecholamines reach the fat cells = even slower fat loss.

So we have a double-whammy of fat loss hindrance here: large amounts of fat cells that don’t respond well to catecholamines and reduced blood flow to keep the catecholamines away.

Fortunately, there are a few things we can do to overcome these barriers and noticeably speed up the loss of fat in these “stubborn” areas of our bodies.

How to Lose Stubborn Fat Faster With Fasted Training

Your body is in a “fasted” state when insulin is at a baseline level, and your body is relying on its energy stores. If you eat a moderate-sized meal, it takes 4 – 5 hours for your body to finish processing the food and enter this state.

Exercise done in this state accelerates fat mobilization and weightlifting in a fasted state is particularly effective.

In addition, blood flow in the abdominal region is increased when you’re in a fasted state, which means the catecholamines can reach this stubborn fat easier, resulting in more mobilization of it.

Fasted training first thing in the morning has an added benefit, as fasting for longer than 6 hours increases your body’s ability to burn fat.

There is a downside to fasted training, however. 

When you exercise in a fasted state, muscle breakdown is dramatically increased.

Fortunately, you can prevent this with proper supplementation.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I want you to know that the supplements I recommend in this article are not just what I personally use but they are from my supplement line, LEGION.

As you probably know, the supplement industry is notorious for its lies and shenanigans. The truth is the majority of the supplements you see in the magazines and on the shelves aren’t going to help you reach your goals faster.

That’s why I decided to create the products I myself have always wanted: science-based formulations, clinically effective dosages of all ingredients, no fillers or unnecessary junk, and natural sweetening and flavoring.

You can learn more about LEGION and my goal to change the supplement industry for the better here.

And if you like what you see and decide to support my work…you’re awesome. 🙂 It’s because of people like you that I get to spend my time writing articles like this that help others get into the best shape of their lives.

HMB and Muscle Preservation

The supplement β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (also known as HMB) is a substance formed when your body metabolizes the amino acid leucine, which is an amino acid that directly stimulates protein synthesis.

HMB is often sold as a muscle-building aid but the research purported to demonstrate these benefits is shaky at best, hindered most by design flaws. Thus, I’m not comfortable making any claims about muscle growth.

There is one benefit of HMB that’s well established, however: it’s an extremely effective anti-catabolic agent.

That is, it’s very good at preventing muscle breakdown, which means you will recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness (and the free acid form shows the most promise in this regard).

It also has no effect whatsoever on insulin levels, which means it can’t break your fasted state.

This makes HMB perfect for use with fasted training. Its powerful anti-catabolic effects and non-existent insulin effects means you reap all the fat loss benefits of training fasted without any of the problems relating to muscle loss or insulin secretion.

It’s also worth noting that HMB is superior to leucine in suppressing muscle breakdown because it’s more anti-catabolic than its “parent” amino acid.

This means it’s also more effective than branched-chain amino acid supplements because they rely on leucine for their anti-catabolic effects (isoleucine and valine are very weak in this regard).

In terms of which specific HMB supplement I recommend, I’ve included a clinically effective dosage in every serving of my pre-workout fat burner FORGE.

FORGE is a fat burner made specifically for use with fasted training and it contains clinically effective dosages of…

  • HMB. As you now know, HMB is very good at preventing muscle breakdown, and this means you will recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness.
  • Yohimbine. Research shows that yohimbine enables your body to reduce fat stores faster, and it’s particularly useful as you get leaner and are battling with stubborn fat holdouts.
  • Citicoline. CDP-choline (also known as citicoline) is a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain that increases levels of another chemical called phosphatidylcholine, which is vital for brain function.

Research shows that supplementation with CDP-choline improves attentional focus, and I included this in FORGE because most people find fasted training more mentally draining than fed training and CDP-choline can help counteract this.

The bottom line is FORGE helps you lose fat–and “stubborn” fat in particular–faster, preserve muscle, and maintain training intensity and mental sharpness.


High-Intensity Interval Cardio and Fat Loss

In case you’re not familiar with “high-intensity interval training” or “HIIT,” it’s very simple: you start your workout with a warm-up, and then alternate between bouts of all-out exertion and low-intensity “cooldown.”

For example, you might warm up and then do 30 seconds of sprinting on a bicycle, followed by 45 – 60 seconds of slower pedaling, and you would repeat these intervals for 20 – 25 minutes.

Now, why do this form of cardio instead of the traditional steady-state type?

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

In fact, a study conducted by The University of Western Ontario showed that doing just 4 – 6 30-second sprints burns more fat over time than 60 minutes of incline treadmill walking (one of the staples of “bodybuilding cardio”).

Furthermore, keeping your cardio sessions shorter means you better preserve your muscle and strength, which is vitally important when it comes to building a physique.

My Favorite Type of HIIT Cardio

I do all of my HIIT cardio on the recumbent bike for several reasons.

I like the stable position, which allows me to bring my iPad and read or watch a movie or show, but cycling also has particular benefits to usweightlifters.

You see, a study conducted by Stephen F Austin State University showed that different types of cardio affect your ability to build muscle and strength differently. The study subjects that ran and walked gained significantly less strength and size than those that cycled.

Why is this?

Well, the researchers believed that the main benefit of cycling was that the movement itself imitates weightlifting exercises that grow your legs, like squats and lunges. So if you can, hop on the bike for your HIIT cardio sessions.

Will HIIT Cardio Place Too Much Stress on the Body?

The idea that doing HIIT while dieting for weight loss is a bad idea because it places too much stress on the body has been kicking around for years. But it’s completely anecdotal–I’ve yet to see any clinical research that supports such a position.

I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of people of all ages and fitness levels, and I can’t actually think of one person that burned out on 3 – 5 weightlifting sesions and 3 – 4 HIIT sessions per week (which is what I recommend in my books).

That said, if you do start to feel overtrained, start replacing HIIT cardio sessions with LISS (low-intensity steady-state) and see if that helps.

Start by 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.

Caffeine Helps You Lose Fat Faster

As weight loss boils down to energy consumed vs. energy expended, caffeine helps you lose fat by increasing your body’s daily energy expenditure.

Caffeine also improves strengthmuscle endurance, and anaerobic performance, and also reverses the “morning weakness” experienced by many weightlifters.

Part of maximizing the fat loss benefits of caffeine is preventing your body from building up too much of a tolerance, however. The best way to do this is to limit intake, of course.

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Before training, supplement with 3 – 6 mg caffeine per kg of body weight. If you’re not sure of your caffeine sensitivity, start with 3 mg/kg and work up from there.
  2. Keep your daily. intake at or below 6 mg per kg of body weight. Don’t have 6 mg/kg before training and then drink a couple of coffees throughout the day.
  3. Do 1 – 2 low-caffeine days per week, and 1 no-caffeine day per week. A low day should be half your normal intake, and a no day means less than 50 mg of caffeine (you can have a cup or two of tea, but no coffee, caffeine pills, etc.).

Personally I get my caffeine from my pre-workout PULSE, which contains a dehydrated and concentrated form of caffeine (caffeine anhydrous) shown to be more effective for improving performance than what is naturally found in beverages like coffee.

PULSE also contains clinically effective dosages of 4 other ingredients scientifically proven to improve workout performance:

The bottom line is if you want to know what a pre-workout is supposed to feel like…if you want to experience the type of energy rush and performance boost that only clinically effective dosages of scientifically validated ingredients can deliver…then you want to try PULSE.legion-pulse


Yohimbine Is a Great Stubborn Fat Loss Aid

Yohimbine is made from the Pausinystalia yohimbe plant, and it helps the body “tap into” fat stores.

(Not a very technical explanation, I know–if you want to know exactly how it works, check out this article of mine on how to lose stubborn fat.)

Yohimbine accelerates weight loss, but only works if you’re training in a fasted state. Elevated insulin levels negate yohimbine’s effects.

I’ve cut both with and without fasted training and yohimbine and I can say with absolutely certainty that with is noticeably faster. So much so that I think the biggest benefits of fasted training are that it lets you use yohimbine and it makes the other supplements discussed in this article more effective.

By itself, fasted training will make a slight difference in how quickly you lose fat. Combined with these supplements, however, it’s quite dramatic.

In terms of dosages, research has shown that .2 mg/kg of body weight is sufficient for fat loss purposes, and that ingesting it prior to exercise is particularly effective.

Some people get overly jittery from yohimbine, so I recommend you start with .1 mg/kg of body weight to assess tolerance. If you feel fine, then increase to the clinically effective dosage of .2 mg/kg.

Furthermore, yohimbine can raise blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, I don’t recommend you use it.

In terms of which specific yohimbine supplement I recommend, you’re probably not surprised that I’ve included a clinically effective dosage in every serving of my pre-workout fat burner FORGE.


A Fat Burner That Actually Works: PHOENIX

With the weight loss market valued at a staggering $60.5 billion and more than one-third of U.S. adults obese, it’s no surprise that there’s a glut of “fat burners” for sale these days.

And for the same reasons it’s also no surprise that fat burners are some of the most expensive supplements on the shelves and feature some of the loudest marketing claims, often making big promises of “scientifically proven” rapid fat loss.

The reality is most “fat burners” are junk but there are a handful of natural, safe substances that have been scientifically proven to accelerate fat loss. And that’s why I created PHOENIX.

PHOENIX’s caffeine-free formulation is helps you burn fat faster in three different ways:

  • It dramatically increases metabolic speed.
  • It amplifies the power of fat-burning chemicals produced by your body.
  • It increases the feeling of fullness from food.

It accomplishes this through clinically effective dosages of several ingredients, including…

Through these mechanisms, naringin also works synergistically with synephrine and hesperidin to further accelerate the basal metabolic rate.

Research has show that supplementation with forskolin accelerates fat loss and increases testosterone levels.

  • And more…

The bottom line is if you want to lose fat faster without pumping yourself full of stimulants or other potentially harmful chemicals…then you want to try PHOENIX.


How to Use These Supplements Properly

Here’s what I take before my fasted training sessions:

(NOTE: Taking green tea extract, which is in PHOENIX, on an empty stomach can make some people nauseous. If that happens to you, take it with food and you’ll be fine.)

When I’m dieting for fat loss, I lift weights in a fasted state 5 days per week and do 25 to 30 minutes of HIIT cardio in a fasted state 3 to 4 times per week.

On the days where I’m doing both weightlifting and cardio, I take the above before both training sessions and have no issues.

What do you think about targeted fat loss? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • Daniel Bächtold

    Hi Mike, great article, thanks!
    Is it ok to do workout AND HIIT in the same training session, or do you recommend to separate these?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yeah, you can do your HIIT after. It’s better to separate the workouts, but sometimes that’s not feasbile.

  • Ricky

    At what bf% should someone consider using Yohimbine?

    • Michael Matthews

      Any bf % really.

  • Henrique Perrella

    Michael, and what about spot treatments for stubborn fat? What are your opinions about them (Things like CoolSculpting, mesotherapy, aussie current, lipo-cavitation)?

    • Michael Matthews

      Haven’t looked into those things but they sound like bullshit, heh.

      • Ed

        Haha, you are right on the money Mike. My father is a plastic surgeon and we own a cosmetic surgery clinic. We have reps bring those type of fat dissolving machines all of the time trying to get us to buy them but they are all a bunch of bullshit. They all require users to diet and exercise and often take appetite suppressing supplements and then any little weight people do loose they credit the stupid machine. We’ve had reps leave machines for us to try and not once have we seen any of them do a damn thing.

        • Michael Matthews

          Lol the standard scam.

  • Bartek

    Hi, Mike, very interesting article. What do you think about doing HIIT in “fasted” mode in the morning (protected from muscle breakdown with BCAA or leucine) when bulking? At the moment I’m working out four times a week, doing HIIT once.

    • Michael Matthews

      That’s fine but I wouldn’t do it more than 2-3 x per week.

  • james

    Hi Mike,
    Do you think its possible to build muscle eating at Maintainance calories especially if your getting stronger in the gym?
    Also, im on a cut and increasing my strength – how is that possible? just the muscle getting more efficent without getting bigger?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes, definitely. Just a little lower th an a surplus that’s all.

      Yes, muscles can get stronger without getting bigger.

  • Liz

    Great article Mike! (as always). I usually work out at 12:30pm (before lunch). If I have my breakfast at 7AM (5 hours before) then will I be in “fasted” state by my work out time?.

    • I was wondering that myself. I guess after around 4-5 hours you are somehow in a fasted state and can get the benefits, but as Mike said, after 6 hours it would be even better. Complementing that question, would 4-5 hours be enough to take Yohimbine and still have the desired effects? Thanks for the nice article as usual.

      • Michael Matthews

        It depends how much you eat. A large meal can take 6+ hours to fully process.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! If your breakfast is relatively small, yes this should be fine. I would do no more than 30 g pro and 20-30 g carb. Personally I would skip breakfast and just save the cals for lunch.

  • Carlo

    Great articles! When will your more advanced Bigger Leaner Stronger book come out? I’m really excited for it!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Launch will be starting in a couple of weeks!

  • Andrew

    Mike… I started me body transformation journey in OCT 2013 after reading BLS.. THANK YOU!!! 6 mnts later I am seeing weight loss and some muscle gains.. HOWEVER, I’m signed up to run two half marathons oct 2103 and feb 2014… Can I do all of my necessary run training and still continue to see muscle gains…or do I have to totally devote my time to one or the other??

    • Michael Matthews

      Wow, great job! And holy shit that’s gonna be intense. You will definitely need to reduce the lifting…

  • Keelan

    Should you take 10g of BCAAs after training if first meal is at noon-ish?

    • Michael Matthews

      If you finish training earlier than 11 am, yeah I would.

  • Paul k

    Hi mike, is it ok to do HiiT training on the treadmill I currently do 2mins at a medium jog and 2mins at a fast pace for a total of 20 mins plus cool down is this ok or will it effect me gaining muscle from my weight workouts?

    • Michael Matthews

      Sure! That’s totally fine.

  • Dave

    So if I start using Yohimbine, how long do I wait to eat after a workout? I’m asking because it’s my understanding that the fat burning benefits of HIIT mostly happen after the workout, and not during.

    • Michael Matthews

      You can eat whenever. That doesn’t really matter. It’s the fasted training itself that matters most.

  • Jorge

    I have tried Yohimbine and felt that it helped with stubborn fat. However I feel like crap and very weak when I take it. I take it fasted in the morning before cardio and resistance lifting too. I’m not taking that much at all. Is this normal or is there something I am doing wrong?

    • Michael Matthews

      Really? That’s odd. If you train fasted WITHOUT it you don’t feel weak?

  • Miguel

    Slightly off topic. I’ve read your reviews on CLA and I’m currently taking it, combined with Yohombine, only because I got some for free. What would you recommend dosage wise for someone using it to help in the effort against fat loss?

    • Michael Matthews

      2 – 2.5 grams per day of CLA is the amount you want to go for, but newer research shows that it’s hit and miss. It’s unreliable, which is strange (it helps some people lose fat but doesn’t help others). Just an FYI.

  • Manish Arya

    Mike, wat r the alternatives of Whey protein post workout in vegetarian food and eggs?

    • Michael Matthews

      Brown rice+pea protein blend is a good alternative

  • Rennan

    Great article, Mike! But I have some doubts that concern to my specific case. I’m 64 kg (141,1 lb), 1,69 m (5,54 ft) and my body fat percentage is around 7,13%. Well, that would sound great that I’m under 10% of body fat and that I would be lean. But in reality, it seems that all my damn body fat fat is exactly concentrated in my abs, obliques and lower back. Nothing of it in my arms, legs and other parts. Wearing a shirt, you would say I’m skinny, but without it, you could clearly see where the fat is. In addition, I lose weight very easily. In one month away from gym, I lost 5kg just doing nothing! No change of diet at all, just quit working out for a time. And even with this loss, I saw no change in my belly fat and around.

    So, I’d like you to tell me if taking the advices you describe here in the way they are shown is good to me, or if I have to make some changes to fit in my needs and in my body mechanism. Plus, I’m currently taking training sessions at least 4 times a week. I’m afraid that in attempt to lose the fat, I end up messing the system of getting bigger and, somehow, get no satisfying results. And one last thing (I may seem stupid asking it, but I really have to do it…) is the fasted state within that period of 4-5 hours or is it right after?

    Thank you in advance!

  • Adam Armstrong

    I appreciate this post, I had never heard of Fasted Training before. I knew of the idea, but never the term nor the BCAA or L-Leucine substitutes. I am going try and find one of those supplements after work. May even order some Sweat Sweet to try with the Fasted Training. Thanks again!

    • Michael Matthews

      Nice! Don’t know what the Sweat Sweet is but if it has carbs, it won’t work for fasted training.

  • John N

    I Mike,

    I train in a fasted state at 4.30am, mostly because it is the most convenient time slot in my daily schedule. However, pre-workout I drink 250ml of liquid eggwhites in lieu of BCAAs (just under 100kcal from what I gather) to prevent muscle breakdown and I take creatine in a 4/1 ratio with 4 t/spoons of dextrose which amount to 75kcal. I would assume that once these kick in I am no longer in a “fasted state” for the benefits you described to materialize?


    • Michael Matthews

      That is definitely too much. The insulin response will be too high.

      Instead pick up some powdered leucine if you don’t want to do BCAAs and do just that with some pre workout or caffeine.

  • Adel-Alexander

    That picture looks like something from a Tomb Raider game…

    • Michael Matthews

      You’re right!

  • Adriana

    Can you use Yohimbine and Phoenix fat burner together? Or should I use only one product. If so which do you recommend? Female, 44, 23% BF, 5″7, 141lb

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup! You definitely can.

  • Morgen

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the article! 🙂 I was wondering, since EGC (epigallocatechin gallate) contributes the most to weight loss, would it be better to just take an EGC supplement as opposed to a GTE supplement? NOW supplements has both…


    • Michael Matthews


      EGCG is the catechin most associated with weight loss but there are others that you get in a GTE supplement.

  • Michael Matthews

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

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  • Simply the best article I’ve read about spot reduction, coming from an ex-personal trainer with 5 certifications and 15 years in the industry. And I’m not talking all from ego . . . my own personal trainer, also a professional body builder supports these theories (he just sat me down and scolded me on the same info). The right knowledge is out there, it’s all about finding a reputable source and it doesn’t get much better than Mr. Michael Matthews. Hands down, all around great writer, extremely well versed, educated, and experientially verified.

  • Janie Hannan-Kearl

    Hey Mike, I’ve been in the “cutting phase” for about 6 weeks now eating in a 20% calorie deficit. I’m just wondering how long should I cut for? Until I reach the bodyfat % I want? I basically just have some stubborn lower belly fat that won’t budge (or at least it seems that way. I probably just need to be patient) but I’m looking to build my muscle. I did read your book, but just need a little clarification. Thanks.

    • Yep! You should cut until you reach your goal weight/bodyfat%. Stick to the deficit and you will get there. This should also help:


      Hope that helps! LMK.

      • Janie Hannan-Kearl

        I did fasted training for the first 4 weeks but i started getting really fatigued toward the end of my weight routine even with taking bcaa’s. I may go back to it until I reach where I want to be… I also tried your Phoenix fat burners, and maybe its just because I’ve taken “Synthetic” burners before, but i didn’t feel a difference taking the Phoenix as far as appetite suppressing or energy, but I might buy another bottle anyway because I’m more worried about my health than reaching a goal faster and I like the natural approach.

        • No worries on the fasted training. It’s not NECESSARY by any means.

          Ah okay well the good thing about Phoenix is the ingredients are based on good research. Like a good multivitamin, it’s working whether you “feel” it or not.

          Many supplement companies add stimulants or other ingredients to give you something to “feel,” but I don’t like that.

  • Crateria

    In line with the reasoning behind fasted training/cardio for increased reduction in stubborn fat, would adding an unweighted ab circuit before fasted cardio help in anyway?

    I understand that if it did have an effect, it would be pretty minimal. Just curious on your take on it since it should result in increased bloodflow to the abdominal region before you even start the fasted cardio.

    • Eh not really. If anything, you could add the ab routine to the end of a weight lifting session. I wouldn’t do it pre-cardio.

  • Chintan Jariwala

    Currently on gaining diet with slight calorie surplus(custom meal plan) and starting to see fat on my lower back which has been a stubborn area to get rid of fat. what should be done to keep this stubborn area to accumulate minimal fat during gaining period?

    Doing cardio twice a week

    • Fat gain is expected during a bulk. If done properly, the fat gain should be minimal though.

      How much weight are you gaining? The goal is no more than .5-1 pound a week. If you’re gaining more than that you have to reduce cals.


  • Alex M

    Do you recommended fasted training supplemented with BCAAs all the time, for cutting? Or should one stick to non-fasted training until they reach a plateau for a while?

    • You can fasted train if you like. It’s not required to lose weight, but it can accelerate fat loss. Totally up to you.

  • Nat

    Hey Mike, quick question about working out in a fasted state in order stimulate better fat loss. I work out everyday (M – F) at 7am. Since working out in a fasted state causes muscle breakdown to dramatically increase, I always take 1 scoop of whey protein first thing in the morning, prior to working. So, by consuming whey protein, does that “break” my fasted state? If so, how can I avoid breaking my fasted state and hit the gym (overloading on compound movements), without breaking down muscles in order to experience optimal muscle growth.

    Please advise and appreciate any information you can provide.

    – Nat

  • Anísä Hussain

    I’m a mum of 2, aged 27 & weigh 75kg! I am really struggling with my weight… I go to the gym 5 days out of 7 and mainly do HIIIT on the treadmill with using other gym machines too, not forgetting plank and other non-machine exercises, i am also eating healthier and making healthier choices at every opportunity but the cellulite, the muffin flop, the bingo wings and the chunky thighs are not budging! 😩😩😩
    I have recently started drinking twinnings green tea with lemon, i also have an underactive thyroid for which i take medication but nothing is happening with my weight loss… I’m slowly reaching my giving up limit, PLEASE HELP!!!!!

  • sakib800

    HEy mike so if I dont do any sort of fasted training and i try to lose wieght only through dieting and lifting, it wont come from the stubborn fat places?

  • sakib800

    Lmao i keep saying these becasue I cant seem to lose the fat on my face which makes it look rounder. I know its fat becasue i was skinny before and these past year ive been getting fatter and it collected on my face. Ive been trying to reduce my cals by about 500 and do weightlifting. Should i incorporate fasted cardio or just stick to weightlifting and diet…becasue i dont have any BCAA’s and what if cardio interferes with my lifts

  • sakib800

    Is fasted training worth it if you dont use any supplements? I just take a protein shake afterwards

  • Dan

    Hi Mike, On HMB, it looks like from the linked articles that 3g/day is right dosage for FA form, is that right? Does that hold for Calcium version and should that be taken earlier since it is slower?

  • Jamal

    Mike, in this article you talk about working out in a fasted state as the best way to burn fat, but in your book you talk about having pre-workout carbs and protein. These statements seem to conflict. Am I missing something?

    • Hey Jamal! Good question.

      I’d definitely recommend having a pre-workout meal if you’re bulking and aiming to pack on muscle. Eating before working out won’t hinder your fat loss during a cut, though, as long as you follow a proper calorie deficit. That said, working out in a fasted state is a great way to accelerate fat loss and target stubborn fat in particular. Check this out:


      I hope this helps!

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