If you only had four weeks to get shredded abs for a shirtless photoshoot, last-minute beach vacation, or any other scenario where you don’t want to look like a fluffy mess; what would you do? I asked Coach PJ Striet, Owner of Revive Fitness Systems, what he would do.
4-weeks to shredded abs
In a rapid fat loss scenario like this with a hard (and short) deadline, it has to be an aggressive and extremely quantitative approach. This is not a time for a flexible dieting or “if it fits your macros” approach. With a short time frame like this, everything has to be precise, repeatable and dialed in. While I am generally not a fan of having people use regimented meal plans, this is one scenario where they are both necessary and efficacious.
On the nutrition front, here’s what I’d have someone do (using the same core group of foods daily in meal plan format):
- Calories: 8/lb. of current body weight (200 lb. guy eating 1600 calories/day)
- Protein: 1.25g/lb. of current body weight (200 lb. guy eating 250g of protein/day)
- Carbs: .5g/lb. of current body weight (200 lb. guy eating 100g of carbs/day)
- Fat: trace/the remainder (in this example, around 20g of fat per day or use an omega 3 supplement)
- Meal Frequency: 3-4 per day (in this example, 400-500 calorie meals)
- No liquid calories (satiation is critical)
- Water intake at .75 oz. of body weight per day with a percentage of that coming from seltzer water to help with fullness
On the training front, here’s the approach I’d take:
- Strength Training: 3-4 sessions/week using push/pull/legs or traditional “bro” split
- Volume: low while training to failure and still trying to be progressive whenever possible (maybe 10 hard work sets/session)
- Daily Step Count: 15,000/day (moderate-intensity, steady-state cardio can contribute to this total and should be done after strength training or away from strength training)
- No HIIT! With calories this low, the only sympathetic-dominant work should be strength training.
A final word of caution
While I wouldn’t recommend abusing extreme fat loss methods, for the sake of your longterm success or hormonal profile, an approach like you see above will retain muscle fullness while maximizing fat loss over a very short period of time. It will ensure you look and feel your best in any emergency-type scenario. If you don’t want to bounce back afterwards then seek a more sustainable approach.
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