A New Year, a New Body: Week 2: The Metabolic Blast™ Workout Phase I

Want to lose 10 pounds in as little as 28 days? Think that sounds out of reach or that it will require starvation? Well think again - you can start shredding body fat almost immediately by lifting smart and eating your fill of healthy foods. Find out how to amp up your metabolism and accelerate your progress in part two of our four part series.

Editors Note: This is part 2 of Josef’s 4 part, 12 week program. Be sure to check out part 1 and stay tuned for weeks 5, and 9.

How To Shed Up To 10lbs Of Body Fat In Only 28 Days, and Less Than 3.5hrs Per Week In The Gym

I sincerely hope that I am talking to you AFTER you have done the 20 minutes or so of homework from week 1 AND after you have a week of Green Faces under your belt. If you do you should have a lot more room under that belt already. Lets keep the momentum going and lets build you a brand new body!

When you read the sub head, I am sure that you are thinking, “is this some kind of infomercial!? 10 lbs in less than 3.5 hours per week! Bullshit! I've worked out for 6 hours per week in the past, and I couldn't even drop 10 lbs then.”

I understand how you feel. Those were my words exactly the first time someone told me that I could get nice and lean by exercising LESS. “BULL!” I thought.

Before I discovered the concept of The Metabolic Blast™ I used to exercise OVER 11 HOURS per week and I looked like this!

Josef old

40.25 inch waist, 26% body-fat (technically obese), and I worked out twice-a-day. I was too embarrassed to have anyone else take my picture.

A Brand New Josef!

Before long it became clear to me that 11 hours per week was not getting the job done. I was spending all of my free-time and a lot of my sleep time in the gym or on the way to the gym. I was miserable, fat and both working my ass off and not working my ass off, so I figured that I had nothing to lose, and maybe some sleep to gain.

Josef new

45 pounds of body fat later Josef finds his penis and is obviously elated…

What Happened?

#1. I got rid of my junk training

95% of what I was doing before was stupid – it was not the kind of training that would yield good fat-loss results. I would do 60 minutes of boring and sweaty aerobic exercise in the morning on an empty stomach.

Aerobic exercise is THE biggest waste of time when it comes to fat-loss training. If you don't understand why I am saying that click here to read my article on why aerobics suck.

At night I would come back and knock-out a 45 minute body-part split workout (such as an arm day), followed by 35-45 min more hard aerobics. If you clicked the link above, then you already know why the aerobics part was stupid.

To stimulate fat-loss you want to work as much muscle as possible at the same time in order to:

  • Burn as many calories as possible during the workout
  • Stimulate the largest post-workout metabolic boost possible (researchers have clocked this as at least 38 hours long for multi-joint exercises like squats) (1)
  • Maintain as much muscle mass as possible
  • Get out of the gym

I don't care how big your arms are, they will NEVER be anywhere near as large as you legs. A bicep curl will not deliver any metabolic boost worth mentioning, nor will it really burn any calories. So, an arm (or a “chest”, or a “back” only) workout may be a good idea for a competitive body builder, but it is a waste of a perfectly good gym session for a regular, steroid-free guy who is wants to look better naked.

#2. I added in smart training

Smart training is when you workout for one hour, but reap the benefits for 24, 36 or even 48 hours to come. Total body metabolic lifting will burn TONS of calories during, and after your workout.

For example, if you do a squat immediately followed by a chin-up you will work almost every single muscle in your body and create an enormous total-body metabolic boost. This boost will get you burning extra fat for days to come.

The same is true for intervals. You can train for half as long and get 450% more fat-loss than you would with traditional steady-state aerobic exercise. (2)

#3. I improved my nutrition

Unless you are extremely lucky, you are not going to make rapid or large-scale improvements to your body without eating better. Since this is not a nutrition article, I'll just give a brief overview of what I did:

  • I cut out the refined carbs – bread, pasta, etc.
  • I replace them with whole, unprocessed carbs – veggies, fruit, and a very limited amount of whole grain. This was one of THE most important things that I did. Low-carb dieters will usually drop 75-100% MORE fat eating the SAME number of calories vs. a low-fat diet. (3, 4)
  • I ate 5 small meals per day, almost without fail to rev up my metabolism and to keep hunger at bay
  • I got protein at every meal – protein is the KING of hard-body macro-nutrients. I ate a little over 1g of protein per pound of lean body mass.
  • I actually ate more – it turns out that I was actually under-eating before, so my metabolism was constantly depressed and my body was primed to store fat whenever I over ate.

Where Are You Now?

Losing 10 pounds of fat may not equate to 10 pounds on the scale. So, lets take a few minutes to find out where you are now in a meaningful, yet simple. Measure your waist at the plane of your belly-button, and weigh yourself. Write these numbers down along with the date.

Pick one day of the week to be your “measure day” where you'll check-in to see how much progress you've made. Try as much as you can to make it the same day, the same time of day, the same tape measure, and the same scale. The accuracy of the initial measurements is not that important, BUT the consistency of your follow-up measurements is VITAL.

For men an inch on the waist is 4-5 pounds of body-fat. Since we put almost all of our fat around our middle, all we need to do is keep track of if your waists of shrinking or growing. A great goal would be to drop 2 inches in the next 4 weeks.

If you drop an inch, but weigh the same that is THE absolute best of both worlds. That means that you dropped 4-5 pounds of fat and gained 4-5 pounds of lean tissue. In other words, you made an 8-10 pound improvement in your body composition. In body composition (a.k.a. how you look naked) gaining a pound of muscle counts the same as losing a pound of fat.

Your Metabolic Blast™ Plan

This plan is based on the same principles that people pay me hundreds if not thousands of dollars to get one-on-one. My typical male client will drop 10lbs of body-fat in the first 4 weeks without counting calories.

Day 1 – Lift – Workout A (46-49 min)

Day 2 – Long interval session (17 min)

Day 3 – Lift – Workout B (46-49 min)

Day 4 – Long interval session (17 min)

Day 5 – Lift – Workout A (46-49 min)

Day 6 – Long interval session (17 min)

Day 7 – Rest (don't be a total slob, but don't do anything really intense like play basketball. Walk to the store, or play Nintendo Wii.)

Be sure to continue alternating Workout A and B.

Total = 3 hours 9 minutes to 3 hours 20 minutes


In 5 minutes you can massively reduce your risk of injury, improve your mobility and get your body prepared to work hard.

Exercise Sets x Reps Rest

A1. Bridge 1 x 10 0 sec

A2. Quadruped with thoracic extension 1 x 8/side 0 sec

A3. Inch worm 1 x 5 0 sec

A4. Leg swing (front to back) 1 x 10/side 0 sec

A5. Squat to stand 1 x 10 0 sec

A6. Overhead squat 1 x 10 Done

How To Read Workouts

A1. & A2. are an exercise pair. That is, you do the reps for A1, then move to A2 with NO rest. Complete A2, then rest and go back to A1. Continue alternating until your finish all the sets and reps for the A's, then move on to the B's.

Workout A

Exercise Sets x Reps Rest

A1. Romanian deadlift (bar or dumbbells) 3 x 10-12 0 sec

A2. Perfect push-up 3 x 10-12 60 sec

Line break

B1. Bulgarian split squat 3 x 10-12 0 sec

B2. DB chest-supported row 3 x 10-12 60 sec

Line break

C1. Turkish get-up 3 x 6/side 0 sec

C2. Perfect plank 3 x 10-12 60 sec

Line break

Workout B

Exercise Sets x Reps Rest

A1. Front squat 3 x 10-12 0 sec

A2. Wide grip overhand pull-down 3 x 10-12 60 sec

Line break

B1. SHELC 3 x 10-12 0 sec

B2. DB push-press 3 x 10-12 60 sec

Line break

C1. DB swing 3 x 6/side 0 sec

C2. Ball roll-out 3 x 10-12 60 sec

Line break

D. Prone cobra hold 1 x 120sec 0 sec

Line break

Interval Workouts

1. Post workout (after lifting) – perform on any piece of cardio equipment:

  • 2 min warm-up
  • 30 sec “all-out”, a 9 on a scale of 1-10
  • 60 sec “recovery”, a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10
  • Repeat for a total of 8 rounds
  • 2 min cool down

Total = 16 min

2. Long interval session (non-lifting days) – perform at home (run or jump rope), or at the gym on any piece of cardio equipment:

  • 3 min warm-up
  • 60 sec “all-out”, a 9 on a scale of 1-10
  • 120 sec “recovery”, a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10
  • Repeat for a total of 4 rounds
  • 2 min cool down (+ the last 2min of “recovery” = 4 min total)

Total = 17 min


Q: Josef, won't I lose muscle if I'm dropping more than 2lb per week?

A: No. So long as you take in enough protein (1g per pound of body weight), and lift weights (that's the foundation of this program), then you can NOT possibly lose muscle mass. The fact of the matter is that people can GAIN (very small amounts of) muscle on an 800 calorie per day liquid diet IF they lift weights (the 800 kcal + aerobic exercise group LOST a lot of muscle). (5)

You may look smaller as you get leaner in the beginning, but that is because the layer of fat on top of your muscles may look like muscle. The good news is that a lean 14″ arm LOOKS bigger and better than a 16″ chunky arm.

Q: What about my guns!? There are no bicep curls, won't my arms shrink.

A: First of all, what is the point of doing bicep curls?

Ball State did a study where both groups did the same compound upper body exercises – row, bench, pull down, and overhead press. BUT, one group also did direct bicep and tricep work. In 10 weeks there was NO difference whatsoever between the compound-only and the compound + isolation group. (6)

Your arms get worked any time your bend or straighten your elbow – rows, pull downs, push-ups, etc. The worst case scenario is that your arms stay exactly the same size. If you really want to, feel free to add 5 minutes of so of direct arm work at the end of your workout, just be sure that this does not interfere with the important parts of your training – the metabolic lifting and the intervals.

Q: Does it really matter how long I rest? Can I just go again when I feel like it?

A: NOT if you want good results. How long you rest is one of THE absolute MOST important factors to control in any program, especially a fat-loss plan. A watch with an interval timer is THE single most important piece of exercise equipment after weights. You can get a Nike Traix watch (model 50 or higher) on Ebay for $35 including shipping.

If you don't feel like you need the 60 seconds in between exercise pairs, that is because you are not working hard enough, not because the rest is too long. Increase the weight, improve your form, and/or increase your range of motion.

If it feels like its not enough time, like you're still out of breath, that's exactly how it should feel:-).

Get your butt to the gym and get crankin' on your brand new body and I will see you in 4 weeks with phase II.

If you live in the DC are go to www.washingtondcpersonaltrainer.com to find out how you can get a 100% FREE 7-Day Free Trial of personal training with Josef Brandenburg – there are no tricks or strings attached. Space is extremely limited, so sign-up before we run out of space. If you're not in the DC area, go to www.josefbrandenburg.com to learn more from Josef on his blog.

1. Schuenke MD, Mikat RP, McBride JM. Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC): implications for body fat management. Eur J Appl Physiol 2002 Mar;86(5):411-7
2. Tremblay A, Simoneau JA, Bouchard C. Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism.
Metabolism. (1994); 43(7):814-8
3. Christopher, DG, et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women: The A TO Z Weight Loss Study: A Randomized Trial. JAMA. 2007; 297: 969 – 977
4. Volek, JS, et al. Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women. Nutrition & Metabolism 2004 1:13
5. Bryner RW et al. Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800 calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate. J Am Coll Nutr. 1999 Apr; 18(2):115-21
6. Rogers et al. The Effect of Supplemental Isolated Weight-Training Exercises on Upper-Arm Size and Upper-Body Strength. Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, IN. NSCA Conference Abstract (2000)
Josef Brandenburg

Josef Brandenburg is a Washington D.C.-area fitness expert with 16 years of experience and co-author of the international best-selling book "Results Fitness." In 2004, he started True 180 Fitness (formerly The Body You Want) personal training program, which specializes in helping you get the body you want in the time you have available. Josef holds certifications from Precision Nutrition, American Council on Exercise, National Academy of Sports Medicine, Functional Movement Systems, Corrective High Performance Kinesiology, and the National College of Exercise Professionals. Learn more about Josef on his blog, follow him on Twitter and Facebook.