A New Year, a New Body Week 9: The Final Cut

It's been 8 weeks - the finish line is in sight and your new body awaits. Don't settle down just yet though, you're about to put your fat-stripping, muscle sculpting workouts on overtime.

Editors Note: This is the final installment of Josef’s 4 part, 12 week program. Be sure to check out part 1part 2, and part 3.

Last summer a guy named Niket from North Carolina found me online and decided to move up to DC for 6 weeks to work with me one-on-one. He really wanted to dunk, but he had two problems working against him:

#1. He was obese. Think about the physics of that. If you're 5'11” it's pretty much impossible to accelerate a bunch of dead weight (fat) high enough to dunk. It doesn't matter how strong or explosive you get, if you're fat you won't be able to dunk.

#2. He could NOT jump period. His knee pain was just too severe for him to actually be able to take off. It hurt to walk. It hurt to squat. It was excruciating to even start running. (Please note: He was clear to workout. I don't pretend to practice physical therapy.)

Here's what Niket looked like on day 1:

Niket before photo

  • 200lbs
  • 38.75″ waist
  • 24% body-fat (or more)

Designing a work program for him was tough because the quality of his movement was so poor that he essentially couldn't do any of the entry level exercises. I had to be fairly creative to regress the workouts enough so that he could do them, and so that they would actually generate quick results – people don't move to a new city for slow progress.

This is Niket 8 weeks later:

Niket after photo

  • 186lbs
  • 32.75″ waist
  • 12% body-fat

The first 6 weeks were in DC. The next 2 weeks he was back in NC as an online client. He dropped 25lbs of body-fat and gained 12lbs of muscle for a 37lb improvement in body composition.

I've used all of the same underlying nutrition and exercise principles for you in parts 1, 2, and 3, so take this stuff seriously! If you follow directions you can get great results very fast.

A Word About Carbs

I had the extremely good fortune to interview Gary Taubes, the author of Good Calories, Bad Calories for my new Body Club CD of the month program. He's the guy that wrote the NYT piece “What If Its All Been a Big Fat Lie” back in 2002 that had every dietitian in the US sending him hate mail.

Good calories, bad calories cover
The best book on nutrition of the past 2 years, but a pretty tough read.

He's spent 5 years reviewing a century's worth of research on obesity and he had two things to say – one profound and one interesting:

  1. “Just like cigarettes literally cause lung cancer, carbs literally make people fat.”
  2. He mentioned one person's particular case study where a guy had lost 50lbs, BUT all weight-loss would stop if the guy ate one apple per day – just one apple. He wouldn't gain fat, but all fat-loss would stop independent of any other factor.

The takeaway is: While there aren't many people in the world that are so carb intolerant and insulin resistant that a single apple will kill their fat-loss program, all of us owe our body composition to insulin. If you're not dropping fat as quickly as you'd like eat fewer carbs, more fat and more protein. My experience says that it really is that simple. If you secrete less insulin, you will lose more fat at any intake level, AND be less hungry.

One easy way to cut carbs is to switch from a carb + protein recovery drink like “Surge” to a whey-protein only recovery drink. (Just go get some low-carb whey form GNC or some other such place and mix with water.)

The Final Cut: Metabolic Blast™ Plan Phase III

Last month we talked about the principle of progressive overload – that you have to systematically and progressively challenge the body to get it to make progress. Your body will only adapt (make progress) if it has to, not because you want it to. To stimulate that progress you must make sure that you steadily make progress from workout to workout. Every workout your goal is to do one of the following:

  • Add weight (the smallest amount possible)
  • Add a rep or two
  • Add a set (it says 3-4 sets, so in week 1 do only 3 sets, then keep the weight the same, but add a 4th set in week 2)

I have also made your workouts a LOT more challenging. So challenging you may not like me anymore. That's OK. If you aren't cursing me by the end of the 2nd round of the A1-4 exercises, then your weight is too light. That's a smiley face, but I really am serious.

I've put 4 exercises in a row: a lower body exercise, an upper push or pull, a 2nd lower body exercise, then a 2nd push or pull. The local muscles – upper body pulling muscles, for example – will have plenty of time to recover (4min), so they will be able to pull some serious weight. However, your heart and lungs will be toast. That's fine, technically speaking you really don't need oxygen for anaerobic work.

Pick loads that are challenging. Bust that ass and forget about how hard you are breathing. Push the weight and keep the form tight. You should be a sweaty, gasping pile of man by the end of the workout.

The same thing goes for the B1 & 2 pair. Those are sets of 20. 20 reps burns like a mother. People usually guess low and stop early just because of the lactic acid burn. Don't. Keep going for as long as you can with good form.

Your Week

Day 1 – Lift (51 min)

Day 2 – Long interval session (21 min)

Day 3 – Lift (51 min)

Day 4 – Long interval session (21min)

Day 5 – Lift (51 min)

Day 6 – Long interval session (21 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.)

Total = 3 hours 36min


I've got 14 new exercises for you, so the warm-up stays the same.

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. A3. A4. are a mini circuit. [Insert curse word.] Finish all of the A's, then knock out the B's which are only pairs.

Workout A

Exercise Sets x Reps, Rest

A1. 1 ¼ Back squat 3-4 x 10, 0 sec

A2. Rotational overhead press 3-4 x 10, 0 sec

A3. Reverse crossover lunge 3-4 x 10, 0 sec

A4. Mixed grip chin or pull down 3-4 x 10, 60sec

diagonal line break

B1. Bulgarian split squat to press 1-2 x 20/leg, 0 sec

B2. DB pullover 1-2 x 20/side, 60 sec

diagonal line break

C. Reverse crunch 2-3 x 15, 60 sec

diagonal line break

D. Intervals 6 x 30 sec FAST/30 sec Recovery

Workout B

Exercise Sets x Reps, Rest

A1. Deadlift from floor 3-4 x 10, 0 sec

A2. Explosive push-up 3-4 x 10, 0 sec

A3. Lunge jump 3-4 x 10, 0 sec

A4. 1 arm DB bent over row 3-4 x 10, 60 sec

diagonal line break

B1. Bulgarian deadlift 1-2 x 20/leg, 0 sec

B2. Inverted row 1-2 x 20/side, 60 sec

diagonal line break

C. Valslide plank 2 x 10/side, 60 sec

diagonal line break

D. Intervals 6 x 30 sec FAST/30 sec Recovery

Interval Workouts

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

A. 2 min warm-up

B. 30 sec “all-out,” a 9 on a scale of 1-10

C. 30 sec “recovery,” a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10

D. Repeat for a total of 6 rounds

E. 2 min cool down

Total = 10 min

Remember its only 3min of actual work, the other 7min are recovery, warm-up or cool down, so bust that ass for real!

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

A. 3 min warm-up

B. 60 sec “all-out,” a 9 on a scale of 1-10

C. 90 sec “recovery,” a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10

D. Repeat for a total of 6 rounds

E. 3 min cool down (+ the last 1.5min of “recovery” = 4.5 min total)

Total = 21 min

Hey, there's only 6min of actual work, AND you are fresh – no weightlifting beforehand. Don't leave anything on the table during your intervals. Demolish them!

Don't forget to send me your “after” pics. You don't need to look like a fitness model, you just need to have made progress from where you started. I won't publish them without permission. I Never have, never will.

Josef Brandenburg is Washington, DC's #1 fat-loss expert for busy people. He shows regular people with hectic lives and average genetics how to create the bodies they want in the time they have. He is also the author of The Body You Want. If you live in or near Washington, DC click here, otherwise click here.

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.