Drop 15 Pounds in 6 Weeks

"I am 26 years old and in the Air Force. I am currently in Iraq and have been for about 10 weeks. I have been working out 6 days per week and still have not had noticeable gains, or actually weight loss, since that is what I am aiming for. I am 5'6" and weigh 216 lbs. My ideal weight is 185 lbs. or so. I do cardio 4 days per week and hour per day, combined with at least 30 minutes of strength training. Bottom line is I have 6 weeks left over here and want to drop at least 15-20 lbs. in that time frame. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you for your time!"

SSgt Branden W. Streett
407th AEG
Ali Air Base Command Post

My Answer: Good to hear from an Airman. My father served in the Air Force before I was born. Before I answer your question, let me tell you I don't know exactly what you're doing in your strength workouts to make an accurate assessment.

*A side note here readers: if you're going to ask me for training advice, do tell me in detail what you're doing as far as training. Sets, reps, rest periods, exercises, split routines, etc.

Anyway Branden, I would suggest a few things:

1) Instead of devoting an hour to cardio and half an hour to strength training, you should switch it around. Do an hour of strength training and half an hour of cardio.

2) I don't know what sort of gym equipment you have access to (again, something else that needs to be clarified before you ask me for free advice), but if you can, then follow my Strength Training for Fat Loss program. If you don't have all of the equipment, then you don't have to follow the program exactly, but do follow the precepts as best you can: alternate between upper body and lower body, short rest periods, high reps. Use your watch and time those rest periods! Do NOT allow yourself to rest longer than a minute and a half.

3) For cardio, do high intensity interval training. I know you've been doing steady state cardio, because nobody can do actual interval training for more than half an hour. Interval training will strip the fat off much faster and efficiently than simply jogging. Jogging, by definition, is half-ass effort. You will have to push yourself quite hard during interval training.

4) If you have access to kettlebells, then do some high rep swings, clean and presses or snatches. High rep kettlebell exercises provide an excellent combination of whole body power, endurance and speed. And when I mean high reps, I mean anything above ten reps, aiming for 20 or more.

If you have 6 weeks Branden, then do yourself a favor and order my book and check out the chapter on fat loss. This chapter goes over 7 different training methods to strip off fat through strength training. The Strength Training for Fat Loss program, while effective, only utilizes one of these methods.
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