Pizza, Beer and Shooting Big Guns!

Q: "I have recently re-started working out again after five years of eating pizza and drinking beer. I have the typical body of a patrol sergeant. I am also the executive officer for our SWAT team (i.e. plan missions, shoot big guns, train and sit on ass while the guys do the rest!)

"I am 31 years old 5'10 inches tall, size 40 pants and weigh 250 pounds (fat ass!). I have got to lose this damn beer gut and get back in shape. I have cut way back on the carbs and calorie intake and have upped my protein intake to around 130 grams per day (lot's of fish and protein shakes). 

"Since I have been outta the bodybuilding loop for the past five years, I was wondering if you could give me some pointers. I've been jogging, walking, sprinting about 1 mile a day and lift weights about 2 times a week (bi's tri's, & shoulders). I work a four on four off 12 hours a day schedule. What in the world can I do to get back into shape? Thanks!"

Sgt. Phil D.
Training Director
Special Operations Response Team XO
Jefferson County Sheriff's Department

My Answer: You know Phil, I almost marked your email as spam, because your subject line read "My Fat Ass." Anyway, working 4/12's is kind of tough, because you have no time to exercise when you get off work. But since you're the training director, if you're not doing it already, then workout at the facility twice a day. You seem to be on the right track with diet, but did you cut out beer too? At least limit alcohol consumption, because alcohol limits your testosterone and ups your estrogen. Makes it real hard to lose fat and gain muscle.

The other thing is you may want to revamp your strength training program, because it looks like you're only working your arms and shoulders. You should really start training everything else also: legs, back and chest. These are bigger muscles than the arms and shoulders, so they burn more calories. Your strength program has to be designed in a way to build muscle and strip fat. For now 2 things:

1) Read my article on Building a Bigger Engine
2) Buy my book Strength and Physique. I go over 7 different strength training strategies for fat loss.
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