How Can I Reduce My Body Fat Percentage?

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question-icon-newI’m currently about 12% body fat and my goal is get really lean and ripped. I would like to know what I need to do get my body fat percentage down in the 6-7% area. I have been training for about 5 years now and I just can’t seem to lose the last layer of fat over my lower abs and stomach. I’m weight training 3-4 days and week and doing cardio 4-5 days per week which consists of walking on the treadmill for about 30 minutes per session. My diet is pretty healthy but I do go out and have drinks with my friends 2-3 nights a week. What do you recommend I should do in order to get down to a low level of body fat percentage?

answer-icon-newGetting really lean takes a lot of hard work if you have a naturally endomorphic body type (hold more fat) versus a naturally lean ectomorphic person. As an endomorph, you really need to tighten up all aspects of your training (weights, cardio and diet) because your body naturally wants to hold onto more fat.

A few things I recommend are increasing your cardio workouts to 6-7 days a week and switch your exercises. Instead of walking on the treadmill (which burns minimal calories), focus on serious calorie burning exercises like jumping rope, sprinting and overall HIIT cardio workouts. HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) is great for burning tons of calories in a short amount time. Each HIIT cardio session lasts about 20 minutes and you really tap into what is called “EPOC” (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). EPOC refers to how long you burn fat after you have worked out, so when you do intense HIIT cardio, your body will be so charged up that you will continually burn fat for hours later.

An example of a HIIT cardio workout using sprinting would be:

  • 5 minute jog to warm-up
  • sprint 50 yards as fast as you can go
  • rest for 1 minute
  • sprint 50 yards as fast as you can go
  • rest for 1 minute
  • repeat this for 10 total sets

Along with cardio, you really need to tighten up your diet. This means you need to stop drinking so much every week. You’re just adding unwanted extra calories which is prohibiting your fat loss goals. Limit your nights out drinking to once a week. The drinks you choose are also very important. Some good choices for low carb alcoholic drinks with low calories include:

  • Captain Morgan Rum and Diet Coke
  • Vodka and Sugar Free Red Bull
  • Michelob Ultra Beer

Keep your weight training sessions up since you want to maintain and build as much muscle tissue as possible. If you combine all of these factors (weight training, cardio, diet) and really work hard then you will see results and lower your body fat percentage. Nothing beats strict discipline, determination and dedication for reaching your fitness goals!

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