justin west coaching notes

powerful surfing from training with justin west coaching
Joackim Guichard levante

There are many myths circulating the weight training world; one of the most popular is that higher rep rates (or the number of times you lift a given weight) and lower weight leads to a more "ripped" and defined physique.


I have listed some key points to introduce to your "cutting regime".


Make sure to eat every 3 hours, and in moderate quantities.


This way you will keep the feeling of hunger at bay and feel more satisfied, so that you won’t exaggerate your food intake. Remember that to promote fat loss, you should eat less than your body’s calorie expenditure, but skipping meals is not the way to go.  Eat clean, high nutrition, less quantity.


Considerably reduce your carb intake.


This is the secret that will force your body to tap into its fat storage. Lacking carbohydrates to convert into energy, your organism will use up body fat reserves to keep you going. Some athletes even follow a strict ketogenic diet for the first 2 or 3 days of their cutting phase. If you manage to reduce carb consumption as much as possible, it won’t be necessary to avoid them altogether.


Prevent catabolism through elevated protein and amino acid intake.


The energy deficit that ensues during the cutting phase will cause your organism to use fat as an energy source, but will also inevitably take away some of your lean mass. This collateral effect can be reduced by increasing your protein intake, for instance through whey protein powder.


Use supplements for quicker results.


You won’t want to remain in your cutting phase for too long. Among other unpleasant symptoms, your low carb intake will leave you tired and easily annoyed. Caffeine and green tea will provide energy as well as help burn more fat. Various studies suggest that any creatine supplementation should be interrupted, as it may inhibit the use of fat to generate energy.

Don’t radically change the way you train.


At first glance, in a phase that targets fat loss, it would make sense to switch to aerobic training or even less effective high reps/low weights. However, this is not quite true. Don’t forget that cutting also aims at preserving your muscle mass, so it will still prove beneficial not to incorporate any radical training changes. Keep your weights heavy and your number of reps low, in order to stimulate your body not to sacrifice any of its muscle mass, which is necessary for strength training, in exchange for energy.  Moderately mixing the rep range for example from 6-8 to 10 with different angles and focussing more on isolation lifts is beneficial.  But in all cases always ensure that you always try exceed your maximum weight between the 4 - 12 rep range.


Practice HIIT instead of cardio training. 

(High Intensity Interval Training)


Both training methods are good for fat metabolization but in order to achieve results, aerobic training demands effort for a longer time. As such, it may result in the utilization of other energy sources in the body beside fat. HIIT training calls for intense but short activity, so that afterwards an anabolic process is triggered. And that means burning fat while doing… nothing at all!  I tend to surf more in the summer & combine a few more trips to the MMA gym, both I find excellent for high intensity but also reducing boredom!


An approach would be to choose 1 to 3 days per week, not following each other up directly, to practice some HIIT. Another way to make the most of your cutting phase is to combine exercises that require cardiovascular capacity with strength exercises, such as thrusters, burpees with added weight, sand bag lunges etc.


Take casein before going to bed.

By now it should be clear to you that a minimum of 7 or 8 hours of sleep is essential to muscle maintenance. If your supplement regimen includes some casein to take before going to sleep, your gains will be more significant. This protein is absorbed slowly, making it ideal for a bedtime shake so that you won’t be deprived of nutrition during the night. After all, this is the only period during which it’s impossible to eat every three hours.  A good natural source or casein is low fat yoghurt.