21st Century Fat loss and Hierarchy of Fat-Loss Part 1

Here’s an old mass email that is still very relevant and will kick-off my fat-loss post series. 



Hi everyone,

I’m sending this to everyone in my personal training contact email in hopes of spreading some quality knowledge.

 Most of the people I work with, regardless of actual body composition, want to reduce body fat. I went to a seminar a few weeks ago by Alwyn Cosgrove, (big name in the strength and conditioning field) where he presented a lecture on 21st Century Programming and Fat loss. Most of what he presented was no new revelation but the way it was presented and the evidence he had was great. So here are some brief notes on the presentation if you are interested.


1.     Number one factor in weight loss is proper nutrition, there is NO program that can make up for poor nutrition.  “Proper nutrition” can take on many forms but most of us can distinguish between a good and bad choice. Stop eating crap!

2.       Meal frequency must be at least 4-6 times a day with about 3 hours gap in between and be consistent with this meal frequency. In short, eat less, more often, consistently.

3.       Eat a big breakfast, defined as eating within 30 minutes after waking.

4.       Reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates in diet  (definition:http://weightloss.about.com/od/glossary/g/refinedcarbs.htm

5.       Increase the amount of water in diet; drink a cold glass of water upon waking, before and after exercise.

6.       Eat drink a recovery meal within 30 mins after exercise, two parts carb, to one part protein.


7.       Supplement with fish oil tablets 1,000mg per day

8.       Focus on quality of food then quantity


Exercise (in order of most efficient fat burning methods):

1.       Metabolic Conditioning: traditional/non-traditional strength training exercises performed in a circuit, superset, complex, timed or any protocol that will keep you moving at sub maximal weights at a high intensity.

2.       High intensity anaerobic intervals: similar to above but with set rest periods in between exercises or timed bouts.

3.       High Intensity aerobic intervals: any aerobic activity of short fast periods followed by recovery then short fast periods of exercise.

4.       Aerobic conditioning: swim, biking, running, walking, at low intensities,  for long durations of  time.


What this means:

This means proper nutrition is the cornerstone of any fat loss plan, period (duh, but worth mentioning). Also, that these small changes to nutrition/lifestyle all add up to a reduction in body fat.  

In terms of exercise, the big revelation is that traditional “cardio” is the least effective means of reducing body fat. It also means that resistance training at a high intensity is the most effective if programmed correctly. Why? Here a few reasons: because resistance training not only allows you to build muscle (elevating resting metabolism) but also creates enough metabolic disturbance to keep you burning calories well after the workout is done, in addition to burning calories during the exercise session.


For elaboration on anything please do not hesitate to ask, these are just brief notes. The material that Alwyn presented at the seminar had examples which were from clients that he had that had extremely dramatic results (great amounts of fat loss along with improved performance and physique). In addition, he provided evidence based research that backed the recommendations he made. Here are some articles with sources cited and examples of workouts. Also attached is an article that expands on much of what I just talked about.


Hope this sparked your interest to learn more or you realized you need to block me from emailing you ever again. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.










Sergio Maldonado
Strength and Fitness Coach


About MaxOut Performance Fitness
Sergio Maldonado is a Sports Performance and Fitness Coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. He strives to be the best at what he does through training, professional development courses, and practice. The purpose of this blog is to get out some of the knowledge that he obtains to better help others in their pursuits towards fitness and a better life.

2 Responses to 21st Century Fat loss and Hierarchy of Fat-Loss Part 1

  1. Joe says:

    Thanks for the info Sergio. How much is considered a “long duration of time” 30, 60, 90 minutes?

    “Aerobic conditioning: swim, biking, running, walking, at low intensities, for long durations of time.”

    • This depends on what is long for the person. Whats more important is intensity. Long steady is a pace you can talk easily. Intervals could vary from complete breathlessness to heavy breathing. Use the talk test, if you can talk then your intensity is too low for intervals.

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