Toning Your Body: Do Cutting Exercises Work


I don't believe in cutting exercises. In fact, I don't believe in long, slow cardio either. But I do believe in hard work that gets the fat loss job done right. And so does my colleague, McMaster Kinesiology graduate, champion Natural Bodybuilder, and registered massage therapist Mike Zappetelli. Mike has a few words to add to the "cutting exercise" debate. Mike is a personal trainer, massage therapist, and nutrition and wellness specialist (R.M.T. C.P.T., N.W.S.) and brings excellent practical and academic knowledge to apply to his client's training programs.

Here is what Mike had to say:

I'm glad that you have dispelled the awful myth of "cutting up". As a bodybuilder, I know what it takes to get "ripped" and show muscle definition. As a personal trainer, I have to teach this to my clients, day in and day out. It is really quite simple.

Diet has to do with 70-80% of training and what you look like. The actual training and stimuli that you place on your body will make up the remaining 20-30%. The only thing that happens in the gym is energy expenditure and muscle damage. Rest and proper nutrition will help to replenish this lost energy and at the same time repair those damaged muscle tissues. If you rest and are fed properly, you are more likely bound for greater repair, hence muscle adaptation and growth. If this occurs, the recently attained muscle mass will burn more calories at rest. Greater lean mass will result in greater energy expenditure.

It's important to realize that although proper rest and nutrition is essential for muscle growth, this change will not happen overnight, nor will someone getting cut up. This is how supplement companies market their products, by telling the public that they can achieve these results sooner than they think. Changing reps and sets and amounts of weight lifted does not necessarily get you ripped. It's the amount of intensity that you lift with that may determine and help you to achieve your desired results.

Bodybuilders writing programs in magazines have found something that they use to cut down. It's different for everybody. Theoretically, the more energy you can expend per workout is the key. So CB is correct, high reps and low resistance is not necessarily better nor is it vice-versa, it is the intensity that is key.

As I already mentioned, I am a natural, drug-free competitive bodybuilder. When it comes time to diet for a show, I do not do any cardio. I step up my training schedule a little and really watch what I eat. I do this year-round anywise to prevent dropping too much weight. The key to dieting is to cut out any refined foods. The final product is a change from 5-6% body-fat off-season, to a ~2% ripped physique on contest day...with no cardio.

The best analogy that I like to use is the Parka and the Armani suit. The parka is the fat and the Armani is the muscle. No matter what suit you have underneath that Parka, you'll never see it until you take off the Parka. So those who think that specific exercises will rid certain areas of fat and get ripped, must think again. Sit-ups will not get you that 'six-pack' to show off at the beach. They will develop the abdominal muscles, but without proper nutrition and constant exercise, you'll never remove that 'Parka' to show off that suit.

Moderate and heavy weight training is effective for most goals. Muscle is the result and muscle will help burn more calories. Starving yourself, doing excessive aerobic activity, and using too low of an intensity in your resistance training will not bring anyone the body they desire! You will get better results within significantly shorter and less frequent workouts, provided they are intense!


Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Fitness, Men's Health, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit one of the pages via the ads on the side. 

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  2. Do you know the 2 biggest reasons men and women stop exercising?

    1) Lack of time
    2) Lack of motivation

    Let's tackle "Lack of Time" today with 5 ways you can get your
    workouts done faster. After all, no one should spend more than 50
    minutes in the gym.

    Here are 5 ways to cut time from your workouts.

    a) Supersets

    I use "non-competing" superset. This means, choose two exercises
    for different muscle groups - and preferably completely opposite
    movements. For example, choose a push and a pull. That way, one
    muscle group rests while the other works...and you cut the rest
    time you need between sets.

    b) Choose a better warm-up strategy

    Don't waste 10 minutes walking on the treadmill. Instead, use a
    total body circuit of bodyweight exercises as a general warm-up, and
    then move directly into specific warm-up sets for your first two
    exercises.

    c) Pair dumbbell and bodyweight exercises together in your
    supersets

    This saves you time at home (you don't need to change the dumbbell
    weight between exercises) and in the gym (you don't need to fight
    for 2 sets of dumbbells).

    d) Choose Intervals over slow cardio

    The latest research shows more weight loss when people use
    intervals, and intervals take half as long to do.

    e) Limit the use of isolation exercises

    Pick multi-muscle exercises, such as squats, pulls, pushes, and
    rows. If you have time, you can squeeze in some dropsets for arms
    and shoulders if you want. However, if you only have 3 sessions of
    45 minutes per week, isolation exercises must be the first to go.

    In addition, don't spend more than 10 minutes per week on direct ab
    training. It's not efficient and won't give you rock hard abs
    alone.

    Get your very own copy of Turbulence Training & the Nutrition Guide here: ===> 5 Ways to Cut Your Workout Time <=====

    Workout less, live life more,

    Craig Ballantyne, CTT
    Certified Turbulence Trainer
    Creator of Turbulence Training

    PS - Don't know where to start?

    If you are a beginner, start by reading Dr. Mohr's nutrition
    guidelines...eating properly will be the biggest factor in your
    early success.

    Beginners should also start with the Introductory TT workouts to
    prepare their muscles for the upcoming intense training.

    For others, it's best to start with the Intermediate Level TT
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    the Original TT workout and follow the 16-week advanced program
    right through.

    If at any time you need a break, try the TT Bodyweight 4-week plan.

    And then finish off with the TT Fusion Fat Loss program followed by
    the 30-day Maximum Fat Loss program to cap off a full 24 weeks of
    Advanced TT fat loss workouts.

    After that, choose between the TT for Women or TT for Muscle
    programs to help put the finishing touches on your physique. All of
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    Get started on the road to fat loss with your very own copy of
    Turbulence Training, ALL of the bonuses, & the Nutrition Guide here: ===> Fast fat loss workouts... <=====

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