Tapping into the Bottom of the Barrel

As I arrive at the final weeks of training, my goals now are to maintain the muscle mass I have built and continue to reduce the last bit of body fat. My physical therapist once explained to me, those last lingering areas of body fat are the “bottom of the barrel” and once it’s gone from everywhere else, it will finally take from the bottom of the barrel.


We must be doing something right however because my body is responding. In the last 10 days, I continued to drop two percent body fat and gained one more pound of lean mass! And still 2.5 more weeks to focus!


We have a few focuses in my current workouts, to maintain my current muscle, bring out the little muscles and additional shape and shave the bottom of the barrel fat! Our bodies are designed to respond to its demands, so in order to maintain my muscle, we start off demanding strength in my session. After a proper warm up, I hit 4-6 heavy sets of two to three dominant exercises. 


As I mentioned however, our primary focus is creating a very metabolic response from my workouts to increase fat loss. After completing the strength portion, we move into dumbbell or barbell complexes to recruit a higher demand on my system. (I love these!) What is a complex?? A complex is composed of separate strength training exercises strung together back to back for a given number of reps each without rest. (I will give you an example and video clip in my next post). I usually perform a complex for four to five rounds with a set amount of rest in between each round.


Last but not least, to finish off the training day, we always have conditioning. I have two high intensity conditioning days which are more anaerobic and roughly 4 – 8 minutes long. I also have two moderate intensity conditioning days which are more interval based and roughly 12 to 15 minutes long.


There you have the structure of my training sessions for the final few weeks of physique show training. Again, there are so many ways to train and quite often, what works for one may be different from what works for the next…but it’s working for us!! Stay tuned in the next day or so I will be providing you with an upper body training day in this form.


6 responses to “Tapping into the Bottom of the Barrel

  1. So unconventional compared to the standard prescription of high volume bodybuilder’ish training and 2hrs of cardio every day. And yet it works! 😀

    So you do absolutely no LISS cardio of the 60min + type?

  2. haha, well it works for me Borge 😀

    I do fasted morning cardio 3 mornings a week. Usually Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I run outside at a comfortable pace and usually for 30-35 minutes tops. That’s it!! The rest of my cardio is conditioning based at the end of my strength sessions. I find interval training works best for fat loss.

    I do however cross train on Saturdays and that is usually “cardiovascular” oriented but it’s not the LISS (Low intensity steady state) 60 min plus type.

    As I taper into my last week, I will do less strength training and a bit more cardio, but still only 30 minutes at a time (2 -3 times a day).

    I’m pleased you smile at this news!


  3. I totally “get it” what you and Nick are doing and I’m doing my best to fit it in as much as possible in a 6 days a week at 1 1/2 hrs./day. If you could make/show a chart of your workouts so we all could see how they all fit together, that would be great. eg. you mentioned your “High Intensity, Part IV but I can’t find it. Thanks a million, Alli for all this great stuff. Very Generous of you and Well appreciated.
    gene sedita

  4. Hey Gene,

    I will try to work on a layout of my training from before… I’ll see if I can put it in “chart form”, otherwise I may just have to list it..

    The High Intensity Part IV is disguised…it’s the sprint post titled “what a chiseled physique, SPRINT” …I see that I did not keep that consistent! However, sprints are the last component to my lower body high intensity workouts 🙂


  5. How many times/wk. sprinting? Do you sprint every week the same schedule? Thanks Alli, Don’t remember if I mentioned it but since I’m following you and Nick as of two days ago I lost 16 lbs. Viva la difference. I dig the high intensity work and it’s working great. Thanks, gene

    • Hi Gene,

      Thank you for your post.

      As I’ve posted before, we vary the intensity and conditioning choice for lower body days depending on the training goal. If sprinting, I would recommend 1-2 times per week in order to let your legs recover. Again however, it would be specific to your program.

      Great job on your training results,


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