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Greg Everett
10-23-2006, 10:32 AM
Good article on why interval training is more productive than long steady-state aerobic work for fat loss:

http://www.alwyncosgrove.com/Energy-System-Training.html

Steve Shafley
10-23-2006, 10:50 AM
Cosgrove's Afterburn is good example of a focused fat burning program. It runs about 16 weeks, so it's a serious committment.

Before you read on, the review is scattered with profanity. If this offends you, maybe you shouldn't read it.

This was my review of the product:


I've always liked the material Alwyn has written for T-mag and EliteFTS, and even remember reading some of his stuff from mainstream men's fitness magazines and thinking it was good stuff. I recently had the opportunity to go over his "Afterburn" program (and a few other products), which is a program for losing fat.

The link:

http://www.afterburntraining.com/

First off is a blurb I wrote on Lyle's forum, comparing Cosgrove's "Afterburn" to Lyle's "Rapid Fat Loss" manual.


Afterburn is a comprehensive program for fat loss, not mass gain.

Alwyn lays out both the resistance training and the energy system training in roughly 4 week blocks, as well as gives dietary recommendations.

There are 4 blocks total.

The workouts are not retarded, either. They are well designed, and if you know enough about the meta-principles of training, you'll be able to substitute workouts of your own in place of his. Some folks can see the big picture behind this shit, other's can't, and probably shouldn't try.

I don't mean to be a bit of a whore, but I feel it's a very solid product. I think it's possible a newbie could put on a bit of size from it, but probably not an experienced lifter, except in areas that had been previously neglected that the program might hit harder. A powerlifter or an olympic lifter going through the program could reasonably expect to lose strength in the competitive lifts (and might want to substitute workouts to compensate somewhat for that), but I think that would be a transitory thing. You would come out of the program leaner and with a much better base of conditioning behind you, and I would imagine you'd realize some gains on the competitive lifts after a period of re-specialization.

A 16 week commitment is no fucking joke, though.


Like I mentioned above, I feel it's a solid program, and if you have had good luck in the past with programs like Poliquin's "Manly Weight Loss", or Alessi's "Meltdown" you'll probably have good luck with this program.

It's a bit higher in repetitions than most strength guys would prefer, but for a change in pace, I can see it working very well indeed. It's aimed more for a beginning lifter rather than an advanced lifter, but the program is progressive in nature, and well put together.

Danny John
10-27-2006, 07:15 AM
That's a great review, Shaf. I love the program. I needed something crystal clear and I enjoy not having to think. In fact, that is like the basic point of my next article.

I like the way he combines things...

Steve Shafley
11-15-2006, 05:57 PM
I just took a look at his Afterburn II program.

What's interesting is that he points out some stuff that I should have noticed, given both my personal experience and having listened to other's anecdotes.

I never did, but he's summarizes it pretty thoroughly in both materials.

I am doing the original Afterburn workouts for much the same reason Dan is doing the Afterburn II workouts...I am just sick and tired of dabbling with this, and that, and it fit my needs at this point in time, remarkably well.

Danny John
11-16-2006, 07:57 AM
I also just bought Frank Forencich's two books, "Play as if Your Life Depends on it" and "Exuberant Animal." Now, he argues a different approach to workouts, but I am going to stick with Cosgrove's workouts for my "training" and model my throwing et al (as I honestly already have done) on the goanimal approach to fun and play.

This crap has to be fun. Oh, and not so damn scientific. You can measure and test and measure stuff all day and still not deadlift what my daughter Lindsay pulled on her first day of class.

That was a good lesson...for me.

Craig Cooper
11-16-2006, 03:32 PM
Frank Froencich is awesome! I attended an intro to goanimal here at the club where I work, and it was a lot of fun. We are now offering group goanimal classes here at the club taught by him.

Yael Grauer
11-16-2006, 04:19 PM
I found a link for that site on the Parkour site, so if anybody reading this hasn't seen it, it's http://www.goanimal.com/

Looks fun.

Ron Nelson
11-17-2006, 12:03 PM
Hey Dan,
I bought the Afterburn program about 6 months ago and have let it sit on my computer because I thought it was geared mainly toward beginners and females.

I'd like to know if you made any adjustments to the program.

Based on Shaf's review, I better take a second look.

Steve Shafley
11-17-2006, 07:04 PM
Ron:

I am a low rep guy. I train in the 1-5 rep range for most of my big movements. To counter this, I do my metcon work (when I do it) with kettlebells, the jump rope, the heavy bag, and bodyweight calisthenics (because that's what I can do in the basement when the back yard is mush).

When I first looked at the workouts in Afterburn, I kind of snickered. Just take the first one:

Each couplet is a superset.

Squats: 20 reps, 60s rest.
T-Push Ups: 8 reps each side, 60s rest, then repeat 2-3 times

Step Ups: 20 reps each leg, 60 sec rest
Rows to neck, 20 reps, 60 sec rest, repeat 2-3 times

SHELC: 20 reps, 60s rest
Ball crunch: 20 reps, 60s rest, repeat 2-3 times

Doesn't look all that hard.

It floored me. It was so far away from what I normally did with weights that the minimal amount of anerobic conditioning that I did perform didn't help me much.

So, basically it's all about managing EPOC, and eating right, and performing both appropriately metabolically challenging weight work with interval energy systems work.

(EPOC = excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)

It's was, for me, a big surprise when I finally bit the bullet to try it for real.

If you're a dedicated XF kind of guy, to be honest, I don't know if it's going to be as good for you as it is for me.

Steve Shafley
11-17-2006, 07:18 PM
There's one alteration Alwyn mentioned for "advanced" guys. His definition of "advanced" for the Afterburn program was to have attained a good level of leanness, either through something like Afterburn or whatever else...having established a certain amount of competence in losing fat.

Anyway, the alteration was simply this:

Before you do the high rep stuff, do a few sets of heavy, low rep work in the appropriate lifts.

Using the above workout as an example, you might do some heavy squats first, before you started the rest of the program.

Mark Joseph Limbaga
11-19-2006, 08:35 PM
Is it just me or the Afterburn training looks like a more advanced versin of HIIT?

Ron Nelson
11-20-2006, 10:44 AM
Steve,
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate your insights.
I've done XF, off and on, for the last 2 years, so the high rep stuff might not challenge me without the heavy lifting prior to. I think I'll still give the program a go once I print it out. I just can't read that much off my screen or I'll go bug-eyed.

Ron

Danny John
11-20-2006, 03:06 PM
No, it's not HIIT. Some of the cardio looks like it, but it is not. The complexes have been around since Gajda's stuff in the 1960's. (PHA) I also like Steve Javonek's work on this, too, for O lifters. Alwyn told me he went to one bar complexes for the problem that gym lifters have in keeping more than one bar "free" with the idiots who hang around spas. I have always been a believer in one bar...although I have dozens and dozens now...as the key to success for the athlete. (Same argument I give for Kbells: fewer options, more work)

I think Alwyn really gets it. I merely have to look in the mirror and I'm actually serious here.

Mark Joseph Limbaga
11-20-2006, 06:30 PM
No, it's not HIIT. Some of the cardio looks like it, but it is not. The complexes have been around since Gajda's stuff in the 1960's. (PHA) I also like Steve Javonek's work on this, too, for O lifters. Alwyn told me he went to one bar complexes for the problem that gym lifters have in keeping more than one bar "free" with the idiots who hang around spas. I have always been a believer in one bar...although I have dozens and dozens now...as the key to success for the athlete. (Same argument I give for Kbells: fewer options, more work)

I think Alwyn really gets it. I merely have to look in the mirror and I'm actually serious here.

I was talking about the running intervals coach., as the intervals AC presents kinda bares a resemblance and runs parallel to HIIT. The complexes are really brutal and very effective for fatloss... plus, I noticed my femals clients love doing them. :)

Ron Nelson
11-21-2006, 10:44 AM
Took Steve's hint and tried some metcon after some heavy, low rep lifting (heavy for me, maybe not some; it's all relative).
Did some DL's at 260 and front squats at 145. Started at 5 and worked down to 3, then tried the "Helen" workout (400m, 21 KB swings, 12 pu's).
My time was very slow (18 min.) from the prior work, but the result was that I was wiped out like never before.
Conclusion: I can see how the Afterburn would be more effective with the heavy work thrown in.

Steve Shafley
11-21-2006, 10:51 AM
I like heavy work, so the signalling is there (see my post in the mass gain section for my explanation of that phrase) then the high rep upper/lower alternating supersets of big movements, (PHA! Manly Weight Loss! Meltdown! Afterburn!) then if I have anything left, some kind of metcon or interval work.

This can get done is a surprisingly short amount of time.

What's even more fun is adding a complex at the beginning to "warm up".

Yeah, it's a warm up if you do 3-4 complexes of about 8 reps with:

bent row
hang clean
"thruster" (front squat + push press, but at light weights it's a thruster)
back squat
good morning

With a progressively heavier bar. I've reached 95# on this, but regretted it. I think Danny John mentioned his bar weight is 65#, and that's much more reasonable until your conditioning kicks up.

I would like to say that I was warmed up (for sure) but also that kind of fast and furious work negatively impacts the heavy stuff done afterwards. It's fun though.

Danny John
11-21-2006, 12:16 PM
Oh yeah, I started at 95, too and then asked myself "this is the first thing I do?" So, I backed off. These weeks, I am back to 95 and maybe 115...but the reps are less...

Ron Nelson
11-23-2006, 10:15 AM
I'm all for fun in the gym, so I tried a few sets of complexes as a "warm-up" last night. I scoffed at 45#, but stuck with it just to see where I am.

I'm not as far in the conditioning as I thought. 45# was plenty for now, doing 8 reps per set (clean, front squat, push press, back squat, good morning, snatch press, overhead squat) for 3 sets.

I consider it "fun" when people in the gym stare at what I'm doing. I got that last night doing the complexes and then when I was doing an EDT set of dumbell snatches (3 reps each side) and band pull-aparts.

Thanks for the ideas, Steve.

Danny John
11-25-2006, 08:50 AM
Not my next article, but my next next article, is on complexes. I think any workout with one bar has merit. The other day, my assistant strength coach asked to do my workout. He was finished by complex five...and we still had the workout, the cardio, the abs and the finishers to go....

Mark Joseph Limbaga
11-25-2006, 05:22 PM
Not my next article, but my next next article, is on complexes. I think any workout with one bar has merit. The other day, my assistant strength coach asked to do my workout. He was finished by complex five...and we still had the workout, the cardio, the abs and the finishers to go....

We'll be waiting to see what you have in store Coach

Mike ODonnell
11-29-2006, 10:15 AM
How does AC's Afterburn program compare to the "Turbulence Training" by Craig Ballantyne that seems people are now peddling?
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1608/is_9_20/ai_n6242982 (an overview of his splits....looks similiar to what AC would do)

Also I read AC's new book the "New Rules of Lifting", is this similar to Afterburn program? or is it worth getting the Afterburn as well?

Ron Nelson
11-29-2006, 08:20 PM
Mike,
I have both (wish I had just bought the book). Use the fat loss workouts and follow clean eating and you'll probably see the same results. I'm reading the strength improving workouts and will likely give them a shot.
Bottom line; book-worth it. Afterburn-good, but limited.

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Bill Ripley
04-25-2007, 12:26 PM
Thread resurrection time.

I just started the Fat Loss 1 program from "New Rules...". Last night was 3x15 in the back squat. Did 135# and got all the reps in, but it was tuff. Had to rack the bar on the last set and huff and puff before finishing the last 5 reps. Between the squats and the $#^% lunges I am shot out today. Did I go too heavy? Do I need to back off the weight or just suck it up and push through?

Ron Nelson
04-25-2007, 02:36 PM
Doing the Afterburn or New Rules workouts will point out one fatal flaw:
Your ego will kill you.

Likely you went too heavy, even with 135#. You may want to back it down to 95# and push like hell through the workout. I think DJ would say the same, especially when doing complexes.

Allen Yeh
04-26-2007, 03:14 AM
Thread resurrection time.

I just started the Fat Loss 1 program from "New Rules...". Last night was 3x15 in the back squat. Did 135# and got all the reps in, but it was tuff. Had to rack the bar on the last set and huff and puff before finishing the last 5 reps. Between the squats and the $#^% lunges I am shot out today. Did I go too heavy? Do I need to back off the weight or just suck it up and push through?

What's your current bodyweight and your current squatting ability?

When I ran through Fat Loss I I was using 175 for the 3 x 15 and that was rough. I was also ~195-200 lbs back then also. If you were able to manage in the end, my vote is to drop it maybe 10 pounds, and then if you crank all those out, up it by 5....etc

The Fat Loss phase is somewhat a blow to the ego anyway, because you feel like to make progress you need to up the weight but really you don't since you are decreasing rest and doing the same amount of work in less time.

Bill Ripley
04-26-2007, 05:02 AM
BW 230#, 1RM in the sq around 250#, age 45. I will have to scale it back. I ate everything in site yesterday. Recovery was so so, I probably could have done a workout this morning, but will wait til tonight.

Allen - did you stay at 175 throughout FL II ?

Allen Yeh
04-26-2007, 05:14 AM
BW 230#, 1RM in the sq around 250#, age 45. I will have to scale it back. I ate everything in site yesterday. Recovery was so so, I probably could have done a workout this morning, but will wait til tonight.

Allen - did you stay at 175 throughout FL II ?

FL Phase II you go to front squats, I had to drop down to 135 and stayed at 135 throughout.

chris hill
04-27-2007, 03:24 AM
Not my next article, but my next next article, is on complexes. I think any workout with one bar has merit. The other day, my assistant strength coach asked to do my workout. He was finished by complex five...and we still had the workout, the cardio, the abs and the finishers to go....

hi, there long term lurker and reader, and a big fan of dan john. could anybody tell me where i could find the article on complexes that is talked about here?

Thanks

Bill Ripley
04-27-2007, 05:19 AM
DJ may have an article on T-Nation. You can search there.

Also........................

http://www.irongarmx.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6193

Ron Nelson
04-27-2007, 08:14 AM
I believe he was talking about Afterburn II, the sequel.
The workouts are complex based as opposed to supersets, I think.

Mike Moore
04-28-2007, 06:36 PM
Here's a barbell complex I use and have used with some of my wrestlers. I suugest starting with 3 or 4 "rounds" and using a rest interval between rounds of 1 1/2 minutes. Decrease RI by 15 seconds each week until you reach 45 seconds, then increase rounds by 1. Repeat process until you are doing 5-6 rounds, then instead of increasing rounds, increase weight. I suggest checking your ego at the door and starting with as little as 65-75 pounds. I started at 95# and I have no clue why but I think I was going thru each round more slowly than I wanted. You should really explode thru each round as best you can (most people start to get the idea how bad this sucks by the end of round 2). Anyway - 8 exercises (or as some prefer "movements" - some people will get that one), 6 reps each exercise (not as easy as it sounds once you hit the push presses), NEVER let go of the bar and never stop moving:

1. Deadlift
2. RDL
3. Bent Over Row
4. Cleans (from the floor or hang cleans - your choice - or Dan John's Whip Snatches)
5. Front Squat
6. Push Press
7. Back Squat (full)
8. Good Mornings

Sometimes I start in front of a chin bar and do a set of chins first with no rst between chins and deadlift.

I know the deadlifts coming first souds "easy" because it's a lift you can use a lot of weight on, but the combo of the DL and RDL early in the sequence for a few rounds fries your lower back by the time you get to the cleans. You can really manipulate the sequencing as you wish and substitute other movements depending on your needs. Also, there is no "rule" that says you can't use one movement twice during each round, e.g. front squats for #2 and number #5. Try to hit as many movement patterns as possible during each round.

Dave Paton
06-01-2007, 06:26 PM
Mike,

I have been doing your barbell complex for the last couple of weeks. I really like it. the first couple of sessions wiped me out. I do this after i do my oly lifts or squats etc. Thanks.

Daniel Myers
06-03-2007, 04:11 PM
I'll mention my all-time favorite complex, The Bear. I'm not sure who invented this, but here's a T-Nation article (http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459657)covering it.

For each round, do one rep of each of the following:

- power clean, from the ground or the hang
- deep front squat
- push press
- deep back squat
- push press from behind the neck
- lower the bar

The object is to flow through the five lifts as quickly and explosively as possible. Do multiple rounds without pausing to make a "set". I like to do 5 sets of 5 rounds.

With a lighter weight, I use it as the conditioning part of my workout. With a heavier weight, it is the workout.

Derek Simonds
06-29-2007, 07:41 AM
I am recommending this program to a guy at work. Before he signs up can anyone give me some insight into what the nutrition program looks like.

He is just getting his diet cleaned up, it was a mess and I want to make sure he can handle the change.

To semi quote Dan John I don't want him doing the program and making changes because then it isn't the Program.

Ron Nelson
07-03-2007, 11:20 AM
The nutrition part of the AB program is basically, don't eat as much. That and stick to protein and reduce carbs.

It was the biggest disappointment of the program. The routines are fine.

Derek Simonds
07-04-2007, 10:30 AM
My friend has been working with a PT from the YMCA and I looked at his program and it was an embarrassment to the good name of PT's.

It was all swiss ball curls and tricep extensions and bench with 25 LB DB's. My friend is 6' 2 and 280 and not a flabby 280. I looked at the program and asked him do you even break a sweat. No DL, no squats, no multi joint with any weight.

He will be ordering AB on Monday and I am going to meet him at his gym for a week or two and workout with him.

Allen Yeh
07-05-2007, 04:11 AM
AC recently posted an article with 4 barbell complexes in them, could be a good way to fill time until he gets his copy of Afterburn.

Derek Simonds
07-05-2007, 05:32 AM
Did he post them on T-Nation?

Allen Yeh
07-05-2007, 06:23 AM
Yes

Complexes for Fat Loss:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1624757

So far I've done 2 of the complexes following the week 1 set/rep/rest scheme and learned a few things so far:
1. Complex A - doing jump squats after doing thrusters sucks
2. Complex B - 135 pounds is too heavy for me when it comes to the - Hang Clean + Front Squat + Push Press (combo lift — perform one rep of each in series), I had to back it down to 115 and then back it down again to 95.

The complexes themselves take about 10 minutes total time, including rest time. Then you need a few minutes before you feel good enough to continue on.

On Monday I did a warmup followed by what Robb does for his clients 3-5 sets of 2-3 reps of ring dips, pullups, deadlifts with 1 minute rests between each. Then I did complex A, followed by a few strides at the track.

On Tuesday I did a warmup followed by Complex B after that I did somes chins, 1-arm bench superset w/ 1 arm row and some curls.

Each of my workouts so far have taken about an hour in total, I actually like doing it this way better than the Real Fast Fat Loss program AC did with Chad Waterburyhttp://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1589833 since the complexes leave me with time to focus on other things too like dips/pullups/running...etc

One caveat though, I think Ron said that Real Fast Fat loss was similiar to Afterburn? So that program might give him a taste of things to come? I did 2 workouts from Real Fast Fat Loss prior to my wifes surgery, and they were ass kickers. After my wifes surgery I had thought about doing RFFL but chose what I stated above instead with the whole time thing.

Derek Simonds
07-05-2007, 11:09 AM
When I got to work and I had my laptop I found the article. I also read Mike Roberson's latest article that was pretty rock star stellar. After reading it I have to agree that looks pretty tough.

I like how you worked the complexes in. I hadn't seen what Robb does with his clients before and it looks like a great warm up. I will do it and let you know what I think.

Allen Yeh
07-06-2007, 06:40 AM
I like how you worked the complexes in. I hadn't seen what Robb does with his clients before and it looks like a great warm up. I will do it and let you know what I think.

In the PM article talking about training the fighter, Robb said for strength they did the ring dip, pullup, deadlift circuit and I know on here he said he does it with other clients as well. It is done after a warmup or sometimes even after everything else.

3-5 sets of each exercise, 2-3 reps per set, 1 minute rest between each exercise. For the fighter, Robb did the first 2 weeks with the ring dips and pullups with no weight but then added weight after that. I started with bodyweight on the deadlift and am ramping up the weight slowly as I'm trying to fix one of my deadlift issues (hyperextending rather than hip extension). He also changes the stuff around so one day maybe 5 sets of 2 and the next time 3 sets of 9. I've been doing just the ring dips and pullups for a few weeks and only recently added the deadlifts in.

Sidenote: I think you were suppose to be coming into DC area in July?

Derek Simonds
07-06-2007, 06:53 AM
Sidenote: I think you were suppose to be coming into DC area in July?

I am. I haven't booked my flight yet but I plan on flying in Sunday middle of the day. I have to be in Baltimore for a meeting Monday morning.

I will keep you posted as I book the flights.

I read that article and it went in through the eyes, rattled around then went elsewhere. I will open the article and re-read.

Dave Paton
07-31-2007, 02:16 PM
I went to website and was wondering if you can still get the e-version of Afterburn? It looks like you can only get the book now. Does anyone know?