FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Workout

A Scientific Approach

Principles Behind the Workout

FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Workout - A Scientific ApproachThe Elements of the Program
Electromyographic (EMG) studies showed that the exercises selected for this program were best for training the target muscle groups. EMG measures the electrical activity and muscle fiber activation levels during exercise.

This program uses drop sets and assisted reps or forced reps (“magic fingers”) to maximize metabolic stress, resulting in greater increases in anabolic and fat-burning hormones testosterone and growth hormone! Assisted reps help you produce maximum muscle tension and help you get the most muscle growth and fat loss from your workouts. The drop set and assisted rep technique is terrific for pushing your muscles to their absolute max.

FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Workout uses this technique during the second set of each exercise. During a drop set, do as many reps as you can to failure! At that point, get assistance from a spotter so you can complete a few more difficult reps. Have the spotter give you just enough assistance to finish the set of 12 repetitions. Don’t give up during a difficult repetition. If you continue to push hard, you will need surprisingly little help from your spotter. That’s why they call it the magic fingers— the weight goes up with minimal assistance from the spotter; only a finger on the bar will make it move. Then, immediately drop the weight by 10 to 15 percent and try to squeeze out a few more reps to failure. After that, use even less weight and do as many reps as you can. Keep going until you can’t do any reps. This drop set and assisted rep technique is a killer, but will turn on your stress and anabolic hormones— testosterone and growth hormone— and cause changes faster than you thought possible.

• Don’t rest when doing exercise pairs. Rest less than one minute between exercise pairs. The idea behind this program is to create as much metabolic distress in the muscles as possible.
• During each workout, the program begins with large muscle exercises and finishes with isolation exercises. Each workout concludes with three sets of 20 repetitions of abdominal curls.
• The program uses a split routine (see chart for specifics): chest, shoulders and back on day one (bench, shoulder press, raises, lat pulls, barbell rows, abdominal curls); arms on day three (seated incline alternate dumbbell curls, skull-crushers, preacher curls, triceps extensions, abdominal curls); legs on day five (squats, deadlifts, knee extensions, leg curls, abdominal curls); begin the cycle again on day eight. You train each muscle area two days a week.
• For best results, follow the aerobics program and diet described in this issue.

This program is designed to optimize the action of powerful hormones that help build muscle and cut fat. These hormones include growth hormone, catecholamines, and testosterone. Growth hormone and testosterone are particularly effective for reducing abdominal fat.

Growth Hormone

The pituitary gland in the brain secretes between one and two milligrams of various types of growth hormone (GH) per day. Nerve, immune and reproductive cells also produce small amounts of GH, where it has local effects on these tissues. Growth hormone stimulates growth during childhood, but is critical for normal metabolism in adults and children. It helps maintain healthy bones and stimulates cell growth and repair in all the tissues of the body. GH stimulates protein synthesis in tissues— particularly muscle— and speeds the breakdown of fat to provide the energy for metabolism and cell growth.

GH has direct and indirect effects on muscle growth. It has a small direct effect on muscle hypertrophy, but much of its effects come from tissue growth factors (secondary hormones), such as insulin-like growth factor 1 and 2 (IGF-1, IGF-2). GH stimulates the liver and other tissues to manufacture and release IGF-1. During growth, IGF-1 levels in the blood rise steadily with age, accelerating during the teenaged growth spurt.

After the adolescent growth spurt, IGF-1 levels fall to adult levels, declining further with age. Low levels of GH and IGF-1 help cause the decline in muscle cells (sarcopenia) and strength seen in middle and old-age adults. Low levels of GH and IGF-1 trigger a decrease in lean body mass, increase in body fat (particularly around the middle) and decreases in bone density, skin thickness, immune function, learning and memory, and heart function.

Growth hormone is a potent fat fighter. It makes fat cells release fat into the bloodstream and prevents them from storing new fat. People of all ages who have taken GH as a drug almost universally observe that it helps them lose fat and gain muscle. Many recent studies have affirmed the fat-burning properties of GH.


Catecholamines are the fight or flight hormones that put you on edge and prepare you mentally and physically for emergencies. They increase heart rate, the strength of muscle contractions (skeletal and heart muscle), turn on metabolism and increase mental acuity. Boosting catecholamine levels during exercise is vital for fat loss.

Your warrior genes deposit fat in your body to help you survive. This is survival fat and the genes are programmed to release it only as a last resort. Catecholamines stimulate lipolysis— the breakdown of fat into fatty acids. They work by triggering an enzyme that causes the release of fat— hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). HSL activity determines your capacity to lose weight. HSL doesn’t work well when you’re inactive or overweight— particularly around your middle— but becomes activated as you lose weight and exercise.

Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the main factor determining daily caloric expenditure and is critical for fat gains and losses. The nervous system sends a steady stream of catecholamines to the tissues that help control metabolism and the rate you burn calories. This process works very much like the idle setting on a car— the higher the idle, the more gas the car uses. In your body, the higher the setting of your nervous system, the more calories you metabolize every day. Researchers from the University of Colorado— led by Dr. Christopher Bell— found that intense exercise increases catecholamine release, which helps you lose body fat. As discussed, catecholamines stimulate the fat cells to trigger hormone-sensitive lipase, which promotes fat release from the fat cells.


Testosterone increases muscle size by triggering protein synthesis and making satellite cells— muscle structures that enhance the capacity of muscle– to hypertrophy. Muscle is made from proteins, so increasing the rate that the body makes new protein will speed muscle growth. The hormone binds with a special receptor on the muscle cell membrane— much like a key opens a lock. This activates the cell nucleus— the brain center for making new proteins— to manufacture more muscle tissue.

Following muscle injury or high-tension workouts, muscles get larger by creating satellite cells on the fringes of muscle cells. They’re called satellite cells because they lie on the outside of mature skeletal muscle fibers. Satellite cells increase muscle size by fusing into the myofibrils— the tissue in muscle that causes contractions.

The muscle cell nucleus directs the manufacture of new protein in the cells. Satellite cells increase the number of cell nuclei, which make it easier to make new protein. Satellite cells join with one another and with damaged muscle tissue. They also increase the number of nuclei in the muscle cells to promote muscle fiber growth and repair. The number of muscle cell nuclei directly determines the ability of the muscle cells to make new contractile protein. More nuclei allow the cells to make more testosterone receptors, which increase the effectiveness of testosterone in promoting muscle growth.

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