System Six Easy Fat Loss Review
It's a good day. I have a new fitness program! Josh Hillis sent me this one to check out so I thought I'd share an overview with my fellow e-book junkies. System Six Easy Fat Loss
is a really interesting concept. I caught myself nodding and laughing and agreeing with nearly everything he said. People make fat loss much more complicated and difficult than it needs to be. He talks about how years ago, the mistakes people were making were too much long boring easy cardio, machine isolation exercises, body part splits with lots of resting between sets. Then everybody realized that wasn't working so well and they went berserk for high-intensity, total body, no-rest, fast-paced, kill you dead six days a week type programs. Those worked GREAT, for a few weeks until you were injured and burned out and couldn't sustain it, then you regained the weight. So, the basic premise of System Six is that every workout should not be a hard workout. The intensity of your workouts should vary from day to day, week to week, and season to season. It's ok kill it for 8 weeks before a beach vacation, but then you need to know how to maintain that lean body all year without mentally and physically breaking yourself.
Josh says, "There are 30 day programs, 12 week programs. Tons of great short term programs. Unfortunately, they suck for long term results."
Going hard all the time leads to failure, quitting, injury, loss of motivation, or just seeing the fat loss get harder and harder. So, he lays out what appears to be a pretty kick ass periodized program that mixes up your intensity level and focus. The movements are basic - push, pull, squat, hip hinge - so lots of push-ups, pull-ups, presses, rows, deadlifts and swings. The routines are primarily kettlebell and body weight. If you don't have a kettlebell, then dumbbells and body weight, or just body weight. If you happen to have access to barbells, you can work some serious squatting and deadlifting into the mix.
There is no diet. (Yay!!!! The crowd goes wild!!!). There is a lot of talk of food journals. (A hush falls over the audience. LOL) I'll not lie, that gave me pause. Oh, noes, not the OCD food journaling again! But it's not like that. He emphasizes several things: First, there is no judgment. You just write it down. You had seventeen Twinkies and a whole bag of cheese puffs? Great, just jot that down. It's not about beating yourself up. It's about gaining understanding. What works for you? What holds you back? How could you make one small improvement? He says:Focus on consistency over perfection. Make one small change at a time. Make the change stick. Making the change stick is more important than making more changes.
In one of his videos, he goes on to say that not everybody needs to keep a food journal all the time. Different people will handle it differently. If you're struggling to make anything happen at all, maybe you need to track things closely for a while and really see where you are. If you've pretty much got it down, maybe you just write down what you ate without any calculating or judgment, kind of like our "What did you eat today?" thread. If you're already lean and your eating habits are second nature, maybe you don't track anything at all, or maybe you only track for short periods of time when you're trying to take it up a level. In any case, understanding how your eating affects your results is really important. Guilt and denial and avoidance don't work.
One thing Josh says that is probably as clear an explanation as I've ever seen is:Scale Weight = Calories Consumed
Body Fat % = Strength + Food Quality
If you're heavier than you want to be, you're eating too much overall. If you're light but flabby, that means you're not strong enough to pull off the body fat percentage you're hoping for. You need to lift more AND lay off the muffins. He says that lean people tend to eat more protein than average people, consume fewer calories than average people, and make better carb and fat choices than average people. There's nothing wrong with average, but these are the things to keep in mind if you want to get leaner.
Now, the workouts themselves. There are three phases, a volume phase, a circuits for time phase (Tabata inervals), and a strength phase. Within the strength phase there are 6, 12, and 20 rep schemes emphasizing strength, fitness, and endurance. He has like a year of workouts spelled out in 6 week phases. Within every phase, there are hard, medium, and easy days. So the focus of the routines change, the intensity changes, the reps change, the only thing that doesn't change much is the movements - push, pull, squat, hip hinge. However, even those have detailed progressions. So, say push-ups from your knees, to full push-ups, to offset push-ups, to spiderman push-ups, to windshield wiper push-ups, to one-handed push-ups. Same for pull-ups (maybe you start with just hanging from the bar or doing small partial reps), and squats (maybe you start with a basic glute bridge and work up to squats, reverse lunges, split squats, and eventually a full unassisted pistol squat).
An example, phase one, week one, day one:Kettlebell military presses - 4 sets of 5-10 reps
Kettlebell swings - 4 sets of 10-30 reps
That's it. You're done!
Another one from a later phase:Pullups - 2 sets of 6-12 reps
Pushups - 2 sets of 6-12 reps
Deadlifts - 2 sets of 6-12 reps
Squats - 2 sets of 6-12 reps
If I have any reservations about this approach, it's mainly my own attention span. Can I hang with these shorter workouts (20-40 minutes) and basic movements? If they're getting me better results, I'm sure I'll adjust! ;-) Remember that there is progression within the movements. If you can't knock out that many pull-ups, you'll be doing hangs, negatives, or partials. If you could do that many push-ups in your sleep, you'll be working up to the most difficult variations. You might do the deadlifts in the gym with a loaded bar, you might do them at home, single-leg, with one kettlebell. So, even though it looks very basic on paper, you can still mix things up quite a bit.
I'm intrigued by this. I have a week or two of Venus Index Phase 2 to finish and then I plan to give this a whirl. If you want to check out System Six Easy Fat Loss
, it has one of the more interesting sales pages I've seen. There is no mile long highlighted and boldfaced testimonial crap. There is no talking head sales pitch video. Instead, the video is basically like attending a fun live fitness presentation. It's an overview of the problems with popular fat loss programs, how they've changed for the better and worse, the common mistakes people make, how Josh's own training methods have evolved, what works for fat loss, what had his clients hitting a wall, how he arrived at this approach. It's LONG. I'm talking 48 minutes or so. The first 20ish are about fat loss in general and the last 20ish go into the specifics of the program. I listened to it while doing other things, namely cardio, but it held my attention the whole time.
Check it out and let me know what you think. It does come with a pile of materials, quick start guides, choosing a kettlebell, kettlebell progressions, 2-kettlebell workouts, bodyweight only workouts. Does anybody have this yet? Have any questions? I'd be eager to talk to somebody who has the program and has started.(Disclaimery thing: Although I am an e-book junky and buy them like candy, I received a free review copy of this program. I use an affiliate link when discussing it. If you buy through my links, I will receive a portion of the sale, fueling my e-book buying habit. As always, thank you for enabling me.)
Posted by skwigg
at 11:08 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2011 11:16 AM CDT