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Review of "Final Phase Fat Loss"
eBook By John Romaniello

It's like a law of nature...the leaner you get, the harder it is to get leaner. When you've got a lot of fat to lose, it comes off failry readily...but when you get down around 8 to 10% bodyfat, it gets TOUGH.

And THAT is the problem John Romaniello is primarily addressing in his new fat loss program "Final Phase Fat Loss."

Now, even if you have more than just the last 5 lbs to drop, don't let that stop you from reading more about this program...the principles will work on any fat loss plateau. The key lies in your body's hormonal response to the training structure that he's put together.

Final Phase Fat Loss

In this review, I'll give you a quick rundown of the various phases of the program, how the different components of the program stack up and if, when it all comes to the wire, this program will really help you get past your fat loss plateau.

Hormonal Response to Fat Loss Training

As I mentioned above, the primary focus of this program is using targeted training to achieve a level of hormone manipulation in the body, to promote fat loss. The main hormones targeted by this program are Leptin, Growth Hormone, Corisol, Insulin, IGF-1, Testosterone and Estrogen.

Each training methodology used in the program targets a different hormone (or set of hormones, as the case may be, as several of these hormones are used to offset the effects of another).

Each training methodology is also performed on a rotational basis over the course of a week, in order to keep your body from getting too accustomed to (and efficient at) one style of training. This is commonly known as "muscle confusion," though this program puts it all together in a far more organized fashion than that name implies.

Methodology #1 - Dynamic Training

This style of training is all about dynamic movement, performing exercises that include a lot of bodyweight transfer and actual movement in the gym (as opposed to very static exercises like squats, you would do something like walking lunges)...speed drills, explosive training, that kind of thing, all focusing on compound exercises and large muscle groups.

I actually recommend a lot of very similar ideas in terms of movement training...training like an athlete is all about movement! Very rarely do you see a sport (other than powerlifting, of course!) where athletes set their feet on ground and don't move them for the whole course of the event.

Your body is designed to move and training it with plenty of movement (and movement with resistance) is EXCELLENT for fat loss. A definitely thumbs-up on this phase.

Methodology #2 - Lactic Acid Training

This is where the program really delves into the hormonal response to training. The idea with this style of training is to focus on accumulating as much lactic acid in your muscles as possible. This is done using a longer concentric (up) phase and a shorter (but safely done) eccentric/lowering phase, e.g. 4 seconds up, 1 second down. The exact tempo will obviously depend on the exercise you're performing, but that's the general idea.

And in terms of the body's response to this style of training from a hormonal perspective, it DOES have some validity. As your blood pH decreases (due to the acidity), your body responds by secreting Growth Hormone in response. Studies have shown that this does reliably occur.

Growth Hormone is a very potent fat-burning hormone in the body - it's a response to emergency situations like this.

The main problem I have with this style of training is the slow tempo (which isn't the most effective way to train your muscles) and the sheer painfulness of lactic acid training. Okay, so that's two problems.

Since this slow-tempo style of training isn't done for long periods and is actually offset by explosive stuff in the dynamic training, it most likely won't have a big detrimental impact on your strength levels. If done long-term (and John says this himself), this style of training WILL decrease your strength.

The painfulness of high lactic acid levels is something that certainly can be dealt with...what mitigates the pain part of the equation is that the purpose of the training is not actually PAIN in and of itself, but lactic acid. The side effect is pain, sure, but at least it's not the actual goal of the training.

So, can this Lactic Acid Training be effective for fat loss? It can. The hormonal effect of it has certainly been demonstrated in research. It's not fun but it can be effective.

Methodology #3 - Density Training

John states in this section of his book, his main inspiration for density training is actually Escalating Density Training by Charles Staley.

Rather than follow the guidelines of EDT exactly, John has come up with his own version of density training that uses MUCH shorter time periods.

For example, instead of doing a 15 minute block of time, you will instead set up a circuit of non-competing exercises, performing each exercise for say, 30 seconds, doing as many reps as you can in that 30 seconds, e.g. overhead press, dumbell rows and squats.

The weights are kept moderate and you're not pushing to failure on these sets.

The FIRST round might look like:

Overhead press with 35 lb dumbells - 20 reps
Dumbells rows with 40 lb dumbells - 18 reps
Squats with 135 lbs - 22 reps

Then you would take a rest (about 90 seconds or so, though there is not set rest interval here) and then you will INCREASE the weight by 15 to 20%.

Because you haven't gone to failure, you haven't wiped out your nervous system....you've tuned it up for the exercises you've just done.

Then you do the SAME circuit again, using those heavier weights. And according to the author, you will most likely get MORE reps with that increased weight on the second round through, immediately increasing training density.

This is a very compressed style of density training that forces an increase within a matter of minutes.

It's a very clever methodology and definitely worth trying out. Naturally, this isn't the ENTIRE workout, but just a section of it. You'd work in different exercises for different bodyparts as well.

This style of density training is excellent for boosting testosterone levels, in addition to increasing the metabolism. Really good stuff here.

Methodology #4 - Strength-Based Training

The primary goal with this style of training is keeping the muscle and strength you've worked so hard to build up. The training method is geared to completing a TOTAL number of reps, not by doing specific sets of say, 5 x 5 or anything like that.

So basically (and this is simplifying things from the program quite a lot), you'll set 25 reps as your goal...you'll choose a weight you can get 5 to 7 reps with, then you'll take as many sets as you need to do to get to 25 reps.

This is all done in the context of a circuit with several other exercises and without set rest periods, but the idea is to keep reps low to build strength.

It's an elegant system that can certainly help you hang onto muscle mass while training for fat loss.


Program Weak Points

There are a few areas that could be improved, though nothing that really goes up "red flag" status that should stop you from picking up this program if you're interested in it.

The nutrition section is a bit on the short side. Since the focus of this program is more on the training and the author tends to direct this program to a more experienced user, my thought is that he's assuming you already pretty much know what you're doing in that department.

His recommendations are good...nothing earth-shaking. It'll definitely get you results. I would have liked to seen more information on how the specific nutrients you're eating play a role in the hormonal responses of your body...i.e. insulin, testosterone, etc. Food is a big part of that.

So if you've already got your diet in order, this will be a really program. If you're looking for detailed meal plans or hardcore nutrition focus, it's not something you'll find in here.

In reading through some of the workouts, there were a few exercises that I wouldn't have included, for example, upright rows (which can be potentially damaging to the shoulders), but in general, the exercise selection is good.

John also includes a detailed exercise library in with the package, covering most of the exercises used in the book. You'll find some really interesting selections in here - always a good way to challenge your body!



Overall, this program is very well put-together. The training is based on good principles and the explanations of the hormonal effects of training are concise and easy to read. While it does have a few weak points, if you've got your nutrition pretty much already in order, the training you find in here might be just what you need to really push your bodyfat to a whole new low! Definitely worth checking out.

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