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.
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
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
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
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
The weights are kept moderate
and you're not pushing to failure on these sets.
The FIRST round might look
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
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.
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.
about "Final Phase Fat Loss"