While nutrition is the “meat” of a fat-loss program, the training is the “potatoes.” Here’s what I mean by that: You have to follow your diet to get the fat-loss results you’re seeking, and you have to pay attention to that 24/7. But your training takes place in 2 or 3 short windows every day. You only have to focus for a relatively short period every day to get in the work you need to drive the results you’re seeking. Nutrition is the hard part, and training is the fun aspect of any fat-loss program. If you don’t agree with that, then you’re not a bodybuilder.
Operation Aesthetic provides you with the opportunity to lose body fat while you also maintain or even add muscle mass. The key to this is making sure your diet is moderate, not extreme, and that you get in all the Kaged supplements that support energy, promote weight loss, and help you hold onto your hard-earned muscle throughout the process. And then you get to the fun stuff: the training.
Let me take you through what you need to do for your training while you’re following my 8-week Operation Aesthetic:
You’ll work out with weights 5 days a week on this program. On each of these training days, you’ll watch the daily video to get you primed for your workout.
Here’s my training split for this 8-week fat-loss program:
DAY 1: MONDAY: Legs
DAY 2: TUESDAY: Chest
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY: Back
DAY 4: THURSDAY: Active Rest and Abs
DAY 5: FRIDAY: Shoulders
DAY 6: SATURDAY: Arms
DAY 7: SUNDAY: Rest and Reevaluate
Operation Aesthetic is an 8-week program built on two 4-week phases. You’ll perform similar workouts for each body part throughout the first phase, and then we’ll switch things up for the second phase. So, after 4 weeks on my fat-loss program, you’ll make significant changes to your Operation Aesthetic training program.
You’ll do this 6 days a week, getting in your first 25-minute cardio session as soon as you can after you get out of bed. It’s great if you can do this at home, but if not, it’s important that you come up with a way to perform this cardio session before you consume whole foods. The only things you should take in before early-morning cardio are weight-loss support and muscle-sparing supps along with water. That’s because this is one of the best times for your body to rely upon stored fat for energy. Eating whole foods undercuts this advantage.
You can perform your second 25-minute cardio session immediately after your weight-training session on your workout days, or you can get these sessions in later. That’s up to you based on your schedule. This second session helps burn calories and supports recovery for better weight-training workouts throughout Operation Aesthetic.
You’ll also perform 2 cardio sessions on your Thursday Active Rest and Abs days. Get in that first one immediately upon rising, and then perform the other at least 3–4 hours later, if not at the end of the day. This will keep your metabolism revving to burn body fat. You can train your abs with your second cardio session.
The purpose of your cardio on Operation Aesthetic is to burn calories and promote recovery for sustained fat loss. We’re not doing anything complicated here. You don’t need to worry about HIIT or complicated cardio techniques that function more as workouts than for fat-burning and recovery from weight training.
All of your cardio should be performed in a heart rate range of about 120–140 beats per minute, or an equivalent of about a 7 out of 10 on the exertion factor. You should be able to hold a conversation while you’re performing your cardio. As I say throughout, you can also check your phone while you’re performing your cardio. In fact, I don’t want you to check your phone beforeyour cardio. I want you to get to your cardio ASAP.
At the end of each week, I provide you with guidance about how to adjust your cardio if you’re not losing enough body fat or if you’re dropping too much weight. If neither of these applies to you, then you’ll continue to perform 2 sessions of cardio for 25 minutes on every day throughout Operation Aesthetic except for your Rest and Reevaluation days at the end of each week.
I provide you with a full workout chart for each day with exercises, sets, reps, and thinking points for you to consider. I want you to use this as a blueprint for your workouts, but I want you to make adaptations that work best for you. In the videos and the text for each day’s workout, I provide guidance for how you can change things to make this program work better for you. So, begin with my workout recommendations and make the changes that work best for you.
For almost all exercises, I start with a light weight and pyramid up in weight as I reduce reps. Then, for the last set of almost every exercise, I drop the weight back down and perform a high-rep burnout set. I also use drop sets, where I perform one set with 2–3 reductions in weight at the end of an exercise. I didn’t build these techniques into my charts, but I mention them throughout. I want you to add them when they feel right for you.
Let me get a little technical for a minute: The reason I use these big shifts in weights and reps is that we each have Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fibers. But we have them in different ratios. Some of us grow better with lighter weights and more reps; some of us grow better with heavier weights and fewer reps. But we all grow better if we train both types of muscle fibers. My workouts are designed to maximize maintenance and/or growth for everyone, regardless of the ratio of these muscle fibers.
I don’t do a lot of specific and targeted abs exercises in my own program. That’s because I use my abs and core strength for all of my other workouts. And I also include yoga and breakdancing, something new for me. Both of these really work my core and help me chisel my abs and display them when I’m on stage. Don’t forget that practicing your posing really works your abs, as well. So that’s another way I train my abs.
Still, I know that many people following a fat-loss program want to include more abs training. I’ve added that to my Thursday (Day 4) Active Rest days. You can include as much or as little abs training as you want or need on Operation Aesthetic.
The more committed you are to Operation Aesthetic, the better your results will be. Keep in mind that you can download each of my workouts from this site and take them with you to the gym. All I ask is that you give each training session your full focus and discipline, and then your results will speak for themselves. If you’re ready to work hard and have fun doing it, then let’s get started!