Is it really possible to ditch the cardio, keep the carbs, and still lose weight… especially fat?
I had the chance to interview one of the hottest names in fat loss and fitness — Rob Poulos, the author of Fat Burning Furnace — and his answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!”
Rob specializes in helping both men and women lose fat quickly and permanently through brief and infrequent workouts and simple diet principles.
It might sound too good to be true, but Rob and his wife lost over 100 pounds of fat combined with his methods.
Read the entire interview for more insight from the man himself:
HVG: Rob Poulos struggled with his weight for years, until he finally cracked the code that allowed him to lose over 40 pounds of fat in just a few months. Today he’s going to talk to us about how you can do the same thing. Rob, thanks for joining us.
RP: Thanks for having me.
HVG: Could you let everyone know a bit of background on your health journey, and how you were able to make such a big transformation in such little time?
RP: You know, I first got interested in this whole fat burning thing mainly to meet girls when I was younger and I’m not ashamed to admit it! But seriously, I kind of struggled with my weight most of my life. When I was in my early 20s, I got interested in bodybuilding (mostly through watching too many Arnold Schwarzenegger movies I guess!). But I saw it as a way to get the kind of lean muscular body I wanted. Not the blown up steroid bodybuilder look, more like the look the bodybuilders of the ’50s and ’60s had, you know, the kind that attracts the opposite sex and makes your friends jealous! But I realized real fast that achieving these goals doesn’t happen overnight.
I also found out, after years and years of trial and error, that 90% of the fat loss or muscle building programs and products were just plain garbage. They were either created to simply make a quick buck, or would only work on people who were already born with great lean muscular genetics. You know the type. I had one buddy who would work out lazily, with very little intensity, and pretty much eat pizza after pizza and still look dynamite when he was at the beach.
I also learned that most of the programs out there either required you to spend 4-6 days in the gym with long cardio workouts plus weight training workouts, restrict yourself of carbs until you were mad at the whole world, or both! This stuff just plain frustrated me, and so I went looking to create a fat loss and fitness method of my own as I couldn’t find one that allowed me to get in killer shape without having to give up the foods I loved or most of my spare time.
And after about 10 years or so, I felt as though I had perfected the method as once I started using all of the techniques together, I was able to finally drop over 42 pounds of body fat and 10 inches off my waist. I was also building slabs of lean muscle and strength, this happened over the course of just a few months. My wife even lost 59 pounds during this same period and went from a size 12 to a size 4.
But what really excited me, was that we did it without cutting carbs out of our diet and by only working out 2-3 times a week for just 15-26 minutes per workout. And no cardio whatsoever. We both hated long boring cardio, so we were like a couple of kids at Christmas.
So, obviously when our friends and family saw the changes we had made, we got a lot of mixed reactions. Some were jealous and not supportive, if you can believe that! But most wanted to get my secrets and kept telling me, “you have to write a book, you have to write a book”.
So that’s what I did. I put everything down to paper and even shot some videos detailing my method so people could just copy my plan themselves. And it’s been fantastic helping thousands and thousands of people from all over the world with my Fat Burning Furnace program, helping them finally lose that stubborn body fat and develop a new level of self confidence in everything they do. So that’s where I am today and it feels great!
HVG: It seems like a lot of people featured on the labels of fitness products get their great physiques mainly from good genetics. But obviously you didn’t have that advantage. So how exactly were you were able to overcome your fat loss and fitness challenges?
RP: I simply wanted it badly. I hated being overweight and just felt crummy all the time. I had low energy. I was embarrassed to take my shirt off in the summer, you know, all the stereotypical stuff, except it was very personal for me.
I also didn’t carry much muscle on my body genetically. I’m rather tall (6’6″) so looking muscular is even tougher for me than someone of average height. I was over-fat, yet under-muscled. Talk about the worst of both worlds. But I’m not the kind of person that just gives up. I must have tried a hundred different programs or diets during those 10 or so years.
The steps I took were basically trial and error, and a lot of wasted money. But you know, it really wasn’t wasted because if I was able to gain just one new insight or technique to add to my method, it was worth it. Especially with results I’m able to obtain for my readers and students now.
At some point I basically realized that exercise and nutrition for building muscle and getting lean is a science, just like any other science. There are things that must be included in your regimen or else you cannot expect results. Period. The beauty of it is, that for other people, I can show them how to get it done like my wife and I did in just a few months and without having super human motivation or spending even one year of more trial and error.
HVG: Okay, so what are some nutritional tips for burning the most fat in the least amount of time?
RP: There’s a lot of stuff, but perhaps the most important tip I can give anyone trying to get and stay lean is to look at food from a micronutrient standpoint. Most people look at food from a macronutrient view (protein, carbs, fats).
This is fine, but the big light bulb went off for me when I started to focus on eating most of my calories from foods that are super loaded with nutrients. These are vegetables, fruits, whole unrefined grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. I’m not talking about a vegetarian or vegan diet here, but a diet that supplies the body with the nutrients it requires to burn fat optimally. When you give your body the required nutrients without overloading it with nutrient poor or nutrient barren foods, fast fat loss happens almost magically.
HVG: You mentioned that you’re not a fan of cardio, which I always think of as a great way to burn fat. Why don’t your methods include cardio?
RP: Let me be extra clear on this one, because my stance here confuses a lot of people. First off, I think it is a waste of time trying to “run off” your calories to burn fat. This attitude will just wear you out over the long haul, and simply doesn’t work as well as controlling your calories through diet techniques. Also, studies have shown that regular moderately-paced cardio, where you run or bike at a steady pace for 30+ minutes several times a week, actually causes you to store more fat! Here’s why this is the case.
When you’re doing this exercise, your body is using stored fat for fuel. This may sound good, but what this is actually doing is telling your body that when it encounters this activity again it needs a reserve amount of fat available to fuel the exercise session. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. On top of that, most avid runners can tell you about the injuries and nagging pains they have from the constant repetitive pound their joints and tendons take over the years… not something I would wish on my worst enemy!
Now, what does work for burning fat quickly is what’s known as interval cardio. This is where you perform a relatively short cardio workout (usually 15-25 minutes or so) and you alternate periods of high to low intensity during the session.
So you might spend 1 minute jogging at a light pace, and then immediately switch to a near sprint for 1 minute straight, and then repeat the process several times. This type of exercise uses stored carbohydrates for fuel, not fat, so it sends a signal to your body to replenish your depleted muscles rather than storing a reserve amount of fat. Very different from the standard type of cardio that I loathe!
But believe it or not, I don’t even do this type of interval cardio in my own method. Why is that? Well, it’s because I realized a while back that the #1 activity you can do to burn fat is weight training or some form of resistance training.
This has to do with the fact that adding lean muscle to your body creates a powerful fat burning furnace that will automatically burn more calories at rest…significantly more. What we’ve done with the type of weight training we do in Fat Burning Furnace, though, is combine interval cardio with weight training to create one short and simple fat burning, muscle, and strength building work out. Many people have called it the most efficient fat loss and fitness work out ever created.
HVG: When people are weight training to burn fat, should they train the same way as when they’re trying to gain muscle?
RP: Yeah, in my experience, they should. But the weight training we use is not like you see most guys performing in the gym these days. We don’t use split routines, we don’t throw the weights around, and we don’t have ladies lifting soup cans or using rubber bands. From my experience all of these things will get you worse results or injured. The main goal of my Fat Burning Furnace exercise program is to burn fat, of course, but the underlying goal that leads to this is building lean muscle mass.
And this scares some ladies and even some of the men who read my book… they don’t want to get too bulky. But, as I said, this is a near impossibility for 99% of women and even some men due to the genetic requirements (muscle belly length, testosterone levels, etc.) of having overly large muscles. Now, sure, you could gain weight and look bulky by eating a ton of calories while you’re building muscle, but you’d just be fat and puffy like I was several years ago.
The only thing more lean muscle is going to do to a lady’s body is make it more feminine, shapely, and sexy.
HVG: Okay. What are some common mistakes you see people making when trying to lose lots of fat?
RP: Oh wow, there are so many. I mean, there are basic large scale diet mistakes, like restricting yourself of carbohydrates too much (which won’t work in the long run), eating too few calories or starving yourself, eating a low fat diet and eliminating healthy fats, and not eating enough of your calories from nutrient-rich foods.
Then there are big exercise mistakes, like spending 4-6 days a week in the gym with hours of boring fat storing cardio and then hours more of low to moderate intensity weight training on top of it. People are using terrible form with their exercise, which takes most of the stress off the muscles being worked and cuts their effectiveness by at least two-thirds. Ladies are afraid to work out hard in fear of getting too bulky.
I mean, I could go on, but I actually have a video I put together for my newsletter subscribers that tells you my top 7 mistakes people make. Your readers can watch it after they subscribe at my website if they wish.
HVG: What other fat-burning tips can you share with us?
RP: Well, I suppose the big thing lately is that everybody wants to lose their belly fat and get ripped abs. The main problem here is that people still think they can lose belly fat without losing fat in any other place on their bodies. But the reality is you only use fat uniformly, throughout the entire body. It may seem like it’s not coming off in those problem areas, but that’s only because you have more of it there. You need to focus on lowering your overall body fat percentage and that belly fat, thigh fat, butt fat, or wherever fat will come off.
Also, hours of situps or any of those ab gizmos on late night TV will not reduce your belly fat. You could have the strongest abs in the world, but if they’re covered by a blanket of fat, you’ll never see them.
So to summarize: focus on eating most of your calories from foods loaded with nutrients. Use interval cardio and/or intense full body weight training to build muscle and burn fat, 2-3 times per week. Or if you’d like, you can simply copy my method that I detail in my Fat Burning Furnace book.
You know that movie “Back To The Future”, right?
HVG: Of course!
RP: One of my favorites. Man, sometimes I think, what I would give to have that Delorean so I could go back in time a few years and give my Fat Burning Furnace plan to my former fat and frustrated self. The money I’d save. The hours and hours of frustration and embarrassment I’d save. That would be nice!
HVG: Now Rob, you mentioned your newsletter, and I understand you’ve also got some special bonuses for those out there who are ready to achieve their fat loss goals. Where can they get all that?
RP: Oh yeah, if your readers would like to get my complimentary eNewsletter, which comes with a free 40-page ebooklet by the way, as well as learn more about my Fat Burning Furnace plan and the bonuses I have, they can visit my Fat Burning Furnace site.
HVG: Okay, well, thanks so much for being here today, Rob, and sharing your insights with us.
RP: Thanks again for having me. I’m sure we’ll talk soon.
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