Holiday WeightLoss Tips Part 2

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Training for Holiday WeightLoss

In the first of our three part series on Holiday Weight Loss we covered all the reasons why you need to at the very least be aware of the potential for holiday weight gain and how to overcome it with some simple nutrition tips that allow you to easily enjoy the holidays while still making great progress.

If you missed Part 1 of our Holiday Weight Loss Tips you can check it out HERE.


Today in Part Two we are going to cover the training portion of your Holiday Weight Loss program.

First, let me say that you will never out train poor nutrition.  You simply can’t burn off enough calories to make up for eating those Christmas cookies or indulging in an entire pumpkin pie.

Not to mention that this is an incredibly unhealthy way to go about enjoying the holidays.  Punishing yourself for enjoying food is a great way to start developing unhealthy relationships with no only food but with exercise as well.

If you enjoy some of your favorite treats that might be considered unhealthy chalk it up to your 10% (those free meals we discussed in Part 1) and forget about it.  Trying to go run, walk or lift it off simply won’t work.

That being said knowing how to mitigate the damage with proper workout timing is incredibly important.  It is 100% not due to the number of calories that you are burning in your workouts but it is due to the hormonal response that is created by certain workouts.


So, let’s dive right into these tips that will help you dial in your training over the holidays.

Wil Fleming Training

Tackling Training 

Holiday Weight Loss Tip #1

This time of year people are incredibly short on time and things are going to come up.  Let’s face it; we lose at least 3-4 days from Nov-Jan due to holidays alone.  Now you might be a little off your rocker like me and still train on those days, but you may also have to travel and not be able to train.

When schedules get tight we have a hierarchy of training that you should follow.

1)   Strength training

2)   Metabolic Resistance Training

3)   HIIT Training (High Intensity Intervals)


You may notice that nowhere on that list did we include cardio.  That is because cardio is not an efficient means of helping you burn fat, especially if you are pressed for time.  However, we do encourage you to walk each day for 15-30 minutes, which we will talk about in a later tip.

If you love running or cardio, then by all means go ahead and do it.  However, it isn’t going to help you reach your goals in the fastest possible way and you have to realize that you are doing it for the pure enjoyment of it or to prepare for an event (now it is your sport) and not for fat loss.


So, let’s break down each of our top three:

Strength Training

We include strength training as our top training method for burning fat not because of the calories burned during the actual workout but because of what it does to the body.  When you challenge your muscles, the active tissue in your body, to work hard in a strength training program then you will increase your metabolism over a longer period of time.  The amount of energy that it takes to recover from these sessions will spur an increase in caloric expenditure and also give you a hormone response that allows you to handle carbs better and burn more fat.

This includes heavy lifting and most likely total body training two to three days per week to get maximal results.

Now before you freak out realize that heavy lifting is relative.  If you are beginner and just starting then we aren’t expecting you to break any world records in the squat and deadlift on your first day, but you should be performing some variation of those lifts with weights in rep ranges that challenge you.


Here are two sample days:
Day 1

1A) Plank Variation 2 x 30s

1B) Off set Carry Variation 2x 30s each side

No rest between exercises and 30s rest after each super set


2A) Squat Variation (Goblet, Front, Back) 4×8-12

2B) Push Up Variation 4×8-12

No rest between sets and 60s rest between sets


3A) Single Leg Movement (Split Squat, Lunge, Step Up) 3×12-15

3B)  Pulling Exercise (Row, Pull Up, etc.)  3x 12-15

No rest between sets and 60s rest between sets


Day 2

1A)  Side Plank Variation 3x30s each side

No rest move from side to side until you are done


2A) Deadlift Variation (RDL, KB DL, BB DL, TB DL) 4×8-12

2B)  Rowing Variation (DB row, Band Row, Inverted Row) 4×8-12

No rest between sets and 60s rest between sets


3A)  Single Leg Variation (Rev Lunge, SL RDL, Skater Squat) 3×12-15

3B)  Push Up Variation 3x 15-20

3C)   Mountain Climber or Bear Crawl 2x30s

No rest between sets and 60s rest between sets
You can alternate these exercises for either 2 days per week or 3 days per week taking one day off rest and recovery in between and get great results.

Guys should stick to the lower rep ranges for the lifts and the ladies should work towards the higher rep ranges.

The goal is to challenge yourself during the workout with weights that are heavy enough to cause you to work but never to fail on any lift.  You should always feel like you could get 1-2 more reps at the end of your last set.

The beauty of this set up is that you can change out exercises every 3-6 weeks to add some variety and constantly challenge your body. However, don’t change them more frequently than that.  For 3-6 weeks attempt to lift a heavier weight each time you do the workout.  So if on Day 1 you did a 40lbs goblet squat for 10 reps the next time you perform that workout you will want to either do more reps or do more weight for the same number of reps.

That is strength training made easy for the holidays!


Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT)

Coming in a very close second to strength training is metabolic resistance training.  The reason that it falls behind strength training on our list is because you must have a certain basic level of fitness and experience to really make this work on your own.

If you jump into this before you either have a coach to help you know how hard to push or what to do for each exercise and you haven’t yet learned the basic form for the foundational lifts (Squat, Push Up, Press, Deadlift, Hinge, Row) then you are opening yourself up for injury.

In MRT you will still focus on strength.  The goal isn’t to push light weights around until you sweat and “feel the burn”.  The goal is to use short rest periods and setting up your exercises in alternating fashion to create a big time metabolic disturbance.  Basically, short rest with big movements = a higher metabolism.

There are two simple ways to set this up. The first involves working with basic strength movements and having short rest between your sets or you can work solely off of time.


Here is are two examples of MRT:

Day 1

1A) KB Swing x 15

Rest 15-20s

1B) Push Ups x 12

Rest 15-20s

1C) Alternating Reverse Lunge x 8 each leg

Rest 15-20s

1D) DB Single Arm Row x 12 each arm

Rest 15-20s

1E) Burpees x 10-15

Rest 15-20s

1F)  Plank Walk Ups x 10-15

Rest 60-120s

You would then repeat this 2-3 times (3-4 rounds total)


Day 2

1A)  KB or DB Goblet Squat  40s

Rest 20s

1B)  TRX Row 40s

Rest 20s

1C) Split Jumps 40s

Rest 20s

1D) DB Push Press 40s

Rest 20a

1E) Mountain Climbers 40s

Rest 60-120s and repeat this 2-3 more times (3-4 rounds total)


You can alternate between these two workouts for a month and then change the exercises.   Make sure you include a rest day between the workouts.

metcon workout

HIIT Training

HIIT training is used for short bouts of very intense training to get a fat burning results.  These workouts are usually around 5-15 minutes in length, at most, and are super intense.  I only recommend you do these if you are really short on time or if you are advanced.

It is possible to add in 1-2 of these workouts each week as time allows to enhance your results.  However, it is essential that you manage your recovery if you are adding these in.

Most HIIT workouts include running, cycling, rowing or biking.  You go for a period of time at a high intensity and then you lower the intensity for a period of time repeating this cycle until you have completed your workout.


Here are a few example workouts:

Hill Sprints

Find a good sized hill, approximately 40-75yards in length.

Perform a 15-20 minute warm up with foam rolling, hip mobility and sprinting drills.

Start at the bottom of the hill and sprint up as fast as possible.

Walk to the bottom and repeat 6-12 times.


Bike Sprints

Find a stationary bike (Aerodyne is preferred).  If it is standard stationary bike you will need to crank up the resistance during your high intensity portions of the workout.

Bike at a moderate pace for 3-5 minutes to warm up

Sprint as fast as possible on the bike for 30s-60s

Recover at a slow and steady pedal for 60s-120s.

Repeat for 10-15 minutes

Cool down for 3-5 minutes


KB Swings

Perform 15 KB swings with a KB that is 1/3 of your bodyweight every minute for 12-15 minutes



This can be done outside or on a treadmill.  If you choose a treadmill run at a minimum 3% incline to reduce the stress on your knees.

Perform a good 10-15 minute warm up to ensure your hips are loose and you are prepared to sprint.

Start by walking or jogging for 3-5 minutes gradually increasing the pace.

Sprint for 60-120s (you won’t actual be sprinting but go as fast as you can)

Walk or Jog for 180-240s

Repeat for 15-20 Minutes

kb swings

There are lots of great workouts on our YouTube pages for Force Fitness and also on my personal page.

>>Force Fitness YouTube<<


>>Ryan’s YouTube<<

Holiday Weight Loss Tip #2

You only need to train hard 3-4 times per week for maximal results.  If you are really pressed for time you can get by with 2 times per week.

Training everyday might seem great but during a busy time of the year it only adds to the stress your body is under and it will actually hinder your weight loss and fat loss.  When you are stressed your body will hold on to fat at all costs- more on that in part 3.

Make sure you set up your schedule to get in 2-3 workouts at a minimum each week.  Don’t stress if there is a week where you can only get in 2 workouts.  Try to get in 3 the following week. Consistency is key with your training so make the time.

If you are having trouble finding time for your workouts then take a good hard look at your schedule and start finding 45-60 minute blocks of time that you can set aside.  Put it in your calendar and treat it like an appointment.

Make training a priority and you will be able to find the time.  Most of the workouts included above only take between 20-45 minutes to complete so time is not an issue.

Get up an hour earlier (that means going to bed an hour earlier too)

Skip one TV show each night and workout instead

Pack your lunch and eat a smaller lunch so that you have time to workout on your lunch break

Making time is easy when you know how important this is!

prowler zach

Holiday Weight Loss Tip #3

Try to be active or walk every day.

It sounds simple but if you can get in 10,000 steps each day you will be a much healthier person.

The easiest way to make this happen is to take a nice 30-minute stroll right before or after dinner.  It is getting dark out earlier so you may have to plan a bit to time this right.

If you can’t do that here are a few options:

1)   Take a 10 minute walk at your lunch break

2)   Work in 50 minute intervals through the day and then get up and move during the 10 minute break periods before starting your next work interval

3)   Park further away

4)   Take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators

5)   Go for a hike on the weekends

6)   Start your day with a 10-15 minute walk and reflect on all the positive things in your life


All of these are simple but very effective tips for increasing your non-exercise physical activity.

Not only will you feel better because your body has a chance to reset itself when walking but your mind will be much more clear, you will lose more fat and your mood will improve.

So, make sure you get in 30 minutes of walking daily.  If that seems like a lot to start with just make sure you get it in on the days you aren’t strength training.  Then gradually add it in to your strength days in 5 or 10-minute increments.

Holiday Weight Loss Tip #4

Make sure you are performing a proper warm up.  This includes foam rolling, mobility and movement prep.

Warming up is key.  No busy person wants to do it but it is essential to you performing at a high level in your workouts and also staying injury free.

The truth is – no one cares about being hurt until they are hurt – but if you are anything like me as the years have added up so have the little twinges, aches and pains.

Personally if I don’t spend 10-15 minutes aggressively warming up I feel it for days and my workout that day is subpar.  I am happy to invest a few extra minutes for a better performance and to feel great.

Looking great is one thing, but not at the expense of feeling like garbage the rest of the day.

If you need a great foam rolling routine start with this video:

Then you can go through this flexibly routine:

After this you can perform a few solid warm up movements like this:


On your off days make sure that you are doing the foam rolling and flexibility routine as well.  Just a few minutes a day will help you loosen up and have you feeling great. Personally I pull out my foam roller when I am watching one of my favorite TV shows and roll during the commercials.  It is a great way to get in a little extra rolling.

That’s it for Part 2 of the Holiday Weight Loss series.  Make sure you are getting in your training and making the most

Force Fitness Holiday Survival Guide

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