Quarterly Overview

This quarter the goal is to switch from primarily weight loss based programming to fat loss based programming, but before I explain further we need to establish a baseline understanding of how Change Your Body Boot Camps is structured.  Overall it’s designed to take out of shape, overweight people to their best shape, in the fastest time possible while making it sustainable, fun and safe.


  • We use light weights -compared to, what you might be able to lift for 1 set of 5 reps, what you might want to carry to class or what you might find in a gym (125 lb. dumbbells for example) which prevents you from building muscle at a faster rate, which can increase your metabolism to a greater rate, but also increase your chances of gaining unwanted bulk or size, but as always, this depends on what you do in the kitchen.
  • We take minimal to no rest, which prevents you from recovering fully, so you can’t lift maximum weights and therefore reduces your chance of putting on a lot of muscle, gaining size or bulk that you may not want, moving slower (sometimes, not always, when you’re big you move slower) and becoming sorer than you ever thought possible.  (yes it’s possible to be more sore than you’ve been in class)
  • We choose total body, multi-joint, compound movement workouts which burn more calories during a workout and after compared to split routines like upper body, lower body, chest & back, arms, legs & shoulders, etc…and therefore helps you to lose weight & get in your best shape faster.
  • We run around, which is really bad if you want to keep weight on, put on more weight or build more muscle.  Expending a lot of calories is bad if those are your goals.
  • We give you outside of class cardio goals which are counterintuitive if you want to build muscle and gain weight.
  • We stretch, roll and do corrective exercises to keep you loose, healthy and elastic, which reduce bulk and makes for long lines and long muscles.
  • We teach nutrition for weight loss, for fat loss and for performance and muscle building goals, which can complement at least one of your goals.

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss Programming

Now that we’ve done that, why was the 1st quarter about weight loss programming, why was the 2nd quarter about fat loss programming and why is the 3rd quarter about fat loss-muscle building and performance programming, what’s the difference and will I still lose weight if I want to?

The 1st quarter was about Weight Loss Programming because we were starting a new year and coming off the holiday season, where some more than others may have enjoyed far too many calorie rich meals and not enough (at least proportionally) calorie burning activities.  The reps were higher in nature (12-30 reps per set) or an endurance based rep range, which leaves one less sore if at all, compared to fat loss programming.  This was important because if you’re sore when it’s cold out or if we have an accumulation of snow like we did this year, you’re less likely to get moving and more likely to sit on your butt.  Sitting because your sore, means you’re not burning calories like you could be and that’s bad for weight loss.

The reps in this quarter will still be high, but the trend will move downwards to lower reps or more specifically hypertrophy (8-12) and strength rep (5-8) ranges.  Hypertrophy means your muscles pump up with blood and stays that way as long as you train that way.  This means shape for woman and buff for men.  This is good for fat loss because not only will you burn more calories during a workout, but you’ll burn more calories at rest and at rest, or sleep or at times when our heart rate is 59% or less of our Max Heart Rate, is when we burn the most fat.  And if we’re burning fat calories at a greater rate following this type of workout compared to the 1st quarter or to not training, even though initially we’ll be sorer, we’ll not only preserve our lean muscle or add to it, which promotes an increase in resting metabolic rate, but we’ll decrease our body fat percent as well and if you’re doing your work in the kitchen and on your cardio minutes, you’ll lose weight too.

What’s the difference?

What’s the difference between weight loss programming and fat loss programming?  That’s a good question, who asked that.  (Joke)  Both programs are going to use total body, multi-joint compound movements like Burpees, lunges, dead lifts, squats, rows, pushups, step ups, overhead presses, etc…but weight loss programs will be more continuous with next to no rest, whereas fat loss programs will be continuous with some rest.  Weight loss programs will be primarily high rep ranges or endurance based rep ranges (12-30+ reps) and fat loss programs will be more of a hybrid.  Some endurance based rep ranges, some hypertrophy and some strength.  You might even argue power rep ranges (1-5 reps) can be used here, but in most cases they won’t fit in our class, at least not yet.

Also, the exercises will be simpler for weight loss and gradually become more challenging and skillful for fat loss.

Now, remember all of the bullet points above.  Regardless of your goal, the season or the time you became a boot camp member, unless of course your goal is to get bigger (as in move up in dress, shirt or pant sizes), to be a body builder, to be a power lifter, to train for something very specific like tackle football, a mixed martial arts fight or to rehab an injury, then you can lose weight, lose fat, maintain weight and improve performance while on this program.  It’s that special.

Abs Are Made in the Kitchen

And of course, regardless of the goal, what you do or don’t do in the kitchen makes all the difference.  If you want to lose weight, move more and eat less.  If you want to gain weight, move less and eat more.  If you want to lose fat, lift heavy and/or move fast, take little to know rest, do interval based conditioning and come to the nutrition discussion (or buy Precision Nutrition).

In summary, as the weather, seasons and sports change so will your programming.  You’ll be more active in the better climates, so I’ll challenge you accordingly.  This will result in increased soreness (you’ll feel like a rookie again), but your body will adapt and provide exciting new changes and you’ll continue to lose weight or lose fat depending on your goal, nutrition consumption and cardio efforts.  Either way, enjoy the process, your teammates, your experience and the pursuit of your genetic potential and the limitless and bountiful rewards it brings.

Your coach,

Mike Alves

p.s.  if you have a question or would like to comment please post it below.

p.p.s.  How’s your training going so far this month?