Have you been trying to burn off the fat that just won’t budge? Maybe you want to make major gains but have hit a brick wall. Ashley Conrad is here to show you where you might be going wrong.


I recently sat down with an old friend who needed some help losing weight. As he told me about all the conflicting advice he’d received from his nutritionist, his trainer, his doctor and his friends, one thing became extremely clear: even in an age where we have so much information to hand, when it comes to losing weight and building muscle, people are still confused – and rightfully so.

Wherever you look there are so-called experts contradicting one other.

So in an attempt to break through all the crap that’s out there, and get you those hard-earned results you deserve, here is a definitive list of dos and don’ts for burning fat and building muscle, all taken from my Clutch Cut program.


Burning fat

What you should be doing:

• Two cardio sessions per week first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

• Fasted cardio the morning after a big cheat meal at dinner or just the odd slip-up.

• Eating every three hours.

• Weight-training your legs twice a week. This will send fat-burning through the roof!

• Drinking 100oz water per day (minimum).

• Training at 100% every time you step into the gym.

• Cutting complex carbohydrates after 4pm.

• Eating a high-carb cheat meal once a week.

• Circuit-training using my Clutch Cut program as inspiration.

• If you’re not circuit training, complete 45 seconds of cardio between weight-training sets instead of resting. This will send your metabolism into the stratosphere and accelerate the rate at which you build strength.

• Cooking at home and packing meals for your day.


What you shouldn’t be doing:

• Excessive cardio. If you are training at 100% capacity, anything more than 30 minutes is simply unnecessary.

• Cutting excessive amounts of calories and carbohydrates out of your diet. This will slow down your metabolism and suppress growth hormone and testosterone, making it impossible in the long term to continue losing weight, and might actually cause weight gain.

• Drinking excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages

• Working out when exhausted. Get some rest and hit it hard tomorrow.

• Going on any ‘diet’ that advises you to consume fewer than 1350 calories daily. This is not a diet, it’s a starvation plan that will ultimately make you skinny-fat.


Building muscle

What you should be doing:

• Throwing your body a training curve-ball once a week. Use things like boxing and full-body circuit training to reinvigorate your muscle-building program.

• Performing super-sets, drop-sets and rest-pause sets.

• Performing sprints or HIIT (high intensity impact training) cardio at least three times per week.

• Eating six to eight meals per day, after preparing the majority of them at home.

• Taking amino acids, L-glutamine and an ion-exchanged R-BGH-free whey protein isolate before and after every workout.

• Switching up your carbohydrate sources at least every other day.

• Cutting all hormones out of your diet. Instead, eat organic meats and eggs, and cut out the milk (trust me on this one).


What you shouldn’t be doing:

• Eating red meat more than once weekly.

• Dirty bulking. This was created by people jacking themselves up on all sorts of steroids. Also, don’t do steroids. They’re lame and will ultimately lead to all kinds of disgusting side-effects.

• Taking growth hormone if you are under 47. If you start using it too soon, your body will stop producing it naturally and then when you really do need it you’ll be out of luck.

• Half-assed workouts. The way you build muscle is through maximum intensity and focus during every training session.


Find fitness and training advice in every issue of TRAIN magazine.