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barbell bench press

Training when your body is in ketosis forces you to pick your weight room battles carefully. Without carbs in your system, you simply can’t perform the same kind of high-volume bodybuilding or CrossFit routines you’re probably used to and still expect to recover from them—at least not until your body has fully adapted to using fat for fuel. But that’s fine. By learning to be judicious about your training and choosing only the best exercises for stimulating muscle, you’ll keep size while the fat comes off, eliminate the risk of overtraining, and speed up your workout time.


This program turns the volume way down. You’ll train your legs only one day per week, which will allow ample recovery time—a must, given the lower-body intensive cardio sessions you’ll be doing. You may feel like you’re not doing enough sets, but remember that it’s your ketogenic diet that is responsible for most of your fat loss. To see that muscle isn’t lost with the fat, you’ll be going heavy on most exercises, and prioritizing the bench press and squat. Big compound movements like these recruit maximum muscle mass, sending your body the message that even though the number on the scale is going down, it’s not allowed to get small and weak.



Perform each workout (Day I, II, and III) once per week, resting a day between each session. On two other days of the week, perform cardio. See below for recommendations.

Exercises that are paired (marked “A” and “B”) are alternated, so you’ll do one set of A, rest as directed, then one set of B, rest, and repeat until all sets for the pair are complete. Note that some pairs will have one less set for one exercise in the pair than the other.


Perform hill sprints on one of your off days from lifting. Find a hill with a steep grade and sprint to the top. Walk down and repeat. Gradually increase the number of sprints you perform over the course of several weeks. Each workout should last 15–25 minutes.

On another off day, perform cardio with a jump rope, or do steady-state work. If you jump rope, jump at an easy pace for 60 seconds and then rest 30 seconds. Repeat for 15–20 minutes. If you perform steady-state cardio, keep your heart rate between 120 and 150 beats per minute for 30–60 minutes.