John Romaniello, New York’s Premier Fat Loss Expert and the creator of the Final Phase Fat Loss program

Filed under: by: hazem fouad

Romaniello, New York’s Premier Fat

Loss Expert and the creator of the Final Phase Fat Loss program

As you may have heard me say before (and if

you haven’t, you’re going to hear it now!), when

you are breaking through a fat loss plateau or

trying to get to the Final Phase of leanness,

things get a bit murkier than they do with

traditional fat loss.

Rather than dieting excessively in order to

create a calorie deficit, we are now looking to

enter into energy debt…and we do this with

intelligently designed training protocols. That’s

because keeping energy intake high ensures

that Leptin levels don’t drop and throw another

hormonal monkey wrench into the machinery.

You see, when you’re getting very lean or

you’ve hit a plateau, fat loss is not just about

calories in vs. calories out. It’s about your

hormonal environment and the way that affects

fat storage, and thereby fat loss.

When you’ve lost the first 20 or 30 or whatever

pounds, you’ve lost the “easy” fat. What you’ll

notice about your body is that you’re now

holding fat specifically in your trouble areas;

and those trouble areas are determined by your

specific hormonal environment.

It’s not just about energy debt or cardio or to a

lesser extent, diet (although all of those things

do factor in quite a bit, obviously). When your

fat loss has stalled and you’re trying to break

through that wall, or when you’re trying to rid

yourself of those last stubborn 5-10 pounds, it’s

a hormonal battle.

And there is only one way to win:

fight hormones with hormones.

So, let’s look at the three specific hormones that

cause the most common types of regional fat


1. Estrogen – The female sex hormone

responsible for lower body fat storage patterns.

2. Insulin – Or rather, insulin resistance. This

nasty little dude heavily influences fat storage in

the love handles and lower back area.

3. Cortisol – The appropriately dubbed “stress

hormone” is part of the reason you’ve got more

flab than ab.

There you have it…those are your enemies!

Now, I want to talk to you about how you can

actually increase the production of other

hormones through the manipulation of training

methods in order to offset the above mentioned

“bad” hormones.

In this corner

Estrogen vs. Testosterone

Now that we’ve established estrogen is the main

reason lower body fat storage occurs, we need

to know how to work around that.

Well, how else would you combat estrogen but

with testosterone?

To put it bluntly, when it comes to fat loss and

muscle gain…

Testosterone GOOD – Estrogen BAD

It’s for that reason that professional athletes,

bodybuilders, and the juicers down at the

Jersey Shore use illicit steroids that are

derivatives of testosterone.

Of course, that’s not an option for us – and

certainly not desirable.

Instead, we are going to increase testosterone

levels naturally; through training. Not only will

this increase the net fat-burning effect of all

exercises, but more appropriate to our purposes

here, it will also facilitate in getting rid of lower

body fat.

I should mention something here to alleviate

any concerns. It is NOT possible to produce a

detrimental amount of testosterone through

training. So ladies, you don’t have to worry

about any masculinizing effects.

Instead, training produces what we would term

a “high” amount of testosterone from a

physiological perspective, relative to what your

body normally produces. For the guys, this

means that such training will help you put on a

bit more muscle – just not steroid muscle.

Got it? Okay, moving on.

At this point, I know you’re thinking, “All right

Roman, get to the point, what do I do?”

Great question! Well, the answer is Density


Training in a way that seeks to increase training

density is one of the best ways to spur your

body to produce and release more testosterone,

which will (obviously) help you lose that

estrogen related fat storage.

Training density can be defined as the amount

of work you do in a given amount of time during

a training session. So, if you want to increase

density, you can…

(1)               Do more work (sets, reps, or both) in the
                                       same amount of time


     (2) Do the same amount of work and
    decrease the time in which you do it


ver, I’ve come up with a method of Density

Training that is specific to radical fat loss! This

means that not only will you produce the

testosterone necessary to mitigate your

regional fat issue, but you’ll also lose more fat

on the whole.

Pretty cool, eh? So here is how we do it…

As an example, let’s pick 3 exercises: the

overhead press, the dumbbell row, and the


Setting these up in a circuit fashion, you

perform them one after another with little rest 



Sounds like just about any circuit training

protocol, right?


Instead of having a set number of reps, we’re

going to be performing each of these exercises

for TIME – you simply have to do as many as

you can in a given time period.

To make it easy, let’s say you did each of the

above exercises for 30 seconds. In performing

such a circuit, your results might look like this:

Overhead Press – 25 pound dumbbells for 20


DB Row – 40 pound dumbbells for 18 reps

Squat – 100 pound barbell for 22 reps

Not too shabby. Now, HERE is where it gets


We’re going to take advantage of some cool

things that happen in the body; triggers that will

make you more efficient and more capable.

So, to do that, we’re going to INCREASE the

weight by 10-20% and try to do MORE reps.

Does that seem impossible? It isn’t.

Due to neuromuscular junction and neural

activation, in almost ALL cases, you’ll be able to

do just that.

Your second attempt at that circuit might look

like this:

Overhead Press – 30 pound dumbbells for 23


DB Row – 50 pound dumbbells for 20 reps

Squat – 120 pound barbell for 25 reps

Now, I know you’re having trouble believing 


outcome is even possible (much less common),

but I implore you, try it for yourself!

Density Training is fun, challenge-based, burns

a heck of a lot of fat, and most importantly, is

one of the best training modalities around for

increasing testosterone production and release.

And that’s why training for increased workout

density will help you shed stubborn lower body

fat AND more fat on the whole.

Insulin Resistance vs. IGF-1

Insulin resistance is combated very nicely by a

hormone called IGF-1, or Insulin-like Growth

Factor One.

Producing extra IGF-1 via training will help you

(and me!) improve insulin sensitivity and begin

to rid ourselves of our love handles and lower

back fat.

We know that insulin resistance is very

common, particular in people who were

previously overweight. So, if you have lost

some fat and you’re now struggling to lose a bit

more (and that fat happens to be in your love

handles), I’m willing to bet you’re suffering from

some degree of insulin resistance.

In order to get rid of that fat, we need to do fat

burning workouts (obviously) and increase

insulin sensitivity to the greatest degree that we

can. As a result, we need to employ what I call

Dynamic Training.

Dynamic Training is pretty much the over-

arching concept of how I design fat loss training

programs; it consists of using fast-paced

movements to teach the body how to move

more efficiently.

Because this style of training is extremely

expensive in terms of energy (calorie) demand,

Dynamic Training is excellent as a general fat

loss modality.

Perhaps more importantly however, is the fact

that utilizing these types of exercises and

setting them up in a non-competing circuit

fashion under the Dynamic Training umbrella is

an incredible way to produce IGF-1. And doing

that is one of the most effective methods to

mitigate insulin sensitivity.

Take it from someone who knows!

Nothing is better for combating love handle fat

than increasing insulin sensitivity – and like I

said, one of the most effective ways to do that is

to produce more IGF-1 through Dynamic


Cortisol vs. Growth Hormone

And now we come to our final bout of the

evening–the main event, as it were.

We have touched on cortisol a bit, so I won’t

rehash that too much. Suffice it to say that the

higher your cortisol levels are, the more fat

you’re going to be storing on your belly. Given

that fact, it stands to reason that if you store fat

primarily in the abdominal region, you’re a

victim of high cortisol.

Never fear, though: Growth Hormone is here!

Also known as the “Fountain of Youth”, growth

hormone is the single most effective compound

your body can produce to affect both fat loss

and muscle gain. The more of it you produce,

the faster you’ll lose fat and build muscle. It’s

just as simple as that.

Now, in addition to that awesome little fact,

growth hormone is going to whoop cortisol’s

butt AND help you burn belly fat.

Also, you’ve probably heard that one of the

ways to reduce your cortisol levels is to get

more sleep. That’s something you hear on

nearly all of the medical TV shows. What you

don’t hear is the reason.

You see, sleeping is one of the main ways by

which your body produces growth hormone. In

other words, while you’re sleeping, it’s your

body’s primary opportunity to produce growth

hormone. And, as I stated previously, growth

hormone is one of the main hormones that

reduces the effects of cortisol.

So, sleep more and you’ll produce more GH!

Produce more GH and you’ll have less cortisol!

Therefore, sleeping more, results in lower

cortisol levels. Got it?

Of course, I’m not suggesting you can just sleep

your way past a fat loss plateau (although

getting more sleep does help). I’m merely

illustrating the relationship between cortisol and

growth hormone.

Which leads us to the production of growth

hormone as it relates to training…

While nearly all forms of exercise produce both

growth hormone and cortisol, some types are

better than others.

For example, cortisol is heavily produced in

long duration cardio sessions. But let’s not do


Instead, we’re going to utilize a style of training

that produces more growth hormone…Lactic

Acid Training (in order to get to the growth

hormone, you must first produce lactic acid).

By definition, lactic acid is a by-product of the

chemical reactions that take place during

exercise. This substance is wildly irritating to

the nerves, and your body responds. Think of

lactic acid as a type of oil…igniting fires as it

flows through you. Your body will put those

fires out by dousing them with soothing,

cooling growth hormone.

Okay, maybe I’m being a little simplistic with my

metaphor, but it gives you a general idea.

In any event, we must structure training to

produce the most lactic acid possible. And

because lactic acid is primarily produced in the

concentric (positive) phase of anaerobic

exercise, we will extend that period, and

decrease the eccentric period.

What that means is that we lift the weight very,

very slowly. And then we lower it very, very

quickly so that we can have a fast turn around.

As an example, if you’re doing a squat, you’ll

descend to the bottom of the squat very quickly

(drop down fast, but still controlling the weight

somewhat) and then lift the weight sloooowly,

oh so sloooowly – over a period of 4-6 seconds.

This will create tremendous amounts of lactic

acid, which will in turn send GH production into


Now, I must mention that training in this way

necessitates the use of lighter weights than you

would normally use on any given exercise.

Therefore, if you’re interested in Lactic Acid

Training, I suggest you reduce the weight you’d

use on any exercise by about 30% in order to be

both safe and effective.

With traditional training methods, you’d lift the

weight pretty quickly and lower it slowly. Here

we’re doing the opposite, in order to produce

the most lactic acid possible…which will then

lead to a corresponding increase in the

production of growth hormone.

This will result in not only reducing cortisol, but

also reducing cortisol related fat storage in your

belly. And on top of it all, it’s great for fat loss in