I am trying to understand the various exercise programs that one can use to create some lean muscle and at the same time reduce body fat. It seems that everyone has an approach that they claim works better than the others. I purchased a program called Double Edge Fat Loss by Dr. Kareem Samhouri. The intent of this post is to review this program in an attempt to get feedback on many of the claims made (for learning purposes). Is this program truly unique or is it the same old stuff with a different spin on it? Included in this review, I will identify the areas that leave me confused.
This program calls for four workouts a week with each workout lasting between 40 and 50 minutes (including warm up time). It is claimed to be the ideal fat loss workout that can incinerate fat, be at least twice as effective as all other workouts, get ridiculous fat loss results, and includes material that you have never seen before. It also claims that the workouts can result in Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) that can last for up to 72 hours. This is confusing to me because it seems that this would interfere with your next workout the following day (you are still recovering). One of the foundations for this program is the use of giant sets that contain five exercises before you take a rest break. It is claimed that the order of these exercises is important to allow reciprocal inhibition to neurologically turn off the equal and opposite muscle previously used (biceps to triceps or quads to hamstring). This is somewhat confusing to me because I believe that sometimes equal and opposite muscles are required to be turned on at the same time. It seems that the body should know how to handle this. This program is supposed to turn off the neurological signal to a previously used muscle before the rest period so that it can recover (I hope I got this right). This is also confusing to me because I might have turned off one signal but I left on the signal to the muscle I just used. It is claimed that if you turn off the neurological signal to a muscle and equally burn-out the opposite muscle, your muscles start to drive blood circulation (enhancing heart circulation). This increased circulation is supposed to provide a long list of benefits (including enhanced fat loss). This concept of balancing muscles is claimed to be very important to obtain the most optimum neurological response. When the body is balanced, the neurological connection will be strongest and provide optimum contraction of every muscle you target for every workout you do (the brain knows it is safe).
The five exercises in the Double Edge Fat Loss (DEFL) giant sets are squat, push, lunge, pull, and plank. They are designed to be done in this order. Using reciprocal inhibition, the just used muscle is not turned off immediately but delayed by one exercise before the opposite muscle is used (pull does not follow immediately after push). The stated benefits of this approach are not clear to me. What does this delay accomplish? For each giant set, all three energy systems are employed (ATP-PC, anaerobic, and aerobic). Upper and lower body alternations are used to provide adequate rest time before a muscle is used again. By using push/pull alternations, it is claimed that there is less impact on the joints. The muscles around the joint are balanced and both strength and endurance exercises are incorporated. Both high intensity and low intensity are performed during each giant set. This also adds the cardiovascular component to the weight training. This variability is claimed to provide the shock effect the body can make use of. It is claimed that by keeping the body guessing, it burns more energy. The rest time between giant sets is two minutes. This allows all three energy systems to recover before being challenged again. Each giant set is repeated four times. The fourth set is the burnout set that makes sure that every muscle fiber has been taxed.
The following claims are made by this program. Central body strength (the core) is a critical starting point so that the brain will feel safe in activating various muscles without doing damage to the body. The brain also wants to see symmetrical muscles around each joint before activating optimum neurological signals to the required muscles. Again, this is to prevent harming the body. Therefore, all muscle groups should be equally worked. Compound moves are used to increase metabolic demands. Movements should be done in all the planes including rotational moves about each plane. The muscles should also be hit from various angles to work multiple muscles within a given group. Movements should be performed at fast, medium, and slow rates. All types of muscle fibers should be called into operation. Variety and constant change should be incorporated to provide the shock effect the body requires to prevent a plateau.
In my opinion, many of the explanations provided are not clear to me and often seem to be greatly simplified or exaggerated. That said, the workouts are diverse and challenging. They are supported by videos that clearly demonstrate proper form for each of the exercises.
Based on my limited experience, I can not determine if the methods used by this program are unique (never used before). Do they go beyond what is offered by others? Will they supply more benefits in a shorter period of time? I find it difficult to believe that any program can produce fat loss of the magnitude claimed by this program. I hope that what I wrote has correctly represented the material provided by this program. Am I overcomplicating this subject and making it more difficult than it really is? Any feedback would be appreciated.