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Fat loss session with Kris Bierek

Kris is the CEO & Founder of ShapeFit, LLC ( However he himself is also a success story who dropped 50 pounds to get ripped! Today he shares tons of free and useful information on his website ( to help visitors achieve a greater level of fitness. So let’s try to learn from him more about getting awesome fat loss results:

Arnav Sarkar (AS): Thanks Kris for doing this interview. Why don’t you begin by telling us a bit about yourself and your fitness background?

Kris Bierek (KB): First of all thanks for having me, and hello to all of your readers. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Sociology. I got into fitness in Junior High School, when I decided to go out for the football team. I was just a chubby little kid when I walked into the team meeting that first day. Within a few months of hitting the weights, my strength went through the roof and I was totally hooked. I continued to train with weights all throughout high school and was awarded 1st team All Metro my senior year as a defensive lineman.

I moved to Southern California in 1999 and worked for a small Internet hosting company. This is where I learned the basics of the Internet while working as a Unix support technician. I eventually got into web design and decided to create my own website in 2000. This was when was born. It was simply a hobby website at first and as I got more interested in writing articles and publishing content, it slowly grew and grew. From just a few pages initially, it has grown over the years to over 10,000 pages of free health and fitness content. is visited by more than 1 million people every month and the website has really been a labor of love for me. To help people learn more about health and fitness is a true passion of mine and I feel grateful everyday to be able to provide quality content to our loyal visitors.

Kris himself is a success story

AS: You were a high school athlete who was strong and played American football. So what made you consider dropping 50 pounds, and what were the first few steps that you took?

KB: Playing football in Oregon as a defensive lineman is tough especially when you’re only 5’11”. I was going against huge 6’5” 320 pound offensive lineman every game and I needed to pack on some serious size in order to compete on the field. The only real advantages I had were my leverage, my strength and my overall quickness. I was usually much stronger than the average offensive lineman and much quicker off the line, so I excelled at my position. When football ended my senior year, I was a big and burly guy at about 235 pounds but I had a gut. I had always read fitness magazines and I wanted to focus on reshaping my body into a much leaner and athletic physique. That’s when I started really focusing on my diet and the changes were incredible! I went from eating the typical bulking meal with tons of pasta and rice to cutting way back on all the starches and eating lower glycemic carbs like steamed veggies and salads. I also switched to eating much leaner protein foods like chicken breast, turkey breast and egg whites. By eating clean and cutting back on starchy carbs, my body composition changed dramatically. I also incorporated more cardio sessions into my routine along with my traditional weight training workouts.

AS: Kris, I am sure that you must have come across readers who are ultra busy types, and at best might be able to give about 45 minutes 2-3 times a week for exercise. For such individuals who might also want to lose fat, what would you recommend in terms of training?

KB: I recommend keeping it short and intense. You can get a great workout in 45 minutes if you hit it hard and really work yourself. My entire workouts are usually under 1 hour and that includes both weight training and cardio. I typically do 30 minutes of weights followed by 20-30 minutes of HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training). I recommend using multi-joint compound exercises for building muscle mass like bench press, squats and deadlifts. These are growth movements that will do wonders for anyone who wants to get stronger and build lean muscle.

AS: How important do you think heavy strength training is for fat loss? Or do you prefer weight workouts done primarily in circuit style?

KB: I think heavy strength training is absolutely critical. Muscle is one of the most active tissues in the body and it’s the key for burning body fat. One pound of muscle burns about 50-70 calories per day, so if you can add an additional 10 pounds of lean muscle to your physique, you’re talking about burning an extra 500-700 calories per day, even at rest! There is nothing better than heavy strength training to add muscle and give your body a lean, athletic look.

AS: Do you think that men and women need to approach fat loss any differently?

KB: I really think men and women should approach fat loss the same way which is to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods and incorporate weight training and cardio exercise into their fitness plan. So many women approach weight loss the wrong way. They think they should simply stop eating and this will be the key to losing weight. They don't realize that not eating is one of the worst things they can do to their body. They starve themselves and end up becoming "skinny fat" which means they have very little muscle tissue and a lot of body fat. Then, when they decide to eat some real food, they binge and pack on even more body fat since their body doesn't have the calorie burning lean muscle tissue anymore. This is exactly what you want to avoid if your goal is to lose body fat and achieve a lean physique. The key is to eat nutrient dense foods to fuel your body so you have the energy for working out and this will maximize your fat burning and muscle building potential. Always give your body the high octane fuel it needs to run optimally!

Many women also think they should never weight train. They believe that if they even look at a barbell, they will blow up into a huge muscle bound monster. This is simply not true since women do not have enough of the hormone testosterone in their bodies to build a significant amount of muscle like men can. Women who weight train will only reap the benefits of resistance training when they incorporate it into their routine. They can build a small amount of muscle which will help them burn extra calories every day and also give them that lean, sexy and athletic physique that most women are after.

AS: What’s your take on cardio? Do you prefer intervals, slow paced or a mixture of both for fat loss?

KB: I like to mix it up. I mainly do HIIT cardio during the week and longer cardio on the weekends. I like doing 20 minutes of sprints/walks during the week after my weight training workouts. I will sprint at full speed for 1 minute and then walk for 1 minute to rest and recover. I will do this for the full 20 minutes and by the end, I’m absolutely burned out. On the weekends, I like to get outside and ride my bike all around Tampa Bay and really enjoy the sunshine. I ride for about 45 minutes and then do some stair sprints for 15-20 minutes to finish off my cardio workout.

Tough rope jumping HIIT by Kris

AS: Let’s discuss diet. Your meal plan, i.e. 5-6 meals a day is the traditional method that you followed to get ripped. I have always believed that one should eat as their schedule allows them (I generally recommend 3-5 meals a day). However nowadays you have these “fasting” diets which claim that they are the best. Since you have a very successful fat loss experience, what do you think of such fasting diets?

KB: I absolutely do NOT recommend fasting diets. There are multiple reasons why but I will just touch on a few major points. The biggest issue with fasting diets is the havoc they wreak on your metabolism. Your body goes into starvation mode and basically hoards all of the fat in your body since it thinks its starving (because it is). It then relies on burning precious lean muscle tissue as fuel for energy. This is exactly what you want to avoid at all times. The other negative aspect of fasting diets is the rebound binge effect. The majority of people who try a fasting diet get so extremely hungry that once the fast ends, they absolutely gorge themselves and pack on a bunch of body fat.

I recommend sticking to the basics and eating a clean, nutritious diet that consists of 5-6 meals per day. Focus on eating every 3 hours and make sure to include a lean protein source at every meal. By eating small nutritious meals throughout the day, you will keep you energy levels maximized.

AS: You have been able to stay in shape for more than 10 years now, which is an amazing achievement! Back then things like kettlebells, sandbag training, etc were probably not so big as they are now. Do you think that if you were to start your journey today, you would have got faster results?

KB: Probably not. The key for me as well as most people who start their fitness journey is discipline, motivation and consistency. I think the great thing about kettlebell training and other alternative methods, is that they give people different stimuli in order to keep their training new, fun and exciting. Doing the same workout routine with the same exercises week after week, is the number one motivation killer. For example, jogging is a great form of cardio to burn fat but if you hate jogging, you will eventually burn out on it and never want to do it again. It’s always best to find exercises you really enjoy doing because you will have fun and continue doing them.

AS: What about those last 10 pounds or so. What training and diet tips would you give for someone who has lost all but the last 10 pounds or so?

KB: The last 10 pounds is tough. Your body usually likes to stay at a certain “set point” and doesn’t really like to change from it. The best advice I can give is to really focus on eating clean, especially at night when it’s so easy to get off track. Focus on lean protein and veggies later at night and really watch your intake of starchy carbs. I also recommend morning cardio on an empty stomach. You can have a scoop of protein powder in water to preserve lean muscle before your workout but don’t eat any carbs. You want to maximize fat burning during this period and if you eat carbs, your body will have to burn them off before tapping into your fat stores. Early morning cardio is a great way to drop those last 10 stubborn pounds.

AS: Do you study the training field a lot? If so which trainers have influenced you most?

KB: I really enjoy reading the health and fitness articles from the great writers who contribute their articles to every week. Some of our writers who I really enjoy reading articles from include Duane Burlingame, Kyle Newell, Sharon Chamberlin and yourself (Arnav Sarkar)! We are very fortunate to have a large database of talented writers from different fields such as powerlifting, bodybuilding, college sports, professional athletics, martial arts and holistic health.

AS: Thanks for the compliment Kris. Moving on, why do you think most of the average fat folks overeat? Is it mostly emotional?

KB: I really believe it’s a combination of inactivity, marketing and boredom. We are inundated every day by thousands of advertisement for fast food, junk food and unhealthy items which are designed in labs to be salty or sweet at the perfect levels to create an addiction. Unfortunately, young children are raised on these types of unhealthy, processed foods and they create a taste for them at a very young age that lasts a lifetime.

Another reason is inactivity. A lot of people really enjoy sitting in front of their massive flat screen TV’s playing video games for hours a day and they get very little activity. I remember when I was younger, all the kids in the neighborhood would be outside riding their bikes or playing baseball or other fun games which involved moving around and being active. Now, the focus is on when the latest video game is coming out and all the kids hunker down around the TV with a huge bowl of chips with endless amounts of soda. No wonder we have a serious childhood obesity issue in the United States with kids having Type 2 diabetes in their teenage years and sometimes younger! This is a serious issue that really needs to start in the schools. If kids have easy access to huge quantities of terrible foods like pizza, fries and milkshakes in their school cafeteria, how can anyone think they will build healthy lifestyle choices and make the right decisions about which nutritious foods to eat. Unfortunately, these bad food habits are all they know and their tastes are locked in at such a young age.

AS: Those are some very important issues that you have raised. Indeed it is sad to see kids stay inactive the whole day giving competition to their grandparents in terms of inactivity.

Is there anything else that you would like to add for those wishing to get leaner?

KB: I would like to tell anyone who is either starting on their fitness journey or is currently on one, to really focus their attention and energy on overall consistency. It did not take you 10 weeks to gain 50 pounds of fat and it certainly will not take 10 weeks to get it all off! Try to keep a positive mindset to make healthy nutritional choices and really try to be active and move your body every day. Whether it’s playing basketball at a local park or doing kettlebell training, just choose something fun that you really enjoy doing and stick with it. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint (unless you’re doing HIIT cardio). J

AS: Let’s talk a bit about Could you tell the readers what can one expect by visiting the website?

KB: Visitors can expect a wealth of health and fitness information. We currently have over 10,000 pages of free content with articles and tools to help people get into shape and stay fit. We have a great online fitness tracking program called FitTracker that allows members to track their diet and exercise plans, upload photos and interact with other members. FitTracker has a huge database of over 500 exercise guides along with workout routines and healthy meal plans. Visitors can signup for a FREE account at

Check out to get some useful info 

AS: Thanks again Kris for doing this interview, it has been a pleasure for me. How can the readers contact you?

KB: Thanks so much Arnav! Readers can contact me directly through or FitTracker and I will try my best to assist them with any questions or concerns they have.

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