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Fat Attack: Wean to Get Lean

Take a break from stimulants to revitalize their fat-burning power

Since ephedrine-caffeine-and-aspirin stacks and other fat-burning products hit the supplement market 10 years ago, millions of weight trainees around the world have discovered that ephedrine and caffeine are powerful central nervous system stimulants.

Now many of us rely on the kick from those pills to make us more alert, energized and focused for heavy training. Long-term use doesn’t appear to pose any danger except dependence, but there is one issue that inevitably arises: After months or years of continuous use, stimulants just don’t provide the same punch they used to.

You could try upping the dose, but at a certain point that too loses its effectiveness. The only real solution is to give your body periodic breaks of two to four weeks from the products so that your tolerance level has a chance to go down.

It’s best not to stop cold turkey, since you want to avoid a big crash in training intensity. Gradually reduce your doses. If you take two capsules before every training session, reduce it to one. After a week of that, use one capsule only before training two of your most challenging bodyparts. The next week stop using stimulants completely. Go at least two full weeks without them. You’ll be pleasantly shocked at how powerful their effects are once you resume using them again.

The first time I followed that weaning advice, the buzz I felt from taking a simple ECA product again had me wondering if someone had replaced it with something you might buy from a shady character at a rave club. Cycle on and off stimulants every two to four months to reap the full benefit of their intensity-boosting power.

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