If you're serious about getting lean, you need the best fat burning workouts available to you. After all, our bodies are designed to resist weight loss. It takes specific workout programming and a smart diet to make it happen.
People often make the mistake of thinking that all they have to do to lose extra body fat is to exercise. They think any kind of physical acitivity will strip the pounds off and end up disappointed and disheartened by their lack success.
This article will cover the art and science to designing successful fat burning workouts.
First, you want to use interval-style workouts. Alternating between intense bursts of activity and rest is a standard for fat loss training. It produces a large afterburn so that you burn calories during recovery at an accelerated rate.
Second, short rest intervals are a standard part of fat burning workouts. Brief rest intervals allow you to avoid getting bored. They also lead to release of growth hormone, the most potent fat burning hormone.
Third, train against resistance. Working out against resistance triggers protein synthesis so that you preserve muscle mass while losing fat, which is essential for maintaining metabolic rate.
Fourth, be mindful of food intake when doing fat burning workouts. A well-documented side effect of exercise is the tendency to compensate for calories burned by eating more. In fact, people who start working out without taking care to monitor diet often gain fat in the process.
With these principles in mind, this article will give you the three best fat loss workouts that are appropriate based on various levels of training experience.
#1: GBC Superset Training
German Body Composition superset training has two benefits if you want to lose body fat and have a well-functioning physique: It saves time and elevates post-workout calorie burn more than traditional weight training.
Who’s It For?
Beginners. Anyone Who Wants To Lose Fat & Get In Shape.
A 2010 study compared the effect of a GBC-style fat burning superset workout with traditional exercises on energy expenditure, blood lactate, and afterburn (called EPOC for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). The GBC workout allowed no rest between paired superset exercises and 60 seconds before beginning the next superset.
The paired exercises were trained to failure:
Bench press with bent-over row
Biceps curl with lying triceps extension
Leg extension with leg curl
The traditional protocol trained the same six exercises separately with 60 seconds rest between each set. A load of 70 percent of the 1 RM was used for both protocols.
Results found that the superset workout took less time (30 minutes compared to 36). Energy expenditure was significantly greater (8.1 calories/minute for supersets compared to 6.2 cal/min for traditional exercises).
EPOC was also 33 percent higher for supersets than for traditional training during the 60-minute recovery period. Blood lactate was also much higher during supersets (5.1 mmol/L) than traditional (3.8 mmol/L) training.
The above protocol is appropriate for complete beginners and should be trained twice a week.
Here is a more advanced sample protocol for people with training experience:
|Exercise Series||Day 1||Day 2|
|A1||Hex Bar Deadlift||DB Squats, Heels Elevated|
|A2||DB Bench Press||Seated Row|
|B1||DB Lunges||45 Degree Back Extension|
|B2||Lat Pull-Down||DB Biceps Curl|
|C1||Lying Leg Curl||Leg Press|
|C2||DB Overhead Press||Lying Triceps Extension|
Do 4 sets each to voluntary failure. Use a 70 percent load that you can lift 12 times with a controlled tempo with no rest between superset pairs and 30 seconds rest between each superset.
#2: High-Intensity Strength Training
High-intensity strength training takes GBC training to the next level, causing a large metabolic disturbance so that you get a killer afterburn.
One study found that HIT with weights increased energy expenditure by a whopping 450 percent in the 24 post-workout recovery period. This type of training will also increase strength and muscle mass, which will give you the upper hand at losing body fat because it allows you to handle heavier loads with more ease.
Who’s It For?
Fitness Minded Individuals & Athletes
A 2012 study compared the effect of high-intensity strength training with a traditional protocol in trained men on post-workout energy expenditure (EPOC) and lactate accumulation. The HIT program consisted of a rest-pause protocol of 2 sets of leg press, chest press, and pull-downs performed using an intensity of 85 percent of the 1RM to failure.
The traditional program included 4 sets to failure with an intensity of 75 percent of the 1RM for eight exercises (bench press, dorsal machine, military press, bicep curls, triceps extensions, leg press, leg curls, and sit-ups). Rest periods were 1 minute between single joint exercises and 2 minutes between multi-joint exercises.
The HIT workout took a total of 32 minutes and resulted in a significant blood lactate elevation of 10.5 mmol/L. Participants burned an extra 452 calories in the 22 hours after exercise, increasing daily energy expenditure from an average 1909 to 2362 calories.
The traditional workout took nearly double the time (62 minutes) and resulted in a moderate blood lactate elevation of 5.1 mmol/L. Participants burned an extra 98 calories in the 22-hour post-workout period, increasing energy expenditure from an average 1901 to 1999 calories.
How Do Fat Burning Workouts Stimulate Fat Loss?
Training a high-intensity strength program a few times a week for a month or two will produce rapid fat loss due to the following three mechanisms:
- The limited rest and hard work causes the body’s demand for oxygen to vastly exceed its ability to deliver it to the muscles, producing the huge increase in calorie use.
- Lactate buildup in the HIT group was double that of the traditional group. Remember, the intensity at which lactate accumulates is associated with release of GH, the “fat burning hormone.” GH may also improve tissue repair and recovery in the post-workout period.
- The HIT group also increased the use of fatty acids for fuel to satisfy the high energy cost of the workout. The ability to burn fat is vital for keeping you energized while losing fat because it means the body is capable of shifting between fuel sources.
#3: Heavy, Short-Rest Circuit Training
Circuit training isn’t what most people think of when they picture a mass gaining workout, but it’s perfect for building muscle and losing fat because it triggers hypertrophy and fat-burning pathways simultaneously.
Who’s It For?
Advanced Trainees, Bodybuilders & Athletes
A 2011 study found that an 8-week circuit training program with just enough rest between sets to transition to the next exercise allowed for more favorable body composition changes than a traditional workout with standard rest periods.
Two circuits were used for the circuit workout. The first one was leg curl, bench press, and standing calf raises, The second was lat pull downs, squats, and preacher curls. The traditional workout used the same six exercises in sequential order with 3-minute rest periods.
The beauty of circuit training is that you don’t have to go light or easy due to the fact that you alternate the muscle groups being worked. This protocol used heavy loads of 85 to 93 percent of the 1 RM for both the circuit and traditional protocols.
Results showed that In half the training time, the circuit training group lost 1.5 percent body fat and gained 1.6 kg of muscle. The traditional group lost 1 percent body fat and gained 1.2 kg of muscle, making circuit training slightly more effective for transforming body composition.
In addition, the circuit-training group increased bench press 1RM by an average of 19.5 kg and the squat 1RM by 44.2 kg. The traditional training group increased bench press 1RM by an average of 17.7 kg, and squat 1RM by 45 kg.
A few things about circuit training make it effective as a fat burning workout:
- You can train heavier loads by pairing agonist-antagonist exercises or upper-lower body lifts. This allows for greater activation of growth via genetic pathways and satellite cells, which are key for muscle development.
- It produces significant metabolic stress from the buildup of lactate and hydrogen ions because you allow for little recovery time. The result is the release of growth factors, including cytokines and hormones that correlate with hypertrophy and promote fat burning.
Body transformation is not easy. With the right fat burning workouts for your training status and a smart nutrition plan, you can achieve the healthy, powerful, lean physique you’ve been dreaming about.