Although it’s possible to lose body fat without exercise, a well-designed training plan will make it so much easier and set you up for keeping the fat off over the long-term. Not only will you raise your metabolism by increasing lean mass, but you’ll also build your strength and movement economy, which makes you more inclined to be active and healthy.
#1: Train The Anaerobic Energy System
Instead of focusing on getting in lots of long (often boring) cardio workouts, training the anaerobic energy system with sprints and weights is your top priority for three reasons: 1) you trigger protein synthesis, improving body composition; 2) you increase the body’s ability to mobilize body fat and burn it for energy; 3) and you get a killer afterburn in which your body burns calories at an accelerated rate in the 24-hour recovery period.
#2: Train Using The Most “Bang For Your Buck” Multi-Joint Lifts
Besides allowing you to get stronger faster, multi-joint exercises such as squats, deadlifts, step-ups, rows, and presses involve more muscle tissue, which helps the body increase its net energy expenditure. The end result is you burn more calories and increase muscle mass for a high metabolic rate.
#3: Perform Circuits Of Upper/Lower Body Or Agonist/Antagonist Sets
One of the primary obstacles most people have for not working out is lack of time. A circuit approach solves this because you don't have to wait around resting in between sets. It’s also fast-paced and more fun than traditional training. The one mistake often made with circuits is to use light weights. This is not necessary if you pair opposing muscle groups (or parts of the body) together.
#4: Train To Create A Robust Growth Hormone Release
Growth hormone (GH) is lipolytic, which means it increases fat breakdown and the metabolism of glucose and amino acids. It also increases protein synthesis so you avoid creating a catabolic state that causes muscle loss when you are trying to lose fat. Weights and sprints fit the bill because they are metabolically stressful, leading to the build-up of lactate, which triggers a greater GH response.
#5: Use Moderately Heavy Loads & Very Short Rest Periods
By training with short rest periods (10 to 60 seconds) and moderately heavy weights in the 65 to 80 percent (this equals 8 to 15 reps) of maximal, you raise growth hormone (GH).
#6: Always Count Tempo
Tempo refers to the speed with which you perform the up and down motion of the exercise. By counting tempo, you precisely control the stimulus to the muscle. Choose mostly longer tempos for fat loss. A down motion (eccentric contraction) of 4 seconds and 1 second up (concentric contraction) is standard for body composition because this has been shown to increase afterburn more than shorter tempos of 1 second per contraction.
#7: Use A High(er) Training Volume
Don’t back off your training when trying to lose fat! Training at least 3 sets per exercise will get you better fat loss results because it is best for increasing muscle mass and it causes a significant metabolic disturbance, raising metabolic rate.
#8: Do Sprints Or Strongman Exercises
Sprints or strongman exercises are your go-to cardio exercises when trying to lose fat because they raise enzymes involved in fat burning and burn a ton of energy in a short time. Novices should try cycle sprints of 8 seconds on, 12 seconds rest for 20 minutes. Advanced trainees can do 6 30-second sprints with 3 to 4 minutes rest. For strongman options, try farmer’s walk, sled training, and tire flips.
#9: Be As Active As Possible In Daily Life
A pitfall of weight loss programs that don’t include exercise is that they often make people lazy. The brain senses the calorie deficit and downregulates neurotransmitters linked with motivation and physical activity. The result is often a huge drop in daily energy expenditure. Avoid this by making a commitment to move frequently: take regular brisk walks, stand up frequently, and spend your leisure time actively instead of parked in front of the TV or computer.
#10: The Ability To Push Oneself Physically Is A Skill—Work Harder
If you’re not getting results, you may not be working hard enough. If you didn’t grow up playing competitive sports, you may never have learned to deal with the discomfort of intense exercise. Pain is temporary and it will make you stronger and leaner!