6 Fat-Burning Tips!
By Curt Pedersen
1. Decrease Rest Between Sets
Minimizing the amount of time you rest between sets enables you to burn more calories, for several hours after your workout ends. Even better, the calories burned will come from the body fat you want to shed. This is the same reason that sprint training is more effective for weight loss than regular aerobic exercise.
You will get best results by limiting your rest periods to 30-60 seconds, depending on your fitness levels. This is enough time for you to recover so your technique won't suffer, but short enough to help you burn more fat. Listed below are two examples of how you can add this type of training to your workouts depending on your current fitness levels.
· Week One -- 2 minutes rest
· Week Two -- 1:45 seconds
· Week Three -- 1:30 seconds
· Week Four -- 1:15 seconds
· Week Five -- 60 seconds
· Week One -- 60 second
· Week Two -- 45 seconds
· Week Three -- 30 seconds
2. Uses Big Exercises
Forget about concentration curls and leg extensions if you want to lose body fat. If you are training larger muscle groups you can use more weight than an exercise like leg extensions, which means you'll do more work and burn more calories. Another benefit of compound exercises is they cause a greater release of hormones that help you burn more body fat.
The best exercises for losing weight are those that utilize large muscles. Good exercises are: squats and deadlifts for legs, bench press and dips for your chest, chin-up and rows for your back, and military presses for your shoulders.
3. Sprint Don't Walk
Trying to lose weight by doing aerobic exercise is akin to attempting to empty a lake with a coffee mug. While aerobic exercise does increase the calories you burn, this benefit only lasts while you work out. Sprint training, on the other hand, increases the calories you burn both during and after your workout.
Research shows that performing several sprints with brief rest periods between is nine times more effective than aerobic exercise for fat loss. Another benefit of these workouts is they take a lot less time, just 15 minutes or less per workout.
Sprint training can be done anywhere, in your gym on the treadmill or at the park.
4. Full Body Workouts
When you are dieting to lose weight your ability to recover from each workout can become compromised. The best way to ensure your weight workouts will help you hold onto or build muscle and burn fat, is to make each workout as efficient as possible while providing adequate recovery time between each workout. The best way to do this is to perform exercises for each muscle group at each workout.
The best way to do full-body workouts is to train three times a week with a day's rest between each workout. Weekends are taken off. You also want to alternate the sets, reps and exercises done at each workout to reduce the chance of injury and maximize progress. Below is an example workout that will help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Sets and Reps
· Monday Workout: 6 sets of 3 repetitions per exercise
· Wednesday Workout: 2 sets of 10 repetitions per exercise
· Friday Workout: 3 sets of 6 repetitions per exercise
5. Use Supplements that Give You a Boost
When dieting and eating less you may feel sluggish at times and not in the mood to exercise. Taking a quality pre-workout supplement before a workout will increase your energy levels and ability to put maximal effort into your workouts. These supplements also cause your body to release stored body fat to be used as energy during your workout.
The best supplements contain ingredients such as caffeine, l-tyrosine and choline. All of these nutrients are proven through clinical studies to help you work harder, burn more calories and increase your ability to focus.
6. Skip the High-Rep Workouts
You may be scared to do workouts that include sets of low-to-moderate (4-10) reps and instead do sets of 15 or more repetitions because you feel low-moderate reps will build too much muscle. The truth is, sets of 4-10 repetitions will not cause you to become muscle-bound and help you burn more fat and will improve your appearance faster than high-repetition training ever will.
Performing sets of moderate reps will help you hold onto the muscle you need to look good and be healthy and decrease your risk of becoming overtrained. Sets of 12-15 reps will have the opposite effect. High repetition workouts can limit your body's ability to recover, which means you will lose muscle instead of body fat, or even worse, plateau and not lose any weight at all.
Apply these tips to your workouts and you will see better results than ever. You will not only lose weight more quickly, but will look and feel better since you hold onto your muscle mass and recover more completely from each workout.
Curt Pedersen has a degree in exercise science and has published exercise and nutrition articles in many leading publications. To read more articles by Curt, go to www.physicallyelite.com.
This site was last updated 01/23/05