Heading into a workout session and want to ensure you burn a maximum amount of fat? With millions and millions of people striving for fat loss each time they hit the gym, it only makes sense to make the most of your time. Those who don’t are the ones that are in there year after year, chasing the same goals.
Want to ensure that doesn’t happen to you?
Let’s look at five things that you can do during your next workout to ensure that you burn fat at the fastest pace possible.
Utilize Compound Lifts
One of the fastest and easiest ways to boost your total calorie burn during your workout session is to utilize compound lifts. Exercises like bench press, squats, deadlifts, bent over rows, shoulder press, leg press, and pull-ups are all great for upping your total workout calorie burn because they utilize multiple muscle groups at once.
As far as fat burning goes, the more muscle fibers you are using in any given instant, the faster your results will be. Cut back on the number of isolation exercises included in your program such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, leg extensions and hamstring curls.
While these are all good for maximizing muscle definition in key areas of the body, they are going to do very little for fat burning.
The compound lifts using heavy weight is what will optimize your strength progression, your calorie burn, as well as your resting metabolic rate. When you finish up a session using these compound heavy lifts you’ll spike your metabolic rate for up to 48 hours post-workout. This means you continue to burn fat for hours after the session is over.
Here are seven great moves to help burn fat fast.
Minimize Your Rest Periods
The second tip to help maximize your calorie burn is to minimize your rest periods. While in previous times, you may have used 2-3 minutes of rest between sets, or have headed over to the water fountain where you proceeded to chat with another gym member for a few minutes, now you want to keep up the pace.
30-60 seconds is all the rest you should take if fat burning tops your list. This will keep your metabolic rate higher after the session as well thanks to a concept called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). Because you are working so hard during the workout and not giving the body enough time to recover, the total amount of energy you expend after the session is over in recovery will go up. This contributes to greater overall fat burning results.
Just do be sure that in your quest to shorten your rest periods, you don’t let this cause you to sacrifice good form. Proper form is still a must.
Add Interval Training
Which brings us to the next point, adding interval training. Studies have shown that those who partake in interval training lose more total body fat from all areas of their body compared to those who perform steady state cardio.
The moral of the story?
Ditch that hour-long treadmill session and hit the track for some interval sprints.
Alternate between very intense bursts of exercise lasting 15-60 seconds with active rest periods that last anywhere from 30-120 seconds. Usually you’ll want to use a 1:2 ratio of work to rest, however if you are really sprinting hard, this can go up to a 1:3 ratio.
Repeat this cycle 5-10 times, being sure to add a warm-up and cool-down to the workout protocol.
Note that by the time this 20-30 minute workout is over, you shouldn’t have anything left in you to complete other training. Plan to do this on a day you don’t have a weight lifting workout scheduled.
Check out this video for more details.
Use Drop Sets And Supersets
Two advanced protocols that you can employ to get a greater overall calorie burn is drop sets and supersets. With drop sets, you’ll perform one set of a single exercise and then immediately drop the weight by around 5-10 pounds and then perform a second set. From there, you can drop the weight again and do a third set if you have enough energy left.
This forces your body to work against fatigue, training your endurance ability while also burning calories. Just like with the interval training, this is another excellent way to spike your resting metabolic rate.
With a superset, you are going to perform one exercise and then immediately go into the next exercise, taking no rest between sets. Once the second set is completed, then you can rest and recover.
You can choose to pair together two opposing muscle groups, such as if you did a leg extension and hamstring curl, or an upper and lower body exercise such as a squat with a shoulder press depending on the overall structure of your workout program.
If you use compound exercises while you do your supersets, you’ll really reap fat burning benefits as you’re satisfying two of these tips at once.
Drop And Do 10
Finally, consider adding some bodyweight cardio intervals into your strength training workout for greater overall fat burn. Next time you’re resting between sets, drop down and do 10 push-ups, 10 bodyweight squats, or even 10 crunches for your abs.
If you keep moving during those rest periods while still allowing your target muscles to rest, you’ll burn more calories during the workout session, while also spiking your metabolic rate for hours following the session as well.
So there you have five great ways to burn fat faster next time you hit the gym. Don’t attempt to do all of these in a single session, but do make sure that you are working at least one into your routine to see optimal results.
Trapp, E. G., et al. “The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women.” International journal of obesity 32.4 (2008): 684-691.