Most of us out there need to lean up from time to time. Here is a list of what I consider to be the best ways to burn fat.
There are a couple of general rules to follow when training to get lean:
- Use short rest periods.
Keeping the work going is key to keeping the fat burning. When resting between sets, keep it in the range of 30-90 seconds.
- Use a low intensity.
WAIT! I know you’re thinking, “WHAT ABOUT HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING?” We’re using the clinical term of intensity, meaning the weight is light enough to do lots and lots of reps. When training to burn fat, anywhere from 10-40 reps per set are necessary.
Of course, this only applies to traditional weight lifting. We’ll talk about some other methods that are some of the best ways to burn fat.
- Go for max effort, for max time.
When you’re not doing standard weight lifting, it’s often a good idea for you to work for a specific amount of time instead of counting reps. Sprinting is a prime example of this. However, the fat loss only works if you put forth a max effort throughout each set. Don’t just wait on the clock to run out.
So without further delay, here are my five best ways to burn fat!
The Best Ways to Burn Fat #1: Lactic Acid Training
Lactic acid training, in general, is one of the very best ways to burn fat. The generation of lactate is closely associated with fat loss. You know you’re generating lactate when you feel the muscles burn. We know now that it’s not the lactate that causes the burning sensation, but the burn is one indicator that you are generating lactate. However, all of the methods we’ll cover are good at generating lactate, even if you don’t feel a burn.
Our first method of lactic acid training is the 6-12-25 drop set. This is a weight lifting method in which you repeat an exercise set three times in a row with no rest, reducing the load every time. This is best done with either dumbbells or a cable machine where the weight can be changed quickly. Otherwise, the effect will be lost.
You’ll only need about two sets per exercise with this drop set. Take about a 60-90 second rest period between sets.
Here’s a video from Shaun Hadsall explaining step by step how to do the 6-12-15 drop set which is one of the best ways to lose fat. His web site is GetLeanin12.com.
The Best Ways to Burn Fat #2: Tabata
This is one of the simplest workouts you can do to get lean. When you consider everything, Tabata may be the best of the best ways to burn fat. It’s fast, simple and requires zero equipment.
Here’s how to do a Tabata workout:
- Pick a body weight exercise (I like burpies).
- Set up a round timer to count 20 second intervals, followed by 10 second intervals, 4 times.
- Perform your exercise for 20 seconds, and rest for 10 seconds. Do this 8 times.
- After the 8th time, rest for 1 minute. You can then repeat the whole process up to three more times.
Tabata was created by a Japanese Olympic skating coach to get his athletes in top condition for the games. Now it’s used all over as one of the simplest and best ways to burn fat.
The Best Ways to Burn Fat #3: Strongman Training
Strongman training is my favorite way to burn fat. You have to modify it a little since traditional strongman exercises aren’t really meant to burn fat. I focus on two exercises that are great for getting lean and getting in great cardiovascular shape.
My top two strongman exercises are the tire flip and the farmer’s walk. The tire flip itself doesn’t need much modification. It’s great at burning fat the way it is.
For the farmers walk, You should go for sets of 100-250 feet. The sets should last 30-40 seconds and use shorter rest periods of 90-120 seconds.
I cover the details of these two exercises, including where to find a tire and how to pick the right size in my post, “Strongman Training for Conditioning and Fat Loss.”
The Best Ways to Burn Fat #4: Wingate Sprints
The wingate sprint protocol is another very simple, very effective way to lose those pounds. There are multiple ways to do wingate sprints.
Typically, you sprint all out for 15-30 seconds, then rest for 1 minute. Do this 4 times, then rest for 4 minutes. Repeat 1 more time for a 20 minute workout. Keep your own training level in mind. One round of this (10 minutes) may be all you need.
The Best Ways so Burn Fat #5: German Body Comp
German Body Comp is another weight training method to burning fat. Instead of drop sets, however, you do sets of 10-12 reps with 60-90 seconds rest in between. Superset two exercises together that work different muscle groups, such as overhead press and pull-downs. Complete one set for one exercise, rest, then do one set for the other exercise. Rest again and repeat for three super sets. Charles Poliquin considers this to be among the best ways to burn fat. Check out his website at StrengthSensei.com.
Cardio for Fat Loss
You may have noticed I didn’t include any jogging or power walking in this post. Until now, I haven’t even mentioned any aerobic activity. This isn’t the 70’s any more. Even most of the recreational trainees out there know that anaerobic or “high intensity” styles of training are superior at burning fat.
What Is Anaerobic Training?
An exercise is anaerobic if it causes the body to use sources of energy other than oxygen. The way you do that is through strong muscle contractions, which use ATP as the preferred fuel source.
That means using a moderate effort is much less effective for getting lean. A moderate effort will let the body use oxygen for fuel. People point to the fact that you burn a lot more calories with the moderate cardio training, but there’s a few counterpoints to make for this.
- You do these workouts, such as jogging, for typically very long periods of time compared to anaerobic training. So, of course, they burn lots of calories.
It’s interesting that the bulk of that calorie expenditure is actually from the resting metabolic rate. So you’d still burn most of those calories if you just stood still for that same amount of time. If you did some HIIT for an equal length of time (assuming you physically could) you might see that a similar number of calories are burned.
- Fat loss is a game of hormones.
Yes, calories burned vs calories consumed plays a part. However, it’s my opinion that this role is over touted in the fat loss equation. Eating less often slows your metabolism. So you’d have to continually lower your calories to keep burning fat, if your weight loss was even fat loss to begin with. That’s where the hormones come in.
There are lots of reasons you may not lose fat. If your hormones are out of proportion, then you may find it’s impossible to lose all the fat you want. Human growth hormone is one of the primary fat burning hormones. Anaerobic training is far superior to aerobic training when it comes to producing growth hormone.
So, this has been by five best ways to lose fat. I hope I didn’t bore you too much with the rant at the end. Now you, hopefully, have a few new ways you can attack your fat.
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