If you were to go up to a random person in the gym and ask them what the best way to lose fat is, chances are the answer you’ll get is “do more cardio”. While cardio does play a role in losing fat, it is without a doubt overused and overrated by many people with this goal. Before I get stuck into my fundamentals of Fat loss training I need to clarify one thing, and I can’t stress this enough, nutrition is priority number 1.
Without proper nutrition, you aren’t going to be successful in any program, let alone a Fat loss program.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive into the training side of things.
1. Boost your metabolism post workout
Fat loss training isn’t about what burns the most amount of fat in a training session, it’s about what burns the most amount of fat in a 24 hour period. After a tough workout your body burns calories as it rests and recovers from the stress you placed on it during exercise. The more technical term for this effect is EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption).
While almost any type of workout can boost EPOC to some degree, there are certain types of workouts that have been shown to increase this effect much more significantly than others. By incorporating these workouts into your routine, or even just adjusting the acute training variables of your current workouts, you will boost your metabolic rate for long after the training session is over, ultimately leading to greater Fat loss results.
2. Exercise selection
Okay so now that you know what type of workouts you’re going to include in your training plan, let’s talk about the exercises that are going to make up the these workouts. The best exercises to lose fat are the best exercises for just about every other training goal under the sun, big, hard compound exercises. Compound exercises are those which involve the movement of two or more joints or muscle groups, think of a Deadlift. Compound exercises engage a lot of muscles, and the more muscles engaged, the more calories burned.
So when you’re designing your Fat loss workouts, make sure to pack it full of big, hard compound exercises to get the best results.
3. Build muscle
Just about everyone trying to lose body fat should build some muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn every day, most people know this but it bears repeating again and again. Now you might look at that and say “What’s the point of training to build muscle if i’m going to be in a calorie deficit?” well, you can still build lean muscle in a slight calorie deficit, and actually lose fat simultaneously.
Generally speaking, when people are training to build muscle they’re trying to physically get bigger, which would require a daily calorie surplus, but when you’re overall goal is to lose fat this isn’t the case. Your body fat is essentially ‘stored calories’, and when you do a hypertrophy workout your body needs energy (calories) in order to repair and rebuild the damaged muscle. Now, if you have consumed less calories than your body expends during the day, it needs to utilise your stored calories (body fat) for the extra energy.
Implementing hypertrophy training into your routine will improve your muscle definition and give you that lean, toned body you’ve always wanted.
4. Get stronger
While most people understand that strength training is important for building muscle and enhancing performance, it’s role in losing fat is often overlooked and underrated. When your goal is fat loss, you want your body to burn as much fuel as possible. To do this, you want your body to be as fuel inefficient as possible. One of the huge problems with cardio for fat loss is that the more you do, the better you get at it and thus the more fuel efficient you become. With resistance training the opposite is true.
The better you get at strength training, the more weight you can lift and the more it takes out of you. By incorporating some strength sessions into your training program you will obviously get stronger over time, and this will allow you to complete all your other forms of training at higher intensity.
This ultimately leads to a greater training stimulus and will allow you to constantly progress, making your workouts more effective for getting rid of unwanted body fat.
5. Rotate strategies
As with any goal, completing effective workouts will only work for so long before you hit a plateau and stop making progress. Too often people trying to lose fat just use High Intensity Interval Training along with their general resistance training sessions.
While HIIT is great for Fat loss, it won’t work forever if you don’t mix things up every now and then. Your strength and Hypertrophy workouts should always be the foundation of your training program, but in terms of your ‘Fat burning’ workouts, switch as needed between things like:
- Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT)
- German Body Composition (GBC)
- Low Intensity Steady State cardio (LISS)
So there you have it, my fundamentals of Fat loss training!
Now that you have the knowledge, it’s time to put a plan together, get out there and make that body fat disappear. But remember, nutrition is your first priority so put the effort in and you will be rewarded with great results.