Today’s weight loss tips are about exercise and how to best use your time in the gym to get more work done, stimulate more muscle and burn more fat. They say that building muscle while burning fat can’t be done, and that you should focus on one or the other, never both. That said, what if you just wanted to burn fat as efficiently as possible, end workout boredome make your time in the gym as quick as possible. These three weight loss tips are the very thing to take you in that direction.
Weight Loss Tips
1 Focus your training on the largest muscle groups:
The largest muscle groups of the body are the legs, back and chest. By working the largest muscle groups, primarily, you end up putting a larger demand on your body for energy and nutrition. Then a larger demand on your body for repair of that muscle tissue. You burn fat twice, first when you’re actually training and secondly when your body is busy rebuilding the muscles.
Arms (tricep and bicep) are smaller muscles, and where training certainly makes them look good and allows you to work harder on pushing and pulling movements, they don’t burn as much fat as the larger muscles.
As my trainer says, even if you don’t specifically train arms, they still get worked when you’re doing chest and back movements.
Chest – Bench press, Incline bench press, decline bench press, flies, pushups etc
Back – Bent over row, one arm dumbbell row, pull downs, pull ups, chins, seated rows
Legs – Squat, hack squat, leg press, lunges
So for maximum fat loss, create workout routines for the largest muscle groups.
2 Work as many muscle groups as possible in each training session:
Stimulate as much muscle fiber as possible in each training session. Bodybuilders often train one body part per workout such as chest one day, back one day, legs on another, finishing with shoulders and arms on the last day.
By training one body part per day, they focus their intensity on that one part which stimulates growth.
For fat loss purposes, working the legs, back and chest all on the same day, during an intense 20 minute or 45 minute workout, more muscle fibers are stimulated resulting in a greater “after burn”. More stimulation, more fat lost.
Turbulence Training is a great example of doing short intervals using body weight exercises designed to build strength while burning fat at the same time. Craig Ballantyne describes more about the Turbulence Training program in a recent interview.
If you want to burn maximum amount of fat while building muscle, exercise your entire body, the largest muscle groups, during each workout.
3 Get as much work done in your workout as possible:
In weight loss tip number 2, I suggested training the entire body during each workout to stimulate as much muscle fiber as possible in each workout. Well what about doing as much stimulation as possible in the same amount of time? If you increase the amount of work performed during the same amount of time, you exert more energy and can build more fat burning muscle.
Traditionally, a workout where you worked the entire body in one session, might go like this:
Bench press – 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets
Dumbbell flies – 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds between sets
Lat pulldowns – 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds between sets
One arm dumbbell rows – 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds between sets
Squats – 3 sets of 10 reps with 90 seconds between sets
Lunges – 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds between sets
To summarize, you do two exercises per body part – lift, rest, repeat
… That’s traditional….
… Do This Instead:
To get more work done in the same amount of time, I would suggest doing supersets. A superset is working two exercises back to back.
One superset might be a bench press followed immediately with dumbbell flies, then the rest time. This is a superset using the same muscle group, but you could also superset muscle groups that are not related, or oppose one another. An example would be to do the bench press followed immediately with lat pulldowns, or seated rows followed by dumbbell flies.
If you’ve never done this before, there are a number of things you might experience.
- You might not have the energy to complete 10 reps of each exercise
- You might have to lower the weights of one or both exercises in order to complete them
- You may become more sore the next day because your body is being stimulated in ways it’s not used to
- you burn more fat and build more muscle
By doing supersets, you’re simply doing more work in the given time as well as stimulating your body in new ways. New stimulation is good for growth as well as breaking workout boredom.
It should be noted that to properly utilize supersets for the purpose of getting more work done during your time in the gym, you have to be diligent about the clock. Taking time to chat with your gym friends or spend too much time between sets doesn’t help.
During any exercise for fat loss phase, supersets should be utilized as much as possible.
There is a big difference between bodybuilding and fat loss. If you want to get in shape, begin exercising, find a good personal trainer and become a regular at the gym or at least workout in your home. If you want to make the best use of your time though and want to burn as much fat as possible in as little time as possible, I would recommend the tips above. Focus on the largest muscle groups, work your entire body during each workout stimulating as much muscle fiber as possible and make efficient use of your time by supersetting your exercises.