Maximize Fat Loss
Fat loss is a big topic with a lot of information both good and bad out there. You will hear about products you can take that will magically melt the kilos from your body or the newest home workout equipment geared to the same goal. Do you want a little truth about exercises and fat loss? The formula for losing weight is so simple, yet in some cases, very difficult to accomplish. You have to burn more calories than you eat, end of story and nothing any more complicated than that fact. Now, how you achieve this goal is where the waters become a bit murky.
A good combination of proper nutrition and regular exercise is your best map for fat loss. Lose a lot of the junk in your diet and then find the exercise routine that fits with your lifestyle and fat loss goals. Here are a few options to get you headed in the right direction. Your exercises will likely fall into one of two categories, cardio and weight training.
Here is my view on Cardio. If you have plenty of time to kill then go for Cardio. You need to be maintaining a moderate heart rate for at least 25 minutes before the hormones kick in. Then you want to be working out for around 45mins to an hour. Me personally, I love pushing myself with Weights using total body functional movement patterns. It keeps my metabolism high for hours afterwards but I will get into that later. Here is some tips for cardiovascular training.
The aim of cardiovascular training is to get that heart rate up. Cardio is important because it is the one type of exercise that increases your heart rate, which forces energy (aka calories) to be drawn from the body. In essence, your body burns them as fuel while you are working out.
Running- perhaps the fastest and cheapest way to burn calories. Running exercises do not require any special equipment to complete and you can get your heart rate up very quickly. Running does tend to be high impact, which will strengthen bones and connective tissue but may not be right for everyone.
Swimming- high intensity, low impact and a full body workout all rolled into one set of exercises. Did you know you could burn 400 calories just by doing the breaststroke for 30 minutes? Injuries are miniscule to non-existent because your body and joints are fully supported by the water. Unfortunately, not everyone has daily access to a pool.
Rowing Machine- rowing exercises are fantastic for fat loss because they involve the entire body and raise your heart rate quickly. Even better is the fact that the rowing machine can advance with you due to different resistance levels. This machine can be challenging, so if you are a beginner consider starting with short 10-15 minute sessions until you get the hang of it.
Cardiovascular training is fantastic for fat loss, if you have low muscle mass then you will burn more calories doing cardio then weights because of the low volume and low intensity that you are capable of doing. The intensity wouldn’t be as high as someone with 5 years weights experience and total calories burned will be significantly lower. Cardio however does not do much for toning and shaping the body. Weight training exercises aid in fat loss by improving muscle mass, burning calories and toning up your body. Some options include:
Kettlebell swings: This exercise ramps up the heart rate and works the entire posterior chain. Start with feet shoulder width apart and hold a kettlebell with 2 hands in front of your body. Next hinge from the hips pushing them backwards while keeping your shoulders back. Reach the kettlebell underneath your legs keeping a straight back. Next, initiate the movement through snapping of the hips and bring the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Keep good spinal alignment the whole time and continue to let the kettlebell swing between your legs again and continue for 15-20 reps. You can see a total kettlebell workout and variations of kettlebell swings at my 40 minute youtube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-iO7pHqpJo
Bar Bell Bench Press- this exercise works your chest, shoulders and triceps. Lay flat on the bench and remove barbell and weights from the rack. Slowly lower the barbell to your chest (do not touch!) and return to the start position. Aim for two sets of 8-12 reps.
Leg Press- this exercise machine works your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves. A simple to use machine that offers several weight levels as you progress in your fitness journey. Simply press the platform until your legs are fully extended, then return to the start position with your legs bent approximately 90 degrees.
If you are ready to ramp up your exercises and achieve real fat loss, these are a few great ideas to get you started. There are many more fantastic cardio and weight training exercises to choose from, these are just a few of the best and most easily accessible options. Get started on your fat loss journey today by staying tuned to my blog.
Troy van Spanje is the Founder of the F.A.S.T ( Functional Athlete Strength Training) system, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss Expert.