What are the most effective exercises to burn fat? According to most experts, when it comes to fat loss, slow and steady doesn’t win the race!
Research shows that men and women who did 300 hours of cardio over the course of a year only lost an average of only 5 pounds. That means it took 60 hours of cardio to lose one pound!
So, if steady state cardio isn’t the answer, then what is? Here are some of the exercises and workout methods recommended by leading fitness experts and personal trainers to help you scorch fat in record time…
Crank up the intensity
Most experts agree that shorter bursts of more intense training burns calories faster and burns more fat overall. High intensity training also keeps you burning fat even hours after you finished your workout.
Bursts of high-intensity exercise alternated with short rest periods not only burn more calories than traditional cardio training, they also boost your body’s ability to burn fat through hormone production.
Interval training will increase your body’s production of growth hormone and adrenaline, both fat-burning hormones that also help suppress appetite.
Picking the right exercises
According to strength & conditioning specialist Craig Ballantyne (Turbulence Training) there are a few simple rules when it comes to picking the best exercises for fat loss:
1. Exercises should always work multiple muscle groups.
2. Exercises should be done standing, whenever possible.
3. Exercises should be effective for fat loss even if only the
bodyweight version is used (i.e. squats).
4. The hardest (most intense) exercises should always be done first.
Personally I love bodyweight exercises because you can do them anywhere and you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment.
Every workout should start with a general warm-up. The purpose of this warm-up is to specifically prepare your muscles for action. Ballantyne recommends a general, total body circuit for this instead of the traditional 5-minute cardio workout.
Great exercises that work mutliple muscle groups are:
- Kettlebell swings
- Bent-over barbell rows
This may sound unusual to a lot of people, but the reality is that multi-joint exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, various swings and snatches, presses, pull-ups, etc. are more effective at bringing out your abs than ab-specific training, says Mike Geary (Truth About Six-Pack Abs).
This is not because they effectively train your abs better than ab-specific exercises (although your abs are involved in stabilizing your body in most of those exercises). The reason they burn belly fat more effectively is due to creating metabolic changes in your entire body that assist in reducing your body fat so you can better see the abs that you have.
High Intensity Strength Intervals
You don’t have to run, bike or perform any other traditional cardio exercise to get a high-intensity, fat-burning workout. Performing strength exercises, when done correctly, can build muscle while also keeping your heart rate high and maximizing fat loss.
Weight training is a miracle activity, says Steve Holman (Old School New Body). It is the key to fat loss and incredible body transformation. It doesn’t matter whether you are male or female. Muscle is live tissue and stokes your metabolism. Muscle will help you look and feel younger, leaner and have fewer health issues.
Holman recommends a type of moderate weight, high fatigue interval training. This maximizes the fat burning potential of your workouts while also minimizing the risk of joint damage often associated with heavy lifting. Holmans method, which he calls F4X or Focus 4 Exercise Protocol, uses 1 second positives and 3 second (or longer) negatives.
See: Simple workout method that supercharges fat loss to learn how this works.
You can’t out-exercise a bad diet
Fat loss is not just about exercise, though. You may have heard the expressions “Abs are made in the kitchen” and “You can’t out-train a bad diet”. a major part of successful fat loss comes down to diet.
If you want to get rid of fat, the two best exercises to eliminate from your routine are the “fork to mouth” and the “12-ounce curl”, says Craig Ballantyne.
Interval training is one of the most effective ways to burn fat. However, it still takes about 30-45 minutes of intense HIIT to work off a single slice of pizza.
The best exercises for fat loss are multi-joint exercises that work many different muscle groups simultaneously. The best way to perform these exercises is in short bursts of high intensity (HIIT). To maximize their effectiveness add some weight (resistance training). And remember… you can’t out exercise a bad diet.