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Friday, 20 March 2009

Best fat burning exercises or best exercises for burning fat?

I often get asked what are the best fat burning exercises.

It's a good question!

We all want to know how we can get the most from our time and burn the most fat without having to spend hours in the gym.

The truth is there is a big distinction between these two questions:

What are the best fat burning exercises?

What are the best exercises for burning fat?

Sound the same?

They're not!

Fat burning occurs from the following actions:

1) Creating an oxygen debt in your training.

In other words your training must cause significant increases in body heat and lactic acid so that a much higher intake of oxygen than usual is required to help remove the lactic acid (a toxin) and cool your body down to it's preferred temperature.

The result is a greatly elevated metabolic rate as these processes occur as fast as possible to return your body to homeostasis ('the norm' - the level at which your body is comfortable and doesn't feel threatened in anyway)

2) Building lean muscle or at least maintaining a good level of lean muscle.

Muscle burns calories, so more muscle burns more calories.

3) Consuming less calories than you burn

We all know that to lose fat you must eat and drink less than you burn through your base metabolic rate (what you burn just to keep your vital organs working), daily activities and exercise.

Most people grossly overestimate what they burn in the gym and what they eat at meals. Half the time they actually forget all the little things they nibbled on.

This can be very frustrating if youw ork hard at the gym and see no results but it's VERY common.

Those three points are the simple truths behind fat loss.

The problem is that everyone focusses on what happens in their training and so ask the question "What are the best fat burning exercises?"

The answers are not squats, deadlifts, thrusters or anything else because if you are not performing them with high intensity they STILL won't have an effect because you have not created an oxygen by working hard enough!

So the best exercises for fat burning are in fact:

1) Train with a partner or team who will push you beyond your mental limits and get you much closer to your physical limits. This will create huge levels of oxygen debt and ramp up your metabolic rate for anything up to 36 hours after your training session.

Yes these exercises should be based around squats, deadlifts, lunges, pull ups, chin ups, push ups, burpees, sprints, kettlebell swings, kettlebells snatches, dumbbell swings, dumbbell snatches and bent over rows.

However, if you are not working at at least 80-90% when performing them and getting very hot and uncomfortable, your results will be severely limited!

Use supersets, circuits, timed challenges and anything else which maximises work rate and physical stress and minmises rest time.

This must be done 4-5 times per week for at least 20 minutes each time.

2) Write out a food diary for just one week and count the calories consumed - you'll be shocked.

Then make sure 95% of your diet comes from lean protein, vegetables and small doses of health fats.

Combined with Point 1) this will create a calorie deficit.

3)Ensure you also perform heavy strength training to build or at least maintain lean muscle tissue.

This will not burn fat as you perform it but it WILL elevate your metabolic rate for a good while after and give you a better body shape.

There you have it!

The best exercises for burning fat.


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jumpdie said...

'This must be done 4-5 times per week for at least 20 minutes each time.'

Could you give an example of this please Jon? I'm confused, as the typical wight training schedule for people may go something like mon-wd-fri. Now if one was to go hard (80-90%) with those compound exercises you mentioned 4-5 x per week, on top of a 3 or 4 day weight training schedule, i'm just imagining that they would be overtraining. Your answer may enlighten me.

paul mort said...

Excellent article Bro!!
lactate training is essential for fat loss- the more lactate we produce, the more growth hormone we produce, the more GH we produce- the more fat we burn. SIMPLE.. but far from EASY!

Jon said...

Hi jumpdie,

I can definitely answer that but not really in a comment post!

Leave it with me and I'll sort an example week for you over the weekend!


Morty - You know it's right because you too are a master of lactate!

Kelley Moore said...

Hey Jon, Like jumpdie I'd love to have a sample week sketched out on how to balance it. Will you post that on your blog? k