The Psychology Of Fitness

Mindsets, Body Types and Everything In Between

The Best Methods for Fat Loss ~ Exercise, pt. 2

On Monday, I posted the best 4 Methods for Fat Loss.  In this post, I will list the other 5 methods along with a sample workout routine so that you can get started.

5 – Metabolic work combined with other training methods. The metabolic work that I’m talking about here is a timed exercise that can be done explosively for anywhere from 10-60 seconds.  This can be squat thrusts, in and out jumping squats, partnered side-shuffles, quick upper body band work, amongst many others.  This method is only effective if it’s really combined with other compound movements as those listed above.

6 – High-Intensity Interval Training (Anaerobic) – This method includes sprinting, and truly anaerobic cardio.  Sprinting is my favorite method, and if you have access to a prowler or sled that you can load with weights, then they should definitely be included.

7 – High-Intensity Interval Training (Aerobic) – This is simply doing harder aerobic work, interspersed with your “regular” cardio.  This will increase the overall total caloric consumption, without feeling like death from the anaerobic version.

8 – Complexes – This is a series of exercises back to back, that typically work antagonistic muscle groups so that you can continue working hard, without having to stop because of muscular fatigue.  This is a more advanced method and as such, should be done only after you’ve mastered most of the “Basics” that I listed above.

9 – Running (not walking) –  You won’t be able to recover as easily and the benefits really drop off once your body adjusts to this cardio method.  Almost all of the other methods have a level of progression and differentiation that allows you to actually continue to see benefits from the workouts.  I’ve wrote upon the benefits of cardio and how they really aren’t for fat loss.  Leigh Peele also has an amazing post on the “costs” of running for fat loss.  The reason why Walking is 1 and this is 9 is that your body will be more beat up from running/jogging and will typically raise cortisol levels higher, which will waste muscle mass and when this is combined with a lower calorie diet will typically cause your body to lose weight via muscle mass, causing a slow down of your metabolism overall.

Of course, you can also use any combination of the methods I’ve listed above.  This is really where the design of a program and the logistics behind everything that you are doing, and more importantly why, truly comes into play.  Most people (*and trainers) just combine a bunch of these methods because they “work” not really putting into consideration why and the ability to recover of the person doing the movements.

So, as I’ve said with the diet posts on the best methods for fat loss, there are many other methods to lose fat, but these 9 methods are the best methods I know for losing fat.

The main reasoning for the order that I put them in is to, A – Manage Fatigue and therefore, increase adherence, B – Build up a baseline of fitness before doing more challenging work, C – Keep as much muscle as possible, while not causing excessive fatigue, D – Burn more calories than you take in, E – Facilitate positive hormonal patterns for fat loss, while mitigating the negative hormonal patterns that many people normally acquire while trying to lose fat, and F – To be able to identify with exercise in a way which will help facilitate these movements as lifestyle habits and not something you shun every time you think about it.

The main problems with people trying to incorporate these ideas is that they don’t take into consideration their limiting factors.  Are you trying to lose fat by walking only, but don’t have the requisite hour a day to do so?  Then add in more interval workouts and make sure you’re doing at least 2-3 days of strength training.

Are you trying to lose fat by doing complexes, without the ability to really recover from them?  Instead of doing complexes, maybe do it one day per week, if you like how hard the workouts are, but stick to a more regular strength routine the other days (and have a pre-post workout shake to mitigate soreness and make sure to get enough sleep)

Are you doing only isolation strength movements, that don’t burn a high-enough caloric intake and only doing exercises ‘you really should be doing’ without doing anything you enjoy?  Stop doing the inner and outer thigh machines and bicep curls for fat loss.  Do the larger movements and you will see a lot of the changes you want to see in those areas.

Are you trying to combine all of this, as quickly as possible, by jumping into a P90X program, while hating every minute of it? Back off and start with walking for 45 minutes one day, followed by 45 minutes of strength training the next.  Do this Monday thru Saturday.  Start slowly and progress at a rate that is more attuned to your life and energy levels.

Are you doing all of the “exercise methods” correctly, but at the same time are justifying eating a crappy diet and complaining that you’re not seeing results?  You won’t be able to out-train a shitty diet, so don’t try to.

The bottom line is that exercise for fat loss, like dieting, is not something you can do for a little bit and then you can forget about.  It has to be something that you can see yourself doing for the long-haul.  In other words, it will have to be something that you can see yourself enjoying as a lifestyle habit, a marathon of sorts, and not simply a sprint to some destination.

Get started today and stop looking for the “Best Exercises for Fat Loss.”

A quick bonus – How to combine these methods:

For most people, from novice to expert, the best way would be to do a morning fasted Walking session, for at least 45 minutes, keeping your heart rate between 60 – 70% of your max (the simplest equation for your max is 220- your age).

Add in 3 sessions of Strength Training per week.  You can do 3 Total Body Workouts, where you emphasize one movement or area of the body over the other.

For example, a Mon, Wed, Fri Schedule, would look like this:

Monday – (Pressing and Hamstring Dominant)
Overhead Press (4 sets of 10)
Incline Bench Press (5 sets of 5)
Romanian Deadlifts (3 sets of 8 )
*Kettlebell Swings (2 sets of 20)

Wednesday (Pulling and Quad Dominant)
Front Squats (4 Sets of 8 )
Single-Armed Dumbbell Row (3 sets of 12 on each arm)
Reverse-grip Lat Pulldown (3 sets of 10)
*Bulgarian Split Squats (3 sets of 6 on each leg)

Friday (Total Body)
2-arm DB Clean and Press (4 sets of 6)
Deadlifts (5 sets of 5)
Cable Rows (2 sets of 20)
*Push-ups (To failure 3 sets)

*These are exercises you should “enjoy” doing.  For guys, it’ll most likely be some sort of bicep curls and for women, I have a feeling it’s going to be the inner and outer thigh machines.  To each their own.

Also, please note, that you can interchange one of the longer cardio sessions during the week for sprints, sled drags or interval training on a stationary bike, etc.

If you start with this program, along with watching your diet for 12 weeks, you should see some significant progress.

Any questions?

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