If you’re like most people, you want to maximize your fat burning potential each and every time you step foot in the gym. Whether you’re 80 pounds overweight or already in great shape, most people are still looking for ways to ramp up their fat burning potential. Whenever you have a fitness goal, it pays to have a plan for how you intend to achieve your goal. But it doesn’t stop there – a great plan is designed with a scientific foundation behind its methods. Sure, lifting weights and doing cardio will help you burn fat…but when we look at the physiological science behind things, we soon see there is a more effective way to do things. Today, I’m going to show you what that way is, and explain how you can utilize this new method to burn fat faster than ever, and achieve that lean, mean, “shredded” look that just oozes, “I’m FIT”. If that sounds good to you, keep reading because this article may just change the way you look at exercise forever.
There’s been a lot of debate in the fitness world about the benefits of combining cardio and weight training in one single day’s workout. Much like the chicken and egg debate, the crux of the cardio/weight training debate has centered around how best to order them. Let’s clear things up first and foremost – to maximize you fat burning potential cardio should be completed AFTER your weight training. Let’s take a look at the physiological reasons behind sequencing things in this manner…
The Scientific Stuff Behind Fat Loss
Lifting weights requires a lot of energy. Picking up and putting down a heavy object, multiple times, is hard work. In order to perform this work, your body needs a supply of energy. Have you ever wondered what this energy is, or where it comes from? The energy supply comes from something called glycogen, and it’s supplied by the nutrients in the foods we eat. Your body stores glycogen which it relies on to perform physically taxing work, like weight training.
While glycogen is the preferred source of energy for your body, it isn’t the only source of energy. When glycogen stores get depleted, your body turns next to its next favorite source of energy – fat. When you’ve had a long and hard workout, your body taps your fat stores and converts it into energy. This conversion (perhaps unsurprisingly) leads to massive fat loss since fat is being directly used for energy. As an exerciser with a goal of reducing your body fat, your goal should be to increase the rate at which your body burns fat.
Additionally, we have one more ally in our fight against fat – EPOC. EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, and in general terms, it has to do with the amount of calories it takes to get your body back to its normal, pre-exercise state. EPOC is most directly effected by intense weight training sessions, so when you’ve really had a tough strength workout, the amount of calories required to take your body back to normal, is greater. What’s this have to do with things? Well, have you ever tried lifting weights after a long cardio workout? Pretty pitiful stuff. When you lift weights first, you’re able to go harder, heavier, and more intense – making your post exercise caloric burn potential much greater.
Bottom line, we want to bring your muscular system to the brink of exhaustion, THEN introduce short bursts of intense cardio to really burn up that fat like never before.
The Max Exhaustion Fat Loss Workout
With that knowledge in tote, let’s put together a plan to utilize these concepts and help you burn fat faster than ever before. First, I’m going to give you a serious muscle-fatiguing workout – this workout is circuit-style, meaning you’ll perform one exercise after the next, with limited rest breaks. Use one weight throughout the entire workout; if you’re having a hard time deciding what to use, go with a weight that you would use on your WEAKEST exercise in the circuit. Don’t worry about not getting a good workout – the circuit-style nature of this workout will take care of that. For this workout, we’re using a barbell and body weight only. If you don’t have a barbell or are working out at home with limited equipment, a pair of dumbbells could easily be substituted here.
Perform eight repetitions for each exercise.
- Barbell Squats
- Bent Over Barbell Rows
- Barbell Clean and Press
- Overhead Barbell Tricep Extensions
- Wide Grip Push Ups
- Alternating Reverse Lunges
- Barbell Curls
Rest 45 seconds at the end of each round. Perform four rounds total.
Four rounds of the above seven exercises should take about 30 minutes if you’re keeping a good pace. Once you’re finished with the weight training portion of this workout, we’re moving on to the cardio.
Since we went nice and hard (right!?) on the weights, our body should be depleted (or just about) of its glycogen stores. This means that as soon as you start your cardio work, you’re burning straight fat. Use that little tid bit for motivation if you start to get a little fatigued half way through. We’re shooting for short bursts of intense cardio and have a few options to pick from.
HIIT Sprints on the treadmill – Go for 30 seconds all out sprints, followed by 1:30 of a light jog. Shooting for something like a 10mph sprint/4 mph jog is a good level for a beginner to intermediate. Repeat this combo 10 times total for 20 minutes of work.
Incline runs on the treadmill – Set your treadmill to 12% incline. Set the speed to just about 4 mph, or whatever speed has you doing a slow run. Every 2 minutes lower the incline by 2%, while bumping the speed by .5 mph. Follow this trend until you’re at 0% incline, at which point the cardio portion of your workout is over.
If running/treadmills aren’t your thing, invest a few bucks in a jump rope. Go for 45 second bouts of straight jump roping, followed by 30 seconds of rest. If this is too intense, cut back the time spent jump roping and/or increase the rest times. Make it a goal though to eventually get yourself up to :45 (or more!) work and :30 rest.
How Often to Use This Workout
Most of you are already on one of our other plans, and that’s totally fine. The great thing about our workouts is the fact almost all of them can be mixed and matched. This workout is a total body routine, so feel free to sub it in on any full body and/or high-intensity cardio days.
If you’re brand new to Share It Fitness or just looking to make an entire plan out of this one routine, I’d suggest performing this workout 2-3 times per week, with additional cardio, yoga, and/or group fitness styled workouts as you see fit. Just make sure you’re giving yourself enough rest as to avoid over training and/or injury.
The Max Exhaustion Workout is a sure-fire way to speed up your fat burning potential, trim down those “soft spots”, and build beautiful, lean muscle mass across your body. Remember, simply working out isn’t enough if you ever want to be anything more than “average”. If you’re looking to take things to the next level, it’s important that you become a fully educated exerciser. By understanding and leveraging the exercise physiology behind your workouts, you’re going to get better results, in less time. And THAT is what making real progress is all about.