When it comes to losing fat and dropping weight, the workout basics should take a different approach to regular weight training or endurance cardio. The key is boosting metabolism to keep burning fat long after your workout is over and not just as a brief bypass product of your exertion.
Regular workouts with plenty of rest between sets or endless, slow cardio sessions on treadmills do little to increase your metabolism.
Sure, jogging or cycling will be good for your heart, and increasing weight resistance will tone and grow your muscles, which will burn more calories. Still, it is just not enough to seriously challenge your body into metabolic overdrive.
There is only the hard way for this to happen, which is reducing rest times progressively between sets or switch your marathon cardio sessions into Interval Training or Circuit Training sessions. Workouts structured in this way also offer the added benefit of being time-efficient.
Let’s start with weight resistance. Even if you do not want to join a gym or have no access to it, you can quickly implement your workouts at home with little or no equipment at all.
The basic idea is to employ the most significant amount of your muscle mass in the shortest period to challenge your cardiovascular and nervous systems.
It’s your responsibility to check constantly with your doctor first to have an all-clear, as these workouts can be challenging, and these ideas are meant for informational purposes only.
Suppose you are at home and do not have the equipment; you should make every workout a full-body workout by performing a few basic compound movements in rotation without resting.
Start with squat, the king of exercises. Even without a machine or a barbell, you could perform it with correct form for as many repetitions as you can, initially down with your thighs parallel to the floor, and later with your bum down to the floor as you get fitter and better.
Once finished with the set, switch immediately to ab crunches while your legs are resting and again perform as many repetitions as you can handle. Next, get a straight bar or a broom above your head and perform side leans for your core obliques.
A better version of it will be to keep one dumbbell in your right hand, if you have, to offer increased resistance to your left obliques and then switch hands and repeat.
With your legs and core muscles did you’re ready for your upper body. You may start with push-ups for your pecs and front deltoids.
Still, if you have never tried them before, they may be too challenging, in which case you may raise the bottom end of this exercise by raising your hands onto two chair seats and your feet to the floor to offer a lighter resistance when pushing, or even inclined against a wall.
As you get stronger, you can then reach lower and lower towards the floor to get more bodyweight onto your hands and more effort for your chest and shoulders.
For shoulders specifically, the only bodyweight exercises that work superbly, aside from regular push-ups, are the handstand push-ups, which is pushing yourself up from an upside-down position.
Just kidding, these exercises do work wonders but are WAY too challenging for strength and balance and out of reach for 99.9% of men and women.
To specifically target your deltoids, you may want to invest in a pair of light, inexpensive dumbbells, few pounds each to start with. Grab them with your hand supinated (palms facing upwards) and raise them in front of you until your arms are parallel to the floor.
Use proper form and carry on for as many reps you can handle, then switch to side pronated (palms down) raises with the same dumbbells up to a crucifix position again with your arms parallel to the floor. Do not go heavy with resistance on any exercise; stay on the 15 to 30 reps (or more if lighter) and keep proper form.
Switch again to a seated or bent position from standing and keep raising the same dumbbells on your sides. By performing front, side, and bent raises, you will have targeted your deltoids thoroughly.
All these six non-stop exercises make up for a cycle. You may need to build up your ability to complete a cycle non-stop gradually, depending on your level of fitness and health, as per your doctor’s guidelines. When you get fit, you may want to repeat a cycle.
You can vary exercises and change repetition patterns or break down the cycle into smaller parts as your fitness requirements. Still, the idea is to strive to perform as many exercises as possible in the shortest possible time to build stamina.
Most importantly, challenge your body to raise its metabolism well after the end of the workout to burn the fat continuously and lose weight constantly.
Aside from bodyweight or equipment exercises, you could implement the same idea of metabolic response by simply performing cardio in a pattern of short, intense outbursts followed by rest or alternating slow and fast cycles not stop.
For example, you could walk and then run and a higher pace than your regular jogging or treadmill sessions, then walk again (without stopping), then sprint again.
As you get fitter, you may start with jogging, switch to quick bursts of sprinting, and then go back to jogging non-stop. Again, this way of training (Interval Training) is more challenging, though less dull, than regular slow cardio.
However, this is why it is also more effective at keeping your metabolic rate high, like non-stop full-body workouts. You need to check your health with a doctor first and build up stamina and fitness with time.
These fat-burning workouts are not for the faint heart but also the best for burning fat and losing weight faster than any traditional method.
Deborah loves keeping fit and staying so for life. She’s been training for the last 12 years and has a simple goal: making it as simple as possible for women to find out about the best training and dieting methods for their goals (see all posts by Deborah).