Body Fat, The 6 How
The “what” of body fat… spot training is ineffective because our body does not burn fat in areas which we focus on but burns fat as a whole! That is a constant for each person! The variable that needs to be identified is the most effective fat burning program for the individual. Whether you need to lose 15% body fat or 3%body fat the task may be just as challenging without the proper program. The following are strategies you can add to your program for maximum results!
1. Large muscle Compound movements: keep your workouts focused on your large muscle groups (Legs, Back and Chest). The larger and the more muscles you work in one exercise the more effective the fat burning will be. Example, squat with a dumbbell press= 🙂 Good! A single leg extension= 🙁 bad! Legs are your largest muscle group so complete exercises such as the squat which incorporates the whole lower body and add a press to add on a few extra muscles from the upper body. Leg extensions, though they are a leg exercise, isolates to a specific leg muscle (the quadriceps). When looking to burn fat don’t isolate to specific muscle groups, isolating will be done later in your progression. Make your workouts as efficient as possible!
2. Take shorter breaks: Keep your heart rate up, the whole workout! Instead of waiting in between exercises, do cardio. Do 10-15 reps of squatted high pulls- press, then do mt.climbers or take a short 30secs jog/speed walk.
3. Increase fluid intake: People often worry about carbs, fats and proteins, the macronutrients. They forget about micronutrients, vitamins and minerals and water in the body. If you are not drinking enough water, the body’s most basic functions are unable to work as efficiently as possible. Increase your metabolism by increasing water intake! Past article to read more
4. Interval Training: Don’t waste hours on a cardio machine! Interval training is a great supplement to your workout to help you decrease body fat. Find your 50% Maximum heart rate, this could range from walking to a fast jog. Then find your 80%maximum heart rate, this usually ranges from speed walk to almost a full sprint. Now for 10minutes stay at your 50% for 45 seconds then 80% for 15 seconds. By the time you get to the 10minute mark you should feel like that’s all the cardio you need 🙂 . Keep in mind, take 5 minutes before and after the 10minutes to warm up and cool down! Always allow your heart rate to steadily decrease, not go from one extreme to another.
5. Decrease Sugar Intake: Calculate the amount of added sugar you have in a day and try to cut it in half! When you live a sedentary lifestyle added sugar should not be in your diet or at least limited. For more detail take a look at the past article on sugar.
6. Sprints, plyometric, power exercises- These are advanced techniques! Once the fundamentals are out of the way and you have a base you can begin to add them into your program. They are very effective because they force the whole body to engage and to generate enough force to complete the exercise properly.
Weight loss (the scale) can vary, it is never a given where the weight is being deducted from. When you focus on body fat, you are more inclined to appreciate what you look like, how you feel and how you move!
By: Kirill Vaks
Fitness and exercise specialist
BA, CSCS, ACSM-cpt, NFPT-sns
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