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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lose Weight for the Summer! My Top Training Tips for Dropping Fat Fast

Purely from a training perspective, it’s pretty simple: if you want to lose weight for good, you have to put your body through a smart exercise program that builds muscle, burns fat and calories and factors your hormonal response in wisely. Clearly proper nutrition plays a major role in the fat loss puzzle. No matter how hard you train, if you’re eating over-processed, garbage foods, you’ll have a very hard time seeing the results you’re after (and you’ll feel pretty lethargic and bloated in the process). But as confused as we are about eating right, we seem to be almost equally confused about training right. I spend a lot of time in gyms watching trainers put their clients through what essentially amounts to an aerobics class. What’s the result? A lot of sweating and stress for little to no decrease in body fat (and in some cases, weight gain). There is a science to fat loss. There are proven techniques that will get you leaner than you’ve ever been in your life. So toss your notions about long runs and 1000 crunches to the side, and try the following training tips for the next 6 weeks. The results will speak for themselves.

Rev Up Your Resting Metabolic Rate: Want to speed up your metabolism? Regardless of your age or genetics, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. Focus on workouts that incorporate strength training with anaerobic conditioning (rapid bursts of high intensity exercise) if you want to swap out body fat for lean muscle mass.

Circuit Train with Proper Rest Periods: Go, go, go! might sound great in theory, but if you don’t rest and let your heart rate come down during workouts (what we call rest periods) you’re essentially training your body to be calorie efficient, like a marathon runner or other endurance athlete. What does that mean? If you train hard for an hour with no rest, your body will come to expect that hour of exercise and hold on to existing body fat (for energy) accordingly. Conversely, if you use the science of rest periods to your advantage, you will continually shock your system, increase your Growth Hormone and accelerate your fat loss drastically. Generally, rest periods of around 60 seconds with exercises performed in the 8-12 rep range for 3-4 sets are optimal for burning fat and creating lean muscle mass.

Interval Train: When it comes to fat loss via cardio, it actually is a sprint, not a marathon. In other words, if you really want to burn fat, stick to interval or burst training and leave long runs and hours on the elliptical machine to the other bored folks. According to a study in the International Journal of Obesity, after comparing 16 weeks of sprinting with endurance cardio, the sprinters had a 9.5 % decrease in belly fat whereas the aerobic group increased their belly fat by 10.5%. Most people I talk to don’t actually like long cardio workouts. They just feel like they “have” to do them to burn fat and “make up for” nutrition slips. But as we all know, you can’t burn off bad foods with a long run. And now we know that if anything, you might just be making your pants tighter! My favorite burst training technique is roughly 30s of burst followed by 60-90s of recovery (a moderate pace). Work up to 10 bursts two times a week and you'll see fantastic results!