The Perfect Addition to a Fat Loss Plan

Losing fat is a daily battle between the quantity and quality of both energy intake and energy output. The fat loss struggle is often daunting because of the far reaching effects it can have on all aspects of life. Most embark on a fat loss journey prepared to be miserable.

While I will conceded that trying to improve body composition by focusing on nutritional intake and physical activity is much harder than unconsciously pounding a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, it can be done. When beginning to focus on fat loss, I believe it is much easier to attain success by making a bunch of small changes, rather than a few big changes.

Because there are often so many strong emotional and subconscious ties to food, when first making changes, I think addressing physical activity is a much safer course of action. The participation in exercise, and in particular strength training is going to be part of any successful fat loss plan. Exercise increases the amount of energy you expend each day, which will have a desired effect on the day’s energy balance, promoting fat loss.

My favorite way to first manipulate physical activity is by increasing it ever so slightly. An increase in physical activity can be achieved in more ways than I can list in this post. The numerous possibilities of ways to increase physical activity should make the change easier to enact, easier to sustain, and more likely to work for you. (Shameless Plug) This week I posted a status on my Facebook Fan Page pertaining to this topic exactly:

Trying to lose fat? Raising your daily calorie expenditure will help your cause. Try adding a little more volume to your workout and/or increasing your NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). Just make sure you recover!

In the status I mention both addressing planned (scheduled workouts) and unplanned exercise (incidental activity). Increasing unplanned exercise, such as walking to work or climbing the stairs to get to your office, is a simple process and one that is easier to recover from. Adding volume to planned physical activity, on the other hand can be more involved.

Increasing volume of planned exercise can accomplished by either extending your current workouts, or by adding a workout. Prolonging an already in place workout can be a waste of time. There is a point of diminishing returns where the reward for each successive set and rep becomes less and less. My preferred augmentation of physical activity is the implementation of a metabolic day, which can be substituted for a recovery day during the weekly training cycle. Make sure you keep one complete recovery day though, during the week.

A metabolic day should be somewhat brief yet intense. Great training modalities for metabolic days are interval training (sprints, barbell/dumbbell/bodyweight circuits) and eccentric-less training (prowler, sleds, ropes). My go-to workout is either a barbell or dumbbell circuit.

Here is how I construct a metabolic circuit:

  • 3-5 exercises, back to back, no rest between
  • 5-8 reps per exercise
  • Exercise Options: Explosive Movement, Upper Body Push, Upper Body Pull, Lower Body Push, Lower Body Pull, Core
  • 1:1 or 1:2 work to rest ratio (Time one set and rest the same amount or twice the amount of time)

Here are some examples of what a circuit could look like:

Dumbbell Circuit (Beginner – Intermediate):

6 Sets x 6 reps of:

  • Vertical Jump
  • Shoulder Press
  • Front Squat
  • Bent Over Row
  • Romanian Deadlift

Barbell Circuit (Intermediate – Advanced):

5 sets x 5 reps of:

  • Hang Clean
  • Military Press
  • Back Squat
  • Bent Over Row
  • Romanian Deadlift

Bodyweight Circuit (Beginner-Intermediate):

5 sets x 8 reps of:

  • Vertical Jump
  • Push Up
  • Squat
  • Mountain Climber (8 Reps Per Leg)

Want to be a fat-burning furnace? Try throwing one of these circuits into a weekly routine and see what happens. The only caveat is, a 10/10 effort is required to get a 10/10 result. Work hard and reap the benefits you shall!

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One response to “The Perfect Addition to a Fat Loss Plan

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