Losing body fat is a goal that so many strive for and often struggle to achieve. Although it may seem like a daunting task it is certainly achievable. You need to stop wasting time on long tedious workouts that don’t get results and start focusing on what will.
If you combine what’s written in this article then you’ll be on your way to not only losing fat and getting in great shape but also creating a healthier lifestyle.
But first, let’s go over a few things before we discuss what type of workouts you should be doing.
Losing Fat vs. Losing Weight
It’s important that you know the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Weight loss is a decrease in your overall body weight (that number you see when you step on the scales). It comprises of muscle, fat, and water. Whereas fat loss is just a reduction in body fat.
When many people say they want to lose weight, what they actually mean is that they want to lose body fat. Unless you are overweight and need to decrease your overall body weight then this applies to you.
This is why the scales are often not a good indicator of progress as they are giving you your overall weight as opposed to how much body fat you have. It’s still worth monitoring over time, just don’t get caught up on the numbers if your goal is truly to reduce your body fat.
Contributing Factors To Fat Loss
Exercise isn’t the only factor in fat loss. In fact its only one part of the framework you need to have in place to succeed. Here are some other factors you need to consider.
Nutrition: If you have poor nutrition then you will struggle to burn fat regardless of how much you are working out. It’s vital that you maintain a healthy diet not only for performance during your workouts but also for overall wellbeing. As well as eating properly, you will more than likely need to be in a calorie deficit. This means that the amount of calories you consume is less than the number of calories you burn.
Sleep: Sleep is one of the most important but often overlooked factors of fat loss. The majority of the weight we lose during our sleep is fat. Sleep also plays a huge role in recovery and helps repair your heart and blood vessels.
According to SleepFoundation.org, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. People often underestimate the amount of sleep they need to function but in reality, an extra hour or 2 sleep a night can be the difference between a healthy and unhealthy life.
Consistency: This one is simple. If you are not consistent then you will fail to see longterm results. We can all have a few bad days here and there but it’s important not to fall off completely. To avoid this try setting goals and telling your close friends and family about them. Accountability is a powerful motivator.
The great thing about running is that it gives you so many different training options. You don’t need any equipment (even shoes are optional) and you can do it almost anywhere. Its also proven as an effective way to combat that stubborn belly fat.
If you want the best results from running then the pleasant jog isn’t going to cut it. Likewise, you don’t want to spend hours at a time running. Speed is king when it comes to burning fat and short intense sprints should be your go-to.
Try some short sprints around 30-50m and walk back to your starting position as recovery. Continue for 4-6 sprints and then rest. Complete 3 rounds in total. Just remember that a good warm-up is vital and proper form is key. Sprinting is a high impact and can be stressful on your joints. You can also opt for softer surfaces like grass or indoor running on a treadmill.
2. Strength Training
Strength training is arguably the best way to burn fat. There’s a reason that most sportspeople incorporate some kind of strength training into their programs. Heck, even golfers are hitting the weights nowadays.
But why is strength training so great?
Well, obviously it makes you stronger, which in itself brings a host of benefits to your functionality and overall health. But in terms of fat loss, strength training promotes muscle growth which improves your metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn at rest), and thus allows you to burn calories post-workout.
Opt for lifting heavy weights with fewer reps and sets as opposed to light weights with high reps and sets. Many people are put off by heavyweights but don’t be! Lifting heavier will increase your muscle mass and bone density. More muscle mass means more calories burned each day, including whilst you sleep!
Try to incorporate anywhere from 2-5 strength training sessions into your workout each week, sticking to the lower end if you’re a beginner. You can find lots of great workouts to follow online.
Rowing is an awesome full-body workout with the extra benefit of being low impact making it suitable for almost anyone as an effective and safe method to burn fat.
Rowing machines are a more effective fat burner solution than most other cardio machines because they work so many muscle groups simultaneously. Most rowers have varying levels of resistance so you can get a great workout regardless of your current fitness levels.
Rowers are used from beginners at home in their garage to top athletes in world-class training facilities. There are quite a few types of indoor rowers though so you will have some things to consider if you’re thinking of getting one yourself. And if not, most gyms are equipped with them now so you have no excuse!
For the best workout on a rowing machine try interval training. Interval training works great to burn fat. To get started, spend a few minutes warming up then row hard 1 minute, followed by a steady/slow row for 2 minutes. Continue this sequence for a total of 20 minutes followed by a cool down.
Another form of exercise that utilizes the benefits of interval training is boxing. Don’t worry, you don’t need to step into a ring or avoid any punches to get the fat-burning benefits. Training with pads, shadow boxing or hitting the heavy bag will get you working up a sweat.
Boxing is an intense, full-body workout. It’s highly recommended as an activity to help you lose body fat and increase muscle mass but it’s also one of the most challenging.
A great benefit of boxing and why it’s so good as a fat-burning activity is that the power needed is generated from your core and you’re forced to work muscles that are usually neglected.
To get the technique right and to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, it’s best to start off with a trainer who can show you the ropes. Group classes are always fun and great for beginners but if you’re looking to hone your skills look for a small class or one-to-one session.