If you are tired of slow progress or not happy with the results that your efforts in the gym or elsewhere are producing then there is a good chance that you are not doing any or all of the following in your workouts.
The thing is it is not your fault because there is so much poor or misleading information surrounding staying in shape especially as you get older that it´s hard to know what is right and what is wrong.
Well we are here to cut through all that crap and show you exactly what works so you can stop wasting time and start being rewarded for your commitment and effort.
Honestly if you add the following six workout tips for fat loss into your fitness program you will see your body change.
By the way these apply whether you are male or female.
#1: Use big lifts in your workouts
When we talk about big lifts, we mean exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, presses and pulling movements.
You should be including at least 3-4 of these within each workout. The reasons these type of exercises are so effective are;
1. When you perform a big lift type exercise you work lots of muscle groups at once. The more muscles you activate the more energy expended.
2. By training lots of muscle groups you make a greater amount of muscle sensitive to insulin and other hormones involved in metabolic rate. The more effective and efficient you body can do this the more dramatic and quicker results you will see.
3. Big lifts improve you functionality so you are able to move around more effectively. Basically you can do more and do it better than before.
4. These types of exercises give you a stronger posterior chain. The posterior chain is the muscles on the back of the body (hamstrings, glutes, upper and lower back etc). Women generally tend to be weaker in these areas so having a more balanced body will create better performance and lead to a much stronger metabolic and hormonal response to training.
#2: Go heavy.
Look around any commercial gym and most men and women who are actually using weights that are using ones that are far to light and easy to train with.
Now if you are absolute beginner and have no idea what you are doing then starting with light weight is ok until you have acquired good form and technique.
However if you have been training for over 6 months and still using the weights you started with it is time to start increasing the load.
One of the big lessons we have learned is that in order to get lean and break through to the next level you have to use weights that are uncomfortable and force more demands on your body. Overloading like this burns more energy, creates a stronger hormonal fat burning response and gives you a more athletic and stronger looking physique.
By the way ladies that doesn’t mean bulky it just means a shape that tells everybody you look after yourself.
When choosing a weight to use on any exercise try and aim for -65-85% of the maximum you could lift for that exercise. From there work in a rep range of between 8-15 reps. You can go lower than this with heavier weight but only once you can show proper form and control in each exercise.
#3: Train with free weights
If you are performing big lifts try to do them with free weights rather than machines. Machine exercises are still effective but free weight allow for greater ranges of movement training your muscles at the optimal level.
Mix up your training with both dumbbells and barbells. For example barbells allow you to work the lower body with lot more weight than dumbbells simply because it is difficult to grip heavy dumbbells and perform good quality reps.
However if you place a barbell on your back and do a squat, lunge or step up you can do this with a lot more weight than if you tried to do the same holding a dumbbell in each hand.
#4. Focus on the control and tempo of your exercises.
Too many people just grab a weight and then rattle off 10 or 15 reps as quickly as possible with no thought to what muscle is being worked and is it being stimulated properly.
When you do exercise with a certain tempo it forces you to add more stimulus to the muscle and therefore get a better response.
Tempo is basically the time you spend doing just one rep of a certain exercise in both directions.
For example if doing a the popular 4011 tempo on the chest press it would look like this
4 seconds to lower the bar to the chest
0 the bar does not pause here
1 second for the bar to be pushed back to the start position.
1 second pause before repeating the rep.
Learning to control the weights like this does take time and as you fatigue your reps will get quicker. However using longer tempo will improve your muscle composition due to stronger contractions and help burn because they bring about more metabolic adaptations.
#5: Start doing interval training
Aerobic workouts have their place in trying to lose fat but relying on them completely will eventually lead to frustration.
A classic approach by many men and women especially those old enough to remember the 80’s and before then is by doing lots of long cardio workouts.
This may feel and look like it is working for you but it is misleading.
Initially you might see results but generally any weight loss is a mixture of body fat and muscle. As your muscle mass decreases so does your resting metabolic rate.
As your metabolism slows so does the amount of calories burned on daily basis and you become dependent on the training to keep your calorie burn high.
If for any reason you have to stop training there is an increased chance of weight gain if you calorie intake is too high.
Also training like this soon takes its toll and can lead to burn out or injuries.
This is why I recommend adding some high intensity interval workouts to your fat loss program.
If you have heard of this type of training before you may associate it with doing some form of sprint training. That does work but can apply this style of training to anything you want including other forms of cardio, free weight or using bodyweight exercises which is becoming one of the more popular choices.
Why does it work so well?
In simple terms here are 4 reasons why this can work for you
It increases the calorie burn in your workout and keeps your metabolic rate elevated for much longer after you finish
It stimulates muscle building leading to a higher resting metabolic rate
It helps improve the metabolism of estrogen especially in the lower body. This means an all round leaner physique.
It improves the sensitivity of insulin in the muscles so that you store and use glucose much more effectively.
If you have never done this style of training before it can seem daunting but to aim is just to start according to your fitness levels and ability and just slowly increase the intensity and duration as you improve.
#6: Remove all distractions.
If you want to improve your performance and results from your training come with a focused and engaged mindset.
If you are constantly checking your phone or chatting with everybody you bump into your workouts will not have the level of intensity that is required to get serious results.
Unless you have a really important situation to monitor or need to be available at all times then keep all phones and devices away from the workout area.
Likewise if you train in a gym save all your socializing for after the workout and make sure people know your not available for a quick chat until you have finished.
Your workout time is precious and an important investment in your health and well being so make sure you give it your full attention and commitment.
There is no perfect workout that is an ideal fit for everybody.
However if you are serious about getting the most from your workouts whether they be at home, in the gym or elsewhere then are fundamentals that need to be in place.
For me they need to be resistance, intensity and focus. If you can add, apply and then increase all these 3 factors you will see big improvements to your body, health and well-being.