The real fat burning benefits of introducing heavy lifting to your training come after your workout has finished. This is because your metabolism is raised in the hours following the exercise as your body burns calories to repair muscles. To maximise these fat burning gains, increase the weight that you are using. But remember to only lift weight that you are comfortable with, as anything too heavy can cause you to sacrifice your form and therefore leave you susceptible to injury.
Run just below your lactate threshold
According to a study published in The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, relatively unfit men burnt more fat when they ran just below their lactate threshold, in comparison to athletes who were much fitter. To introduce this principle into your own training, warm up and begin to jog, then pick up your speed every few minutes until your muscles begin to burn and it becomes difficult for you to breathe. Once you have found your lactate threshold, slow your pace again and run just below this speed to gain optimal fat burning benefits.
One of the best ways to burn fat is through interval training. It doesn’t matter whether you complete your interval training through running, on a rowing machine or a bike, the exercise will help you lose weight. This is because interval training increases your growth hormone and adrenaline levels - both of which suppress your appetite and help your body to burn fat.
Train with kettlebells
Introducing weights such as kettlebells into your workouts is another excellent way to see fat burning results. Training with kettlebells helps you to tone up your problem areas and therefore burn fat (as the more muscle mass a person has, the more calories they burn.) The aerobic nature of kettlebell exercises also helps to blast fat by raising your heart rate. Many gyms offer kettlercise classes or alternatively you could follow along at home with an online tutorial.
Alongside being a great core exercise, the plank also causes your body use calories, therefore making it a great exercise to burn fat. To increase the difficulty of the exercise, you can also extend your body from the plank position into the press up position and extend one arm out in front of you. Then repeat with the opposite hand, return to the plank position and complete the sequence again.
This full body workout is one of the best fat burning exercises around. Done correctly, burpees are a high intensity exercise and will raise you heart rate in no time at all. You can reap fat burning rewards in the hours after your workout as burpees raise your metabolism, causing the body to burn calories when recovering. This exercise can also help you shed abdominal fat (a problem area for many people) by engaging the core during the exercise.
A simple but effective fat burning exercise is high knees. Remember when carrying out the exercise to bring your knees up as high as you can towards your chest and keep your back straight, swinging your arms to stay balanced. This exercise will soon get your heart racing which is essential for burning fat.
Metabolic resistance training
This training method works on the concept that if a person performs exercises that engage their entire body (or as many muscles as possible), then this will boost their metabolic rate and increase the amount of calories they burn. The exercises should be completed at a high intensity and one after the other for the best fat burning gains.
- 10 kettlebell swings - Stand tall, still gripping the bell, use the power in your legs to swing the weight upward from your quads, aim for chest height with arms extended, let the weight descend and repeat.
- 10 V sits - Begin in a seated position, lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle, reach your arms straight forward or reach up toward your shins as you are able. Return to your starting position slowly and repeat.
- 10 mountain climbers - Adopt a press-up position, then bring the left knee into the chest before returning to the floor, swap and bring the right knee up to the chest, repeat.
Repeat this sequence five to 10 times depending on your ability.
A firm favorite of boxers, skipping is a high intensity, aerobic exercise that is fantastic for fat burning. Like many of the other exercises on this list, skipping will raise your metabolism and keep your body burning fat after your workout has ended. Skipping will help your body burn more calories over a prolonged period of time in comparison to a less intense aerobic exercise, therefore making it one of the best exercises to burn fat.
Performing two exercises one after another, without rest keeps your heart rate high throughout your workout. For example, one superset could be to complete a bicep curl then immediately after, a tricep pushdown. A study by Colorado State University found that following your superset workout, your body will continue to burn fat for up to 16 hours, so you can reap the rewards long after you have completed your exercise.