When it comes to fat loss, there are some specific training principles that you must apply to your workouts.
While some of the fundamentals may still stay the same, by altering a typical workout and applying these principles you can fast forward your fat loss, and get remarkable results in a matter of weeks.
I’ve refined these methods based on 10 years of research and reviewing nearly every fat loss and training-based study around, all while testing them with over 500 personal clients and thousands of members on the 90 Day Bikini Transformation Challenge
Here are 8 fat loss laws that you need to apply to your training program today.
1. Perform Metabolic Resistance Training
My metabolic resistance training workouts are the ultimate fat loss workout, because they allow you to increase your fat burning hormones, boost your metabolism, and burn more total calories in a session compared to a normal training regime.
These metabolic resistance training workouts apply many of the laws that are going to be discussed below.
Rather than breaking them all down individually now, you can read a whole article on metabolic resistance training: Maximizing Female Fat Loss with Metabolic Training
2. Increase Your Rep Range
While many people believe that they must stay within the 5-12 rep range when it comes to fat loss, you may get additional benefits from lifting more reps – perhaps in the 15-25 rep range.
A common myth in the industry is that people believe this lighter weight / high rep work won’t confer the same benefits for their muscle growth or physique than lifting sub 10 reps.
This simply isn’t the case and lighter, high rep work can work just as well!
Studies by some of the world’s most leading researchers, such as Dr. Stu Phillips, has proven that you can lift lighter weights with more reps and get the same positive adaptations… as long as you train to failure.
The key point here that many miss out on is that the workou
ts, sets, and reps must be taken to failure. If you lift light weights and stop halfway through or as it begins to get hard, you won’t adapt. However, that rule applies to any rep range.
As you can see, you can still get the same positive adaptations, and you may actually burn more fat because you’re increasing the time under tension, amount of reps, and therefore calorie expenditure. It is for this reason, when trying to burn fat, that I recommend around 30-40% of your workout consists of higher rep work such as the 12-25 rep range if you want to optimize fat loss.
There are several methods that you can still use to be able to lift heavy while incorporating a high reps scheme to burn more calories.
I’ve listed examples of advanced training techniques and super setting methods in this article. Using techniques such as super sets, giant sets, drop sets, and rest pause can help you lift heavy a well as increase the rep ranges in your workout.
3. Rest Less, Work More
If you’re trying to lose fat, there is such a thing as resting too much.
To me, it is almost crazy that you would sit around the gym taking a two minute rest, performing 10 reps lasting less than 30 seconds, and then taking another two minute rest. If you do the math this actually means that you’re only working out for 1/5 of the time you sat in the gym.
If you’re doing an hour session, for example, this means you’re only spending 12 minutes of that 60 minute workout training and resting for the remainder of the time. This is far from optimal.
If you were to change this 12 minutes to 30 minutes working out (of the 60), you would almost be getting 3 times the amount of work and 3 times the amount of calorie burn. Shorter rest periods should allow for more total training volume; this is a key mechanism for hypertrophy.
While some research has suggested that longer rest periods allow for maximum muscle recruitment and adaptations, they are measuring strength and not fat loss – which is our goal (remember, context is key!)
Sure, if we were performing 15 sets in a workout and rested for 1 minute or 3 minutes we will perform better resting for 3 minutes. However, in real life, time is a big limiting factor.
If you continue to double the work in that same one hour session, then could grow to an equal, if not greater extent, based on the importance of training volume. For fat loss, there’s no doubt that doubling the amount of work, reps, or general activity is going to help you burn more fat, lose more weight, and expend more energy. This is, of course, the context and basis of this article
If you currently focusing on fat loss and resting 2-3 minutes between each set it’s time for a change.
Try resting only 60 seconds in your next gym session. Sure, the amount of reps you lift for set # 2, 3 & 4 is going to be lower but, and here’s the big but, our goal is fat loss right now, not performance.
4. Use These HIIT Finishers
If you have followed me for some time, you can see that I’m continually raving about health performance and fat loss benefits with high intensity interval training, or HIIT. Get ready for more.
In short, just 5-10 minutes of HIIT can provide all the benefits, if not more, than a full 30+ minute gym cardio session.
Although people tend to schedule HIIT sessions separately, if you really want to accelerate your fat loss – apply these 10 minute add-ons to the end of your regular workout. Try these 5-10 minute HIIT protocols after you finish your main weight session, and see how it works for your fat loss and physique.
- Bike Intervals: 10x’s 20 seconds flat out with 40 seconds rest.
- Hill Sprints: 6x’s 30 seconds with a 90 second walk
- 20/20 Rowing Intervals: Perform 20 seconds flat out, pause for 20 seconds; Repeat this 15x’s
- Prowler Sprints: 6x’s 50yd prowler sprints with 30 seconds rest in between
- Battle Rope Slams: 5x’s 20 seconds with a 30 second rest in between
5. Split Your Workouts
If you have a home gym, work from home, or work as a personal trainer in a gym, another great method to accelerate your fat loss is by breaking your normal workout down into two workouts.
First, splitting will allow you to do slightly more work. More importantly, you will be performing more work at a higher intensity. Rather than doing one long session, you’re having a rest with a refeed in between.
It also works great for fat loss, as you’ll be boosting your metabolism and glycogen re-synthesis after the workout twice in one day, rather than just once.
Instead of doing one full 60-90 minute session, try doing two 40 minute workouts. This can also be great if you’re a bodybuilder or an athlete and want to focus on strength. You can do the more heavy based session in the morning followed by the more metabolic fat burning session in the afternoon.
Of course, this is just one option. If it doesn’t work for you logistically, then you can certainly apply some of the other methods listed above for great success.
If you’re a personal trainer, working in a gym, or have a home gym try doing one of your sessions in the a.m., take a few hours break in between to get one or two meals in, and then perform a second session in the afternoon or early evening.
6. Move More Between Sets
As discussed above, if you’re performing a 30 second set followed by a 2 minute rest, you would only be
spending around ¼ or 1/3 of your time in the gym actually burning calories while exercising.
Another method that you could use is to perform active rest, which is where you will stay active and on your feet during the rest period.
If you have a relatively good level of fitness, this should still allow your body to recover, the muscle you’re working to regenerate ATP, and rest. However, it will allow you to burn more calories in the session as you are simply moving more and staying active.
Some examples of how to do this include:
- Ab Exercises: Perform 15-20 reps of an ab exercise – straight after your main set – and follow that by around a 60 second rest.
- Walk More: Simply perform a fast walk around the gym or just stay active and on your feet during the rest period walking around or on the spot.
- Step Up: Perform 30 seconds of step ups – as soon as you finish your first set – and take a 30-60 second full rest before performing the next set of weights.
- Farmers Walk: Add in a 20 second heavy Farmers Walk around the gym to build your muscles and burn more fat.
- Squat Jumps: Perform around 15-20 squat jumps, as long as you’re okay with impact work, to really blast your legs and burn some extra calories.
Of course, when you first start out on these or if your fitness is only average, this may impair your workout sets. You may need to take an extra 20 or 30 seconds rest before starting the next resistance-based set.
As your fitness progresses, you should be able to perform these add ons in between the sets without much detriment to the main workout.
Ultimately, remember that the main short term goal here is to shred fat. If you lose out on one or two reps while your fitness improves, it’s not the end of the world. This is not a recommendation that you would adhere to over the long term anyway or use if you are really trying to optimize performance or build muscle mass.
7. Perform Compound Movements
We all know that compound movements such as squats, bench press, dead lift, pull ups, and bent over rows make up the bulk of your workouts anyway.
For fat loss, this guideline becomes even more important. In short, the more muscles you work, the more oxygen you require. This equals greater boosts in your metabolism and more calories burnt.
Of course, isolation work can still be good and play an important part of muscle growth, but you should add these at the end – in more of a super set like fashion. By supersetting your isolation exercises it ensures you are keeping active, burning more fat, and performing more reps in a set window or period of time.
For optimal fat loss try, make the majority of your workouts based on exercises that use 3 or 4 muscle groups at a time. This will burn 2, 3, or even 4 times the amount of calories and fat when compared to a single isolation move, where you are only working one muscle group.
8. Don’t Forget the Rest
While these key laws of fat loss training will certainly take your workout a step further, you must not forget about the other important factors that make a successful transformation.
Aspects such as calorie and macro nutrient manipulation, refeeds, calorie cycling, optimizing your hormones, sleep, recovery, and taking specific research proven fat loss supplements are all vitally important.
When combined, these will determine your long term success and results. If you are looking for the ultimate 30 Day Fat Loss Workout then check out my 30 Day HIIT Kick Start.
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