For those of us who love to lift weights, cardio training is often an excruciatingly boring endeavor. Whether it e HIIT, steady state, or anything in between, when it's time to jump on the treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical the majority of us iron warriors cringe in disgust. But isn't it this very type mundane cardio that allows us to most efficiently burn off bodyfat and reveal the details of our hard earned muscles underneath? Not necessarily! Utilized correctly, the same barbells, dumbbells and machines we use to induce hypertrophy can also be extremely effective tools for melting fat like butter in a flame. The keys lie in choosing the right exercises, incorporating the proper rep range, and arranging your workouts in a manner that encourages the body to tap into bodyfat for energy.
When utilizing weights to burn fat it is most beneficial to perform mostly compound lifts, especially when it comes to larger muscle groups like back and quads. These movements will most effectively raise the heart rate, burn calories, increase natural growth hormone production (growth hormone is a powerful fat burner), and enhance metabolic rate.
The Rep Range
Since we are focusing on burning bodyfat you want to keep reps in the medium to medium-high range, or about 10-12 for upper body exercises and 12-20 for the lower body. By doing this you will again burn more calories, push out more lactic acid (which increases growth hormone production), and stimulate the metabolism, while still giving your muscles a challenging enough workout to foster growth.
The Exercise Arrangement
Most of the time when concentrating our efforts into building pure muscle mass we utilize a 'straight sets' approach, with 2-3 minutes rest in between. However, when looking to get lean enough to display your muscular development in every body part it is far more effective to use specific types of supersets, circuits, and mega-fast paced training.
The Fast Paced Bodyfat Burner
Barbell Squat - 4 x 12-15, 60 seconds rest between sets.
Alternating Barbell Lunge - 3 x 12-15 each leg, 60 sec
Stiff Legged Deadlift - 4 x 12-15, 60 sec
Under-Grip Bentover Row - 3 x 10-12, 45-60 sec
Narrow Grip Bench Press - 3 x 10-12, 45-60
Standing Overhead Press - 3 x 10-12, 45-60 sec
Close Under-Grip Pullup - 2 x max reps, 45-60 sec
Incline Bent Leg Hip Raise - 3 x max reps, 30 sec
The Upper/Lower Superset Scorcher
Hack Squat to Weighted Dip - 3 x 12-15/10-12
Leg Press to Bodyweight Pullup - 3 x 12-15/max reps
Walking Dumbbell Lunge to Seated Dumbbell Press - 3 x 12-15 each leg/10-12
Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift to Standing Alt. Dumbbell Curl - 2 x 12-15/10-12
Hanging Straight Leg Raise/Bench Dip - 2 x max reps
- Rests between supersets should be no longer than 2 minutes.
- Keep working at shortening the rest periods with the same poundages.
The Circuit Incinerator
Incline Barbell Press, 10-12
Leg Press, 12-15
One Arm Dumbbell Row, 10-12
Alt. Reverse Lunge, 12-15/leg
Wide Grip Barbell Upright Row, 10-12
Lying Leg Curl, 12-15
Upright Torso Dips, 10-12
Cable Crunch, 12-15
Close Grip Underhand Pullup - max reps
- Keep moving without rest until each full circuit is completed.