It’s all about the burn! To lose fat, you must burn more calories than you consume – basic physics tells us this. Let’s look at a few tips that have helped us burn more calories at the gym and get in better shape!
1. Full-body Workouts
Full-body workouts are shown to burn more calories than split workouts. Split workouts are workouts that target a specific muscle group whereas full-body workouts can target 3+ muscle groups.
In a full-body workout, you stimulate more muscles in a single session which is proven to expedite muscle growth especially if you are concentrating a certain muscle group 2-3 times a week. For example, targeting legs for a month while hitting various other muscles alongside your workouts will burn tons of calories and cause your legs to grow at a more rapid pace compared to other muscles. Advanced bodybuilders will use this technique to quickly grow muscles that are small compared to the rest of their body.
To repair damaged muscles, the body must burn more calories while you sleep. Getting a workout in can shred fat while you sleep.
Variety is the key to success! Switch up your workout routine and incorporate new moves into your circuit. The same old exercises will not burn as many calories as incorporating different ones, such as lunges or squats. By trying new exercises, your time at the gym will be more pleasurable and will confuse your muscles. This will promote muscle growth as unfamiliar strands of muscles will be worked.
2. Workout Frequency
The more frequently you work out, the more calories you burn! It’s pretty simple: burn more calories in your daily expenditure than you eat and your body will burn fat as fuel to keep going throughout the day. That being said, it is important not to overdo it since working out too much can be bad for your body. It can lead to injuries and raise your cortisol levels (stress hormone). Aim to work out at least three days a week with the maximum being five or six depending on how your body feels. Perform your workouts efficiently, limiting yourself to about 2 hours max if you are doing cardio or 1.5 hours without cardio.
If you decide to hit the gym on an intense basis, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep and working out in conjunction can be counterproductive. It can lead to weight gain and does not allow your body to properly repair your muscles. It is good practice to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. If you are looking to optimize your sleep, check out our other article about chamomile tea and glycine.
3. Take Shorter Breaks
The less time you spend resting during your workout, the more calories you burn. Taking short rests between sets is a great way to burn fat fast while also building leaner muscle mass at the same time. This is because your heart rate will be elevated for a longer period.
A good rule of thumb is to take 90-second breaks between isolated exercises and 2.5-3 minute rests between compound movements. Be honest with yourself to be sure you don’t overdo it or underdo it.
While working out, leave your phone in your locker. It’s a major distraction, and it’s easy to get involved with it and cause you to lose your pump.
A comprehensive workout plan should include both cardio and strength training to burn enough calories to see results. Cardio doesn’t just have to be running, try fast-paced workouts to get your heart rate up!
4. Swap Machines for Compound Lifts
Compound lifts like squat, deadlift, and bench can potentially all be incorporated in a single day. Exercises like these recruit more muscle groups and will have you looking more toned than ever. They also require much more energy output compared to machines. There is a wide array of compound exercises to choose from so try to pick at least a couple to do each gym session.
Here are a few of the best ones for bodybuilding:
- Overhead press
- Split squats/lunges
5. Work with Heavier Weights
Keep your burn going by using challenging weights! Lighter weight has its benefits, but if you want to maximize calorie burn and tone up faster, pick a few compound lifts like the ones mentioned above. The more energy it takes for you to lift something heavy, the more calories that will be burned.
Keep track of what you are weights you are lifting and for how many reps. Each time, try to do a little more than last time. This is known as progressive overloading.
People that are looking to build strength should find their 1 rep max then use a workout plan to program their lifts for the day. There are many plans out there but we have found Pen and Paper Strength App to be very affordable and efficient in helping us gain mass. Those who opt to buy a plan from someone else can save a lot of time from guesswork in building daily workouts.
Learning how to manage your weight loss can be difficult. If you follow these tips, maintain consistency, and keep your diet in check, you will be there in no time! Remember, losing weight takes practice. It may take a few weeks to figure out what works for you. Remain passionate and trust the process.