If you want to burn fat, the treadmill and the elliptical are old news, unless you’re training purely for endurance. If you are training for literally anything else, it’s better to put aside the cardio and take up lifting. A lot of people will say that lifting isn’t as important as the way you practice your technique when it comes to the cardiovascular training effect – and they’re absolutely right!
I know some guys that just can’t go to the gym, get on the treadmill and watch a TV show while running. If you are one of those guys, here’s a list of some awesome lifting exercises you can perform instead of cardio. But, these exercises will also help you bolster your cardio endurance, with one major positive side – you won’t be bored while doing them. Here’s how to burn all that fat just by lifting.
#1. Multijoint Exercises
These are your typical squats, bench press, deadlifts and bent-over rows – all of these exercises activate a lot of muscle mass. Also, you can look to the tire flip and farmers walk if you’re looking for something non-conventional – they work great!
#2. Train in Circuits
Your upper and lower body exercises need to be alternated so that you don’t get tired in one place – you get tired all around! Try to rest as little as possible between the sets to keep your pulse up which will make your body use the aerobic instead of the anaerobic energy system.
#3. Each Circuit Needs to Be 2-5 Minutes Long
It takes about two minutes for your aerobic system to come online, which means that your sets should be at least that much. 6-8 exercises with 10 reps each with an even tempo should get you in the right place. Every set needs to last about 45 seconds, and at the end of the circuit you can take a couple of minutes of rest. What this does is, it gives you the effect of interval training on the treadmill or bike. You’ll need anywhere from 20 minutes to half an hour of this to see the benefits, which is ultimately 6-10 circuits, three times a week, but it’s worth it!
#4. Reduce Weight
If you want to burn fat, keep the weight lower than what you would usually lift when you’re training for strength or mass. Don’t go all the way on each set, this will exhaust you and you probably won’t be able to finish the circuit. You need a weight that will leave you within 2-3 reps of muscle failure, giving you the size and strength, and also prompting an improvement in cardiovascular fitness and endurance.
#5. Know What’s Important and What Is Not…
If you want to be bigger and stronger, as opposed to being thinner and leaner, this training style isn’t for you – try straight sets instead! So, to sum it up:
- STYLE: Full-body circuit
- CIRCUITS: 6-10
- EXERCISES PER CIRCUIT: 6-8
- REPS PER SET: 10
- FREQUENCY: 3 times per week
- EXERCISES: Multijoint exercises