There's 30 training days left till summer and if you're serious about burning fat, here's the equation you need to follow:
So let's look at each part of this equation and how they work together to give you the best results in the shortest amount of time.
This sounds way more complicated that it really is. All you need to do is combine 2 or even 3 exercises into one movement.
For example, rather than doing just a squat, add a bicep curl and an overhead press to the movement. Now rather than just working the legs, you're working the legs, biceps, shoulders and triceps all at the same time. Here's why this is more effective from a physiology of exercise standpoint. The muscles require oxygen to perform movement. The oxygen is delivered in the blood. The more muscles you work at the same time, the harder the heart must work to deliver the oxygenated blood to the muscle. The result is an elevated heart-rate since more muscles are involved in the movement. This type of exercise is obviously more demanding, but if you're serious about burning fat, it's the best route to go.
The benefits to this type of training are numerous:
- You burn more calories and increase your metabolism.
- It's more time efficient as you're working more muscle groups in a shorter period of time.
- It's more functional as it prepares our bodies for everyday activities.
- By performing multiple muscle movements, you're working your brain and balance at the same time.
- It's more fun and challenging. Break away from the boring, one exercise at a time routine.
What level of intensity are your current workouts? Light? Moderate? Or are your workouts already in the intense range they need to be to burn fat and get the results you're striving for. From my experience, I would bet, even if you think you're training with intensity, you're most likely in the light to moderate range. Here's two basic ways to measure your exercise intensity:
- Training by Feel. Exercise intensity is a subjective measure of how hard physical activity feels to you while you're doing it — your perceived exertion. This isn't the best method because most people think they're training harder than they really are. That's why it's so important to have a workout partner to encourage and push you while working out. Most people tend to stay in their comfort zones and the comfort zone is not where you want to be to make the best gains. The safest and most effective way to measure intensity is by monitoring your heart rate.
- Heart Rate Training. In general, the higher your heart rate during the workout, the higher the exercise intensity. The zone you want your heart rate in is called your training heart rate. To calculate your training heart rate, use this simple formula:
220 – (your age) x 70-80%
So if you're 40 years old, your training heart rate would be in the range of 126-144. The better shape you're in, the closer you should be to the higher number throughout your workout. The best method to monitor this is by investing in a heart rate monitor. You can get by without one if you're in tune with your body, but if you're not, it may be worth the investment.
We've been talking about adding bursts to your workouts since the beginning of the Daniel Plan. Bursts, also called "interval training," are short periods of high intensity exertion where you raise your heart rate outside your regular training zone.
Based on our example above, this 40 year old would raise their heart rate from a max training heart rate of 144 up to 90-95% of their maximum heart rate or 162-171 beats per minute. I recommend running on a treadmill at an incline of 10-15% or using a jump rope. If using a treadmill, the speed will vary from individual to individual. You choose the speed and incline necessary for you to reach your desired "burst" rate within a 45-60 second time frame. Once the upper limit is reached, back off immediately and give your heart rate a chance to recover back to the training zone. This is a great time to mix in some abdominal training. It's important to keep moving during this recovery time, even if it's just a slow walk around the gym.
Proper nutrition is so important to your success, especially when you're training with intensity. The more intense the workout, the more your body needs the proper foods and beverages to help with the recovery and prepare you for the next round of workouts. Like I've said in the past, you will never out-train a bad diet. This means no matter how intensely you train, without the proper nutrition and rest for recovery, you will never reach your maximum potential.
Putting It All Together
For maximum results, perform 3-4 multi-joint/multi-exercise movements allowing 30-60 seconds rest between exercises. Perform 15-20 repetitions per exercise. After the last exercise, mix in a 45-60 second burst followed by 2-3 abdominal exercises of 20-30 reps each. Repeat this procedure for 3 rounds. Then move on to the next 3-4 exercises and repeat the above procedure. The entire workout shouldn't take more than one hour. If it exceeds this time frame, reduce the amount of rest between each exercise.
As I said in the very first sentence…this type of workout is for you if you're "serious" about burning fat. It's not easy, but remember, you reap what you sow. If you sow intense workouts, you'll reap healthy rewards.