Thursday, 31 May 2012

Stand Up for Effective Fat Loss

I love it when I see people using weights when trying to lose body fat.  However, far too many people minimize their training effectiveness by selecting inferior exercises. When you go to the gym for fat loss, try to do your whole routine without sitting or lying down. In most cases this forces you to pick better and harder exercises.
Here is an example of a traditional program with seated exercises:
  1. Exercise bike (5 minute warm-up)
  2. Leg Press
  3. Seated Chest Press
  4. Seated Machine Row
  5. Seated Leg Curl
  6. Seated Machine Shoulder Press
  7. Lat Pulldowns
  8. Crunches
Thought to ponder: if you sit in a chair all day already, why would you then go a sit for your exercise program? The human body is designed to be standing, not sitting!

A better approach is to take ground-based athletic exercises. This not only improves strength and performance (and who can't benefit from that?!) but also requires a lot more muscles to work a lot harder. Here is an example of a way more effective routine that can be done in the same amount of time as the other less effective one:
  1. Foam rolling and dynamic mobility (5 minute warm-up)
  2. Front Squat or Split Squat
  3. 1-Arm DB Press (standing of course)
  4. Pull-ups (use band or machine assistance if necessary)
  5. Dumbbell or Barbell Romanian Deadlift
  6. Push-Ups
  7. Inverted Rows
  8. Planks (front bridge and/or side bridge)
Notes: this is just a sample. Be aware that these exercises will not be appropriate for everyone.
Click on the exercsie name to view an instructional video of it from my YouTube channel.

My experience as a trainer has shown me that when I give these exercises to clients, they naturally work harder than when I used to use seated exercises. In addition to this, all of the non-sitting exercises require a lot of work from other muscles to stabilize the body. For example, when you do a 1-Arm DB Press you are not just working your deltoid and tricep. Your abs, hips and legs are all working hard to lock your body into position. This greatly increases the metabolic demands of the exercises and shifts fat burning into high gear!

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