How To Burn More Fat

If you are looking to lose a serious amount of body fat and get in the best shape of your life then the following studies might help you decide which is the best way to structure your training program for the best results. Read the findings of the studies and my top tips on how to intergrate them into your training program.

(Thanks to Alwyn Cosgrove for sending this out to me).

Kelleher et al
The Metabolic Costs of Reciprocal Supersets vs. Traditional Resistance Exercise in Young Recreationally Active Adults.
JSCR 2010 Mar 17. [Epub ahead of print]

This compared traditional weight training (perform a set, rest for a period of time and then repeat) to a reciprocal superset workout (where you perform for example one set of presses, rest a period of time and then perform one set of rows before repeating). The researchers concluded that

“Reciprocal supersets produced greater exercise kJ.min, blood lactate, and EPOC than did [traditional weight training]. Incorporating this method of resistance exercise may benefit exercisers attempting to increase energy expenditure and have a fixed exercise volume with limited exercise time available.”

Basically the superset group burned more calories per minute than the traditional weight training group. So if workout time is limited (which it is for most of us), and the goal is to drop some excess fat, a superset based workout may be superior.

Another study takes the above that one step further:

Another study by Paoli et al., ‘Effects of three distinct protocols of fitness training on body composition, strength and blood lactate’ JSMPF. 2010 Mar;50(1):43-51 found that high intensity circuit training yeilded the greatest reductions in body weight, percentage of fat mass, waistline circumference, blood lactate and greater improvement in 6RM in horizontal leg press and underhand cable pulldowns, as compared to low intensity circuit training and endurance (cardio) exercise.

This study looked at three groups – a low intensity circuit training group, and endurance (cardio) only training group and a high intensity circuit training group.

This study concluded that among the three groups, the high intensity circuit training showed the greatest reductions in body weight, percentage of fat mass , waistline, blood lactate (produced at 100 Watt during submaximal test) and greater improvement in 6RM in horizontal leg press and underhand cable pulldowns.

“The results obtained favored the conclusion that high-intensity exercise combined with endurance training in the circuit training technique is more effective than endurance training alone or low intensity circuit training in improving body composition, blood lactate, moreover high intensity circuit training results in significantly greater strength increase compared to traditional circuit training”

Really this is just an expansion of the above finding – that pairing or setting up a circuit of exercises with high intensity exercise, will be more effective for fat loss and weight reduction than doing pure endurance training.

By combining the two methods we can get greater results.

So to summerise: performing weight training in a circuit like we do at Boot Camp followed by high intensity intervals will get you te quickest fat loss results.

Intervals can be performed in many ways from sprinting, kettlebell swings, to various bodyweight exercises. The key is the intensity, which should be 90% of your best effort.

With regards to nutrition, the simplest advice I can give you is to only eat natural produce, if it’s been tampered with in any way by man then don’t eat it. Or to look at another way, only eat foods that have one ingredient in it, such as chicken, salmon, eggs, and veg. Drink lots of water to help flush out the toxins the we absorb on a daily basis and you’ll be on the way to a leaner, healthier body.

Train Hard (and I do mean hard), Eat Smart!


Personal Trainer
Sports Therapist

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