Research from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) has shown that you can burn up to 20 calories per minute with this odd training method. You could burn off last night’s dessert in about 10 minutes…
It’s the highest level of calorie burning you can get – even more than hill sprints.
If you were to do intervals on the treadmill, you’d probably hit a maximum of 16 calories per minute (even with a steep incline).
And I’m proof that this odd little tool works…you see, this past weekend, I cheated on my diet pretty hard – it was Thanksgiving after all –
… yet on Monday, I weighed the same
…and it was because I used this tool.
That’s why you should have this training method in your metabolic fat loss program.
The ACE study – performed on men AND women – also found that this ONE workout method increased their abdominal core strength by an amazing 70%!
They didn’t do crunches, they didn’t do sit ups, they didn’t even do boring planks.
Hope everyone is having a great holiday season thus far. This is the crucial time between Christmas day and New Year where people begin to really think about their New Year’s Resolution, and what they want to accomplish for the following year.
If losing weight is on your list, then there is one important thing you need to decide: what method are you going to use?
Lets see, you can
Do some aerobics for 20 minutes and burn 140 calories
You can sit on the exercise bike for 20 minutes and burn 293 calories
If you prefer standing, then hit the elliptical for 20 minutes for a 201 calorie burn
..you can do some yoga for 20 minutes and burn 70 calories
I’ve got a better option. Try this 20 minutes Turbulence Training metabolic workout:
3 rounds of:
DB Flat Chest Press – 45 seconds
DB 1-arm Row – 45 seconds per side (rest 15 seconds between each side)
Total Body Extensions – 45 seconds
Rest 15 seconds between each exercise
Rest 60 seconds at the end of each circuit
Then, 2 rounds of:
DB Reverse Lunges (alternating sides) – 30 seconds
Standing DB Overhead Press (alternating sides) – 30 seconds
You want to have certain criteria in place when choosing the kind of training you want to choose when trying to lose fat. For those that have busy lifestyles, the best criteria is:
Must be time-efficient
Must elevate metabolic rate for prolonged periods of time
Must be fun
Must be safe
So lets put three of the most popular forms of cardio to the test:
Walking is often the exercise of choice for beginners (regardless of age or gender). Initially, most beginners will get results with walking because it’s an increase in their level of activity.
After some time, just like with any form of exercise, results will diminish. So, the next course of action is to increase the distance of the walking, and frequency of the walking. But here’s the problem: you can’t increase the distance and frequency for ever!
You have a minimal amount of time to devote to exercise per week, so what do you do?
A better option:
Although you will eventually face the same issue with jogging and then running, I do believe these are beneficial tools to improve your endurance, and get your mindset towards more intense forms of exercise.
So, if you’re walking right now, start speeding up the pace with power walking with an eventual transition to jogging. After 3-4 weeks of jogging, move onto running. Then start implementing sprints and interval running into your program!
Another popular form of cardio is aerobics. Aerobics comes in the form of step classes, aerobics classes, Zumba, etc. Aerobics shares a similar problem with walking: it does nothing for your metabolism.
So, initially the program might work for your, but if you’re not engaging in movements that elevate your heart rate, or those that engage your muscles, you won’t get the metabolism-boosting benefits you see with strength training or sprinting.
A recent remedy we’ve seen is combining aerobics with light-weight dumbbells. This is an ok solution, but at some point your body will become strong enough so that the light weight dumbbells become ineffective.
A better option:
Slowly start incorporating a session of full-body strength training. So, if you’re doing 3 days of aerobics, drop one day and make that your full-body strength training day.
Doing intervals on a bicycle is perfectly fine, but in recent times fitness instructors have started adding in all sorts of crazy movements to make the classes more fun. Here is sample video of what I mean:
Some unnecessary movements I’ve seen in the video:
I’ve read about the dangers of standing up while spinning, but I won’t go into that here, simply because I am not qualified to make that judgement call. But I will tell you that doing ab crunches from the bike, standing up while boxing, swinging your arms, arms behind your back – all that is absolutely unnecessary and detracts your mind from what’s important: getting an intense workout. Here’s a great article from a spin expert that comments on this workout.
I’ve also seen videos of people doing hip hop moves while on the bike. I’ve also seen videos of people doing bicep curls while on the bike and other dumbbell movements.
A better solution
Instead of spin classes, perform straight intervals on a bike or treadmill consisting of 30 seconds on of intense effort, followed by 30-60 seconds of lower-intensity effort.
Do that for 20 minutes, and you’re done.
Lets go over some key points from this article:
Research your method of exercise before embarking on it
Make sure workouts are safe
Perform full body strength training at least twice a week
My Sensei (Karate instructor) used to do a circuit training workout with us once a month. This workout was for the hard-hitters: a group 10 – 15 guys (and a few girls). The Circuit Training workouts were the type of workouts I enjoyed and looked forward too. They were painful and I loved the feeling of my entire body covered in sweat. By the time your were done, you would have sweat pouring into your eyes. Many times, when it was cold outside, the windows would fog up due to all the heat being generated in the dojo.
Image by IndyWeek.com
Yup….those were the days.
Circuit training at the dojo was very simple. You stick to one station for about 3 minutes, then move onto the next station. In the middle of the workout, Sensei would make us drop and do about 20-30 push-ups. His words were, “You improve when you’re tired.”
Following the same principles of dojo circuit training, I have come up with the following workout:
Station One: Perform any variation of push-ups for the time allotted
Station Two: Alternated between bent-over rows, and push press, 95lbs
Station Three: Jump Roping
Station Four: Free Standing Heavy Bag Punching
You are to perform three rounds of this workout in the following manner:
A lot of trainees want big arms, but what most of them do not know is that you need to put on about 15 pounds of muscle all over your body in order to put on just a half inch of mass on your arms. Well, actually I don’t know the exact ratio, but think about it for a second. Have you ever seen a guy with big arms not be a big guy over all? Just imagine someone with big arms, but no chest, back, shoulders, or legs to speak of.
Image by ELAREE
My suggestion is to start off with a full body routine, then steadily transition to a split body program so you can specialize on your arms further. Here is a sample template to help you out:
Months 1-3: Full body workout
Start off with a basic full body workout routine, performing it 2-3 days per week. If you’re performing a full body routine more than three days per week, then it is wise to have multiple full body routines so that you are not performing the same exercises on an incredible high frequency
Months 3-6: Upper/Lower Split
After three months of full body workouts, split your body in half. Train your upper body on one day, and train your lower body on the second day. You can use a 2-day, 3-day, o 4 day split with this program
In order to complete a three-day split, you can perform an Upper Body workout on Monday and Friday, and a lower body workout on Wednesday. In the following week, switch it up and perform a Lower Body workout on Monday and Friday, and a upper Body workout on Wednesday.
Months 7-9: Push/Pull/Legs
Push means that you perform an upper body exercise which requires you “pushing” something away from the body. Examples include push ups and bench press. Pull means that you perform an upper body exercise which requires you “pulling” something away from the body. Examples include pull ups and bent over row.
On the third day, work your lower body. The suggestion is to use a different workout than you did in months 3-6.
Months 10-12: Arms/Back/Chest/Legs
It’s finally time to specialize. Start the week off with the muscle group you’re targeting, which arms. This workout should comprise of two to three isolation exercises for the biceps and triceps.
Second and third day will involve training the back and chest. You will probably using many of the similar exercise from your push and pull workouts.
Once again, on the last day with legs, design a different workout other than the ones that you have been performing thus far.
As you can see, this is a year-long program. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you about building muscle. It takes time. There is no short-cut path to building incredible arms in six weeks. This program is for those that want to train and eat the right way. For the rest of you, go pick up a bodybuilding magazine.
One of the best practical bodweight programs out there is the Bodyweight Exercise Revolution:
Bodyweight Exercise Revolution
Bodyweight Exercise Revolution is based off the Circular Strength Training system. In other words, hit your body from as many angles as possible. This is beyond basic pushups, pullups, and bodyweight squats.
Click here for more info
Stubborn fat is a bitch. Through my years of through research, I’ve discovered that there is only one real way to destroy stubborn fat:make your workouts more intense! Work harder. Sweat like you’ve never sweat before, and really kill yourself under those weights.
My all time favorite training methods is superset training. Superset training is a common bodybuilding method where two or more exercises are performed one after another. There are many ways you can set up a superset workout. Here are some of the more popular methods:
Work the Same Muscle – Perform two different exercisess for the same muscle group. – Example: set of pushups followed by set of decline pushups.
Isolation/Compound - Perform an isolation movement, followed by a compound movement. – Example: set of drag curls followed by set of power cleans.
Antagonistic Supersets – Perform two different exercises for opposing body-parts. – Example: set of pushups followed by a set of pullups
Upper Body/Lower Body – Perform a set of an upper body exercise, followed by a lower body exercise. – Example: set of pushups followed by a set of squats
In-Set/ Hybrid Moves – Combine two movements that flow well together and work them in a set. – Example: combine pushups and squat jumps to create burpees
Benefits of Superset Training:
Allows you to perform the same amount of work in a shorter period of time.
Adds excitement to your workout, and prevents boredom
Provides an incredible muscle pump, causing greater muscle growth
Allows you to train like an athlete forcing you to work hard
Why Superset Training Helps you Burn Fat and Build Muscle
The muscle pump you feel is Lactic Acid production. Lactic acid is a major player in the way our bodies generate energy during exercise.
What is Lactic Acid?
Formed from the breakdown of glucose when glucose from dietary carbohydrates reaches muscle after bypassing the liver and entering general circulation.
Goes back into the blood and returns to the liver. Here it is used to make liver glycogen.
Known as the “Glucose Paradox.”
What does Lactic Acid Do?
Fuels glucose and glycogen production in the liver
Helps us use dietary carbohydrates more efficiently
Serves as a quick energy fuel preferred by the heart and muscles
Important to mechanisms involved in how we adapt to stress
Important key to athletic success in high intensity sports
Stimulates testosterone production
Signals release of human growth hormone from pituitary gland
Can be transported between cells to supply additional energy for work
Why Do I feel the Burning?
The burning sensation comes from hydrogen ion, the acid in lactic acid which interferes with electrical signals in nerve and muscle tissue. Hydrogen ion is made when lactic acid splits into lactate ion, and hydrogen ion.
When Lactic Acid enters our blood faster than our ability to remove or control it, hydrogen ions begin to lower the pH of muscle, creating an acidic environment. This process interferes with our performance.
What is HGH?
Human Growth Hormone, or HGH is a naturally producing hormone in our bodies.
Plays an important role in regulation of body fat levels, immune system, muscle mass, recovery, and other bodily functions.
HGH is present in the body at a rate of 500 micrograms in the blood between the ages of 20 and 30.
As you age, HGH in our bodies starts to decline, leading to a steady loss of muscle mass, skin elasticity, fat gain, and many other physical changes.
The daily production falls below 60 micrograms at age 80.
Produced by the anterior pituitary gland, stimulated by the Hypothalamus.
Benefits of HGH
Promotes and increases the synthesis of new protein tissues. This aids in muscle recovery and repair.
Involved in the metabolism of body-fat and it’s conversion to energy.
Improves sleep patterns.
Produces more energy.
Improves sexual performance.
Build stronger bones, and reduces osteoporosis.
Lowers blood pressure
Improves cholesterol profiles
Reduces the risk of Developing Type 2 diabetes
The Connection Between Supersets, Lactic Acid, and Growth Hormone
Short, intense bursts of exercise work best to stimulate the natural production of growth hormone.
Supersets training is a form of intense exercise which releases Lactic Acid as a method of providing energy for the muscles
When Lactic Acid splits into a lactate ion and hydrogen ion, the hydrogen ions begin to lower the pH of muscle, creating an acidic environment, as discussed earlier.
When the pH is lowered, it triggers a release of HGH as a way to aid in muscle recovery and repair.
The more HGH you release, the bigger and leaner you’ll get.
How can I Design a Supersets Training Program?
Best method for fat loss is to use upper/lower split
For a three-day per week program, Choose six exercises, 3 upper body and 3 lower body
For each day, choose one upper body exercise and one lower body exercise.
Organize the exercises using the templates below
Superset Training Templates
Perform 21-15-9 repetitions of each
Perform 3 rounds for time
Perform 4 rounds for time
Perform 5 rounds for time
Perform maximum rounds in 20 minutes
Perform 50-40-30-20-10 reps of each
Use inverse pyramid scheme, such as 10-1, 9-2, 8-3, etc.
BONUS TIP: Hybrid Superset Training
A hybrid is a movement where two or more exercises that flow well together are combined to form a new exercise.
Some examples include burpees (push-ups + squat jump), thruster (front squat + press), and sumo deadlift high pull (sumo deadlift + close-grip upright row).
These movements can be seen as being a form of supersets, as they incorporate two different movements performed back to back without rest.
Hybrid Superset training is simply performing two Hybrid movements back to back as supersets.
Since you’re serious about losing fat, you already work hard. If you’ve been pushing it hard in the gym, then just push a little bit harder. There is no other way around it. Be patient, and keep going.
To improve any part of your body, training it just once a week with a few sets of your favorite exercise won’t work. You really need to DESTROY that body part not just once a day, but a few times per day.
Enter: the Bodyweight Squat
The bodyweight squat has been used for centuries by Indian Wrestlers to improve their strength, flexibility, and lower body power. Perhaps this is why the movement has often been called the Hindu Squat. The actual name of the exercise that indian wrestlers used was the Uthak-Bethak, or simply “sitting and standing.”
Just look at those two words for a second: Sitting and Standing. 80% of our daily activities are focused on sitting and standing, and yet the majority of people out there do not practice these two movements in tandem.
Here is how to perform a bodyweight squat:
Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, toes facing slightly out for balance.
Make sure to keep your back straight and chest out throughout the entire movement.
Bend your knees and follow with your hips as you slowly descend towards the ground.
Go as far as you can. Pause, then reverse the movement.
Repeat as desired.
To accomplish the task of beefing up your legs, we’re going to start off with a 3-week block of specialized leg training, followed by a week of complete rest to let the principle of supercompensation kick in.
Your goal is to perform 500 bodyweight squats per week. My recommendation is to split this over 4 days, so that you’re doing 125 repetitions per day. The goal is to perform these repetitions as quickly as possible, without compromising form.
How to set up the program:
In your first session, start doing bodyweight squats. Keep going until you start to feel a burn in your legs, then go 10 more repetitions. For example, if you start to feel the burn at 20 repetitions, then go until 30 repetitions and stop. Now each following set will be between 20-30 repetitions. Keep a count, and perform as many sets as you need to get to 125 repetitions.
Normally, you will perform this workout at the end of your regular workout as a finisher. This can also take the place of your cardio session, as high repetitions bodyweight squats are extremely demanding on the cardiovascular system.
If you already devote a day to training your legs, then I recommend reducing your volume on that day, as this training will certainly interfere with your regular leg workouts. It is recommended that for the first week you only do bodyweight squats for your legs, and take a break from all other leg workouts (you can play sports, of course).
See how you feel the first week, and then make decision on how you want to re-introduce your regular leg training sessions.
And remember, take a rest on the fourth week, and then re-assess!
In recent years, a new industry has been given birth: the factual-sounding fluff-full fitness information industry. You read that right. Now, more than ever, you have self-proclaimed YouTube buffs promising you extraordinary results in an extraordinary amount of time.
No one wants to tell you the truth: that it takes hard work, consistency, and desire to push yourself to the limit to help you attain your weight loss goals.
After a long hiatus on developing new content, I’ve decided to give you some old-school, straight up, no-nonsense information on how to get solid results. Lets start out with three simple principles to get the ball rolling:
Principle One: Strength Train
In our YouTube star era, everyone is doing high intensity bodyweight circuits, and swinging Kettlebells back and forth. Even though I love that the rest of the world is catching onto the ideas which compelled me originally start my blog, I am also baffled at how many completely avoid actual strength training.
Even if you were to lose 20-30 pounds off, you still won’t look good if there is no muscle underneath that fat! And yes, Kettlebells and bodyweight training WILL help you gain muscle, but only if it’s done in a certain way. Circuit-training alone is not enough. In addition, there are numerous health benefits associated with strength training, which I’ve listed here.
Principle Two: Metabolic Conditioning
Metabolic conditioning, metabolic resistance training, interval circuits, circuit training – it’s all…more or less…the same thing. The YouTube coaches are coming up with new names for the same thing. All you need to know is that when you perform 3 or more exercises in a row with little to no rest in between, it works and it hurts! There are many creative ways you can design such a program. How far you will push yourself depends on how crazy you are. Over the years, I’ve written a full guide on metabolic conditioning, and how you can use it for your goals here.
Principle Three: Eat More
When you start working out hard, you’re going to get hungry. Some people think they should stick to their pre-determined caloric allowance. Don’t do that. You’re hungry because your body is trying to recover from your intense workouts. Your metabolic rate is booming, and the worst thing you can do at this point is eat LESS. So, eat more! Here is a great article which helps you maintain a healthy metabolic rate while you’re training hard.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be churning out some more back-to-basic type content…so stay tuned!
We all want that extra push, when we work out, to help us burn more fat. The minute you put on your workout clothes, it’s like you’re a changed person; you want to do whatever it takes to burn as much fat and calories as possible in the time provided.Sometimes, we’re even so crunched in time that we can only workout for a 30 minutes, which means that we need to maximize every minute by exercising vigorously.
This is where high intensity interval training (HIIT) comes into play.
HIIT is the practice of doing quick exercises while alternating from short intense exercises to less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a great way to burn a lot of calories in a short period of time, specifically good for those times when you only have 30 minutes available to workout.
How does interval training help you lose weight?
The fact that you’re alternating between intense and less-intense exercises boosts your weight loss results exponentially.
How it helps your body:
- Boosts metabolism
- Activates fat burning process throughout the day
- Increases cardio level
- Speeds up muscle building process
Running distance won’t do to your body what HIIT will, not because it’s not effective but because it’s stagnate. Running distance requires a stable pace without a lot of intervals in between, while HIIT puts together the cardio required to run distance plus more to withstand the fast-paced exercises.
HIIT can also provide better results than any other types of exercises as it works together with strength training. You can incorporate interval training into your strength training to increase your metabolism and boost your fat burning process. For example, you can do ten burpees in between your squat sets, or do jumping jacks in between each set of lunges.
The trick is to keep the heart rate high up while you’re building muscle through strength exercises.
This will burn more calories as you take less time to recover between sets, which is what normally happens during strength training. The higher the heart rate, the more fat is burned and the more fat is burned, the faster the results.
Doing the right HIIT exercises regularly increases your fat burning process throughout the day, due to the increase in metabolism, and also boosts your weight loss as you burn more calories in your thirty minute workout.
You curse a lot while you do the exercises, that’s for sure, but the results are simply phenomenal, which makes it all worth it!
Article written by: Sarah Anton
Sarah Anton is a fitness and health expert who’s been on her own fitness journey for more than two years. She’s a professional writer aspiring to guide individuals into a healthier life. You can find out more about her at www.writingleo.com.
The workouts on the main Crossfit website make little sense to newbies. If you have no prior knowledge of the Crossfit methodology you will wonder how it is humanly possible to even perform some of these workouts.
When I first came across the site. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. But I had no clue what a thruster was. In their old site, they only posted the daily workout, and not much else.
My first CrossFit workout was literally running ½ mile and burpees. I assumed that since some people use the words burpee and squat thrust interchangeably, I thought they made up their own name and called a burpee a thruster.
Even though I did the workout wrong, it was intense, and I became addicted.
Mind you, I had already been working pretty hard, so I wasn’t a newbie at training. I was a newbie at Crossfit, however, and the learning curve was HUGE.
In 2014, there are more than enough resources out there to help you navigate the world of Crossfit. What makes Crossfit such a successful brand is this air of mystery about everything they do. One mysterious piece is the art of scaling. It’s quite subjective – as it should be. Each person is different, and we need to modify workouts based on our strengths and weaknesses.
What is Scaling?
A scaled workout is simply an easier one than the one posted on Crossfit HQ or your local Crossfit box site. Usually (and I believe especially Crossfit HQ) the website will post the hardest version of the workout.
This is what you’re striving for.
But it’s not necessarily what you have t do.
Let’s take, for example, today’s workout:
Front squat 3-3-3-3-3 reps
The front squat is not a beginner movement. Therefore, a complete beginner would have to severely modify this workout, while at the same time stay – to some degree – true to the posted workout.
Here is how I would progress up to a Front Squat:
Bodyweight Squat (keep arms in front as if holding an object)
Bodyweight Squat Jump (keep arms in front as if holding an object)
Goblet Squat (Dumbbell or Kettlebell)
Dumbbell or Kettlebell Front Squat
Barbell Front Squat
The main idea of the behind this progression is to perform movements that mimic the mechanics of the front squat. This is why I recommend keeping your arms in front of your body when performing bodyweight squats, especially when using the movement to train for the front squat.
Some people might suggest performing a back squat, but I would argue against using the back squat to train for the front squat, as your center of gravity is different with both movements.
So, for a complete beginner, perhaps instead of doing 5×3 Front Squats, you may want to do 5×10 Bodyweight Squats.
Start small, then work your way up.
PS – You should check out an aweseome workout called BossFit…