They say the best training plan is one you’re doing. I call bullshit. The best training plan is one you’re doing AND helps you reach your goals.
It doesn’t matter if you want to lose fat, build muscle, or get stronger…if your plan isn’t right for your goals, good luck reaching them.
Over the next three articles, I’m going to discuss the rules that every fat loss, muscle-building, and strength training plan needs to follow to be effective.
First up are the five rules of fat loss training…
Rule #1: Establish a Calorie Deficit
In the world of fitness, diet and nutrition reign supreme. There’s no getting around it. If you want to lose fat, your training is important…but your diet is more important. The best way to establish a calorie deficit is to figure out how many calories you need on a daily basis to maintain your bodyweight, and eat less than that. Fortunately I wrote about how to do that here.
Rule #2: Use Compound, Multi-Joint Exercises
Prioritize the use of exercises like squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, pull-ups, and lunges. These exercises work the most amount of muscle with the least amount of time investment. Not only that, but they burn the most amount of calories as well. Save the bicep curls for when you’re trying to build muscle.
Rule #3: Focus on Strength Training First
When trying to lose fat, the main goal of your training program should be to retain as much muscle mass as possible. The amount of muscle tissue you have directly affects your metabolism. The more muscle, the higher your metabolism. And the best way to maintain muscle is to perform heavy strength training sessions. Keep reps to 6 or less on your compound lifts. If you’re new to strength training, you’ll likely even see significant strength gains as well
Rule #4: Build Muscle
Yes you may be trying to get smaller, but adding muscle can help with fat loss. Like I mentioned in Rule #3, muscle helps increase your metabolic rate. A little bit of muscle can add up to a lot of calorie burning. Again, if you’re new to training, you’re naturally going to add some muscle when you begin a resistance-training program.
Rule #5: Conditioning, Not Cardio
When it comes to fat loss, conditioning is superior to traditional steady-state cardio. Conditioning combines short bursts of high-intensity activity with resistance training exercises. This includes things like kettlebell swings, battle ropes, sled pushes/pulls, hill sprints, and farmer walks, just to name a few.
Performing these at the end of your workout will really boost your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This is also known as the “afterburn” effect, and the increase in oxygen intake leads to extra calorie burning.
That’s it for the five rules of fat loss programs. Stay tuned for Part Two of this series where we discuss the rules for hypertrophy training.
Got a question about fat loss program? Shoot me an email and I’d be happy to help.