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No matter what exercise you choose, there’s only so much fat you can burn during a 30-minute workout – or long run. In contrast, the jiggly stuff on your tummy has opportunities aplenty to double in size, no thanks to the long hours you spend on your office seat – and those hawker centre lunches.
To send fat packing – for good – you’ve got to take your cue from pro rugby players. Despite eating a whopping 5,000kcal a day, every last calorie is accounted for in their bodies. How? Hypertrophy training – which increases the size of your muscle cells. “Your resting metabolic rate is raised for up to six hours after advanced hypertrophy training,” says Ed Gannon, a coach with the Leicester Tigers rugby club.
Instructions “The key to efficient fat-burning is tempo,” says strength and conditioning specialist Jamie Sawyer, who designed the following circuit. Take three seconds to lower in each move and explode in the return. “This increase in tempo creates more intra-muscular tension and micro-damage, which allow for a surge in the anabolic hormones needed for growth,” says Jamie. Send your metabolism skywards with this hypertrophy session 3 times a week. Don’t forget to rest a day between workouts.

A) Rest a barbell on your shoulders. Hold it at a comfortable width. Sink into a squat. Remember: Go slowly. B) Rather than going all the way down, stop at about 45 degrees and explode back up. You’ll be able to lift a heavy weight, so go hard. Do 4 sets of 3 reps. Don’t rest between reps. Recover for 10 seconds after each set.
A) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells. Squat as deep as you can go. B) Extend your legs as fast as you can to power up and off the ground. Point your toes at the top and absorb your landing. Your thighs should burn. Do 4 sets of 6 reps. Don’t rest between reps. Recover for 45 seconds after each set.
A) Balance on one leg with the other leg extended, as high as possible. Hold your arms out for balance. B) Squat as low as possible, keeping the front leg elevated, your back straight and your bent knee pointing forward. Push back up to the start. Do 6 reps on each leg. Do 4 sets in total, with 45 seconds rest between sets.
A) Set up a barbell on boxes or rack pins just above knee-height. Tense your glutes for extra “oomph” and keep an arch in your lower back. B) Power up through your hips and knees until your legs are straight. Draw your shoulders back at the top. This is hitting big muscle groups, firing up your metabolism. Do 4 sets of 3 reps. Don’t rest between reps. Recover for 10 seconds after each set.
A) Grab hold of a barbell on the floor with a shoulder-width, overhand grip. Keeping your feet flat, lift the bar by extending at the knees and hips. B) Power up until your legs are straight, with the bar at waist height, keeping your arms locked out throughout. Keep your back parallel to the floor at the lowest point of the move. Aim for 6 reps but don’t sacrifice form. Do 4 sets with 45 seconds rest in between.
A) Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a light barbell across your lower abdomen with both hands. Don’t let go of it. B) Raise your lower back off the ground as far as you can go, then return to the start. Your upper back and feet should remain on the floor. Feel that? That’s your fat burning.

Do 4 sets of 12 reps. Don’t rest between reps. Recover for 45 seconds after each set.