To burn fat, take a two-part approach. First, work as many muscle groups as possible. Compound exercises that work multiple muscles across multiple joints are “more effective than isolation exercises at burning fat,” says Len Kravitz, PhD, coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico. The more muscle fibres you utilise, the more lean muscle tissue you’ll develop, which will really boost your metabolism. Second, you need to mix cardiovascular exercise with your weight training. Follow this plan and you’ll build a body that has no choice but to melt fat all day, every day, for a leaner, stronger physique.
This array of classic compound exercises performed in superset fashion adds up to a full-body plan with a few twists – literally. Many of the moves require you to turn the weights as you lift. These slight variations can help bring even more muscle fibres into play.
To maximise the fat-burning effect, you have to minimise the time you spend resting. For each superset or triset, do 10 to 15 repetitions of the first exercise, then immediately proceed to the next move in the pair or trio. So perform the squat immediately after the lunge; do the bench press, row, and Arnold press one after another; do the dip immediately after the curl; and perform the double crunch as its own set. Rest only as long as assigned between sets.
Maintaining this fast pace allows you to do more work in a shorter period of time. That way, you’ll always have enough time after your weight routine for the cardio work required to burn more calories and shed extra fat.
Holding dumbbells at your sides, stand about 90 cm from a step with your feet hip-width apart. Stride forward onto the step with your left foot so that your left thigh ends up parallel to the floor. Push yourself back to the starting position and repeat the exercise, this time stepping forward with your right leg.
Watch Your Form: Try to plant as much of your foot on the step as you can. Stepping onto just your toes or the ball of your foot requires more effort from your calves, causing them to tire faster than your other leg muscles.
4-Down, 2-Up Squat
Stand with a loaded barbell resting across the back of your shoulders, and your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back upright and your head facing forward, slowly lower your body for a count of four seconds. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, take no more than two seconds to push yourself back up into a standing position.
Watch Your Form: Don’t lean too far forward or sway from side to side. Initiate the descent at the hips, not the knees, and lower your body as if you were sitting back into a chair.
Next page: Arms Superset exercises