The first principle of weight loss dictates that you must eat fewer calories than you burn if you are going to lose weight.
Unfortunately, there is really no way around that.
And the two was you can influence that are by reducing the amount of calories you take in AKA: dieting and by increasing the amount of exercise you do.
How you train dictates whether that weight comes from fat or muscle.
Mainstream fitness advice usually suggests that you should do more cardio if you want to lose fat.
But the evidence tells a very different story.
A Meta-analysis (a study of studies) published in The International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders looked at over 400 different studies comparing Diet vs. Diet + cardio.
And when it came to the amount of weight the participants lost, there was no difference between those who just dieted and those who did cardio and dieted.
Now to be clear, this doesn’t mean I hate cardio.
It’s fantastic for heart health, stress relief, and physical and mental performance, and you should do plenty of it.
But it straight-up sucks for fat loss.
A much more effective approach is using strength training as the cornerstone for fat loss efforts.
More specifically, a type known as Metabolic Resistance Training or MRT for short.
Unlike regular strength training, which is more about packing on slabs of muscle or making you strong A.F., this particular iteration uses strength training to drive up your metabolism.
Regarding numbers, a 2012 study published in the Journal Of Translational Medicine compared the metabolic effects of conventional strength training against those of MRT.
Compared to the control group, who did no exercise, the conventional strength training group burned an average of 98 additional calories the day after their workout.
So their metabolism was running higher.
But the MRT group burned 452 extra calories!
Oh, and their workouts took only half the time to complete.
Now there is a big downside to MRT.
Like really fucking hard.
You have to be willing to go deep into the house of suffering to reap these kinds of benefits. Still, if you’re willing to do the work, you will be rewarded with a leaner, harder-looking body with a side order of kick-ass conditioning.
Here’s how to do it.
First, pick one upper-body exercise and one lower-body exercise.
These should be exercises you are confident you can perform with good form even when you’re dog-tired.
Some of my fave combos are:
– Squats and Chin Ups or Rows
– Deadlifts and Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
– Bulgarian Split Squats and Dips
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll refer to these two exercises as A and B going forward.
Next, load up with the heaviest weight you can lift for 8 – 12 reps.
Every set will be an AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible). And we want to hit the wall somewhere in that rep range. If you can bang out 15+ reps, you’ve gone too light.
Now here’s the MRT protocol:
Perform an AMRAP set of exercise A
Rest 30 seconds
Perform an AMRAP set of exercise B
rest 30 seconds
Repeat for two rounds.
Now, here’s the cherry on the fat loss sundae.
On the 3rd round, perform an AMRAP set of exercise A, rest 20 seconds, do another AMRAP on exercise A, rest for a final 20 seconds, and bang out one last set of A.
Take a 30-second break and repeat the same for exercise B.
Then collapse into a puddle of sweat and bliss, waiting for the angels to come and fly you away to heaven.
Usually, I have clients take a two-minute break before performing another MRT circuit with two different exercises.
I wouldn’t suggest running an MRT program for over three weeks without taking a week off and doing some lighter pump-type work.
This type of training takes a lot out of you, so it’s best done in short bursts.
But when you absolutely, positively need to strip off fat with the quickness, there is no better tool for the job.