Your get-lean formula for this month involves working more muscles, using heavier loads, cutting rest periods, and going all out. It’s time to tweak your routine with the following strategies to make every training session a calorie- and fat-torching extravaganza.
Here’s how to stay lean, friends.
Cut back on rest periods and reduce your time in the gym by performing supersets (two exercises back-to-back) and circuits (four or more moves back-to-back) with opposing muscle groups, like chest and back or biceps and triceps. You’ll jack up your heart rate and keep it elevated for the duration of the workout.
If you typically stand around between sets, start filling these slivers of time with cardio. It’s called cardio acceleration, a technique that has you do a low-impact activity like jumping jacks or jump rope during rest periods. Start with only 15 to 30 seconds of cardio between sets (rest the remainder of the time), and gradually work your way up to being active the entire “rest” period.
Your greatest ally in burning fat is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which increases post-workout calorie burn. One study concluded that EPOC was higher for those who lifted with 80 to 90% of their 1RM compared with those who lifted with 50%. Try incorporating sets of five to six reps into your routine.
A 2016 study of New Zealand rugby players found that those doing whole-body routines experienced a 6% drop in body fat, while those following a split routine had only a 2% drop. You don’t, however, need to train every body part in every workout. Instead, do a compound exercise (like squat, deadlift, or overhead press) in each training session to cover your bases.
BY JOE WUEBBEN