The following excerpt – Interval training for fat loss – is a small snippet from Master Coach and Trainer (and good friend) Dan Garner’s Integrity Journal. Dan is a regular contributor here on Nation but I wanted to highlight just 1 page of the 50 + he puts out each month in his Integrity Journal Publication.
Interval Training For Fat Loss
The problem with interval work is you can’t do it every day, and it focuses too much on the lower body. Combine too much of it with “leg training days” and you can end up losing muscle from too much demand and not enough recovery.
When you view your conditioning work as “add-ons” for fat loss (“Adding on” to an already sound weight training and diet program), you should be thinking mostly in whole-body approaches, and taking yourself above and beyond exclusively focusing on aerobic work.
The best type of training to maximize fat loss, minimize muscle loss, and enhance metabolism are circuit type interval sessions that are primarily based on movements rather than muscles. Meaning, it is total-body and functional in nature, and not a “chest circuit” or “arm circuit”
But it also doesn’t need to be “either or” – you don’t have to separate your weight training work from your fat loss specific programming.
For example, let’s say you’re training the shoulders. You can get an intelligently designed session in by being traditional in terms of strength movements and rep ranges for the shoulders, but between sets work other muscle systems not involved in that range and plane of motion. Therefore, the local area recovers while the body keeps working to ensure a cardio response of maximum heart rate—or close to it—on the Perceived Exertion Scale.
This is what intelligently structured combination fat loss training is all about.
Instead of going back and forth between “muscle groups” which again demands too much recovery time between workouts, we can go back and forth from “a muscle group” to various functional movements. Because the functional movement options involve so many muscles to do the work, the work is spread out requiring less specific muscle recovery, but tons more metabolic demand and cardiorespiratory response. This way, you can enhance body parts (build muscle tissue), get a “cardio benefit,” and burn fat all at the same time.
You can create these types of workouts through supersets, tri-sets, giant sets, or full-on circuits containing 10 or more exercises in a row. The options are limitless here, and yet the essence of the principles, methods, and true understanding of fat loss physiology shine through.
Not to backtrack too much, but bringing up hormonal response, it is also a fact that “aerobic activity” triggers a cortisol response that is catabolic, meaning not anabolic, to the tissue building process.
This type of programming sequence I am mentioning above has also been proven to promote and elevate the anabolic hormones, not suppress them. It is a fact that long-distance runners suffer sustained and prolonged suppressed testosterone production.
Yet, this has never been seen in the method I am outlining above – and yet my method can still get you absolutely ripped. I’ve done it over and over again in my practice. Let’s go over a couple of examples of what this type of programming can look like in a workout form.
Interval Training Circuit
A1: Squat thrusts: 3 to 4 x 10-15
A2: Russian medicine ball twists: 3 to 4 x 10-15/side
A3: Barbell alternating reverse lunges: 3 to 4 x 10-12/side
A4: Push ups between two medicine balls: 3 to 4 x 15-20
A5: Alternating medicine ball cheerleader lunges: 3 to 4 x 10-12/sideA6: Side plank holds: 3 to 4 x 15secs/side
A7: Alternating DB bent over rows: 3 to 4 x 15-20/side
A8: Vertical choppers with medicine ball: 3 to 4 x 10-15
A9: Rope crunches: 3 to 4 x 12-15
A10:DB renegade row: 3 to 4 x 8-10/side
A11:DB Alternating front lunges with upright row: 3 to 4 x 10-12/side
*This circuit is completed with all exercises performed back-to-back with as minimal rest as possible between exercises, and 3 to 5 minutes maximum rest between complete circuits. As each week goes on, your goal is to take less and less rest in between exercises and circuits, but never sacrifice technique.
As you may already know a major focus in our Alpha program is Interval Training because of the role it plays in transforming body composition and thus maximizing your testosterone production. Give the workout above a try.
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