There are many good reasons to lift weights. Do it consistently and in a few short weeks your blood pressure and fasting blood sugar will drop significantly. Your mood will improve, as will your cholesterol numbers. And you’re likely to drop an inch or so off your waist.
All great results. But for most of us the primary outcome we seek is weight loss. And unfortunately it is also the most elusive.
But there is good news. Apply these minor tweaks to your current routine and can turn an ordinary workout into a fat melting one.
3) Use a Metronome to Perform Slow Eccentrics
Performing exercises with a slow eccentric, or “negative”, significantly increases Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) and fat oxidation by 5% and 10% respectively versus concentric training. In layman’s terms that means lower a weight slower increases your metabolism significantly more than lifting the weight.
In practice the easiest way to do this is to download a metronome app to your smartphone. I use MetroTimer. It’s easy to use and ist free. Set it to 60 beats per minute and then choose a sound that doesn’t make you crazy.
Next time you do your weight workout try to lift the weight for one beat and then lower it for eight beats. Keep sets between five and twelve reps.
2) Do High Rep Sets with an Explosive Tempo
Performing high rep sets with an explosive tempo increases fat burning through a few different mechanisms. It increases calorie burn versus a slow lifting tempo and the high levels of lactic acid that result triggers the release of hormones that burn fat (i.e. growth hormone).
And while “Explosive Tempo” sounds scary but it really just means performing exercises with a fast, or explosive, tempo, trying to accelerate the weight through the entire range of motion. And while explosive training can be high impact there are many options that can be performed safely by people of any fitness level.
Chains, bands, and kettlebells can also be used to make explosive training safer and more effective.
3) Do Peripheral Heart Action Training
Peripheral Heart Action Training (PHA for short), is a system of training alternating sets of upper and lower body exercises performed with little or no rest between exercises. This forces your heart to “shunt” blood back and forth from your upper to your lower body, placing an intense cardiovascular and metabolic demand on your body.
PHA is a powerful tool that maximizes your calorie burn during and after exercise in the most time efficient way possible.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
There are many ways to combine the methods above into highly effective fat melting workout. One that is particularly enjoyable is “Tempo Contrast Giant Sets.” Here’s an example:
Giant Set One:
Perform 1 set of each of the following exercise with no rest. After completing all four moves rest 30-60 seconds and repeat. Do a total of 4 Giant Sets.
1) Barbell Overhead Press
Perform 8 reps lowering the bar to an 8 second count.
2) Hamstring Leans
Kneel on the ground and have someone hold your feet behind you. Bending only at the knees lower yourself to the ground to an 8 count. Return to the starting position. Do 5-8 reps.
Don’t worry if you can only lower yourself ½ way down before losing control. Catch yourself with your hands and push yourself back to the starting position.
3) Dumbbell Push Press
Do 20 reps using a bit of leg drive and maximum acceleration.
4) Kettlebell Swing
Do 20 reps.
After completing all four rounds rest 2 minutes and move on to the following:
Giant Set Two
Perform 1 set of each of the following exercise with no rest. After completing all four moves rest 30-60 seconds and repeat two more times for a total of 3 rounds.
1) Negative Accentuated Assisted Pull-ups
Using a dip/chin assist machine raise your body with both arms. At the top top release your right hand and lower yourself to an 5 second count using only your left arm. Repeat, lifting with both arms and lowering yourself with only your right arm this time. Do 4 reps on each arm alternating every rep.
2) Negative Accentuated Hanging Leg Raise
Lift your knees to your chest with your knees bent, straighten your legs out in front of you and lower to the starting position to a 5 seconds count. Perform 6-10 reps
3) Jump Squats
Do 20 reps.
If you stick with the tempos and rest intervals you should be able to finish this workout in under 30 minutes. After you do, peel yourself off the ground and give yourself a pat on the back - you’re done!