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Non-Cardio Fat Loss

Six weeks into the program, you’ll start doing complexes three days a week. Prior to that, we only ask that you hit them once or twice. For the rest of the days of the week, you can either continue with your current workout routine or, God forbid, do regular cardio (but it isn’t required).

We’re leaving it completely up to you. However, by Week 6, your body is going to need your undivided attention to perform these complexes and recover from them, and that means you must cease any other training. The last thing you want is to push yourself for eight weeks only to end up overtrained at the end, when you should be at your peak.

From now on, consider yourself the Human Torch from Fantastic Four.You’ll be performing compound lifts (exercises that require the coordination of several muscle groups) without rest in between, and that can burn hundreds of calories. Not only that, but the recovery process your body will go through after each workout will raise your metabolism for a day or so afterward—yes, you keep burning calories at an elevated rate long after you put the weights down—so don’t do any heavy training the day after, so you’ll have time to recover. Furthermore, studies have shown that the calories burned in the hours after a workout come largely from stored fat, as opposed to muscle or carbohydrates.

Hey, you’re lifting weights! Not only is that less monotonous than running in place for 45 minutes until you’ve ex-hausted your iPod, but it demands much more concentration. You have to support heavy loads and move quickly between exercises, so each run becomes more like a challenge to your resolve— rather than another run-of-the-mill workout you have to trudge through.

Flip through the next few pages and look at the exercises in each complex workout. Think about how they work your body. You should notice that every time you’re asked to make a pushing motion (such as in a bench press), you follow it up at some point with a pulling motion. This isn’t by accident. Balancing the movement patterns in your workouts leads to balanced muscle development, and that results in better posture, more efficient movement, and more complete muscularity. We all have a tendency to favor one side or one exercise over another when we train— now you can even things out.

Jim Smith is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (C.S.C.S.) and competitive strongman in Sayre, Pa. Visit him at 35 Percentage more fat lost by subjects who trained with circuits like the ones shown here than aerobic exercise, according to a study from Penn State University



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