By Nick Nilsson
Author of Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss
If you want to burn fat, you've got to get your metabolism cranked up...and that means doing a LOT of activity in a short amount of time.
And that's where Fat Loss Circuit Training comes in...
If you're not familiar with the technique, I'll explain it very simply...you'll do a "normal" resistance workout, but instead of taking REST in between sets, you will do moderate-intensity cardio training.
So for example, this could mean doing one set of bench-press then 30 seconds of cardio. Then straight back to bench press, then 30 seconds cardio, and repeat, alternating resistance training sets with cardio training intervals.
Rather than go into full detail here, I've got a much more in-depth explanation of how Fat Loss Circuit Training works here.
Bottom line, it's an INCREDIBLY effective way to burn fat. You burn a TON of calories during the training itself because you're never really resting AND it gears up your metabolism for a long time afterwards. Training is extremely time-efficient because is literally not a single wasted second...you're moving during the entire workout.
How to do Bodyweight Fat-Loss Circuit Training
So THIS version of Fat Loss Circuit Training is done a little differently than what I explained in the link above. With this one, you'll be selecting three bodyweight exercises that work the "big" muscles of your body...chest, back and legs.
These are the real "hot spots" for fat loss training...you'll burn a lot more calories with a chin-up than you will with a dumbbell curl so when training for fat-loss, your efforts should be concentrated on these big muscle groups. Not that working the smaller muscles directly is bad...just that it's not nearly as effective in terms of overall metabolic effect.
The three bodyweight exercises I'm working with are chin-ups/pull-ups (I rotate between a few different grips and arm positions), push-ups (alternating between normal and close-grip) and single-leg reverse lunges on a Step riser (to get a deep stretch on the hamstrings and glutes).
Perform one set of one exercise, e.g. chins, going for as many reps as you can but staying a few reps short of failure...the goal here is not to push to the limits on the resistance training, but to push hard enough to work the muscles. The number of reps you get will likely diminish as you go through the workout...that's totally fine.
(You'll also notice in the pics and video that I'm training barefoot...I find this to be a great way to train and I can do it because I train in my basement. If you train at a gym and shoes are required, try to use "minimal" shoes as much as possible for this kind of training)
Now immediately go to the Step riser and start stepping. Use a moderate pace here...something you could keep up with a couple of minutes if you had to go straight through.
After 20 seconds (or however long you want to do the cardio for...anywhere between 20 to 40 seconds is a good range), then drop and do push-ups.
I've got my feet elevated on the Step riser in order to increase the resistance a bit.
Then go right back to the stepping. On this next round, lead with the other leg than what you started with before, i.e. if you started the step with the right leg the first time, start with the left leg this time. This will keep the workload on the legs balanced.
Next, go straight into the Reverse Lunge on the Step riser.
When doing this one, I actually found it useful to hold onto the upright of my power rack, for balance purposes, but it's not necessary. I found it especially useful the more and more fatigued my legs got from all the stepping.
Instead of alternating legs on each rep or doing all reps on one leg, then the other, I just alternated two reps on each leg. I find that gave me a nice balance between focused work on one leg and balanced work on both legs. You can do it however you prefer, though.
Now what you're going to do is continue repeating this circuit for the entire period of time you have set to train for. I chose to do this training style for 25 minutes straight. Anywhere between 10 minutes to 30 minutes is going to be fine for this.
The advantage of this is that you'll know EXACTLY how long your workout is going to take...which means you have a GOAL to shoot for.
As I mentioned above, I rotated through a few different variations of the exercises. I did chin-ups the first round, then wide-grip pull-ups then second round.
On the third round, I did reverse-grip chin-ups (palms forward). I don't have those pictured here.
For push-ups, I alternated between regular push-ups and close-grip push-ups, with my hands set about shoulder-width apart.
Overall, this is an EXCELLENT fat-burning workout. It targets both muscle mass and your cardiovascular system in one time-efficient workout.
You cover all your major muscle groups with lots of training volume and get your metabolism CRANKED.
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