Resistance training is more important and far more effective than cardio for fat loss, and is an essential part of your training
Posted Sep 06 2010 2:26pm
The Essential 8
So, you want to get lean; you want to be ripped! You have your nutrition targeted at fat loss; you have your supplement regimen all ready. Now, you just need your training program sorted, and you will be ready to roll.
How do you train for fat loss? What are the best exercises to include? What is the best split to use? How much cardio do you do? How many recovery days do you take? The information available is varied and often contradictory, because what works for one individual does not always work for another. If that is the case, how does one go about setting up a training routine if everyone responds differently to different training program?
While everyone has their own methods of training for fat loss, there are several training methods, techniques and exercises that work effectively for everyone, no matter who they are, or what their training history is. Resistance training is an essential part of training for fat loss, and is far more effective than doing cardio - in fact, you do not even have to do cardio to get ripped!
There are eight exercises that everyone should include in their resistance training program:
Squat Deadlift Power Clean Bench Press Reverse Bent Over Row Pull-Ups Military Press Dips
Recommended Sets/Reps: 3 sets of 12 reps are recommended for each exercise, resting for 30 seconds in-between sets to maintain intensity and elevated heart rate for optimal fat loss.
Every exercise is a compound, multijoint exercise, ensuring that your training sessions are as effective and efficient as possible for fat loss, by recruiting multiple body-parts, including those that are not able to be exhausted in the same way with isolation exercises. Ironically, these exercises are the same ones that will help you build the most muscle mass - the only difference is the number of sets and reps, and the recovery period between sets used.
1. Squat The squat is the king of all exercises. Squats hit most muscle groups in the body, with emphasis on the core and large lower body muscles. The more muscle mass and motor units recruited during an exercise, the better the exercise for burning body fat, and the squat is the best of them all.
2. Deadlift If the squat is the king, then the deadlift is the queen - although both exercises can be used interchangeably with the royalty titles. The deadlift hits not just the back, but the entire core, recruiting and strengthening the large lower body muscles, from the shoulder girdle down to your hips and legs, with emphasis on the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and abdominals, strengthening and stabilizing the erector spinae and lower back.
3. Power Clean Similar to the deadlift in the muscles recruited - but without the ability to lift as heavy loads - the power clean is a compound power exercise that works the lower legs, quadriceps, gluteals, upper back, and deltoids. Not surprisingly, it is the power exercises that are the most effective exercises to use, and although the power clean is a difficult exercise, if done correctly, can be a real asset in your assault on fat loss.
4. Bench Press Another power exercise, the bench press is the primary exercise used to work the pectorals (and to some extent, the anterior deltoids and triceps). As with the squat, the bench press can be performed with many variations to target areas of the chest.
5. Reverse Bent Over Row Next to the lower body, the back is the biggest upper body muscle group, encompassing the entire area from the top of the trapezius down to the hips. Counterbalancing the bench press, the bent over row works the back. Even better than the traditional bent over row is the reverse bent over row, as it recruits more muscles than the former.
6. Pull-Ups After reverse bent over rows, pull-ups are the most complete exercise for back development - especially for the latissimus dorsi - and you hit every part of your back, from the wide part of your trapezius and latissimus dorsi, tapering down to your waist and lower back, just by using a combination of pull-up variations.
7. Military Press Also called a shoulder press, the military press targets the deltoids, and is generally done in a standing position - that way it forces the trainee to stabilize their core, instead of being able to use the bench for support (as they would in a seated military press).
8. Dips Dips are the best exercise you can do for your triceps. Beginners can start off doing bench dips - dips with their hands on a bench, their feet on the floor. Graduate to body weight dips on the dip bars. The experienced trainee can add weight to their dips by either holding a dumbbell between their feet or hanging a plate on a chain on a weight belt.