If you are part of the population of people who already know exactly what to do when you set foot in a gym, than do not read this blog post. Now if you are someone who feels lost or confused on what you should be doing in the gym then this is for you.
Hundreds of people each day enter the gym all seeking a solution to their problem. Usually we are overweight and want to lose some flab, our energy is low and we need to add more activity in our day to feel better or we are tired of being in pain/moving poorly due to our sedimentary lifestyles.
Making the decision to hit the gym is just the first part. What you should actually do when you get there is another thing.
There are 3 part to training that can be crucial for attaining real sustainable results:
- Strength Training
- Conditioning & Cardio
- Mobility, Flexibility & Pre-Hab
In today’s post we will cover the second on this list and give you our top 5 forms of conditioning workouts that we use at Impact to help people drop 15 to 25 pounds in 8 weeks.
But first…Do Not… I Repeat…Do Not Do Traditional Cardio For Fat Loss.
First and foremost, running on treadmills, elliptical machines, cycling and other steady state cardio routines are not the best style of cardio to lose fat, inches and clothing sizes.
They are great for cardiovascular fitness but terrible for changing body composition. If your goal is to lose fat while maintaining lean muscle then you want to focus on what we call Metabolic Conditioning.
These have become more and more popular as science has changed and more people are training like athletes.
Is has been a few years since mixed martial arts has become more mainstream. With it has come boot camp workouts, cross fit boxes and kick boxing dojos on every corner. All of these training systems will help you get lean and push your stamina to new limits.
How do you know what kind of cardio you should do?
First things first.
Pick the one that you feel fits you the best. You have to have fun with your training or it will not be sustainable.
Here are a few other things to consider when making your choice:
- No training system should beat you down
- No coach should yell at you to do more when you are at high levels of fatigue
- No program should make you feel like you must be crushed in order to get results
In my career in fitness personal trainers and coaches have gotten a bad rap making it harder to educate people on simple, effective training strategies that deliver far better results.
What your cardio workouts include:
Proper Work To Rest Ratios – More magic happens when you allow your body to recover before starting another round of work. The object is to work for brief period (20 to 60 seconds) while resting 1:1, 1:2 or 1:3 ratios. This will depend on your fitness level.
Exercises Done With Correct Form – It is a bad idea to use an exercise that you are unfamiliar with in your workout. Try to stick to exercises that you can do with excellent form. Keep it simple because you can always increase intensity and difficulty later.
Some Kind of Resistance – Using resistance in training can really help you work your body harder. This can be body weight exercises like push-ups lunges and squats. You can throw a TRX or a Kettle Bell into your workout or advanced conditioning can include barbells and pull ups.
Top Five Conditioning Workouts:
- Sprints & Sleds
Where most go wrong with running is not running fast enough. Sprinting allows you to activate more muscle mass which means you burn more calories. A lot of beginners shouldn’t just jump into running 40 yard dashes!
Starting off you can use a sled to slow down your stride. You will have to push into the sled causing your body to work in over drive in order to move the weight across the floor or field.
- Energy Circuits
Timed intervals using 3 or more exercises would qualify as an energy circuit. The idea is to do one exercise for the specific time given followed by a brief rest period. Once the rest period is over you change to the next exercise for the timed period.
Example of a circuit: 3 Total Sets of (30 sec. on & 20 sec. off)
Body Weight Squats
Below is a video of some of our training. Some of the video shows our strength program but it really does a great job of showing off how fun our Team Training System is.
- Loaded Carries
Loaded carries are great for strength as well as conditioning. Loaded carries are simple and everyone can do them. Pick up some weights and walk. That is it! Holding on to weights for a long period of time works your heart rate because you are stabilizing core muscle the entire time while moving.
You can also throw I sled pulls with this category. Slap some straps on to a sled and pull the sled for 40 to 60 yards followed by a rest. You can do these with a partner to make it a challenge.
Complexes are by far the most popular exercise in our gym. At Training For Warriors South Jersey we use complexes on our total body speed strength day.
The idea is to use one piece of equipment (Barbell, Dumbbell, Kettle Bell etc.). You pair up 3 to 10 exercises and move through them all without putting the weight down. Use the same rep scheme for every exercise and make sure you keep the weight light because fatigue starts to add up and make it more difficult towards the end.
Rest and repeat for 3 to 5 sets total.
- Body Weight Circuits
I love these because they can be done anywhere with no equipment. You can mix strength exercises with calisthenics. You can even throw in some abs to hit those trouble areas!
Body weigh circuits are fun and can be done in large groups due to the lack of space needed. You might have seen body weight circuits in workouts like insanity or other dvd type follow along type workouts.
- Sit Outs
- Push Ups
- Alternating V Ups
- Mountain Climbers
- Jump Squats
There you have it. 5 workouts that you should be doing to burn fat. Sometimes putting these workouts together can be a little confusing. You need balance and most of all time. If you would like to by pass all of the effort and have a done for you system coached by motivating coaches who don’t yell and screen then click the link to see if our 8 Week Transformation is for you.
We do this Team Training program every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at Training For Warriors South Jersey. Being part of our 8 Week Transformation you will also get 2 Small Group Personal Training Sessions plus Team Training and Nutrition coaching so that you too can lose 15 to 25 pounds in 8 weeks.