By Jillian Zeller MeD, SCCC, CSCS, Pn1, FMS
Most people think to lose weight it’s as simple as calories in vs calories out; to some extent, that is true, but not for sustainable weight loss or a healthy lifestyle.
Your body stores excess calories as fat but fat can also be used as an energy source during exercise.
Muscle is the body’s most metabolic tissue; by training at higher intensities, you are preparing your body to burn more calories at rest. This is an easy way to increase your resting metabolism. When you work at higher intensities, your body needs more oxygen to repair and recover. Fats restore phosphagens that have been exhausted during high-intensity exercise. A mix of strength training and cardio with little rest intervals are the best interventions (outside of nutrition) for weight loss. Below are the top 5 exercises for weight loss.
HOW: With a flat back, bend your knees slightly to hinge your butt back to grab the kettlebell. Use your hamstrings and glutes to drive the kettlebell through your legs with speed. Use your quads and core to stabilize the kettlebell at the top of the swing. This should look like a continuous swing flying backwards and then stopping immediately.
WHY: This exercise targets a lot of major muscle groups—hamstrings, glutes, quads, and core. To burn fat, you can do this for sets of 5 with a heavy bell with 10s between. Or make this more of a cardio effect and go for 20-30s of continuous swings with a slightly lighter weight.
HOW: Stand in a quarter squat position, maintaining a flat back and tall chest. Slam the ropes down hard or fast.
WHY: This turns into a total body effort of the glutes, core, shoulders, and back. Complete this exercise for 20-60 seconds to get your heart rate high.
HOW: Drive into the ground as hard and fast as possible while maintaining a flat back and tight core. Make sure your shoulders and neck are also packed. The more aggressive the march, the faster the sled will go.
WHY: For speed and sprint performance, use lighter weights and move fast! Sled sprints are a great way to help your sprint mechanics during max effort sprints. For a different heart rate response, load the sled up and complete a heavy march for 20-25yards. This is a great way to mix strength training for your lower body and get a high heart rate response.
HOW: Grab two dumbbells or kettlebells and stand feet hip-width apart. Quickly dip your hips, drive through your thighs and punch the dumbells up to the ceiling. As you bring them down, restart the dip, and drive punch motion. It should look like an overhead press with some leg drive.
WHY: This also works for many main muscle groups. Glutes and quads, as well as core and shoulder stability. This is a complex total body motion. You can keep your heart rate high with either 20-30s of work or just 3-5 efforts at heavier weights.
5- Walking Lunges
HOW: Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell to hold on to your chest. Walk as if you’re stepping up and over something, continuously alternating your legs. As your quads, calves, glutes, and core start to burn, continue to walk or add more weight.
WHY: There are also many lunge variations. Forward, reverse and step up are all ways to work big muscle groups still and keep your heart rate high.
In summary, to keep your metabolism high, train at high intensities. DO NOT skip meals. Fewer calories mean less available to burn at rest and during exercise. This results in a slower metabolism and could lead to weight gain. Lift heavy weights, keep your heart rate high and eat healthy fats.