Have you ever been told that you can do specific workouts for fat loss?
Or have you been told that specific exercises make you burn fat?
If you have, you’ve been lied to. Because a workout or an exercise isn’t what makes you burn fat. Only being in a calorie deficit can do that. Which means eating fewer calories than you burn.
Getting Your Nutrition Right Is What Makes You Burn Fat
Nutrition is arguably the most important aspect of fat loss. Because if you don’t work out. But you set up your nutrition correctly. You can still lose fat.
Although if you just workout, and your nutrition is garbage you’ll never lose fat.
Training Is The Glue That Ensures That You Hang On To Muscle While You’re Losing Fat
When you workout your goal shouldn’t be to burn as many calories as possible.
It should be to maintain strength (while losing fat) or build strength (If you’re in a muscle gain phase). Although if you’re a newbie. You can get stronger/ build muscle while losing fat. This is called a body recomposition.
Strength training will result in you maintaining/ building more muscle compared to if you didn’t strength train.
The Calorie Deficit Puts Your Body In A Fat Burning Environment
When you’re in a calorie deficit your body uses your fat stores as energy to make up for your calorie deficit. Which results in fat loss over time.
And because weight training is the glue that helps you maintain/build muscle in a calorie deficit.
It’s what helps you keep your muscle. And if you didn’t strength train you’d just become a weaker, smaller version of yourself.
This Is Why Workouts For Fat Loss Are BS
If you’re like most people and you don’t keep track of your nutrition.
If this is you and you perform multiple ” fat-burning ” workouts per week. There’s no guarantee that you’ll lose fat.
But because you’re doing “fat burning workouts” You think you’ll lose fat. You won’t if you’re not in a calorie deficit.
Because for all I know you could be eating more food than you need to be. And not putting yourself in a calorie deficit.
You might even be eating in a calorie surplus. Which means eating more calories than you burn.
Which will lead to you gaining fat. Not losing it.
This is one of the reasons why I’m such a big proponent of flexible dieting.
Which is where you track your calories and macronutrients. And if you do it properly you’ll eat the right amount of calories to get to your goals on a consistent basis.
Without completely restricting certain food groups or so-called “fattening foods”.
If You’re In A Calorie Deficit Any Workout Is A Fat Burning Workout
If you set your calories up using my free fat loss guide you can set your calories up for fat loss. I also give you a home bodyweight workout that you can do.
The Best Workout Style To Help You Maintain Your Muscle While Losing Fat
Reverse pyramid training is in my opinion the best workout style to use when you’re losing fat. The reason for this is because it’s:
1. Low volume meaning you’re not in the gym for hours doing tons of sets.
2. Every set is for as many reps as possible (AMRAP) so you get the most out of each set.
3. You only train 3x per week and you utilise the most effective exercises.
If you want to learn more about this training methodology click here.
Why Are Fat Burning Workouts Normally High-Intensity Interval Training?
In my opinion. These “fat burning workouts” should be more aptly called high-calorie burning workouts.
Due to the fact that most “fat burning workouts” are high-intensity interval training, ( think a high-intensity exercise like sprints or workout classes that have you working out at high intensities/ circuit classes with a rest in between), you burn more total calories per hour than steady-state cardio ( walking) and moderate-intensity cardio (running).
But its also a lot more draining on your recovery. And you can’t do it for very long before tiring out.
So, in my opinion, most people would fair better just doing some steady-state cardio or moderate-intensity cardio for longer. Instead of doing HIIT.
If you’re In a calorie deficit, even walking can be classed as a fat-burning exercise.
That’s right. Walking Can help you lose fat. Who’d of thought? It’s actually the easiest type of cardio that you can do for fat loss.
And if walking becomes a regular habit you can burn on average up to 2100 extra calories per week.
The Calorie Burn For Different Exercises
You now know that you first need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat. So if you’re now eating in a calorie deficit you can add whatever cardio you like (or even perform “fat-burning” classes or workouts). And this will help you burn fat faster.
Your choice of cardio should be one that you enjoy. And that fits in with your lifestyle. For example, performing high-intensity interval training if you hate doing it. isn’t a good choice.
You could choose a less intense type of cardio instead, like walking or running.
Although if you’d like to walk an hour every night. But because of your life circumstances, this isn’t feasible and you only have 30 minutes to spare. Then high-intensity interval training may be a perfect choice. Because HIIT can be performed in 30 minutes or less.
Here are 8 different types of cardio that you can choose from. Choose the one that you can stick to and enjoy.
Should You Do Fat Burning Workouts?
It’s entirely up to you. I would say though to make sure you’re in a calorie deficit first and foremost. And also doing some type of strength training to maintain your muscle.
And then on top of this. If you like. You can add some of the so-called “fat-burning workouts” to your plan.
The specific workouts I’m talking about are the cardio type of workouts like exercise classes. And workouts/ exercises that claim to burn fat. One in particular that I can think of is called “fat burn”.
Note: These workouts will only burn fat if you’re in a calorie deficit.
Be Very Sceptical Of Anything That Claims To ” Burn Fat ” There Are No Specific Workouts/ Exercises For Fat Loss You Can’t Short Cut Calories In Vs Calories Out
The reason marketers say that their workout classes, foods, supplements and other products burn fat, is simple.
It’s because it sounds much sexier than the truth. If these marketers were to sell you the truth it might go something like this.
” Try this new calorie-burning program. That will only help you lose fat if you conscientiously track your nutrition. Maintain/build your strength and above all make sure you’re in a calorie deficit. Otherwise, this program will not do much for you, other than burning a few calories.”
“Do this workout to burn fat in x amount of days.”
Can you see which one sounds more sexy, easy and simpler? Its the shorter one. The one that makes a false promise.
I also see this with Ab classes, They peddle benefits such as ” tone, build strength and power, target the specific area”. You’re only going to build strength and power if you increase your whole body strength by getting stronger at the compound exercises.
These classes don’t tone you all by themselves. They Might help to a certain degree. But if you’re not in a calorie deficit and training for whole-body strength you won’t become “toned”.
” Toning ” Is a word I don’t really like. It’s kind of a lie if I’m honest. Because you can’t tone. You can only lose fat and build muscle. Not tone. You get the toned look only if you get to a low enough body fat percentage of 8-12% for men or 18-22% for women or lower.
The Bottom Line On Are There Specific Workouts For Fat Loss?
- No there aren’t. The only way a workout can burn fat is if you’re in a calorie deficit. And even then you could even class walking as a fat-burning workout.
- Be very sceptical of anything that promotes fat burning. No single thing can cause you to burn fat. It’s a mixture of your diet, training, sleep etc.
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