Cutting fat is a common workout goal. Whether you're trying to slim down for swimsuit season or for a bodybuilding contest, it is a necessary evil for many pursuits. Dietary modifications are important for cutting fat, but your workout routine is crucial as well. Although any calorie-burning activity can help you cut fat, certain techniques will help maximize the fat-torching potential of your workouts. Always consult your doctor before starting any workout routine so you can stay safe.
Cardio workouts cut fat because they burn calories and improve your long-term cardiovascular health. Cardio sessions aren't just for cutting fat, but if your goal is cutting fat, you'll want a particular type of cardio workout: high-intensity interval training. This type of training entails periods of all-out sprinting effort separated not by complete rest but by lower intensity movement for recovery. Interval training helps you burn more fat and also elevates your metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories throughout the day following your workout than you would without having exercised, a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC.
When trying to cut fat, it's best to combine resistance workouts with cardio. This will keep your routine interesting and will also help boost your metabolism. Resistance training helps build muscle, and muscle tissue boosts your metabolism by increasing the amount of calories you burn daily. The most effective fat-cutting exercises are those that incorporate large muscle groups, as those burn the most calories. Thus, the best fat-cutting exercises for your upper body are the bench press, the seated row, the pullup and the hang clean.
As with upper body resistance exercises, the best lower body exercises are those that incorporate large amounts of muscle, either through the use of large muscle groups or multiple muscles. You can enjoy efficient fat-burning success with exercises such as the squat, deadlift, lunge and jump squat. These exercises incorporate multiple muscle groups of your lower body, including large ones such as your quadriceps and hamstrings.
Rest days are important if you want to maximize muscle growth, as your muscles need time to recover and grow. But if you want to maximize calorie burning and fat loss, you can engage in other athletic activities on your rest days. Playing sports can help you burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health. Games such as basketball and flag football are good choices, as each burns 584 calories per hour. Meanwhile, racquetball burns 511 calories per hour, and bowling burns 219.
Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for Bloginity.com and Bodybuilding.com. He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.