When you need to get dialed-in quickly, you don’t want to hear a lecture on advanced meal planning, scheduled cardio and weeks’ worth of fat-burners.
You want to know what you can do right now to get your body tight and lean. Well, you’re in luck today – we had expert trainers, physique artists and lab rats fill us in on their 5 best advice on what you can do to get the job done, pronto. And the best news, there’s more than one way to kill the fat fast – so follow a couple, stay consistent and watch the fat melt.
1. Don’t Panic
First thing first, do not panic. Panic is the worst thing you can do when trying to lean-up. When you panic, that usually leads to overdoing cardio. When you simply try to sweat it out, it forces your body to hold back its fat stores.
Instead, restrict your calories intake a bit and time your carb intake around your workouts. Increase the pace and volume of your workouts to help with additional calorie burning while forcing the muscles to suck up the water around them. It probably goes without saying that you need to increase your overall protein intake to maintain muscle and metabolism.
When you really need to fit into your dress last minute, do a water depletion cycle – where you reduce overall water in your body and force your muscles to pull it in. The end effect is achieved even if you don’t hit your desired body fat – your muscles are harder and leaner overall. Besides, you can always just suck in the gut, don’t slouch, and when you need to let it all out, make sure no one is looking!
2. Get Complex
No need to abandon the barbells and run for cardio row. Continue with weight lifting but try barbell complexes that are performed as quickly as possible, moving exercise to exercise with no break.
To construct a complex, you could do 5-8 squats, followed by 5-8 squats-to-presses (or thrusters), followed by 5-8 good mornings, followed by 5-8 power cleans, followed by 5-8 bent-over rows and finally finished off with 5-8 deadlifts.
Here are some simple guidelines to remember when developing your own fat-shredding complex:
- Use compound exercises
- Perform exercises as quickly as possible while maintaining proper technique
- Do not rest between exercises
- Try your best not to drop the bar
- Start with an empty bar and add weights in increments of 5-10 pounds
- Do 5-7 exercises per complex, each set consisting of 5-8 repetitions
- Rest 1-3 minutes between sets, doing no more than four sets. The total duration should be no more than 15 minutes.
Complexes work because they are essentially intervals done with weights, which stimulates your post-workout metabolism much greater than long, slow cardio. Additionally, studies have shown intense intervals increase anabolic hormone response post-workout.
3. Find A Hill
When trying to get ultra lean, people often bemoan how much time is required of them at the treadmill. Well, these folks are not only limiting how much fat they can burn – and how fast – but they are displaying a gross lack of imagination.
Without a doubt, when you need to get lean in a hurry, nothing can compare to some challenging hill sprint workouts. They are the best way to blast fat without tapping into quality muscle, which long, steady-state cardio is known to do.
No other cardio-type workout produces fat loss results while also actually building muscle as quickly as hill sprinting does. To get peeled quickly, do 15-20 short sprints per workout up to five times per week. If you have more time and want to take advantage of what they have to offer, 2-3 times per week should suffice.
Remember to start with a detailed, dynamic warm-up and to finish with some static stretching.
4. Push It
If you have not tried it yet, you’re definitely missing out. NFL training techniques are not just for men – some good ol’ NFL-style combine training can work wonders on releasing fat stores for women.
The best quick fat-burner of all-time is the sled push. Because you don’t want to lose momentum, you are forced to work as hard as possible to keep moving the weight. It works every muscle in the body, causing a huge metabolic disturbance and a nice release of muscle growth hormones, which further aid in fat burning.
If you have access to a sled and somewhere to push it, add enough weight to make it challenging to get off the line, then work up to distances of 20 yards or more. Rest 30 seconds between pushes and work up to 10-15 total per session. No sled available? Drive to a large parking lot with a training sister or brother and take turns pushing the car in neutral. Yes, for reals.
5. Evaluate, Re-evaluate
If you’re not as lean as you want to be, more work may not be the easy answer to your problem. If you have already been trying to get lean and still have lots of work to do, then you have to find out what you haven’t been doing.
Since the body adapts so quickly to aerobic exercises, it is important to mix it up. Most likely you have not tried a 10-20 min high intensity workout – maybe because of the difficulty – but you should give it a try.
If it too hard for yourself to push it, then get a partner of a trainer to motivate you along the workout. This high intensity workout can be with any movement really. A lot of trainers like to combine barbell complexes with sprints. If you can hold a conversation when it is over and stand up under your own power you may have gone too easy on yourself.
In other words, train like a boss and the results will follow. It may not suffice to do traditional workouts that your body is accustomed to, even if you think they’re challenging. Using a training partner or coach to push you can really take you out of your comfort zone and into Leanville.