“What are your goals?”

Client: “Well I wouldn’t mind losing some weight and getting toned up.”

“Ok, awesome! What are some of the things you’ve been doing up to this point?”

Client: “I’ll do the treadmill and elliptical mostly.”

Inner thoughts: facepalm

“Ok, anything else?”

Client: “Sometimes I’ll do like, burpees, or that thing where you jump over a bench like a pommel horse…”

Inner thoughts:  double-facepalm

Client: “…or some curls. And then these things” *demonstrates a tricep kickback*

Inner thoughts:  colbert-facepalm

Client: “And that’s about it. My diet is really good but I just can’t get toned up like I want!”

Ok, ok, so this exact conversation never actually happened, but you can bet very similar scenarios have occurred between us and clients. Which is why this post is being written. We want to help answer the question…

Just what is the best way to burn fat, and burn it fast?

The following 7 exercises (and all their variations) should be staples in anyones fat loss program. If they’re not, you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

But before we get started on that, just a quick note on fat loss.

Diet reigns supreme when it comes to shredding fat and looking like a Greek God or Goddess. If you’re trying to overhaul your fat loss workout routine, but routinely shovel crap food into your mouth, stop reading this. You’re fighting a losing battle. Go address what you’re eating on a daily basis and then worry about your workouts. Remember this…

For physique goals, 85% of your results will come from your nutrition.

Fat loss = clean eating.

You cannot out-train a bad diet.

Comprende muchacho?

But the other 15% of reaching your goal is still very important, and hitting the free weights is your number one priority in that regard. So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… 

The 7 Best Exercises You Can Do To Shred Fat And Make All Onlookers Say Stuff Like “Oh My Gaaaawd You Look Like A Snack Right Now. Please Have My Babies And Tell Me Your Secrets.”

1. Trap Bar Deadlifts

 

Nothing gets your heart rate elevated quite like a bunch of reps on the trap bar. It’s a lift that utilizes every muscle in your body so you’re definitely going to burn a ton of calories during and after you complete this movement.Trap bars might be a better choice over conventional barbells because it’s more user friendly for most people, which keeps you safe and injury free.

When performing these…

Do: create tension in your upper body throughout the whole lift by bracing your fists, lats, and abs. Squeeze your glutes hard at the top of every rep.

Don’t: jerk the bar off the ground, over extend your low back at the top of every rep, or scream like a jackass when you bang out your reps. Seriously, no one likes that.

How many: cycle between heavier (3-6) and moderate (8-12) rep ranges

2. Squats

Basically read the first 2 sentences for the trap bar section and BAM, same thing applies to squats. We love goblet squat variations because of the position of the weight really forces you to complete quality reps, making cheating that much harder. However barbell variations can work just fine as well.

When performing these…

Do: create tension in your upper body throughout the whole lift by bracing your fists, lats, and abs.

Don’t: turn these into good mornings (if you’re performing barbell back squats), let your heels come off the ground, or let your knees cave in.

How many: for goblet squats, perform anywhere from 5-20 reps. Anything with a barbell and you can go a little heavier if you so desire (3-5 reps)

3. Get Ups

getup

The instructions for this one are complicated so pay close attention and take notes if necessary. Lay flat on your back. Now stand up tall. Lay back down. Repeat for reps.

So simple…but not so easy, especially if you’ve got a few extra pounds on you.

There are no directions for this one. Literally no right or wrong ways to do this. Try to get up a different way every time. Don’t use your hands, try only using one foot, keep your right hand glued to your right knee, wear a weighted vest, or start laying on your side instead of your back. Get creative.

… and don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it either. You might be surprised at the effectiveness of this one.

This can also serve as a great and very easy warmup for virtually all ability levels.

When performing these…

Do: stand up completely tall after each rep, lay down completely flat at the start of each rep.

Don’t: uhhh there aren’t really any don’ts here as there are really no specific instructions on how to perform these. Don’t watch the Kardashians, how about that?

How many: 10-15 reps should be challenging, especially if you don’t allow yourself to use the same method twice

4. Farmers walks

 

Grab something heavy. Now go for a walk.

The farmers walk is what I like to call ‘the walking plank’. Regardless of how you choose to hold the weight, you’re going to have to fight to stay upright as you walk. Your postural muscles are going to work, your hips will burn, and your grip will beg for mercy. As will your fat.

Farmers walks are one of my all time favorite exercises. Here’s a quick rundown of all the benefits of these beautiful movements.

  • Single leg stability
  • Glutes and external rotators at the hip are worked
  • Core gets strengthened in a functional manner by resisting flexion, rotation, and extension
  • Your grip strength increases
  • Your rotator cuff gets strengthened
  • Postural muscles of the upper back put in serious work
  • Literally every other muscle not mentioned here works extra hard so you don’t collapse like a poorly made lawn chair
  • You burn fat. Hooray!

When performing these…

Do: grip the handles like you want to melt them, stay ‘tall and tight’, and try to walk a straight line.

Don’t: go too light otherwise it defeats the purpose. Avoid swaying, leaning, or rounding your shoulders forward.

How many: 25-100 yards with anything you deem “heavy” while doing so. Seriously, don’t overthink this one

5. KB swing

KB swings are awesome for a whole bunch of reasons. They work your glutes like no other exercise out there, add a power element to your routine (which is great for burning fat and preserving your youth), and they require very little equipment and even less space. Plus, even though your glutes are the focal point, it’s a full body lift that will leave you huffing and puffing after only 30 seconds of work.

heavy-breathing-fat-cat-meme-gif

^ you, after some swings

Make sure to do these with a decent snap of the hips though! It is a very common mistake to perform slow swings. A slow swing is NOT a swing! It’s a glorified front raise. If your shoulders get tired during a swing, you my friend, are not doing a swing.

When performing these…

Do: keep your abs braced throughout the entire swing, engage your lats like on a deadlift, SNAP your hips every rep, and finish each rep with a HARD squeeze of your glutes.

Don’t: over extend your low back when you finish a rep, squat when you swing the KB (remember, swings are a HINGE movement), or perform these slowly. 

How many: 10-25 reps

 

    6. Bear crawl

Anything named after an animal is probably going to suck, but in the best way possible. Bear crawls have you down on all fours, literally crawling forward, sideways, diagonally, or whatever direction makes you happy. These will challenge you physically as well as mentally, as you’ll need to move your opposite arm with your opposite leg in unison. Sounds easy, but you’ll be shocked at how many people struggle to do just that.

 

When performing these…

Do: move your opposite limbs in unison while moving (just like you do when you walk), keep your hips still and level, and take your time. It’s not a race. Slowing it down can actually makes these quite difficult.

Don’t: let your hips shoot up in the air as you’ll become light headed when you go to stand back up, or move the same side limbs in unison.

How many: 10-30 yards should be plenty

7. Thrusters

db-thruster

You can perform these with kettlebells, dumbbells, or barbells. I prefer KB’s and DB’s as the learning curve with barbells tends to be a bit steeper. Thrusters are simple but brutal. Basically combine a squat with a shoulder press and you’ve got yourself a thruster. Squat all the way down and as you come back up, press your weights above your head. Easy… but not easy.

When performing these…

Do: perform a full squat with the guidelines mentioned earlier, and brace your abs as your press the weight overhead.

Don’t: over extend your low back as your press overhead.

How many: sets of 5-20

And there you have it. Start performing these 7 exercises regularly and you’ll drop fat faster than Justin Timberlake dropped the rest of NSYNC.

chris-kirkpatric

JT might have forgotten you Chris, but we haven’t. 

If fat loss is your goal, knock it off with your isolation exercises and endless bouts of cardio. All of these exercises are multipoint, compound movements. Why is this good? More muscles working means more calories burned which means more fat lost. If you don’t believe us, we challenge you to swap your current workout for the following workout. Adjust weights accordingly, don’t rush, and make sure reps performed are quality reps.

  1. Trap bar deadlift x10
  2. Rest 1 min
  3. Squat x10
  4. Rest 1 min
  5. Get ups x10
  6. Rest 1 min
  7. KB swing x15
  8. Rest 1 min
  9. Bear crawl x15 yards
  10. Rest 1 min
  11. Thrusters x10
  12. Rest 1 min
  13. Repeat

3-5 rounds of this will be more exhausting and burn more fat than any group fitness class you might be taking right now. Give it a shot.

But remember, diet comes first!

Now go get you a six pack.

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