Caffeinate Before Workouts
If you’re not too sensitive to caffeine, gulping down 200 mg before your workout—whether it’s cardio or weights—can help liberate some of that stubborn stored body fat. The extra energy boost from caffeine will also help keep your lifts high and help combat any fatigue you might be feeling from your reduced-calorie diet.
Supplement with Fish Oil
In addition to research pointing towards fish oil andomega-3 supplements as a means to help slow down the body’s aging process, fish oil decreases your resting heart rate. Why is this beneficial? A slower heart rate means you’ll have to work harder (i.e., burn more calories) to reach your target heart rate during your cardio sessions.
Skipping out on low-rep training just because you’re dieting is a terrible idea. The easiest way to hold on to lean mass while dieting is to remind your body that it needs all the muscle it has. To maintain maximum muscle while dieting, start your training sessions off with a big compound moment in the 3-5 or 4-6 rep range. Low-rep training stimulates all muscle fibers—from slow to fast twitch. Choose a heavy weight that’s challenging.
Make Compound Movement Your Foundation
The benefits of compound movements are pretty simple: They allow you to lift heavier weights, recruit more muscles, and burn more calories. Lose the leg extensions, and squat instead!
Increase Non-Exercise Physical Activity
When you’re trying to drop body fat, every extra calorie you burn takes you one step closer to your goal. Increase your activity and burn more calories. Begin by taking some of these steps:
- Park farther away at work or when shopping.
- Instead of sitting, stand while taking phone calls at work.
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs.
- Don’t drive around the corner to the store—walk!
Progressively Increase Your Cardio
There comes a point where you cannot add more high-intensity exercise such as resistance training and interval training to your routine. Instead, add additional low-intensity cardio as needed. Progressively adding training and cardio volume as needed—and not right off the bat— gives your body the best chance for long-term weight-loss success.
Interval sprints done as part of high-intensity interval training are another great fat-loss strategy. Two or three 20-minute sessions can be a great addition to your training program. Sprinting burns a great deal of calories in a short amount of time and improves metabolism.
Limit Rest Between Sets
Keep your training goals in mind when you’re lifting. While cutting down on your break time between sets might mean you can’t lift as heavy with each rep, that’s OK. You’re not going after strength here. Instead, limiting your rest periods will keep your heart rate up and allow you to burn more calories.
When your focus is fat loss, you shouldn’t be pushing yourself to the absolute max. If you do, your ability to recovery will be compromised. Compromised recovery and training to failure don’t mix. Make sure to keep one rep “in the hole.”