1. Strength Train with heavy weights.
Yes, it’s true that strength training will help you get lean. And no, you don’t have to worry about looking like Arnold in his prime, if it were that easy, all men would look like him.
There are a bunch of ways that strength training helps you get leaner. First, it causes an increase in your metabolism that can last for up to 3 days. Train two days in a row, and that effect is compounded. Second, it improves insulin sensitivity. Manipulating insulin in a favorable way is the most effective way to get leaner. If fact, for people with Diabetes Type II or who are pre-diabetic strength training is by far the most effective. Third, it adds lean muscle to the body, which permanently increases your metabolism. An elevated metabolism means the weight keeps coming off, and stays off.
2. Keep your reps high(er) and your rest periods short.
To lose fat, you should train with 8-20 repetitions per set, and should keep rest periods short, 30-75 seconds. This causes the body to burn stored energy for fuel, because you cannot process oxygen fast enough. It also will increase Growth Hormone, which helps build muscle and burn fat (in addition to making you look younger). When using this method it’s best to alternate between two or more exercises (i.e. do pushups, rest, then squats, rest, then pushups again). However I will warn you, this training will cause the “muscle burning” and may make you feel nauseous. This means you’re doing it right. However we do not recommend bulimia for weight loss, so back off or stop if you actually feel like you’re going to throw up.
3. Call it after about 40 minutes.
If you can train longer than 40-50 minutes, one of two things is going on: you’re making friends and not paying attention to your training; or you aren’t training hard enough. You’re going to the gym to achieve something, leave making friends for Facebook. If you do train longer than 40-50 minutes you’ll over-stress the body, and ultimately do more harm than good. If you get to the end of your workout, and feel like you could keep going, then you didn’t push hard enough. You should be GRATEFUL that your last rep is over.
For more tips to help you succeed this year check out these posts: