leg-press

Weight Loss Tips – Maximum Muscle Stimulation for Fat Loss

Today’s weight loss tips are about exercise and how to best use your time in the gym to get more work done, stimulate more muscle and burn more fat. They say that building muscle while burning fat can’t be done, and that you should focus on one or the other, never both. That said, what if you just wanted to burn fat as efficiently as possible, end workout boredome make your time in the gym as quick as possible. These three weight loss tips are the very thing to take you in that direction.

leg press

Weight Loss Tips

1 Focus your training on the largest muscle groups:
The largest muscle groups of the body are the legs, back and chest. By working the largest muscle groups, primarily, you end up putting a larger demand on your body for energy and nutrition. Then a larger demand on your body for repair of that muscle tissue. You burn fat twice, first when you’re actually training and secondly when your body is busy rebuilding the muscles.

Arms (tricep and bicep) are smaller muscles, and where training certainly makes them look good and allows you to work harder on pushing and pulling movements, they don’t burn as much fat as the larger muscles.

As my trainer says, even if you don’t specifically train arms, they still get worked when you’re doing chest and back movements.

Chest – Bench press, Incline bench press, decline bench press, flies, pushups etc
Back – Bent over row, one arm dumbbell row, pull downs, pull ups, chins, seated rows
Legs – Squat, hack squat, leg press, lunges

So for maximum fat loss, create workout routines for the largest muscle groups.


2 Work as many muscle groups as possible in each training session:
Stimulate as much muscle fiber as possible in each training session. Bodybuilders often train one body part per workout such as chest one day, back one day, legs on another, finishing with shoulders and arms on the last day.

By training one body part per day, they focus their intensity on that one part which stimulates growth.

For fat loss purposes, working the legs, back and chest all on the same day, during an intense 20 minute or 45 minute workout, more muscle fibers are stimulated resulting in a greater “after burn”. More stimulation, more fat lost.

Turbulence Training is a great example of doing short intervals using body weight exercises designed to build strength while burning fat at the same time. describes more about the in a recent .

If you want to burn maximum amount of fat while building muscle, exercise your entire body, the largest muscle groups, during each workout.

3 Get as much work done in your workout as possible:
In weight loss tip number 2, I suggested training the entire body during each workout to stimulate as much muscle fiber as possible in each workout. Well what about doing as much stimulation as possible in the same amount of time? If you increase the amount of work performed during the same amount of time, you exert more energy and can build more fat burning muscle.

Traditionally, a workout where you worked the entire body in one session, might go like this:

Chest Workout

Bench press – 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets
Dumbbell flies – 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds between sets

Back Workout

Lat pulldowns – 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds between sets
One arm dumbbell rows – 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds between sets

Leg Workout

Squats – 3 sets of 10 reps with 90 seconds between sets
Lunges – 3 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds between sets

To summarize, you do two exercises per body part – lift, rest, repeat

… That’s traditional….

… Do This Instead:

Supersets

To get more work done in the same amount of time, I would suggest doing supersets. A superset is working two exercises back to back.

One superset might be a bench press followed immediately with dumbbell flies, then the rest time. This is a superset using the same muscle group, but you could also superset muscle groups that are not related, or oppose one another. An example would be to do the bench press followed immediately with lat pulldowns, or seated rows followed by dumbbell flies.

If you’ve never done this before, there are a number of things you might experience.

  1. You might not have the energy to complete 10 reps of each exercise
  2. You might have to lower the weights of one or both exercises in order to complete them
  3. You may become more sore the next day because your body is being stimulated in ways it’s not used to
  4. you burn more fat and build more muscle

By doing supersets, you’re simply doing more work in the given time as well as stimulating your body in new ways. New stimulation is good for growth as well as breaking workout boredom.

It should be noted that to properly utilize supersets for the purpose of getting more work done during your time in the gym, you have to be diligent about the clock. Taking time to chat with your gym friends or spend too much time between sets doesn’t help.

During any exercise for fat loss phase, supersets should be utilized as much as possible.

There is a big difference between bodybuilding and fat loss. If you want to get in shape, begin exercising, find a good personal trainer and become a regular at the gym or at least workout in your home. If you want to make the best use of your time though and want to burn as much fat as possible in as little time as possible, I would recommend the tips above. Focus on the largest muscle groups, work your entire body during each workout stimulating as much muscle fiber as possible and make efficient use of your time by supersetting your exercises.

13 Comments

  1. Hats off to you my friend, I believe you must have lost your weight through not just a good regime but a good mindset too. I think this shows how a good self image is the key. Please email me, I as believe the metaphysical aspect is what changed, you knew what you wanted to look like. I think whether we use ephedra, weight centre, surgery…if we dont think or feel good it wont make us happy or confident.

  2. Jerry Thompson May 17, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Very good article, Rob. Not only for fat loss but providing basic exercises for getting fit.

  3. Thanks Jerry and Thank you Neil. I’ll be in touch.

  4. Excellent suggestions. Especially about working the large muscles, your trainer is dead right that the arms will get worked anyway. I always make more progress with biceps and triceps when I do bench presses, pushups, rows, and pulldowns than when doing biceps curls and triceps kickbacks. My husband had incredible development with his calves doing deadlifts, lunges and squats, compared to no result at all doing hundreds of calf raises.

  5. Marla – it’s always nice to know that you read my blog.

    I train arms once a week if that, just to give them some different stimulation and let them know that I know they’re still there, lol.

  6. Of course I read it! I get such good ideas here. I’m just getting ready to start an era of bodyweight supersets and Turbulence-type workouts, as I’m currently changing my focus from strength-building to fat loss. I just had a PB with bench press – 100 lbs! I don’t whether that is a lot to anyone else, but for me it’s huge. It seems like a good time to try something else for a while ;-)

  7. Rob,

    This is a great information. I was diabetic (Type II) and in poor health at a weight of 340 lbs. I needed the assistance of a lap-band device to jump start my weight-loss (I am now 256 lbs with no diabetes) which I had put in 4 months ago but now need to balance the jump start with traditional methods. I currently walk/jog 17 miles a week and continue to loose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 lbs a week and was looking for a weight training that I could easily adapt to my schedule and the info you have provided is great!

    First time on the site, man tons of great info. Would you mine me sharing this post on my blog?

    Thanks for the great post/info.

  8. I have always heard that training legs is the best way to drop fat b/c its the largest muscle group. And that makes sense in theory, but I’ve never quite been able to shed the spare tire around my belly.

    I’m kind of wondering wonder how much of this is used to help the contestants on Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition drop so much weight so fast? Has anyone caught that show yet? It has really inspired me to get up and get moving again- it’s crazy how much those people drop in such a short period of time. So far they haven’t shared the workouts yet – I’m sure that’s b/c the trainer on there doesn’t want to reveal any of his secrets. But there has to be SOMETHING that they’re doing to lose literally HUNDREDS of pounds in just a years time.

    Seriously great show if you’re not watching it – you should be. Every Monday I think. But be warned, its a tear jerker!

  9. Aesthetic Muscle July 31, 2011 at 11:46 am

    When you’re first starting a fat loss program, I agree with this article as well to do train your total body and not split it up like a traditional bodybuilding program. You get a greater calorie burn and a total overall exhaustion of your body. This is how I started my fat loss transformation as well :)

  10. The shorter the workout and more intense it is the more muscle building and fat loss hormones you are going to turn on. It all about intensity and proper pre and post meals.

  11. Thanks for the tips….I work with a trainer and between the two of you ….there are a lot of similarities in regards to training. Good to get the same answer to my questions from two different people. So….somebody must know what they are talking about. : )

  12. ok. excellent. I am not a hard core gym person but I am trying to work out more wisely since I do have limited time & have quite a few fitness goals.

  13. Awesome post, Rob. Thanks for detailing this info for us.

    Gerrid

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