Make a change

Many of us start a fitness program looking to change our body composition or body fat percentage.

Often, when I meet with a client for their initial assessments, we talk about their goals and clients generally want to look a certain way in their clothes.


Although muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, (yes, you heard me correctly. A pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as a pound of fat – the clue is in the word ‘pound’) muscle tissue takes up much less space than fat tissue does.

This leads to someone weighing 150 pounds with 20% body fat looking drastically different than a 150 pound person with 25% body fat.

Ways to burn fat effectively through exercise

The main strategies I use include employing  large muscle groups in exercises as frequently as possible and minimizing rest periods. Using large muscle groups works to burn fat efficiently because the more muscles you work, the more calories you burn. Burning more calories leads to burning fat.

– One pound of fat is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories.

Therefore, the more calories you can burn during your workout, the closer you will get to that 3,500 calorie goal.

Minimizing your rest periods allows your body to take advantage of a concept called “excess post exercise oxygen consumption” or EPOC.

EPOC is the after burn effect that keeps you burning calories even after you finish an exercise or your workout. The less rest time you take, the higher your heart rate will remain and you will be able to take advantage of a higher EPOC and caloric burn.

Fat burning exercises

Weight training is an incredibly effective modality of exercise to burn fat and build a lean, toned body. There are many exercises that allow you to burn maximal calories in minimum time.

For each of these exercises, you want to use a weight that only allows you to complete the allotted number of repetitions. If you feel like you can do more than the allotted number of repetitions, you should select a heavier weight.

1. Kettlebell swing

4 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Be sure with the kettlebell swing you are using your posterior chain (hamstrings and glutes) to power the exercise. Try not to squat and perform a front lift with your arms.

2. Push press

fat burning exercises_24 sets of 10-12 repetitions

To complete the push press, begin with dumbbells at your shoulders. Drop your body into a one-quarter depth squat and explode up. As you explode up, press your arms overhead. Control the movement of the weights back to your shoulders and repeat.

3. Lunge with curl

4 sets of 8-10 repetitions each leg

To complete this exercise, grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Lunge forward and complete a biceps curl at the bottom of the lunge. Step forward and repeat on the other side.

4. Lateral lunge with row

4 sets of 8-10 repetitions each leg

For this exercise, step to the right with your right leg and bend your right knee into a lateral lunge, keeping your feet parallel. As you lower into the lunge, complete a bent over row. Return to center and repeat on the left.

5. Deadlift to shrug

4 sets of 10-12 repetitions

For the deadlift to shrug, stand behind a barbell. Complete a deadlift and as you stand shrug your shoulders. Return to the starting position and repeat.

I hope you enjoy these fat burning exercises!

You can complete them each as part of a total body workout, or you can incorporate them into your current routine. Be sure to give yourself at least a day’s rest in between if you are completing total body workouts to allow for full recovery.

Connect with Expert Sarah Walentynowicz

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