6 Best Fat Burning Workouts: Burn Your Fat with These Moves

Author: Lee Bell

February 5th 2019

These are the best fat burning workouts to take your shred to a completely new level. 

Diet is key to a healthy, lean body composition. It’s only by controlling energy balance that you trigger the changes needed by your body to use stored fat as fuel.

The problem with relying on diet alone though is that the process is super slow…. and you’ll not improve muscle performance or fitness either.

Combining a healthy diet with effective, time-efficient fat burning exercises boosts progress and supercharges results.

The workouts chosen by our team of coaches, trainers and sport scientists are the best fat burning workouts on the planet. They’re the kind of intense systems that target, locate and annihilate your fat cells without hesitation.

They’re basically the snipers of the workout world.

..and it’s time to lock and load.

Workout 1: Calisthenics

Mastering your own body is a great way to get lean, strong and athletic.

If you don’t feel like hitting the gym but are still up for a muscle-toning, fat-shredding challenge, try body weight calisthenics.

The beauty of calisthenics is you can make each workout as easy or as challenging as you need to. It all comes down to knowing how leverage and gravity affects the difficulty of each exercise.

Use full-body calisthenic exercises such as pulls, press-up variations and core work to turn up the burn. You’ll not only scorch your muscles with intense exercises, but also receive an aggressive cardio stimulus too – the perfect fat burning workout combination.

Example workout

  • Parallel bar dip
  • Squat jumps
  • Hand stand push-ups
  • Chins
  • Mountain climbers
  • Narrow / diamond push-ups
  • Straight leg raises from hang position

The task is to complete a total of 30 reps for each exercise with as many breaks as you need. As the weeks pass by, you’ll notice you can complete more reps without fatigue – you’re eventually aiming to hit all 30 reps without a break.

Add as many rounds as you can for an even tougher workout.

Some of these exercises are hard!

If you need to, modify them initially.

You can perform dip jumps if you can’t quite perform full ones and eccentric only if you struggle to pull your body weight right now. Similarly, swap out HSPUs for pike push-ups if you have to.

This is the beauty of calisthenics… you can modify a million ways to make the exercises work best for you.

Workout 2: Battle ropes

Simple but effective. Battle ropes are both explosive and effective when it comes to shifting your metabolism up a gear or three.

Battle ropes are becoming more and more popular as a fat burner tool.

Everyone from physique competitors to elite athletes are programming them into their workouts to help build athleticism, muscle performance and get super-lean.

A study published in the journal of Strength and Conditioning Research [1] found that compared to traditional resistance training and standard body weight exercises, battle ropes are significantly more effective for torching the metabolism.

They’re also hugely versatile, with hundreds of different progressions and patterns ready for you to throw into your fat burning workouts.

Battle ropes are portable, lightweight and allow you to take your workouts practically anywhere. They’re also fantastic for targeting both upper and lower body, as well as the core muscles that connect the two.

And finally, there’s nothing better than beating out your stress and aggression by slamming, waving and whipping these heavy duty bits of kit into the ground… and melting fat at the same time.

Example workout

  • Big alternating waves
  • Figure 8 slams
  • In and out waves
  • Double slams into alternate lunges
  • Alternating small and fast waves into burpees
  • Russian twist slams

You’ve got just 45 seconds to complete as many well-performed reps as you can for each exercise.

We’re going for all out-intensity but want to maintain good form throughout. After each set, rest for 30 seconds and move onto the next exercise, again completing a 45-second set.

When you get to the end of the circuit, rest 3-5 minutes.

Perform 3-5 complete circuits in total for a sweat-inducing, fat-blasting high-intensity workout.

Workout 3: HIRT

Develop bar-bending strength and athlete conditioning in one short and sharp workout program

Alex-Silver-fagan in the barbell back squat position for a professional photoshoo

High intensity resistance training is as brutal as the name suggests… but if you’re ahead of the curve and looking for a fat incinerating, heart pounding performance program you need look no further.

HIRT is a hybrid system that uses fast, furious and intense weight training exercises to give you a cardio workout. The combined effect gets your fitter, more athletic and a hell of a lot more aesthetic too.

There are a small number of rules to follow:

  • Use a mixture of barbell, dumbbell and body weight exercises
  • Skip isolation lifts and stick to compound squats, pulls and presses
  • Order your workouts to maximize blood flow – upper body to lower body or front to back
  • Choose weights that are challenging for 6-10 reps

Studies show that compared to traditional weight training, HIRT significantly increases calorie burn and metabolic response [2].

In as little as a couple of weeks you’ll notice an improvement in your body composition. Your metabolic profile will also improve too – your insulin levels will be better regulated, and your cholesterol will be healthier.

Example workout

Workout #1 (dumbbells)

  • Bench press
  • Bent over row
  • Deadlift
  • Clean and press

Workout #2 (kettlebells)

  • Double swing
  • Goblet squat
  • Alternate shoulder press
  • Alternating Turkish get-up

Set a 10-minute timer and choose your weights. each workout is planned so that you can use pretty much the same load for every exercise, making it easier to perform in a busy commercial gym.

Complete 10 reps of every exercise, back-to-back with as little rest as you can. For single-side exercises do 5 per side.

Smash workout 1, rest for 5-minutes then do the same for workout 2.

Record the total number of reps you complete in the workout and aim to beat it the next time.

Workout 4: Strongman training

Lift big, get strong, shred fat. It’s that simple.

Strongman training is all about chalking up your hands, blocking out distractions and going all-out heavy metal.

It’s been around for hundreds of years. But strongman didn’t hit the mainstream until the 1970’s as a structured competition. Back then it was all about bending steel bars and deadlifting a 1RM.

Strongman competition has changed a lot over the last few years. You’ve still got the heavy weights in there of course, but modern strongman has a much greater emphasis on conditioning and stamina. 

That means strongman guys have to be lean. There’s no way you’re lifting, carrying and throwing stupidly heavy stuff repeatedly if your fitness isn’t up to scratch.

A study published in the the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research [3] found the following when they researched training practices of competitive strongmen:

  • Over half of competitors integrated conditioning and ‘speed reps’ into their training, not just maximal strength work.
  • 97% included regular strength training
  • Nearly 90% regularly trained the Olympic lifts
  • 90% used power training

Example workout

  • Axle bar press – 3 x 6-8 reps
  • Tire flips – 4 x 8-12 reps
  • Sled pulls – 4 x 10 m
  • Sled pushes 4 x 10 m
  • Loaded carry / Farmers walk 6 x 10 m

As you’d probably guess, the emphasis is on going as heavy as you can. This is hard, brutal training. It’s not for beginners and requires tough mental resolve and brute force.

Rest 3-5 minutes between sets and 5 or more minutes between each exercise to get the most from your workout.

Workout 5: HIIT

HIIT fat where it hurts with intense cardio fitness workouts.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of just a few cardio-based fat burning workouts that’s been researched in multiple studies.

The great thing about HIIT is that you can perform it in the gym, park or even at home. You can use cardio equipment if you need to, or simply your own body.

It’s physically tough and challenging, but the results speak for themselves.

Research shows that HIIT has a high metabolic cost, stripping through calories like there’s no tomorrow.

It’s far more beneficial than steady state for fat loss [4].

Play around with workout length to suit your own needs. One study suggested that beneficial interval lengths are on average 30 seconds, with recovery being 1-5-minutes long [5].

However, in the following 2 workouts you’ll be taking the calorie burning to a completely new level altogether:

Example workout

Workout #1: Running sprints

  • Sprint for 10-30 seconds as hard as you can
  • Recover at a slow speed for 30-90 seconds
  • Use a ratio of 1:3 between work and rest periods

Workout #2: Tabata 

  • Sprint on a bike for 20 seconds
  • Recover for 10 seconds
  • Complete a total of 8 intervals (4-minutes in total)

The emphasis is on working as hard as you possibly can for each interval. Try and match the output and intensity of every rep – fight fatigue as much as you can.

Workout 6: Barbell complexes

Grip it, rip it and obliterate fat with barbell complex workouts.

Barbell complexes for fat loss

The problem with a lot of circuit-style workouts is that they don’t always work in the real world. You either need a ton of equipment (which annoys other users) or you turn around half way through a circuit to find that someone’s taken the dumbbells you needed.

Barbell complexes are different.

You just need a barbell and a small area of space. That’s it.

The idea is to work through each circuit without letting go of the bar. You transition from exercise to exercise and target all major muscles for a truly testing fat loss workout.

How is complex training different to strongman training or HIRT?

For this workout you don’t need to go heavy – around 60% of your 1RM works well. You don’t even need a high rep count. All you do is set a timer for 60-seconds per exercise and complete as many reps as you can. Once the timer goes, start the next exercise straight away.

Because of grip issues, it’s always wise to swap between pull and push based lifts. That way you get to ease off the need to grip a bar for minutes on end… and that means better productivity for each individual exercise.

Example workout

  • Clean and press
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Front squat
  • Bent over row

All of the above exercises require a barbell.

60 seconds per exercise is more than enough for this 4-minute circuit session. You don’t even need to adjust the weight either as the emphasis is on reps, not load.

Once you’ve blasted your way through every exercise, rest for 3-5 minutes and repeat for a total of 3 rounds.

That’s 12-minutes of pure fat burning.

Bottom line

The key to a solid fat burning program is to control your diet and implement the most intense, time-efficient workouts into your schedule.

That way you not only burn fat, you also ramp up muscle performance and conditioning too.

You’ll be a well-rounded, complete athlete… with a truly great physique.

[1] Fontaine, CJ et al. Metabolic cost of rope trainingJSCR. 2015; 29(4): 889-893

[2] Paoli, A et al. High-Intensity Interval Resistance Training (HIRT) influences resting energy expenditure and respiratory ratio in non-dieting individuals. J Transl Med, 2012; 10: 237

[3] Winwood, PW et al. The strength and conditioning practices of strongman competitors. JSCR. 2011; 25(11): 3118-28

[4] Foster, C et al. The Effects of High Intensity Interval Training vs Steady State Training on Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity. J Sports Sci Med. 2015; 14(4): 747-755

[5] Gibala MJ, McGee SL. Metabolic adaptations to short-term high-intensity interval training: a little pain for a lot of gain? Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2008; 36: 58–63

Comments are closed