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The 5 Best Exercises for Fat Loss

By Jill Jacobs

Two things are important when planning your workouts: aligning your workouts with your current goals AND enjoying the way you exercise.

In this post, I’m sharing 5 of the best exercises to help you with your fat loss goals.

Going back in time to 2009 – that was the year I decided enough was enough. I didn’t have to feel stuffed into my clothes just because I had given birth to 2 babies. I didn’t have to settle for being overweight because that’s normal in your 30’s in our current culture. I didn’t have to continue on the path of complacency and acceptance of my current status.

I had always valued “health” and “healthy eating” even though I was confused about what that meant most of my adult life. I mean, in my early 20’s and newly married, I swapped hamburger helper for tuna helper on our grocery run and was super proud of my “healthy choice.” Haha!

This time (2009) was different, though. I decided it was time to reclaim myself and my body and educate myself on what healthy eating and exercising really was. This time, I was serious!

As I embarked on the journey of education, I played around with multiple ways of exercising.

First was steady-state running (pacing, not sprinting). I lost a few pounds, but running made me soooo hungry and did little to nothing to add muscle tone to my body (plus I pretty much hated it).

best exercises for fat loss

I TOTALLY need this sticker!

Then I tried P90X. I LOVED that program and used it with my husband, David, for around 9 months. I learned how much strength training could change my body (and yours), especially when going heavy and eating for fat loss.

To challenge myself with something new, I joined a local kettlebell gym and fell in love with kettlebell training so much so that I got certified to teach myself! This was where I learned about one of the best exercises for fat loss I’ll be discussing below. Stay tuned!

I continued my education with Metabolic Effect by getting my personal training certification as well as my nutrition coaching certification.

Taking the combined knowledge base from my education and experience, I put together the list below to help you define what your exercise program needs to incorporate if your goal is fat loss. There are tons of exercises that will help you lose body fat, but these are my favorite and work well for my clients and me. 🙂

The 5 Best Exercises for Fat Loss

Here are the 5 best exercises for fat loss:

  1. Sprint Training: Sprints are often an overlooked exercise, but that’s a mistake! They are known for building muscle, tightening the core, and leaning out the body. Great combo! Sprint speed is relative, so anyone can do them. There are many exercises such as biking, running, swimming, and really any form of cardio that can be morphed into sprint training!
  2. Kettlebell Swings: The 2 hand kettlebell swing has a reputation; a reputation for torching fat that is! The swing is an explosive move that fires up the body’s metabolism burning fat for many hours after the workout is over. (Here’s a tutorial on the swing if you’re not familiar with how to perform it.)
  3. Hybrid moves like the squat press: (videos – double squat press, single arm squat press) Hybrid moves use multiple joints and multiple muscle groups. Working more muscle at the same time makes for a quicker workout with more fat burning potential. With these type of exercises, I like to go heavy ensuring that my muscles burn, I sweat, and I get out of breath. This creates an optimal hormonal response for fat loss.
  4. Leisure walking and other restorative practices: I’ve written on this before, but want to re-state how important restorative activities are to a balanced, healthy lifestyle. They lower the stress hormone cortisol. This helps reduce hunger and cravings making it easier to get better results. BINGO!
  5. The exercise you will actually do. 🙂 The reality of exercise is that if you hate it, you won’t do it. That’s what running became for me so I changed things up. Life is too short to exercise in a way you don’t enjoy! Finding a way to move your body regularly that you enjoy may take some experimentation, but it’s totally worth it!

In exercises #1-3 above, I recommend training using Metabolic Effect’s signature exercise style called Rest-Based Training (RBT). With RBT, you rest as needed. The goal of this style of exercise is to force you to rest. You never pace yourself. You are “all in” for an exercise until your body tells you to stop. This makes every workout scalable to any fitness level. Magic! If you’re finding that you don’t need rest, you need to increase the amount of weight you’re lifting or increase the intensity level (as with sprints). 😉

Dr. Jade Teta says it like this, “Push until you can’t and rest until you can”.  The workout will flow from exercise to exercise until you must rest. Then, you rest as long as YOU need to and move on. Resting can happen in the middle of a set; it can happen any time you need it. That’s totally fine! Everyone is at a different fitness level, so this style of working out adjusts to YOUR level.

There are several other factors besides exercise when it comes to fat loss including nutrition choices, lifestyle factors such as sleep and stress, having an organized program, and seeking out the accountability and support you need to stay you on track. That’s why my coach, Amanda Tress created FASTer Way to Fat Loss. Her program is super robust utilizing advanced fat loss techniques such as carb cycling and intermittent fasting. Most importantly, FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a support community full of like-minded women who can hold one another accountable throughout the 6 week program!

As always, let me know if you have any questions either in the comments, on my facebook page, or by email (jill@jilljacobs.me)!

xoxo -Jill


FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

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9 Reasons to Include Sprints in Your Workout Program

By Jill Jacobs

Some exercises are good, some are great, and some are superior when it comes to fat loss. Sprints are among my top recommended exercises when it comes to getting a lean physique while also building muscle for a toned look.

“But hold on, Jill! I’m not a professional athlete. How do you expect me to sprint? I’m super slow!”

The good news is that sprint speed is relative! All you have to concentrate on is sprinting for you not setting a world record. 🙂 Sprints are super effective for fat loss, and barring an injury that prevents you from sprinting, anyone can benefit.

From my professional training, research, and personal experience, here are 9 reasons to include sprints in your workout program:

sprints

Pepperdine University in Malibu is probably the most beautiful place to sprint!

  1. Sprints are time-saving. You can fit in a sprint workout in 20 minutes or less! For this reason (among all the rest!), Coach Amanda Tress (my personal coach) uses sprint workouts in her FASTer Way to Fat Loss program! Her clients, including me, are all busy ladies looking for time-efficient workouts!
  2. Sprints are scalable. Like I stated above, all you have to do is a sprint for YOU. You don’t have to go at record speeds; you just have to bring an intensity that challenges you in order to reap the many benefits. You want to get breathless and in need of rest between sprints. The intensity level should also leave your muscles burning and your body sweating.
  3. Sprints can be done anywhere. I’ve sprinted in my front yard, up my stairs, at the beach, on a treadmill, and at the park while my kiddos play. Boom!
  4. Sprints boost your metabolism by producing a huge hormonal response. Not only does your body release testosterone and growth hormone during sprints (great for muscle growth and fat burning), but it increases insulin sensitivity. This is the perfect hormonal cocktail for hours of fat burning activity post workout! Moderate intensity running lacks this hormonal combination. sprints in your workout program
  5. Sprints improve your cardiovascular health. Including sprints in your workout program will strengthen your heart muscle and increase circulation. Additionally, sprints have been shown to lower blood pressure. Your cardiovascular endurance and muscle endurance will increase. If you are a long distance runner, incorporate sprint training 1-2 times per week to increase your overall endurance and speed (see #6).
  6. Sprints build strong muscles! After your first sprint sesh, I guarantee that you’ll feel it ALL over. Your shins, calves, feet, hamstrings, quads, glutes, abs, and more will be sore. The explosive nature of sprint training will use muscles from all over the body, utilize your core (read: tighten up your core! Have you ever seen the abs of a sprinter?!), and ultimately increase your speed and endurance in other exercises.
  7. Sprints are fun. 🙂 If you ever get bored with your workout, head to a track to run some sprints. You’ll feel like a rock star when you are done!
  8. Sprints release endorphins. Endorphins help with depression, increased energy, and an overall sense of well-being.
  9. Sprints are versatile. Many forms of exercise can be transformed into sprints. Besides running, you can perform sprint intervals with swimming, biking, pushing sleds, battling ropes, rowing, and even the elliptical.

 

 

As you can see, the benefits of sprints go well beyond body composition. But before I close out, I’d like to leave you with 9 things to consider before you head out for your first sprint session. These suggestions will help you prevent injury.

  1. Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to exercise before starting any new program.
  2. Make sure you warm up before your start sprinting. You want to spend a good 5-10 minutes jogging around, skipping, performing walking lunges and lateral lunges, leg kicks, high knees, etc. before beginning your sprint workout.
  3. While your goal may be to eventually do 10-12 sprints in one workout, start with 3-5 sprints. You will be plenty sore, so don’t worry about not getting a good workout. Add 1-2 sprints each sprint workout until you reach 10 or so sprints.
  4. REST in between sprints. So many people will jog between sprints. I suggest you walk back to your starting point. Once your back, stand there until you’re fully ready to sprint again with intensity.
  5. On your first couple of sprints, sprint at about a 60-80% effort. Build up to full intensity throughout the workout.
  6. Don’t sprint over 30-40 yards. Seriously, a sprint coach once gave me this advice. He said that keeping sprints short will prevent injury for those of us who have no reason to be sprinting 400 meters. Unless we are competing, we regular folk need to keep our sprints short and sweet!
  7. Start sprinting uphill. This is actually a tool that helps prevent injury, keeps your stride the correct length, AND teaches (forces) you to sprint on your toes which is proper sprint form.
  8. Softer surfaces (sand, grass, track surface) are better for sprinting. They will be easier on your joints than cement surfaces.
  9. At the end of your sprint, slowly come to a stop. You don’t want your stop to be abrupt. Just cross your “finish line” sprinting, then start your slow down.

To add sprints to your workout program, start with the 9 suggestions above. Make sure you warm up. Start with just a few sprints and work up to more each week. Keep your sprints short. Sprint on your toes. Lastly, be sure to honor this process. Practice sprinting and you’ll watch yourself get better at them and faster!

Need a workout program that incorporates sprints? Check out FASTer Way to Fat Loss coached by Amanda Tress! Get started reaching your goals. 🙂

xo -Jill


FASTer Way to Fat Loss is 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!