The Hierarchy of Fat Loss (The #Basics)

You want to lose fat? Pop Quiz:

What's best: Marathon training or sprinting on the treadmill? Deadlifting your bodyweight or lifting those two-pounders at Soul Cycle? 

Here's all you need to know, and what I tell all my clients, summarized by yours truly. If you have time, you can read the longer original piece by the fitness industry legend, Alwyn Cosgrove, here. Drumroll please: here is your cheat sheet, in order of importance and impact:

1. Nutrition, "You can't out-train a bad diet"

2. Nutrition, see above.


3. Lifting HEAVY and building muscle mass with serious Strength Training:

  • Every pound of muscle on your body burns an additional 50 calories a day. Add muscle and you're automatically burning more calories on days you're not even working out. It's like buying an insurance policy for your resting metabolic rate. 
  • Prioritize in this order: Deadlifts, Squats, Hip thrusters, Pull-ups, Rows, Overhead Press. Please use good form or ask for a personal training session
  • A solid strength training workout will increase your metabolism for the next 24-48 hours as your muscle fibers repair. 

4. High Intensity Intervals:

  • Anything that spikes your heart rate for short periods of time, 10-45 seconds is key, followed by a rest interval.
  • Think treadmill sprints, burpees, mountain climbers, hill sprints, med ball slams, sled pushes. All the stuff that makes you want to puke sometimes. Do it. 
  • Science: anaerobic bursts like these cause your body to go in to oxygen deficit and your body has to work harder to replace that oxygen, thus revving up your metabolism for the next 18-24 hours. 

5. A far fifth .... high intensity steady-state Cardio Training:

  • That five mile run! I know, its far down on the list. So is 45 minutes on the elliptical or that long bike-ride. See, once you step off the elliptical, you're done burning calories. There really is no "after-burn."
  • The good news: this is still AH-MAZING for your heart strength, your lung capacity, how you feel, endorphins and it does "burn calories." So carry-on my cardio friends, and check in with #3 and #4 to cross-train and add variety to your exercise and fat-loss routine. 

6. A far sixth ... low intensity steady-state Cardio Training:

  • Walks, Yoga, Pilates -- the really peaceful and calming stuff.
  • They won't torch calories, but they DO add up and are crucial for maintaining an injury-free body and a calm mind. Don't skip it.
  • These are a great first-step for fat-loss beginners. 

So what are you going to do about it?

I encourage you to take a serious look at your current exercise routine. Be honest with yourself. How many days of the week do you engage in the above types of exercise? Now hold that picture in your head. Think of your goals. Is your current exercise routine going to get you to your goals? Do you need to add more serious strength training? Do you need to STOP going to the gym seven days a week and instead spend an extra two hours a week planning health meals? Do you need to get your bootay out of your desk and go for some long walks? How can you take your routine up a notch, add variety to your workout week and see some results (finally!)? 

Say thank you or schedule a nutrition health coaching, personal training or run coaching session with me here. Enjoy the endorphins team!