By Kate Vidulich
Here’s a big secret to accelerate fat loss that you may have heard: to get faster results, you need to speed up your metabolism.
So how can you do this without buying expensive, dodgy supplements or drinking 3 million liters of green tea everyday?
Hard work. (That’s the part no one is telling you…)
But if you’re up for the challenge, the results will blow you away.
It’s all about total body workouts: maintaining your lean muscle, while working at high intensity to condition your body and boost your afterburn effect.
4 Top Tips to Accelerate Fat Loss
Here are my top 4 advanced training tips to speed up your metabolism and accelerate your fat loss results:
1. Barbell/Dumbbell Complexes
What are you supposed to do for your off-day workout?
Cardio, intervals or yoga/pilates?
Here’s the truth: doing long cardio and other forms of steady state aerobics will do nothing to accelerate fat loss. Yes, it’s good for your health, better than nothing and you can lose weight. But most likely, the weight you’ll lose will be the muscle you’ve worked so hard to build.
Instead, be smart and get mentally tough. Use advanced conditioning circuits. Dumbbell/barbell complexes and other metabolic training workouts rock
Your goal on your off-day is to condition your body so you get a physiological effect similar to that of interval training, without interfering with your recovery from your main workouts OR losing muscle mass.
Take Away Tip #1: Add complexes into your program 1-2 days/week. All you need is an empty barbell or pair of dumbbells, and a small space.
There are thousands of variations, but here’s one to get you started.
Do each exercise in order with no rest, and without putting the weight down. Choose a weight you can lift overhead for 10-12 reps. Aim for a fast, controlled pace with a smooth transition between exercises. At the end of the circuit, rest for 90 seconds. Repeat for 4-5 rounds:
A) Deadlift x 8
B) Bent over rows x 8
C) Front Squat x 8
D) Alternating reverse lunges x 8
E) Cross Body Mountain Climber x 8
You know you’re doing it right when your lungs and muscles are screaming at you…
2. Take Control of Your Time
This tip has two components:
(a) Minimize Your Rest
Incomplete recovery is one of the key principles to effective metabolic training.
Your rest breaks should range between 15-45 seconds. You need to make this official – that is, use a timing device. The GymBoss Timer is a great choice, and my #2 favorite invention, behind coffee of course.
(b) Use Density Sets
With everyone short on time these days, density circuits are the solution. The idea behind it simple: get as much work done (using correct form), with as little rest possible in the allocated time. Count the number of rounds you complete and try to squeeze out one more next time.
Using correct technique is essential. If your form gets sloppy, you must take a rest break. Poor form does not accelerate fat loss; it will only send you to the ER.
Take Away Tip #2: Keep your rest breaks under control, and remember quality trumps quantity.
Always monitor how you feel. Pushing hard to the limits is one thing, but completely destroying yourself is another story. Throwing up and getting dizzy is not cool. Don’t even go there.
3. Use Single Leg Exercises
You already know the best fat burning exercises require the use of your biggest muscles – your legs.
But how can you boost the intensity and make it even harder?
Add single leg exercises to your workouts. You will increase the calorie burn, challenge your stability and get faster results.
For example, you can add a Bulgarian Split Squat, single leg squats or single leg Romanian deadlifts for an awesome time.
Take Away Tip #3: Try this one-legged total body exercise. Go on, it’s a fun variation.
One-legged walk out to push up. Here’s how to do it: Balance on one leg and do a hand walkout to plank position, do one push up and return to starting position while still balancing on one leg. Tricky, but it’s fun and creates a metabolic flush to boost your calorie burn.
This one is no secret. You need to change your plan every month in order to see continued results. Seriously, this cannot be stressed enough.
You need to plan your off-day circuits, just as you would your resistance training – and see it through! Don’t expect miracles. You will not see progress after 3 days, so stick with the plan for at least a month. This will allow your body to adapt to the movements, while improving your conditioning.
Progression does NOT mean or equal randomness. Picking and choosing random workouts of the day from the Internet to use for your conditioning sessions will not accelerate fat loss.
Take Away Tip #4: Set up your off-day/interval training program as you would for your strength training. You can progress over a 4 week period by either by increasing the weight you lift each week OR you reducing your rest period. Do one OR the other, meaning you don’t want to change both variables at once.
The Bottom Line
Incorporate these simple, yet effective advanced tips into your workouts and see your level of conditioning skyrocket and most importantly, watch your belly fat disappear.
Remember, bring the intensity to your sessions, rather than “just doing your time”.
You can find out more about my unique metabolic conditioning workouts here at
Kate Vidulich, BSc, ACSM, CTT