16 Ways to Work Harder and Burn Stored Body Fat

Tom Kelso

Contributor - Strength and Conditioning

Strength and Conditioning

"I need to do more steady-state cardio to lose this fat." Wrong! I am putting the cart before the horse, but if you're seeking the right exercise to tap into your adipose (pinchable) body fat stores, check these out.


Adding cardio to expunge body fat sounds good, but it's not that simple. Here's a hint: think shorter and high effort, as opposed to longer and less effort. (The rationale behind this is coming in next week’s article. I know it's a tease, but hang on and you'll be enlightened.)

Fitness, fat loss, caloric restriction, sprints



Meanwhile, here are sixteen exercise options that can assist you in shedding those unwanted pounds:


Option #1

Three rounds with minimal rest between exercises. Use an empty 45lb barbell:

  • 100 squats
  • 60 bench presses
  • 50 bent-over rows


Option #2

  • 50 real burpees
  • 1,000 feet on a Versaclimber
  • Maximum repetition tent push ups
  • Chin ups for three sets of maximum repetitions, or chin up isometric holds for three sets for maximum elapsed time


Option #3

:30 hard effort/:30 easy effort x 25 bouts

Sprinting on open ground or on an exercise machine.


Option #4

Create a daily calorie deficit. Take in fewer calories than you actually burn. The laws of thermodynamics rule.


Option #5

Go to a big-time college football stadium. Run up and down the stadium stairs continuously ten or more times.


Fitness, fat loss, caloric restriction, sprints


Option #6

Shovel snow, cut the grass, or shovel-dig a deep hole like a madwoman or madman. Do it for twenty minutes. Yeah, you'll be faced after that amount of time.


Option #7

Climb six flights of stairs. Do it twenty or more times depending on the number of flights. If few, do more. If many, suck it up and do more.


Option #8

Go all-out on an exercise device for fifteen brutally-hard minutes.


Option #9

Four rounds:

  • 50 mountain climbers
  • 100 bicycle crunches
  • 50 bodyweight squats
  • Maximum repetitions of push ups


Option #10

Dumbbell burpee + overhead press + squat + bent-over row

Do this sequence for 100 repetitions.


Option #11

20 x 100 yard sprints at maximum speed

Rest only 45 seconds between sprints.


Fitness, fat loss, caloric restriction, sprints


Option #12

Dumbbell complex, all with a pair of dumbbells:

Five rounds of 20 squats, 15 push ups, 15 bent-over rows


Option #13

Bodyweight only for at least five rounds:

15 sit ups + 12 lunges each leg + 10 ground pull ups + 10 dive-bomber push ups

If you can crank out 10 rounds with minimal rest time, you're a bad ass.


Option #14

  • Run as hard as you can for one minute.
  • Rest 30 seconds.
  • Repeat that for 15+ repetitions.


If you can do this, you're above average.


Option #15

Yet again, create a daily calorie deficit. Take in fewer calories than you actually burn. The laws of thermodynamics still rule and always will.


Fitness, fat loss, caloric restriction, sprints


Option #16

10 difficult repetitions (or specified repetitions) for each of these exercise within the three segments. Minimize the rest time between exercises and segments. This will be brutal if you do it properly. I wish you the best.


Segment 1:

  1. Squat
  2. Chest press
  3. Pulldown
  4. Leg press
  5. Leg curl
  6. Abdominals


Segment 2:

  1. Lunge
  2. Incline press
  3. Low row
  4. Squat
  5. Upright row
  6. Triceps


Segment 3:

  1. Bodyweight squat x 50 reps
  2. Push ups x max
  3. Chin ups x max
  4. Exercise machine - three minutes all-out
  5. Abdominals
  6. Curl-to-press


These recommendations will work for the exercise component of the fat loss equation. Next week’s installment will detail the specifics of sensible fat loss nutrition, exercise, and the harsh reality of fat storage and the use of fat as an energy source.


Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.


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