One of the oldest thoughts in training is that when training for fat loss, heavy weights and compound movements go out the window and high reps and circuits are in. While this is partially true, we do not want to sacrifice the hard earned muscle and strength we have built in order to get rid of fat. The best way to do this is using your assistance exercises as a means to burn fat. So do not fret as we will still be using heavy weights but we will tweak our assistance work in order to get our metabolism rolling.
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your strength training when we are in fat loss mode.
1. Use compound movements as the foundation: What this means is, for your first movement use a big compound movement. Military press, squats, bench press, deadlift or any variation of those lifts. Do not let yourself think that because I am in diet mode I will not be able to gain strength. Initially you might lose some strength, but your body will acclimate to it and you will be able to make gains, although they will not be as rapid as when you are in a mass gaining phase. Also, the compound movements use a ton of muscle so you will be burning a huge amount of calories in the process.
2. Use circuits for your assistance work: Using circuits for your assistance work will force you to keep moving when you are in the gym. Doing this gets your heart rate up and makes for an environment that is conducive toward fat loss. For example on your lower body day after doing squats your assistance work might look like this:
- Straight Leg Deadlift supersetted with…..leg press 3 x 15
- Back extensions supersetted with hanging leg raises 3 x 20
Get creative with your combinations but do not get sloppy with the execution of the lifts. Remember you are still lifting weights so do not sacrifice form just to get in some work.
Utilizing these two tips will help you maintain or even gain strength while putting your body in to a state of fat loss. Another method you could try for the assistance work is to utilize high reps (15-20) on your assistance work. If you have never done this before, you will for sure be huffing and puffing and your heart will feel like it's going to jump out of your chest.