February 2014 Workout of the Month

Lift and get on the ground for Fat Loss! 

When it comes to exercise we tend to get comfortable with our routine. Many of us like routine and this is probably the reason why we get caught in a rut. We also like to keep doing what we think we are supposed to, or what we have been told to do in order to see results. It’s common, so there is no harm in doing this. In fact, following a routine and adhering to a certain training method for an extended period of time is the best way to see consistent results, as long as we look to improve on each workout.

But sometimes we need to think outside of our comfort zone and do some things that are not so common.  This is especially useful when trying to burn fat. As we get better at a certain exercise, or exercise routine, the less effective it becomes as a fat-burner. It comes down to efficiency, or lack of it. Fat loss training has to be inefficient in order for it to work. This is why the runner that runs all the time at the same pace never seems to lose any body fat, and the aerobics instructor that has been teaching for 20+ years still looks the same as she did 20 years ago, and maybe even heavier. They are efficient at what they have already been doing for years. Change would be the best thing for their body composition troubles.

Heavy Weights, Groundwork, and Cardio

One of my favorite strength coaches, Dan John, has been preaching for a long time that getting up and down off the ground is one of the missing pieces to many peoples training programs. .  Yes, simply getting up and down off the ground is something that we tend to avoid, but should do more often. Just try it. Get up and down off the ground as fast as you can for 30-seconds. My bet is that you will be out of breath and gasping for air. Also, think of how many people have trouble getting up and down off the ground? Even younger folks will have to work at this; it’s not just the elderly.

So when I read an article on T-Nation by him that involved similar workouts that we use at State of Fitness that involved combing lifting weights and getting on the ground, it made for the perfect February Workout of the Month blog. This would make sense since we follow his work quite extensively

So, we all need to understand how to do this a little better. We simply just don’t do this enough, thus making us very inefficient at this movement.  Add in crawling around on the ground to this equation, and let the inefficacies shine. A bear crawl can be one of the hardest exercises that I give to my clients. They hate it because they are not good at them. They are not efficient at them. I also like burpees and Turkish Get-ups. Again, 2 exercises that my clients hate because they are not good at them. This is why they are perfect for fat-loss training!

It is no secret that lifting heavy weights will build muscle and burn body fat. So I won’t really beat the dead horse here. We all should be aware of this by now. Simply combine the groundwork with a heavy weight training exercise and you have the perfect fat-loss combo!  There is just something about performing a few heavy deadlifts and then getting up and down off the ground that creates a massive metabolic disturbance. You just have to try it to find out.

The question I always get is how much cardio should I be doing in order to lose fat? I usually ask that person how much cardio are they currently doing. If they are doing cardio, I tell them to stop doing what they are doing and try something different, usually more strength training. Again, we go back to the efficiency thing. If you are going on the Elliptical for 60-minutes a day or running 5 miles a day and are not seeing results there is a reason for this. You are too good at it! So before you ask how much cardio you need to be doing in order to lose body fat, try these three groundwork/strength training combos out first and then come ask how much cardio you should be doing. My guess is that you won’t be asking for more cardio since you won’t be able to catch your breath when you are done.

Combo #1 – Farmers Walks and Bear Crawls

Make sure to choose 2 kettlebells or dumbbells where it is very difficult to hold onto them when walking 20-meters.

Perform 5 rounds of the following with no rest in between:

Add 1 round each time you perform the workout until you reach 10 rounds.

Combo #2 – Deadlifts and Burpees

Choose a weight that is 90% of your 5 rep maximum. So if you can deadlift 200 pounds for 5 reps, use 180 pounds.

Perform 8 rounds of the following with no rest in between:

Combo #3 – Thrusters and Turkish Get-ups

Find a weight where 10 thrusters is hard to perform with proper form. For the Turkish Get-up, I suggest no weight. You will find out why.

Perform 6 rounds of the following with no rest in between:

When To Do These

I suggest doing these at the end of a typical strength-training workout, or they can be done on their own. The cool thing is they do not take much time. So for those of you with limited time, you only need 15 minutes. I have had people do each one of these workouts every other day and they have experienced tremendous results. More is not better in this case, so don’t go overboard. Listen to your body and remember, less is more when it comes to fat loss.

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