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First I’d like to say that any kind of exercising will burn fat as long as you wind up creating a calorie deficit through a combination of diet and exercise. You cannot burn fat just by weight training if you have a poor diet. However, I know a lot of people that are under the impression that weight training can only be used to build muscle, but the truth is that there are ways for you to weight train in which you will burn way more fat than you ever could just by doing tons of cardio.
When you do cardio you get to burn calories for the duration of your cardio session. So if you’re running on the treadmill for half an hour you will burn calories during that half hour and maybe a few more calories for the next half hour while you’re body returns to homeostasis. On the other hand with weight training you’ll burn calories throughout the entire day. This is because your body will use what you eat to replenish glycogen stores in your muscles, it will also rebuild the muscles with amino acids from broken down proteins, and you’ll experience epoc which is excess post exercise oxygen consumption. Or otherwise known as the after-burn effect. Another benefit of weight training is that by building muscle your metabolism will go up.
Now even though you will experience all of these positive effects with traditional weight training. There are plenty of ways to take it up a notch and make your weight training workouts way more effective at burn fat.
The first way is through a method know as peripheral heart action training. The goal of this type of training is to keep the blood circulating throughout the whole body. Usually this is accomplished by mixing upper body and lower body exercises back and forth within a circuit. An example of this would be to do an upper body exercise like bench press, then right away do Barbell squats, then follow that up with Bent over rows, and finish with walking lunges. There I would be doing upper, lower, upper, lower. By cycling between upper and lower your heart has to work harder to push blood back and forth between the muscles being worked. This means you’re going to burn way way more calories than somebody that is doing traditional weight training. The other supposed benefit is that it prevents you from feeling too much burn in one muscle group. However, i think if you do this correctly you will definitely feel the burn.
You don’t have to limit yourself to upper and lower splits for peripheral heart action training. I think it’s very important to work on building muscle when you’re goal is to burn fat because building muscle will help with that by elevating your resting metabolism. To build muscle you have to go heavy. It’s tough to go heavy when you’re doing upper an lower exercises back to back because you’re going to get really winded. So to help you build muscle while still burning more fat you can do a purely upper or lower body PHA Split. An example of an upper body PHA split would be to do a set of Inclined Dumbbell presses, followed by a superset for chest with dumbbell flies, followed by a Bent over dumbbell row, and finished with a superset for the back like reverse flies. You can do the same thing with your legs, just switch back and forth between working the front and the back of your hips and thighs.
Another Amazing way that you can burn a ton more fat with weight training is by doing something that you all may have heard of, high intensity interval training. But I’m going to give you a way to structure your HIIT program to make it even more effective. Instead of just doing the more aerobic based exercises back to back for example burpees, plyometric lunges, rope slams, and squats jumps are all more aerobic exercises. Instead of just doing that, the more effective structure for burning fat would be to do a heavy weight training exercise, followed immediately by your more aerobic exercise. If you combine 3 of each into a 6 exercise circuit where you go back forth between an aerobic exercise, and a heavy anaerobic weight training exercise you will burn a ton of calories. A good example of this would be to do Barbell clean and presses, followed by burpees, followed by deep Barbell squats, followed by squat jumps, followed by T Bar rows, and finished with 45 seconds of mountain climbers. Besides the mountain climbers everything else you would do for 10 reps. If you do 3 sets of that circuit, I promise you’ll be dead. And you’ll burn a ton more calories then you ever could with a cardio based workout plan.