The more experiences I accumulate in the fitness industry, the more I’m aware of the rampant confusion about fat loss. Many conflicting opinions are out there but few are credible, however.
Accordingly, it would be refreshing to see some evidence about what really works for fat loss, without the hype. That’s where quality research can help. Here are some recent research studies I’ve found that describe specific strategies for fat loss. Not surprisingly, what you see below are suggestions and strategies we provide that help our clients experience dramatic fat loss.
Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity Nedeltcheva, A. et al Annals of Internal Medicine October 5, 2010 vol. 153 no. 7 435-441
This study involved 2 groups on the same diet and activity program for weight loss. One group was able to sleep 8.5 hours, the other 5.5 hours. The group who was restricted to 5.5 hours lost less fat and more muscle. Participants who were restricted to less sleep also felt hungrier, although the intake of food was the same as the other sleep group.
These findings are not too surprising. Impaired sleep has found to affect hormones related to hunger and metabolism. Some studies indicate that our body switches to preferring carbohydrate and protein sources for energy instead of fat. Clearly proper sleep is critical if fat loss is a goal. There are studies which have also shown that CBD also helps in weight loss. You can try cbd weight loss spray if you are trying to get your weight down.
The Metabolic Costs of Reciprocal Supersets vs. Traditional Resistance Exercise in Young Recreationally Active Adults. Kelleher et al. JSCR 2010 Mar 17
When people perform resistance training, they traditionally perform a few sets of an exercise, then move on to perform a few more sets of another exercise, and so on. Another method of resistance training involves performing a set of one exercise, resting briefly, then performing a set of another exercise, rest, and return to perform a set of the first exercise and so on. This is referred to as an alternating or reciprocal set method, and it it the most common method of training we use with our clients at Spectrum for a variety of reasons.
This study compared the energy expenditure of traditions sets to alternate sets. They found that the alternate set group burned more calories per minute than the traditional set group. The study also showed that the alternate set group had a higher EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption), which means they burned more calories after exercising.
No wonder why this works so well for our clients!
So. how do you design an exercise program that uses alternate sets? There are many options, and which is best depends on a host of individual factors. Here are just a few things to consider, and some options.
The total body Alternate set workout:
A2 Pull Downs
C1 Inverted Rows
C2 Side planks
In the example above, we alternate sets with a pair of exercises that are not related from a muscular involvement perspective. For example, although squats and pull downs are metabolically challenging, the muscular stress in one exercise focuses on the legs, while the other focuses on the back muscles. While performing the pull downs, the leg muscles are recovering, allowing them to produce high intensity effort for the next set. However, the metabolic stress remains high, thereby maintaining a high degree of caloric expenditure. Furthermore, this is a very time-efficient strategy, as more work can be done in less time.
Here is an example of a pairing that can be a mistake, especially in those who are strong and using significant resistance:
A1 Walking lunges with dumbbells
A2 Lat Pull downs
This can be a problem because the grip challenge of holding the dumbbells with lunges can interfere with gripping the bar on pull downs, thereby reducing the intensity of the pull downs.
Finally, this is an example of a alternate set routine with circuits – which combines two very effective fat loss techniques:
A1 Goblet squat
A2 Pull downs
A3 Step up and thrust
A4 Push ups
A5 Lunge and row
A6 Ball walk outs
In this case, you perform one set of an exercise, then move on to the next exercise, then the next exercise and so on completing one set of each exercise for a total of 6 exercises. This is one circuit. After a period of rest, you move on to complete another circuit. This is a great strategy for those who have mastered some of the basic exercises and are strong enough to maintain proper technique with minimal cuing under significant fatigue. Waring: a huge mistake is to introduce new exercises of perform circuits if you have yet to master the exercises included in the circuit. Fatigue will magnify poor technique, and injuries usually ensue.
To sum this up, to maximize fat loss, it is clear that adequate sleep and alternate sets with resistance training are critical factors. Designing proper alternate set routines takes creativity and time to learn proper technique, and can be a very powerful and time efficient option for fat loss.