Not all fat burning exercises are created equally.
They can be easy or hard, long or short, effective or ineffective.
They can be fun or boring, indoors or outdoors, on a bike or on an elliptical.
When you first start trying to lose weight, choosing a fat burning exercise can be quite the mission.
In this article, I’m going to attempt to make it a little bit easier for you, by listing my best fat burning exercises.
(I’ll also give you some specific fat burning exercises that are especially good for women/men, as well, at the end.)
My Best Fat Burning Exercises
As far as I’m concerned, there are three branches of fat burning exercises.
The first branch is cardio.
The second branch is resistance training.
The third branch is a combination of the two, and is usually performed as a circuit.
(Some circuits can be strictly cardio or resistance training, but in general, they’re a mix of both!)
Okay, so there are three branches, but which branch is best?
Well, in my opinion, there is no “best branch”.
Cardio is good, resistance training is good, and circuits are good, too.
And, the best way to lose weight is by doing a combination of all three.
That being said, not all cardio exercises are as good as each other.
Same with resistance training and circuits.
I’m going to list my favourite exercise from each category, and also what makes them better than all the rest.
1. Best Fat Burning Exercise for Cardio: Running.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, out of all the fat burning exercises that exist, running is THE BEST.
It burns a lot of calories (more than most other exercises.)
You can do it HIIT or steady-state, so there’s always some variation (you’ll never get bored.)
You can do it on a treadmill or on the road.
And, once you start doing it regularly, it becomes addictive.
You’ll be so motivated to run, you’ll want to do it every single day.
I’ve written a pretty comprehensive article on running for weight loss, where I explain the ins and outs, and even give a few sample running programs that you can swipe and get started with today.
(There’s also a short video that covers the same stuff, here.)
2. Best Fat Burning Exercise for Resistance Training: compound/core lifts.
You’re not going to lose any weight just by doing heaps of bicep curls.
Likewise, you’re not going to lose any weight by doing 1000’s of ab crunches, either.
If you want to lose weight by lifting weights, or by doing resistance training, you need to be doing compound lifts.
A compound lift is any lift that requires the use of multiple muscle groups.
The most common (and best) ones are bench-press, squat, deadlift, overhead press, and bent-over rows.
I found a great article online that gives a brief description of each exercise, as well as a video showing the proper form.
Note: when performing these exercises, it is very important to have correct form, or you run the risk of seriously injuring yourself.
Don’t worry though; if you start at a low weight and keep an eye on your technique, you’ll be fine.
These exercises promote massive muscle growth, as well as massive weight loss, so you should definitely include them in your fat burning routine.
3. Best Fat Burning Exercise for Circuits: Bootcamp/Bodyweight.
More fun than cardio and resistance training combined, circuits are also a great way to lose weight.
The type I’m going to be talking about in this article is bootcamp/bodyweight.
A bootcamp/bodyweight circuit is basically a modification of military/army training.
It generally involves pushups, situps, weight lifting components, sprinting components, team-work components, burpees, squats, and any other high-intensity exercise you can think of.
The reason they’re so popular is because they’re really fun, especially when you do one with a friend or a group of friends.
They’re also popular because by combining traditional cardio and resistance training, they’re super duper good for weight loss.
If you’re looking for a simple bodyweight circuit to get started with, I’ve written up a super basic home weight-loss circuit that is perfect for beginners.
Spot reduction is a myth.
I’ll say it again.
You can’t target a specific area of the body for fat loss.
(In this case, the belly.)
Instead, you should aim to lose weight all over your body, (and just hope that you lose belly fat too!)
You lose weight all over by doing the exercises listed above.
But, if you want the illusion of a flatter stomach, you could build your abdominal muscles by doing some core exercises.
Do as many as you can, take a minute break, and repeat 2-3 more times.
Eventually, your stomach will be feeling very firm and strong, and who knows, if you’re doing enough fat burning exercises, you might even get a 6-pack!
Call me sexist, call me misogynistic, but here’s the thing; most women don’t want to lift weights.
Now, you might be different, and that’s great!
But in all of my years of training people, women tend to prefer more cardio-based activities, rather than weights.
Which is OK.
It just means we need to come up with a few fat burning exercises for women.
(That are all/mostly all cardio based.)
First of all, do some circuits.
While they generally have some weight-based components, they’re not heavy, and they’re still predominantly cardio.
Circuits are great.
(Refer to my super basic home weight-loss circuit for ideas.)
Also, double up on the cardio.
Run, bike, swim, go on the elliptical, etc.
Do it all!
You’re going to have to if you’re not doing any weight training.
(And if you are going to do weight-training, it’s still a good idea to do the circuits/cardio, too.)
Men, please don’t follow the same routine as women.
You need to do weight training.
Because of all that extra testosterone flowing through your veins, it’s much easier for you to gain muscle than it is for your female counterparts.
This is a good thing (for you.)
The more muscle you gain, the better you look, the stronger you are, and the more fat you burn.
Sounds good, huh?
So yeah, more weight training for you.
Some of the best fat burning exercises for men are dead-lifts, squats, bench-press, and pretty much any lift that uses more than one group of muscles.
(The more the better, usually.)
As a beginner, start out doing around 3 sets of 12 reps for each lift, increasing the weight every week or so.
If you can’t get to or afford to go to a gym, don’t stress.
You can still lose weight at home.
Some great fat burning exercises you can do at home are body-weight circuits, and running (but you’ll need to run outside on the road.)
A good home weight-loss circuit will contain exercises such as squats, push-ups, crunches, burpees, mountain climbers, and russian twists.
As well as the circuit, go for a run outside on the road.
The fresh air is great, and you’ll feel $1,000,000 after you finish.
Well that’s all for this little article, but if you want more great health and fitness (and weight-loss) tips, tricks, and info, sign up to the mailing list below for daily emails straight to your inbox!