Exercise and Fat Loss – What You Need to Know: Part 4

Before I go any further, I hope you’re asking yourself, “Isn’t this the guy who wrote in detail several months back about how there is no one best of anything”?   

Yes, that indeed was me and it’s still true.  However, please keep in mind that everything that I have shared and am about to share with you over these last four articles (part 1, part 2, & part 3) is aimed at those looking for the best way to lose fat.  

Not everyone is.  

Some are focused on athletic performance, while others are seeking stress reduction, pain management, and general health and fitness.  

The point is, what I have been talking about and what I’m about to lay out in detail today is not necessarily the best prescription for everyone.

Okay, let’s end the suspense and have a look at the quickest way to lose fat and excess body weight.  

Step number 1 – do two metabolic resistance training sessions per week including explosive work.  Here is what that workout looks like in detail (can be done on Monday/Thursday):

  • Warm-up:  This includes foam rolling, stretching, and all associated movement preparation activities one might do to get ready for a workout.  Think jumping rope, bridges, band walks, lunging in multiple directions, squats, balance work, leg swings, etc.
  • PAIR:
    • Core:  This can include different plank variations, loaded carries, rollouts, bird dogs, chops and lifts, or anything else that would challenge your core strength and stability.
    • Power:  Think explosive type movements or exercises that you do fast.  This can be as simple as jumping or hopping over an imaginary line on the floor to squat jumps, box jumps, medicine ball slams, and throws, and as complex as barbell cleans.  Remember the key is to execute these exercises explosively so you won’t be doing a lot of them.  Think 3 sets of 5.
    • So in program form, you would do a side plank followed by a box jump and repeat one to two more times.
  • Strength Exercise:  Go for a total body exercise such as a deadlift or some variation of a squat and include a back-off set with two rest-pauses.  You’re probably not familiar with this so allow me to explain.  Say you choose a barbell deadlift – go ahead and work up to whatever peak weight you want to achieve for that workout.  The specific weight is unimportant but it should be fairly difficult.  Let’s say you get there after your third set of ten repetitions.  Next, start removing weight until you get to a weight where you’re fairly confident you could perform 15-20 repetitions.  Then try to do it.  Do as many as you can without compromising your form.  This is referred to as the “back off’ set.  Next, set the bar down and rest for 20-30 seconds.  Leaving the weight as is, do as many repetitions as you can again.  Set it back down and, rest for another 20-30 seconds.  Then do it one more time.  These 20-30 second breaks are the “rest-pauses.” If you’re performing these correctly you should notice two things – first, you complete fewer repetitions on each subsequent set, and second, it’s tough.  I mean really tough!  Not only is your body burning but your heart feels as though it could explode through your chest.  This must be why it works.
  • PAIR:
    • DB Split Squat & TRX Inverted Row
    • Moving on, pair two total-body exercises and alternate them back and forth until you get to your desired number of sets and repetitions.  I would recommend somewhere in the vicinity of 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions.  Try starting with a 90-second rest between exercises and adjust it down from there.  Throughout the 4-6 week training cycle, I might get the rest breaks down to 30 seconds but I usually don’t go lower than that.  At this point, it’s probably better to increase the load.
  • PAIR:
    • Sandbag Rotational Lunge & Push-Up
    • After you complete the DB Split Squat and TRX Inverted Row, move on to this pairing using the same parameters.  You can insert any exercises you like for these pairings but I would recommend using total body movements as opposed to single-joint exercises like bicep curls and leg extensions.  Also, aim to pair a lower-body exercise with an upper-body pulling exercise and another lower-body exercise with an upper-body pushing exercise for maximum effectiveness.


Now that you have the basic template, you can just go in and change and progress the exercises at regular intervals.  Just try to avoid these common mistakes:  1) Poor exercise selection – which usually shows up as a series of single-joint exercises or in the pairing of two competing exercises such as a push-up being paired with a shoulder press.  2) Using too long or too short of a rest period.  3) Going too light in load selection.  4) Attempting to do this type of workout too often.

So that’s two training days down, now what?  

Step number 2 – do two days of interval training (can be done Tuesday/Friday).  I could get super complicated here but I’m going to try and make this as simple as possible.  

For one of these days do real short and very high-intensity intervals with long rest periods.  For example, 4-6 ten-second sprints with 3-4 minutes of rest between each.  Don’t care for sprinting?  The Assault/Airdyne Bike makes a great alternative.  These are just my personal favorites (obviously you’ll need to use what you have access to and can do safely) but the main point is to go as hard as you can for 10 seconds and then give yourself plenty of rest.  

These longer rest breaks relative to the work interval provide an excellent opportunity to work in some extra foam rolling, stretching/mobility work or any low-level therapy-type exercises you have been given.  Feel free to bump the rest breaks out another minute or so to accommodate this scenario if necessary.  Just don’t do anything strenuous since you don’t want it to interfere with your sprint efforts.

For day two, choose longer intervals – somewhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes and start with twice the amount of rest.  Let’s say you choose 30-second intervals, then your rest break would be 60 seconds.  Over the next several weeks attempt to bring your rest down to where it’s equal to your work interval without losing intensity.  With regards to intensity, it needs to be hard.  On an intensity scale of 0-10, think in the 7.5-9.5 range, even hitting 10 occasionally.  An example workout might look like 6-10 sets of 30 seconds of kettlebell swings, battling ropes, or the rower with a 60-second rest break between each and, over time, working the rest down to 30 seconds.

Both of these workouts can be done in under 20 minutes and even less if necessary.  If your goal is fat loss there is probably no need to ever even exceed 30 minutes.  The tradeoff is that it needs to be hard.  If you can talk to your friend while doing it, guess what?  You’re not going hard enough.

What do you do if you want to add a fifth or sixth day?  

Honestly, you probably don’t need to if you’re really getting after it with the above workouts and eating well, but if you insist, now would be a good time to go out for that easy run or any other activity that you enjoy.  Feel free to move your body, but don’t kill yourself.  Most would benefit more by getting a massage or going for a nice walk instead of another “workout.”

There you have it! 

It took a while for us to get there but now you know what to do to lose excess body fat and weight in the shortest amount of time possible.  Thank you for hanging in there with me, and I hope you find these strategies as useful as I have.