Four Best Tools to Improve Your Fat Loss Workouts

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Let’s face it, fat loss isn’t complicated. It requires consistency in your training and nutrition over the course of weeks and months to get shredded. But, that doesn’t mean that you have watch the time tick away on a recumbent bike or stair master, wondering if you are losing any of the precious muscle that you’ve worked so hard to build.

Not all fat loss tools or methods are created equal. Some tools yield a larger return on your time investment than others.

Related: 8 Killer HIIT Workouts You Can Do in Under 15 Minutes

Here are the top four tools that will torch fat while preserving as much muscle as possible while you are in a calorie deficit.

Torch Your Fat Loss Workouts With These 4 Tools

1) Kettlebells

Training with a kettlebell has many benefits including fat loss. The options for general strength training and conditioning are practically endless with a single kettlebell of the appropriate size.

In addition to helping shed fat you will notice something that kettlebell instructors from StrongFirst call the What the H*ll Effect. Kettlebell training has a way of addressing weak links (usually grip and core stability) and helping translate strength you have developed in the gym into usable strength outside of the gym.

The kettlebell swing is the king of all kettlebell exercises especially when it comes to fat loss. What is interesting when training for fat loss with the kettlebell is that you don’t feel completely smoked after your workout.

The best fat loss workout with a kettlebell is the swing with A LOT of volume, think around 100-500 swings a workout. You can break these up as necessary to make sure that you preserve good form. The secret is to get in the volume and not worry so much about getting them done as fast as possible (between 20-50 minutes is a great goal to shoot for).

Kettlebell Swings

2) Prowler/Sled

Pushing a heavy sled is a great way to preserve lean muscle while annihilating any remaining fat in a hurry. Beware pushing or pulling a heavy sled will give you prowler flu quick!

One of the many benefits of pushing or pulling the prowler is that there is not eccentric muscle stress. This means that the amount of soreness that you feel from a brutal conditioning session is greatly reduced or eliminated.

No sled to push? No problem, find a flat empty parking lot and put your car in neutral and go to town. If neither of those choices are an option find a hill to sprint up and walk your way down. Do not run down, most people get hurt running downhill.

There are a number of ways to create a fat loss workout with a prowler/sled but one of the best ways is to load up the sled moderately heavy so that you can get the sled moving at a decent speed and perform the Tabata method (20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds). It is really important to get the load on the sled right.

The sled should not be so heavy that you are at a walking speed grinding away and it should not be so light that you don’t feel any resistance when you are sprinting against the sled.

3) Rowing Machine

As far as cardio machines are concerned, the Concept 2 rower is up at the top of the list for fat loss. The rower is an ideal cardio machine for HIIT due to its total body involvement with each stroke. In addition, the rower is a great addition to a home gym because of their durability and low maintenance requirements.

A great workout for the rower is to perform five 500m sprints aiming to finish each sprint in under two minutes with a minute of rest in between. The negative work to rest intervals will really challenge you later in the workout.

An important technique point with the rower is to make sure that you are pulling hard on the chain verses light and fast. When you pull with a lot of power you will cover more distance with each stroke than you would pulling like a sissy but a with faster stroke rate.

Rowing Machine

4) Dual Action Bike

It doesn’t really matter which brand you prefer there are great options such as the Schwinn Airdyne, Assault Air Bike, or StairMaster Airfit. These air resisted bikes require you to utilize both your upper body and lower body at the same time.

No matter how hard you push yourself the bike pushes back just as hard. It doesn’t matter how in shape you think you are these bikes will break you so be ready to work.

One of the best fat loss workouts on the dual action bike is to perform calorie intervals where you have a goal number of calories to complete (say 100cal) as fast as possible with some rest in between for three to five rounds. You can play with your rest intervals a little to give you more recovery in between rounds so that you can maintain your intensity as long as possible or test your character with shorter rest periods.

Pointers on technique for the dual action bike are simple, pedal hard and don’t die.

Honorable Mentions

  • Barbell – Primarily used for strength and hypertrophy but when utilized in a barbell complex turns into a great fat loss tool.
  • Ski Erg – Mimics the motion of cross country skiing which is an insane fat-loss workout.
    Jacobs Ladder – Imagine bear crawling up a mountain and that is what you will get with this evil machine. Let the fat-loss begin.
  • Loaded Carry/Farmer Walk – Lose fat while getting jacked traps and a vice like grip. Pick something up that’s heavy and walk away for time and distance.
  • Jump Rope – if it is good enough for martial artists cutting weight it’s good enough for you too.

In Conclusion

These top four tools provide some of the greatest methods for creating fat loss while helping you preserve as much of your hard-earned muscle as possible while dieting down. Training sessions with these tools should be performed separately from your weight training or as a finisher to your workout.

If you have never done any of these workouts shoot for two to three sessions a week and build up your frequency from there. Keep your fat loss training brief and intense and remember that while these tools will help in your fat loss journey they will not eliminate the need to watch what you eat.

Nutrition will always be the most important factor in fat loss. Period. There is no workout, no piece of equipment, no pill that you can take that will get you lean if you don’t get your nutrition right and remember, NOTHING WORKS UNLESS YOU DO!

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Name: Luke Atchley

Bio: I have made it my life’s mission to get strong and to make others around me stronger. There are no secrets to strength, no pills, no short cuts, no easy way out. The path to strength is simple, not complicated as others out there would have you believe.I am here to make the path known, to make you strong, but just because the path is simple does not mean that it will be easy. The truly strong are strong of mind, body, character, and spirit. I call these the Virtues of Strength.