Rows of treadmills, as far as the eye can see.
Not at my gym :).
If you train at Heavyweights Training Center, you know how I feel about steady state cardio and cardio machines.
Judging by the results I get without ANY steady state cardio it has to tell you something.
I don’t like steady state cardio too much.
I am all for every single person in the world improving and getting healthier, and if steady state cardio works for you, then by all means go for it, but in all honesty I don’t think it works as well as most people think.
So, aside from cardio machines and steady state cardio, what are the options?
Well My Top 5 Fat Loss Exercises go like this :
1. Sled Work & Sled Variations
2. Hill Sprints
4. Finishers & Pyramids
5. Short Sprints (under 40 meters)
Let me go into a bit more detail on the top 5.
1. Sled Work
The issue with most gyms is not having a sled or a sled lane.
It sucks and I don’t see the bigger gyms changing their mind and hauling out their cardio machines to replace with sleds and turf anytime soon (but that’s what we did at HWTC).
A good sled workout takes a max. of 10 minutes.
So sleds for people at conventional gyms are out. If you don’t have access to a sled, you can make one you can use at most gyms. Check out this blog post.
If you are looking for a low cost awesome quality sled, consider it an investment and grab the Rogue Dog Sled.
Why don’t most big box gyms have sleds and sled lanes? It’s very simple.
Have you ever pushed a sled before?
Can you push a sled and watch TV?
They are hard, they require you putting in WORK.
2. Hill Sprints
Hill sprints are incredibly effective, require no equipment and bottom line they work.
Hill sprints rock and they are much easier on your hamstrings than regular flat sprints. If you get about 10 hill sprints done at 80-90% capacity, you are done. It doesn’t take long. 10-15 minutes max and you are finished.
If you live somewhere warm (I am very jealous), then you should never set foot on a treadmill, and you should find a hill and run up and down that bad boy as often as you can.
The key is not to go to failure, and not to do too much. Hill sprints 3-4 times a week is plenty. As well be sure to be nice and warmed up before you tackle hill sprints.
Again if you live somewhere warm, go enjoy outdoor stairs. Stadiums stairs do a great job as well. They are simple, work awesome and are damn hard. The only issue with stairs is the pounding your knees/hips/joints can take. So IF you have any issues with this be careful.
Stairs rule and again you don’t need an hour.
Hit it hard, 10-15 min and you are done.
You are better off hitting an intense two a day then you are doing stairs for an hour because you are just tearing yourself up.
Don’t squat in Running Sneakers.
If you don’t know what a finisher it’s simple. It’s a short, intense workout you can do at anytime, or you can add them in after your main workout as a quick and efficient way to lose fat and improve conditioning.
Finishers are awesome, they can be done anywhere, and most are done in under 10 minutes.
We have had a major focus on finishers at Heavyweights Training Center, and we are testing mini 5-10 minute finishers 2-3 times a day as a way to ramp up the metabolism, get the fat loss hormones going, and to just make you feel awesome.
You don’t need anything but a finishers workout and some floor space.
My new Heavyweights Finishers is also a great choice for short, intense body weight workouts that you can do anywhere.
For some great finisher workouts check out
5. Short Sprints (Under 40 meters)
Why short sprints?
Well, the longer the sprint the bigger the chance of a hamstring tear. The first 20-40 meters is when you just start to stand up tall and then the hamstring pull really kicks in.
All my slight hammy tears last year occurred after about 20 meters. So we do a lot of short 10 yard sprints at HWTC ,and combine them with a sled push.
It works very well, all you need is a lane and your body.
Another thing about sprinting is that it is very normal for a human to sprint. We have forgotten what it’s like to sprint. We have way more long distance runners than we do sprinters (especially where I live).
If you look at the physique of a sprinter vs. that of a distance runner…it’s a given as to which physique I want.
If long-distance running is your thing, cool, enjoy, but it’s not for me.
If you look at us from as being evolved cavemen (which I think we are), I always think of what Charles Poliquin said about long-distance running and hunting. “It’s always better to throw rocks at rabbits than chase after them.”
In other words we are built and meant to be explosive and fast. Our glutes are the biggest muscles in our body for a reason. They play a huge role in SPRINTING.
So there you have my top 5 exercises for fat loss.
Get off the machines, add in more hill sprints, finishers and sled work and you will save yourself time, feel better and improve your fat loss big time.
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Rob King is a Competitive PowerLifter, Coach and Writer.