Training for Fat Loss
Adding muscle mass by weight training raises your metabolic rate, helping you to burn more fat during training, as well as during rest. Research has shown that resistance training boosts resting metabolism to a higher level and for an extended period of time post workout, more so than aerobic activity. In fact, doing only cardio without the accompaniment of weights can actually slow fat burning due to the possible loss of lean body mass.
Supersets, in which you perform two exercises back to back with little to no rest is a great way to speed up fat loss by the greater caloric expenditure that results. They are a great technique for driving up training intensity, using more volume in less time, all while combining an aerobic factor to a typically anaerobic activity.
Within a superset you'll train either the same body part with two exercises or perform one movement each for two different muscle groups. The first exercise of a superset is a mass building/compound movement, followed by a single joint isolation movement for shape and detail
An example of a typical fat burning superset training day would look as follows:
Incline Bench Press superset with Incline dumbbell flye 4 sets x 6 reps
Flat bench dumbbell press superset with decline bench press 3 sets x 10 reps
Cable crossovers 3 sets 12 reps
Bench dips superset with lying Tricep extensions 3 sets x 8 reps
Close grip bench press superset with tricep pressdowns 3 sets x 10 reps
Overhead dumbbell extensions superset with dumbbell kickbacks 3 sets x 12 reps
Rest between sets of supersets should be less than 2 minutes
Cardio is the next most important element in achieving a ripped physique. Aerobic activity helps increase caloric expenditure, and if done at the right intensity and duration, can dramatically decrease body fat.
There are 2 schools of thought on performing cardio. On the one side, we have individuals who prefer to use longer, more moderate intensity post weight training, usually 65% of maximum heart rate, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. This type of cardio is best for sparing muscle mass while simultaneously burning fat. The only downside is the length of time typically necessary for this style of cardio to be effective.
On the other side, we have high intensity interval training. This type of cardio is done by using alternate bouts of moderate intensity, usually 2-3 minutes in length, followed by 1-2 minutes of all out, or close to maximum effort. The premise behind this style is you will be able to burn more calories in a shorter period of time, plus you receive a greater post cardio spike in metabolic rate. However, there is a slightly greater chance of losing lean body mass due to the higher intensity involved.
Of course, along with weights and cardio, a diet of high protein, moderate carbs and healthy fats is necessary to achieve fat loss. All 3 of these factors combined can result in a very lean, fit, and healthy physique.