When it comes to training for fat loss too often we find ourselves paying far too much attention to the finer details, overlooking the important factors that actually matter with trying to preserve muscle and strip body fat. Over the past 5 years I’ve used many training principals when it comes to fat loss. Here are my top tips on how you should be training to get lean.
Focusing on losing body fat can be a very painful task, not to mention tedious. When it comes to losing body fat I have found that focusing on the performance element of my training provides way more satisfaction and helps take my mind away from how I look every single minute of every day. If you focus your efforts on gaining strength in the gym then you can pretty much guarantee you’ll be maintaining your muscle but also keep your training fun and enjoyable. Trust me, there’s nothing more satisfying than getting stronger while you drop body fat and get lean. Making ‘performance’ your focal point will help the process of fat loss seem a lot less daunting and ensure you’re keeping those hard-earned gains.
Periodise your training
Every training programme should include an element of periodisation. Whether it’s daily or weekly you should be considering blocking your training into various microcycles. This will prevent plateaus; which are extremely common during a fat loss phase but also to keep your training enjoyable and challenging. I would advise sticking with a programme for around 4-6 weeks before mixing things up. Periodisation comes in the form of changing up your volume, intensity and frequency too. Consider all of these key factors when planning ahead for fat loss.
Focus on compound exercises
I’ve emphasised this before but I’ll mention it again. Compound exercises are your best friend when it comes to training for fat loss. Using multiple muscle groups in a single exercise will get your heart pumping, maximise muscle fibre recruitment and give you more bangs for your buck! Don’t get me wrong, isolation exercises still have their place but the focus of your training should be around compound exercises for fat loss. I recommend a 3:1 ratio of compound exercises to isolations.
Hit strength cycles
Touching back on my first point, focus on getting stronger during your fat loss phase no matter what rep ranges you’re training within. I would strongly recommend that you deliberately include phases of strength specific training too; working in rep ranges of 3-6 reps on your primary compound exercises. Gaining strength and maximise your muscle fibre recruitment will allow you to keep fullness and shape. You’ll also be surprised just how out of breath you can get from heavy strength lifting!
Train like your life depends on it!
One of the observations I’ve made over the years is that people who don’t train hard enough never seem to get to where they want to be. No matter what training programme you’re following, or who’s coaching you, you MUST train with intensity if you want to change your physique for the better, lose fat and achieve your goals. Having a good structured training programme is very important, yes, but above all you need to be challenging yourself and pushing the boundaries in every single session. As they say ‘if it doesn’t challenge you then it will not change you’.