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An Effective Fat Burning Routine

Mark Kislich provides some advice on how to burn body fat effectively.

The generally accepted wisdom says that you need first to be carbohydrate depleted to burn body fat. The idea behind this is that when your carbohydrate stores run out, the body has to switch over to mobilizing fat for fuel. This is why the morning and before breakfast suggests the ideal time for fat loss training. To make this more effective, it can help if you stop calorie intake some 4 hours before bed.

If you are an athlete, then important events are not the time to do this; you will always perform best when carbohydrate loaded. So optimal performance and build-up training is one thing. Fat loss & body composition is another.

Some sources expressed concern over muscle loss when doing higher intensity training in a fasted state. This has been pretty much resolved by ingesting some 10+ grams of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) about 20 minutes before the workout.

It seems that the few calories associated with the BCAAs are not nearly enough to interrupt the fat burning processes instigated by fasted training. So, in short: some 10 grams of BCAAs will not "break the fast" (that is what breakfast means, by the way) and ruin your weight loss efforts.

The following is a practical training protocol that will help boost HGH (growth hormone) levels and initiate lipolysis (fat burning), all provided you are in a fasted state.

  1. Warm-Up
  2. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), e.g. 5 x 30-second sprints, 2 minutes rest (hill sprints, push sledge, rowing machine, stationary bike, etc.)
  3. Weights Circuit, e.g. Squats, Chin Ups, Dead Lifts, Bench Press, 3 x 12 reps each, 10 seconds rest between stations, 2 minutes rest between circuits
  4. LIIT (Low-Intensity Interval Training), e.g. 5 x 2 minutes running (or rowing, cycling, etc.), as fast as possible, 30 seconds rest.

This circuit combines all the elements needed to boost growth hormone, burn fat and shape you up. You will get leaner more muscular, and your endurance will improve.

Many athletes are overweight with high body fat levels. Not only does this weigh you down, but as some coaches say, "fat does not flex", so this is a useless weight that will only make you slower. Being anything above 10% body fat is considered fat for an athlete.

Effectively, fat cells act like hormone glands in that they produce estrogens! That is the bad news for both men and women alike. Estrogen is a female sex hormone. It encourages further fat storage and can induce several types of cancer, and in men, it even produces the very embarrassing condition known as gynecomastia, aka man boobs. Meaning the fatter you are, the fatter you get: it is a cycle. Even in a build-up phase, the first thing I tell my athletes is, "do not ever get fat!" It is not worth it.

So, if you wish to adjust your body composition, diet is number one, as always, and adding in some practical fat burning training, as outlined above, will help shape you up in no time.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • KISLICH, M. (2013) An Effective Fat Burning Routine [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Mark Kislich is from Iceland and works with Olympic and other elite athletes as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. He keeps fit with weight training and judo.