Despite all the modern advancements in the world of fitness, there are still a handful of dated beliefs circulating. Some guys are still eating insane crash diets. Others are still doing sit-ups as their core work out. Last, but most certainly not least, tons of gym goers are still spending hours on the treadmill. There’s still a perception out there that the only way to get lean is with hours of running, cycling or stair climbing. It’s true that these activities burn a lot of calories but they require a ton of time and energy. There are other ways to blast your excess fat and reveal your dream body that are less exhaustive. You just need to be consistent, and you can get ripped without cardio.
Use Multi-Joint Lifts
The more body parts you work with a single exercise, the more calories you burn. Instead of building a workout that focuses on isolation (i.e. bicep curls, leg extensions), go big with bold movements that force several muscle fibers to fire at once. Deadlifts, bench presses, squats, tire flips and farmer’s walks are all great exercises that require multiple muscle groups to work in tandem for best results.
Decrease Your Rest Period
Instead of texting for 5 minutes between exercises, cut down your rest periods. The less you rest between sets, the more you keep your heart rate up and turn your lifting sessions into aerobic exercise. This approach burns calories in the same fashion as a treadmill run.
As you know it, HIIT involves intense interval training in shorter periods of time than traditional cardio. But it’s still cardio. Luckily, HIIT isn’t just about treadmills or Stairmasters or stationary bikes. You can build HIIT routines that incorporate bodyweight exercises like Hindu pushups, jumping squats and skaters’ lunges. HIIT isn’t defined by the exercise per se. It’s about the intervals between all-out effort and resting periods. You can do this with any series of exercises.
If your objective is to get ripped, this means you’re focused on fat loss—not muscle building. You want to maintain the muscle you have while melting away the fat. When you lift heavy during a circuit workout like a Tabata, you quickly fatigue your muscles and run out of energy. When you lift lighter, you can blow through the session without going to failure and finish every exercise.
Tweak Your Diet
It’s time to talk about your diet. As hard you work in the gym, none of it will pay off you don’t put in the same effort in the kitchen. Make sure you’re eating plenty of lean meats, veggies and fruits. Skip the junk food and soda if you want to get lean. And consider looking into supplementation. Natural supplements like CLA, L-Carnitine, Glutamine and L-Arginine are great ways to speed up the body’s natural fat-burning process. Just be leery of actual fat burning pills, which can do a number on your nervous system.
The days of hour-long treadmill sessions are over. If you want to achieve your best body and get ripped, work smarter-not harder.