8 ways to burn more calories

burn calories faster






It is no secret that I love resistance training.  In fact I believe that resistance training is the single most effective form of exercise for changing the way your body looks. No other form of exercise allows you the opportunity to literally change the shape of your body quite like resistance training.



As you know, resistance training is critical for building muscle however when done correctly it can also be fantastic for burning calories fast and losing excess body fat.

Unfortunately, many people (including plenty of medical professionals) mistakenly believe that only cardio is good for fat burning and that resistance training is only good for building muscle strength and size.

And I can see why people would think this. The typical resistance training workout performed at your local gym does not leave one with the impression that many calories are being burned…


Take a look at this typical gym scene:


Obviously this is far from ideal and not an effective use of your precious gym time!


Here are some effective strategies you can use to burn more calories during your workout;

1.  Increase intensity (lift more weight). The term intensity is often misused and misunderstood. For example, performing 50 push ups followed by 100 squats followed by 50 burpees is NOT a high intensity workout. While this may be difficult to perform it is not high intensity training. By definition, intensity is defined as a percentage of your one rep max. To illustrate this let’s look at the bench press exercise- if the maximum weight you could lift for one repetition was 100 pounds then doing so would represent 100 percent intensity. Performing repetitions with 50 pounds would represent 50% intensity and so on. Lifting too light will reduce the amount of muscle you will build. The more muscle you have the greater the amount of calories are burned during and after the workout. A great technique is to select a weight that is approximately 75 percent of your 1 rep max (75% intensity) and perform 6-8 repetitions and superset this with another exercise of similar intensity for the same number of reps. Using slightly heavier weights will produce better results than simply lifting light weights (50% intensity or less). Doing this is what I call “cardio with weights” and will not produce the same results.


2.    Use compound movements. Compound movements (squats, presses, deadlifts etc) are superior to isolation movements (bicep curls, leg extensions, tricep kickbacks) simply because they work multiple muscle groups and thus require greater energy expenditure. One great technique you can use is to combine both compound and isolation exercises into one circuit. For example, perform a squat followed by a bicep curl followed by a lunge.


3.    Super sets. As mentioned in point 1 above, supersets are when you perform two exercises back to back with minimal rest in-between. If your goal is fat loss then try combining a lower body movement (squat, deadlift etc) with an upper body movement (pull up, shoulder press etc). If your goal is to increase the muscle size in a certain area then try performing a superset using two exercises for the same body part. For example, if you want bigger hamstrings try super setting prone leg curls with Romanian dead lifts.


4.    Circuits. Performing three or more exercises back to back is called a circuit. Circuits are very efficient as they give you a cardiovascular workout and strength workout all in one. A great way to use circuits for fat loss is to use an ascending rep pattern combining compound and isolation movements. For example, perform 6 barbell squats at 85% intensity followed by 12 lunges at 75% intensity and finish with 25 leg extensions or step ups at 50% intensity. Do all three back to back with minimal rest but be careful as this will kick you’re a–!


5.     Reduce rest intervals (use stopwatch). In the video above you can see what people typically do in between sets- they talk, take long walks to the water fountain, check their email, read the newspaper or hit on the guy or gal next to them. This is not the way to burn more calories! I like to use a stopwatch to time my rest intervals as this keeps me honest and on track. If fat loss is your goal I recommend that you keep your rest intervals to 90 seconds or less. If you are trying to increase size and strength then this time should be extended to allow for maximum weights to be used.


6.    Combine cardio and strength training. One simple technique I use with my clients to burn more calories is to combine steep incline treadmill walking or treadmill sprints in between sets of resistance training. This is great for those folks who have not yet developed the strength or skill to work with heavier resistance and keeps you moving and sweating (instead of sitting around and doing nothing in between sets).


7.    Pay attention to tempo. I have spoken about tempo before and I cannot overemphasize its importance. Throwing the weights around all willy nilly with no regard to the speed in which you raise or lower them is not the way to get results.

For example, if you are trying to increase muscle size then the time under tension (TUT) for each set should generally be in the 30-70 second range. This will require that you slow each repetition down by focusing on a slow, controlled eccentric (lowering), pausing for a second in the contracted position and incorporating a controlled but faster concentric (raising).

In this case a good tempo for each repetition would be 4/1/2. This translates as follows: 4 seconds to lower the weight, 1 second pause at the bottom position and 2 seconds to raise the weight. This serves to increase the time under tension (in this case 7 seconds per repetition) and will have a greater impact on muscular density and size than a faster, more ballistic approach of 1/0/1 for example.



8.    Follow a plan. The greatest tip of all. If you don’t have a plan to follow you will likely end up repeating then same workout over and over (and the same mistakes too). Different goals call for different programs. The best workout for losing fat and burning calories may not be the best workout for building muscle size. These are two mutually exclusive goals. I have always found it best when I divide my year into phases- I focus on gaining size and strength for part of the year (without gaining too much fat- always keep track of your percent body fat) and then focus on getting lean for another phase (usually before summer of an important event- like a winter holiday! ). I recommend strongly that you follow a plan too as you will find it gives you a sense of direction and purpose and fuel your enthusiasm for working out.


This post was written by

Bruce – who has written posts on Cutting edge muscle building and fat loss secrets.
bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

Email  • Google + • Facebook  • Twitter

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

4 Responses to “8 ways to burn more calories”

  1. jane says:

    love the video. thanks for sharing!

  2. Alfonzo Toncrey says:

    i like to do bicep curls because i would really love to have those large biceps. ive been doing some weight training lately and its doing good. ,;.;:

    View all of the most recently released content on our personal blog

  3. Jacinto Veerkamp says:

    i always do some bicep curls to make my biceps grow bigger. :

    Find out about our very own blog as well

  4. Selene says:

    It’s amazing to pay a visit this web site and reading the views of all colleagues regarding this article, while I am also zealous of getting knowledge.

Leave a Reply