All gym rats have the same primary goals: Build muscle and burn fat. But melting away that pudgy layer to reveal the six pack you’ve worked so hard for requires more than logging time on a cardio machine—a helluva lot more, in fact.
Optimizing what you’re eating, how you’re working out, and every choice of your lifestyle can help boost your metabolism and control your hormones in a way that’ll set fire to fat. Here’s how.Working Out
At its core, burning fat comes down to the process of lipolysis—the breaking down of fat lipids, explains Seedman. This happens in the mitochondria of the muscles, or the powerhouses of the cells, responsible for generating the energy our cells need to do their jobs. Exercise has been shown to improve mitochondria function, which then promotes fat breakdown, Seedman adds. Plus, working out helps regulate pretty much all the hormones that optimize fat loss.
Stand in front of the bar, shins touching metal, feet roughly shoulder-width apart. Squat down and grab the bar overhand, hands slightly wider than shoulder width and elbows straight. Draw your shoulders back, push your chest out, and tense your lats. Taking a deep breath, begin standing up, pushing heels into the ground and pulling your chest up. Keep the bar as close to your legs as possible. As soon as the bar passes your knees, push your hips forward with power, ending standing tall and straight with the bar in front of your groin. Slowly reverse the motion, making sure to keep your abs braced, and lower the bar to the floor.
Set up a box behind you and then lower your body until your glutes touch it. Touching the box requires you to “sit back” as you squat, as if you were lowering yourself into a chair, and this action gets the glutes and hamstrings maximally involved in the lift. It also helps you to perfect your squat form. You can start with a higher box and gradually move to smaller boxes as you improve, ultimately training your body to squat below parallel with no box at all. Better still, the box squat places no strain on the knees, so even people with knee problems can attempt it safely.—www.healthline.com
Don’t Overdo It on Cardio
Burning too many calories actually causes your body to go into a high-stress state, causing your cortisol levels to surge and your body to start clinging onto fat. Plus, studies show high levels of cardio increase your body’s production of estrogen, which causes you to store more fat.