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How To Do Burst Training Workouts For Rapid Fat Loss & Lean Muscle Development

If you’re looking to build muscle, lose fat, and increase strength and power, burst training is the ticket. What is burst training? It’s high intensity-short duration resistance training that works to stimulate hormonal responses that speed up fat loss.

Most people look to build fitness through weight machine exercises and low-intensity aerobics. While this approach has some benefits it develops little power, strength, speed or functional fitness.

The biggest benefit of burst training is it will convert you from a fat-storer to a fat-burner. If you want to lose fat while building lean muscle you must create the correct hormonal balances.

Burst training is the most effective routine for turning on your fat-burning switches and there’s scientific evidence to prove it.

Hormones like adrenaline and growth hormone stimulate fat breakdown. They work by triggering hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), an enzyme the helps release fat from the cells.

Traditional low-moderate intensity resistance training does little to create this hormonal response. Burst training on the other hand fires up your central nervous system which ignites your metabolism.

A University of Colorado study found that the hormonal and central nervous system responses were lower in people exercising at low-moderate intensities. Increasing growth hormone and adrenaline release is the secret to reducing body fat. The best way to do this is with short-duration, high-intensity weight training, and cardio interval training.

Burst training includes high intensity weight training, bodyweight movements, and explosive exercises. You can use a wide variety of exercises but the key element is working the large muscle groups with an overload stimulus. Traditional free weight exercises like the ones listed below simply work best.

• Barbell Bench Press
• Barbell Bent-Over Rows
• Barbell Squats & Lunges
• Barbell Shrugs
• Barbell Overhead Shoulder Press
• Barbell Hang Cleans
• Barbell Power-Cleans
• Barbell Dead-Lifts
• Barbell Upright Rows

Of course many of the above exercises could be completed with dumbbells as well. Examples of the bodyweight exercises commonly used in burst training include:

• Push-Up’s
• Pull-Up’s
• Mountain Climbers
• Mountain Jumpers
• Back Bridges
• Bear Crawls
• Table Makers
• Torso Lifts
• Leg Lifts
• Plyo-box jumps
• Jump Rope
• Jump Squats
• Core/Abdominal exercises

Example of a burst training resistance workout:

Exercises (Sets x Repetitions)
Do The Following Circuit 1-3 Times

Barbell Squats: 1 x 6-8 reps
Jump Rope: 30 seconds to 1 minute
Rest: 1-2 minutes then proceed to next group of exercises

Barbell Overhead Shoulder Press: 1 x 6-8 reps
Plyo-Box Jumps: 10 jumps
Rest: 1-2 minutes then proceed to next group of exercises

Pull-Up’s: 1 x 6-10 reps
Mountain Climbers: 30 count
Rest: 1-2 minutes then proceed to next group of exercises

Bench Press: 1 x 6-8 reps
Jump Squats: 15 reps
Rest: 1-2 minutes then proceed back to first group of exercises



There are endless ways you can put together a burst training workout. The whole idea is working the muscles with high-intensity, explosive movements, then rest briefly and repeat.

At Shaping Concepts we specialize in burst training workouts to help our clients create amazing body transformations. The results of our clients who use this workout method speak for the overall effectiveness. We’ve simply found no better way to develop total body fitness, health, and human performance.

People often question the effectiveness of a thirty minute fitness routine but one time through a burst training workout and you’ll be a believer.

Please understand that if you’re new to exercise there will be a period of progression with functional exercise before you go “all out” with burst training. You must be able to work with your own bodyweight as resistance before progressing to weight training for example.

It’s also important to build what’s called an “aerobic base” with low-moderate intensity cardio routines before progressing to the cardio equivalent of burst training called interval training.

The progression of healthy individuals to burst training for resistance training and interval training for cardio is the one-two punch for maximum fat burning and lean muscle development.

The progression we use with at Shaping Concepts goes like this:

Level One: Starting A Fitness Program

Resistance Workouts: Bodyweight and functional movements (medicine ball, resistance band, stability ball, etc)

Cardio Workouts: Low-moderate intensity aerobic cardio routines (50-75% max heart rate)

Level Two: Progression to Burst Training

Resistance Workouts: Introducing free weight exercises and establishing proper form and technique. Continue to increase intensity for improvements in muscle strength, development, and endurance.

Cardio Workouts: Moderate intensity cardio routines (80-85% max heart rate)

Level Three: Burst Training

Resistance Workouts: High-intensity, short duration, explosive workouts using all exercise modalities.

Cardio Workouts: Combination of aerobic exercise on days of resistance workouts and high-intensity interval training on off days (95-100% max heart rate).

Shane Doll CPT, CSCS is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. Learn more how you can receive a FREE no obligations trial of our Charleston personal training programs and experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself.

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Category: Burst Training.