How to Use Density Training for Rapid Fat Loss
Who loves to build muscle? Burn fat? All hands better go up 😄💪! This week I am featuring a great guest post from Annie Jones at Boost Body Fit. Thanks for your contribution Annie and keeep up the great work!
For most of us, fitness is life. Unfortunately, the 21st Century has turned out to be such a fast-paced life. Spending 3 hours at the gym to achieve your fitness goals is just not an option anymore. As a result, we are always on the lookout for hacks and quick fixes that give us the most in the gym in the most limited time possible.
This is true when you are trying to drop that excess body fat fast for the summer while maintaining your hard-earned lean muscle. However, you need worry no more when you got some good old density training in your corner.
What on God’s Green Earth is Density Training for Fat Loss?
Simply put, density training is all about putting in more work for shorter bursts of time. This gives you a dense workout with high volume in the least duration possible. Yes, this will probably give you quite the beating, but it means you only need 30-40 minutes for your workouts.
Also, you will undoubtedly thank yourself for doing it, because this program will get you shredded in no time. Most of you have probably heard of the Escalating Density Training Protocol (EDT) for maximum gains in the shortest workout time possible. Well, we are about to put that program on fat annihilating steroids to give you the ultimate fat loss cocktail.
So, how do you get it done? Well, it is a simple and straightforward concept. To bump up the density to your workout, you have to aim to increase the volume or decrease the duration of your workouts. In practice, you can do this in two ways:
- Ramp up the volume while maintaining your duration. This would mean increasing the number of reps and sets you would normally do in your workout. To achieve this, you would need to either bump up the weight, increase your lifting tempo, rest a lot less or do a combination of these. For example, if you take 20 minutes to complete 5 sets of 5 reps in your back squats, you would need to do 6 sets of 12s in the same duration.
- Lessen the duration while maintaining the volume. For this one, you would need to maintain your number of sets and reps per exercise, but do it in a shorter time than your usual. For the same 20-minute 5 by 5 back squat routine we talked about earlier, you would need to either up your tempo, take shorter rest periods or do both. All of this is executed within a shortened period of 15 minutes
Devising Your Own Fat Loss Density Training Plan
EDT at its true, original form involves the use of supersets and tri sets with the reps and resistance used for the goal of hypertrophy. Dial down the weight a bit and increase the number of reps, then what you have is a fat burning regimen tuned to your shredding success. The best part is that developing a routine of your own is no rocket science. Don’t have access to a gym? No need to worry about that either. You can easily do this at home.
Before we get into the different programs you could use, let’s establish some ground rules.
- Your entire workout will consist of 2-3 circuits, each done at least twice, and either for time or for reps.
- For every circuit, you should have no less than 4 and no more than 6 exercises. The more exercises you have in a circuit, the fewer reps or time you should set for each. For example, for 6 exercises, do 8-10 reps and for 3 exercises, go for 15-17 reps.
- Do not compromise the intensity of the workout. This means either using a weight that allows you to perform at 6-8 reps more that your intended reps or weight that allows you to reach failure before the timer ticks out.
- Each workout should target a different major muscle group. A good rule of thumb would be to have push, pull, leg and abdominal exercises in the same circuit. Your circuit can lean toward one or more muscle groups depending on your goals at hand.
Set Your Circuits Up For Time
Here, you will be doing as many reps as possible of a given exercise within a static amount of time. This does not mean you should lazily cruise through your workout though. You need to put all your effort into this for it to be effective.
Of course, you will get stronger with time, and the intensity of the workout will die down. Therefore, you will need to increase the volume of the workout every week or so. You can achieve this by either increasing your tempo or by lifting heavier.
The amount of time you set can be according to your schedule. If like the rest of us humans, you have a frantic schedule that barely allows you to have a decent breakfast in the morning, then you will need to choose shorter workout sessions.
However, this would mean doing the workout at a high tempo and using heavier weights. For those of you who actually have the time to hit the gym for a proper workout, then the following schedule can help give you an idea on how much time you can allocate to your exercises. The less the weight you use, the more time you need to spend on the set and vice versa.
- Push exercises: 20-35 seconds
- Pull exercises: 30-45 seconds
- Leg exercises: 35-60 seconds
Set Your Circuits Up For Reps
For this kind of workout, you will be maintaining the volume of your workout, while reducing the amount of time you need to do the workout. There are two ways to accomplish this. The first involves setting a specific time to complete an entire circuit with a preset number of reps. Take note of the number of rounds you did in this workout. The next time you perform the same workout, increase the weight and trying to achieve the same number of rounds with the same reps. If the lift is heavier, you will lift slower; this will force you to reduce the resting period between your sets
The second way involves setting up a specific time for each exercise within your circuit and performing each exercise until the time runs out. Take note of the number of reps you performed for each exercise and aim to increase the density in the next circuit. You can do this by either increasing the number of reps performed within the same time or increasing the weight. In fact, you can even do both. Your body is primed to adapt to difficult situations. With time, you will be able to lift more, in shorter bursts of time.
How Will This Help You Lose Fat?
High-density training turns your body into an all-natural fat burning machine. For the best result, you want to push yourself to beat your best in every subsequent set and workout. By doing this, you condition your body to be able to do more work every time you hit a workout. As a result, your body will never be comfortable, avoiding those nasty plateaus.
Instead, you will keep improving, allowing your body to torch more and more fat every time you step into your zone of ultimate torture.
Getting stronger and earning more endurance at every wake definitely, comes with its own sweet perks. It allows you to lift heavier with less resting periods. Our good old friends in the labs with lab coats have found this to cause a higher spike in testosterone — an important muscle building and fat burning hormone.
This is as opposed to the more traditional “resting enough’ for the next set” routine that we are so accustomed to. This will definitely allow you to shred down fast enough for the summer while preserving your sweet gains.
The fat annihilation does not stop after your workout. You keep burning serious calories even after your workout while seated on the couch watching Netflix. The high intensity of this workout regimen will have your heart racing and breathing heavy in just minutes leading to an increase in metabolism.
This is because your body is desperately trying to supply oxygen and nourishment to your hard working muscles. It takes your body up to 16 hours to recover from this, during which you keep burning significant amount calories. As you get stronger, this effect becomes more and more potent, allowing you lose more calories post workout with time.
This program relies highly upon giant sets. This means you will be working more major muscle groups in one day. As a result, your body will use way more calories than it would during normal lift sessions or bodyweight training where you focus on just one major muscle per day.
This results in a spike in your metabolism leading to more release of insulin into your bloodstream — a key fat burning hormone. Testosterone levels also skyrocket, helping you preserve muscle during and after your sessions. In addition, this makes the post-workout fat burn effect a whole lot more potent and effective. Who needs muscle-depraving cardio when you have this program in your fanny pack?
Well, there you have it. The ultimate fat shredding program explained in a nutshell. You can make the workouts as short or as long as you want, making it the best option for your busy schedule. You can also perform it at home or at the gym at your convenience. However, remember to use manageable weights. Once the fatigue sets in, form tends to deviate: so, safety first. Finally, this program will not be of much help to you if you don’t couple it with the right nutrition. There is a reason why they say, “Abs are made in the kitchen,” you know.