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What's the single best fat burning/leaning up exercise there is!?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 28, 2011 at 10:03 PM

I am a huge avid of weight lifting but curious, whats the best exercise to burn major fat,leaning out the frame all around. Love to hear everyones own experience/opinion

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 30, 2011
at 05:19 AM

Burpees suck...because they are so tough. Love-hate for sure

Medium avatar

(19469)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:41 PM

I thought you only lost 21gms when you died?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 29, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Ambi- Yeah, you're probably right. But even in that case, you (probably?) can't do enough clean and jerks to burn the same amount of calories as an intense spinning class, for example. Olympic lifts are too technical to do until failure without risk of injury, whereas you can spin until you drop.

D8ced9bd6609338f0839fa1b7f03e0bc

(0)

on June 29, 2011
at 06:12 PM

I agree 100%. Burpees melt the fat away.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:38 PM

Oh nothing is wrong win it at all, ben.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:22 PM

Yes! I love it, really. It's quick too! You don't need a lot of time or equipment, but you have to work hard and not just go through the motions.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:19 PM

Having recently switched from running 3-4x per week to HIIT 2-3x per week and running once every week or two, so far I totally agree. My body composition began to change in just a few weeks, and now when I run, I have a lot more energy and can run harder and faster than I did.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 29, 2011
at 04:38 PM

Tabata is anaerobic and has been shown to lead to significant sub-cutaneous fat loss. The whole "aerobic exercise for fat loss" is very old school thinking (not paleo old of course).

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:36 PM

@ben61820- What's wrong with anaerobic exercise?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:22 PM

But, Kamal, is the fat burning part of the question how much fat the exercise uses while performing it, or how good it is for shedding fat? I would have assumed the latter, in which case anaerobic is probably better.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 29, 2011
at 12:15 PM

actually lifting in a more pumping manner, with slightly lower weights but much higher repetitions (while not something I do) does indeed use fatty acids for fuel.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 29, 2011
at 12:07 PM

tough question. A lot of the "answers" below are less-than-helpful. Sprints are claimed by many to help leaning out though to me that doesn't really make sense since they are wholly anaerobic. Lower-intensity, but still stressful stuff i would think would be what you want: burpees, HIIT-anything.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 29, 2011
at 12:03 PM

you two are so cute. Alas Thomas, Kamal is spot on. I hate to be all sciency and stuff but the clean and jerk resides completely in the anaerobic range and used prolly NO fatty acids for fuel. I'm a laypeople but the guys who are pretty knowledgable say this, too. Practical Programming for one illustrates this, as well as a few other books. Great exercise, don't get me wrong (and one that i'm horrible at).

C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c

(725)

on June 29, 2011
at 12:53 AM

short all out sprints

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:46 PM

I think you are confusing it with the Jerk and Clean. That's being discussed in another thread :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:16 PM

Foolish questions get foolish answers.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:00 PM

I to thought of a smart ass answer and downvoting. I'm so not a fan of "the best" questions as there is no best out there.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 28, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Clean and jerk? That's the least fat-burning of all exercises! It's so anaerobic that there's no way you could use fatty acids for fuel. Hold on, are you clean and jerking in your picture? Ooops, sorry. Clean and jerks and pretty sweet though, otherwise.

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26 Answers

9
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 28, 2011
at 10:57 PM

8 hours of sleep (+/-)

There is no better aerobic exercise, not that I believe in the "aerobics for fat loss" thinking! Moreover, regarding lipolysis while sleeping, I am going to paraphrase and quote Peter at Hyperlipid (props where props are due) from this article - http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2011/03/potatoes-and-weight-loss-1.html. The entire article might not be completely applicable, but is still interesting. Anyway...

After dinner, without dietary glucose/protein input, there is no stimulus for anything other than basal insulin secretion. Lipolysis will be maximum in this state.

"The ultimate determinant of weight loss is fasting insulin. This determines how much lipolysis occurs during the period before the next meal. No one expects to lose weight during the 4 hours immediately after any meal. The following 8 hours, especially overnight, is when weight loss occurs."

I am very sleep deprived and I seriously believe that between the aforementioned snippets from Peter and the cortisol related issues due to sleep deprivation, that this is seriously impacting my weight loss objectives.

Final thought - I originally saw this question and my visceral reaction was negative (to be polite) since lately I am seeing what I believe are ridiculous questions. First I thought downvote. Then thought I would provide a smart ass answer. Then as I started typing, I realized that this question required me to suspend judgement and actually learn from it.

I hope you find this answer useful. Thank you for reminding me what it means to be a thoughtful and collegial member of this forum and not a prick...at least for the time being :-)

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:00 PM

I to thought of a smart ass answer and downvoting. I'm so not a fan of "the best" questions as there is no best out there.

6
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on June 29, 2011
at 12:09 AM

I wouldn't pick one exercise, but I think high intensity interval training (HIIT) was the best thing I ever did to lose fat. It only took 20 minutes, 3 days a week and it worked awesomely.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:19 PM

Having recently switched from running 3-4x per week to HIIT 2-3x per week and running once every week or two, so far I totally agree. My body composition began to change in just a few weeks, and now when I run, I have a lot more energy and can run harder and faster than I did.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 29, 2011
at 05:22 PM

Yes! I love it, really. It's quick too! You don't need a lot of time or equipment, but you have to work hard and not just go through the motions.

6
A2cf19fd438ae7b69ac09792efed8c33

(160)

on June 29, 2011
at 12:00 AM

It is the burpee, no question.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 30, 2011
at 05:19 AM

Burpees suck...because they are so tough. Love-hate for sure

D8ced9bd6609338f0839fa1b7f03e0bc

(0)

on June 29, 2011
at 06:12 PM

I agree 100%. Burpees melt the fat away.

4
351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

on June 29, 2011
at 12:10 AM

The kind you enjoy doing. I'm not trying to be a smartass, it really is that simple. If you enjoy doing it, you'll want to go out of your way to do it, and often.

4
9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on June 28, 2011
at 10:51 PM

There is no best excercise for burning fat, its all in diet. I lose more weight when I workout less, its stimulates my appetite less.

3
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:50 PM

Walking. It burns fat, by definition ensures you aren't sitting, and isn't stressful. Walk as much as you can.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 10:41 PM

Hands down winner: Clean and Jerk. If I could only do one exercise this would be it. It's got it all.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:46 PM

I think you are confusing it with the Jerk and Clean. That's being discussed in another thread :)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 28, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Clean and jerk? That's the least fat-burning of all exercises! It's so anaerobic that there's no way you could use fatty acids for fuel. Hold on, are you clean and jerking in your picture? Ooops, sorry. Clean and jerks and pretty sweet though, otherwise.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 29, 2011
at 12:03 PM

you two are so cute. Alas Thomas, Kamal is spot on. I hate to be all sciency and stuff but the clean and jerk resides completely in the anaerobic range and used prolly NO fatty acids for fuel. I'm a laypeople but the guys who are pretty knowledgable say this, too. Practical Programming for one illustrates this, as well as a few other books. Great exercise, don't get me wrong (and one that i'm horrible at).

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 29, 2011
at 12:15 PM

actually lifting in a more pumping manner, with slightly lower weights but much higher repetitions (while not something I do) does indeed use fatty acids for fuel.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 29, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Ambi- Yeah, you're probably right. But even in that case, you (probably?) can't do enough clean and jerks to burn the same amount of calories as an intense spinning class, for example. Olympic lifts are too technical to do until failure without risk of injury, whereas you can spin until you drop.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:22 PM

But, Kamal, is the fat burning part of the question how much fat the exercise uses while performing it, or how good it is for shedding fat? I would have assumed the latter, in which case anaerobic is probably better.

3
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 28, 2011
at 10:09 PM

There is no single best exercise. But good ones that give you lots of results for little time are ones that use the big muscles. If I had to pick my top 5: Heavy dead lifts, heavy squats, pull ups, hand stand push ups, short (200-400m) sprints. But you can't pick a best one, and I'm sure that other commenters here will substitute a few of my selections with their favorites and they'd be just as right as I am.

2
A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 28, 2011
at 10:58 PM

Walking. A lot of walking.

2
Medium avatar

(19469)

on June 28, 2011
at 10:33 PM

Kettlebell swings have become quite popular as of late. There is a whole chapter in "The 4-hour Body" devoted to them titled "How to build the perfect posterior or lose 100lbs"

1
D2e6eb2ab91f5e11589cf34b44b8e4cd

on June 29, 2011
at 03:42 PM

Sprints! 50 meter, 100 meter, 200 meter, 4 rounds of each. That workout kicked my butt!

1
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 29, 2011
at 01:49 PM

In my opinion there just isn't one to pinpoint as "the fat burner - it's pretty much any HIIT moves: double unders, kettle bell swings, wall ball, ERG, burpees, etc. Also Fartlek training. Basically get that heart going, eat well, sleep, take care of yourself and you'll see results.

1
85ae4ff705fa1c5d5fd77272dd05fd32

on June 29, 2011
at 12:49 AM

The one that you will do the most consistently to make a difference.

1
D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on June 29, 2011
at 12:34 AM

I'll have to cast my vote for Brazilian jiu-jitsu...constant demands on your abs, functional strength and coordination. But I'm beginning to believe the panicked "oh crap I'm going to get crushed/submitted/destroyed" kind of feelings work magic to send 'holy shit better get stronger/leaner' signals to the rest of your body. I'd be willing to put newb-BJJ players up against newb-lifters (or any other sport, really); the amount guys lean out in 6 weeks is really astonishing. And in the summer, working out in an un-airconditioned gym in what is essentially a bathrobe and jeans is a quick way to drop a pound or two, too- :)

But, seriously, the best exercise is the one you will do, passionately and happily.

0
B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on June 29, 2011
at 05:34 PM

Snatch or clean and jerk and 6-10 x 10 sec hill sprints (maximum effort) on a 15% grade with 2 min recovery. Additionally stand and walk as often as possible, get a standing desk or a storage shelf with adjustable shelves. I stand all day while I'm awake. I find that works the best and if you stand properly with your feet pointed forward your butt and core will be engaged. You might even notice a shoe size drop as your arches strengthen.

While the movements focus on the ATP-PC and anaerobic pathways, you are never fully relying on one system. The percentage load changes but some percentage of the aerobic system is always being used. Ask yourself how heavy you're breathing after a complex compound movement after you've completed it... you are definitely oxidizing fat especially in the recovery period while your body is going back to a balanced state.

Personally I don't eat right away afterwards... but you might find people who strongly disagree with that.

0
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:49 PM

As others have stated, there is no one good exercise. If I had to choose one that I believe is more beneficial than any other exercise, I would choose the squat. Deep and heavy. Often.

0
Da681d976130df15aac3984013aaad6d

on June 29, 2011
at 04:07 PM

Nothing has worked for me as much as following this chick....

www.bodyrock.tv

Lots of burpees for sure.

Not trying to peddle her site, it's free anyway, but she deserves the props.

Short, super intense workouts, I guess like HIIT type, but did I mention short? Like, some of them are less than 20 minutes. For the first time in my life I have defined abs.

I like her because she's a sweet person, keeps it interesting, and kicks your ass, and you get it done quick. Plus a lot the stuff is just body weight resistance so you can do it anywhere.

That's my 2 cents, take it or leave it. :)

-Lauren

0
6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on June 29, 2011
at 02:56 PM

Walking with a weight vest in a fasted state.

0
8d1ce78fe7071f2f60fd59365bf21cfc

(580)

on June 29, 2011
at 02:14 PM

Fight Gone Bad :)

no but seriously. your leaning depends not on the work you put out in the gym, but in the kitchen.

0
3dc69b257dd93737dba454c8c08790f6

on June 29, 2011
at 09:04 AM

People and their exercise suggestion... 80% if not more is in your diet and what your hormone balance looks like. Exercising too much (fat ass cardio) can actually sabotagge someone's weight loss goals.

sleep 8-9 hours avoid stress as much as possible dont eat junk do some heavy lifting and enjoy life

0
Medium avatar

(3024)

on June 29, 2011
at 07:33 AM

Death. Oh wait, does that count as an exercise?

Medium avatar

(19469)

on June 29, 2011
at 11:41 PM

I thought you only lost 21gms when you died?

0
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on June 29, 2011
at 07:21 AM

The one you like to do. Walking is my favorite, so underrated.

0
E532db32a9aa9c1b37fda35d1c72c074

(220)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:11 AM

this was addressed in the new york times recently: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17exercise-t.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=best%20exercise&st=cse

short answer: there is none.

my answer: any exercise you will enjoy and will keep doing!

0
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 29, 2011
at 01:10 AM

Working that big muscle between your ears called a brain, by researching and educating one self on the paleo lifestyle, critically thinking about what one learns and asking questions to gain even more knowledge. As that brain muscle develops one becomes more self reliant and self responsible for one's own health and ultimately one's freedom from the self imposed plague that is modern engineered food and government regulation in the name of 'helping' the individual. Exercise that brain, trim the fat of any external force that seeks to limit what we eat, how we move or how we think.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 11:46 PM

i don't share your passion for "weight lifting" - on the theory that if one wants to lift heavy things they can as well work as dockers or something - body weight exercises, on the other hand, are (imo) of more noble nature, and result in more noble looking physique

as for fat burning exercise: metabolic context is as important as exercise: thus, i would say that if burning fat is your goal - a lot of fasted cardio followed by... well, more fasting and sleep

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