Fat Burning Exercises

What are the most effective fat burning exercises? Well, before answering that question, let’s put the answer in context by making two important points.

First, if your goal is to lose body fat and keep it off, your nutritional program is even more important than your exercise program. In conjunction with this page, we provide you with nutritional guidance on other pages of our website.

For example, we teach you about fat burning foods and provide you with a full list on the Fat Burning Foods page of our website.

(You'll find the link to that page awaiting you further down this page.)

We also have other important pages on how to eat well, but that page is an excellent place to start looking at fat burning foods.

Second, it’s unwise to make major changes to either your nutritional program or your exercise program without getting your physician’s blessing in advance.

There are two kinds of exercise, namely, strength training (weight lifting or resistance training) and cardio (cardiovascular or fitness exercise). Therefore, the best fat burning exercises are two best exercises from each group.

So, let's find out more.

Strength, weight training

In general, there are two kinds of strength/weight training exercises, namely, simple and compound. Simple exercises essentially involve a range of motion using one joint, whereas compound exercises use two or more joints.

In terms of burning fat, done properly both simple and compound exercises will, when combined with a good nutritional program and sufficient rest and recovery, increase lean muscle mass, in other words, your quantity of muscle.

Since lean muscle is a metabolic furnace, the best way to burn fat with strength training exercises is to use them to increase your lean muscle mass. Since compound exercises are better at increasing lean muscle mass than simple exercises, compound exercises are the best fat burning exercises.

This is why getting sufficient rest and recovery as well as proper nutrition is important in order to obtain the maximum benefits from your training. (You'll find the page link to the correct nutrition awaiting you further down this page.)

If you use compound exercises properly in the gym, eat well, and get sufficient recovery and rest, your body will adapt to the stress you put on it by becoming stronger. Greater strength correlates to greater lean muscle mass.

The greater your lean muscle mass, the more calories you will burn 24 hours a day. Don't worry, it is not necessary to build huge muscles (unless for some reason you want to).

So, what are the best compound exercises?

They are squats, deadlifts, rows, presses, dips, and chins (or pull-downs).

There are plenty of variations of these and plenty of other useful compound exercises as well (such as lunges and core exercises).

We provide you with quite a few pages on this website that will teach you how to begin or improve a strength training program.

(We are especially proud of the strength/weight training sections of this website.) You will find the page links to the strength/weight training sections listed on our site map/index, which is listed at the bottom of the menu/navigation buttons to the left of this page.

We recommend two strength training sessions each week. Neither session should exceed about 40 minutes of clock time. There are no better fat burning exercises than compound, strength training exercises. You’ll get many benefits from spending from 70 to 90 minutes weekly doing strength training.

Furthermore, even if you too obese to begin a cardio exercise program, you can still begin a strength training program.

Fitness training

In general, there are two kinds of cardio exercises, namely, mild and intense. Mild cardio exercises are ones that keep your maximum heart rate at about 60 to 65%, whereas intense cardio exercises are ones that involve a maximum heart rate that is significantly higher than that (usually up to about 85% or even 90%).

In terms of burning fat during exercise, mild cardio is superior to intense cardio. Therefore, you might conclude that you should do mild cardio exercises.

That’s false: mild cardio exercises are not effective fat burning exercises. It’s important to understand why.

Since they do burn more fat than intense cardio exercises, if you do them regularly, your body will adapt to doing them. That’s to be expected.

Unfortunately, it will adapt by storing fat during recovery for your next mild cardio exercise session! You want to burn fat, not store it.

So, either do not do mild cardio exercise or do it infrequently.

Brisk walking has many benefits. If you want to do some mild cardio exercise, we recommend a brisk walk once a week. There are two free brisk walking exercise plans (one easier plan, one harder plan) on the following page of our website:

1. walking to lose weight (the easier plan),

2. walking for weight loss (the harder plan).

You will find the links to those pages listed on our site map/index. You may work up to walking 2 miles in 30 minutes, 3 miles in 45 minutes, or even 4 miles in 60 minutes. Please, though, if fat burning is your goal, don’t do it more than once weekly.

Intense cardio burns more fat overall than mild cardio exercise. This is because it stimulates more fat burning between exercise sessions.

Furthermore, because intense cardio is intense, it must be brief! This is an enormous advantage for busy people, or lazy people, or those who simply dislike prolonged exercise.

Therefore, intense cardio exercises are excellent.

We recommend 2 or 3 sessions of intense cardio weekly. In particular, if you have not been doing intense cardio exercise, we recommend starting with GXP. The page link awaits you further down this page.

Once you are able to do GXP work times of 10 minutes for each training session, you may, if you want, switch to either HIIT [high intensity interval training] or PACE [progressively accelerating cardiopulmonary exertion], both of which are more intense than GXP.

There’s a simple, do-able program of the best fat burning exercises: GXP 2 or 3 times weekly and strength training 2 times weekly.

Fat burning after an intense strength training or cardio workout can last from 16 to 40 hours!

Please be sure to eat well and get sufficient rest and recovery to maximize the benefits of your training.

This is a program that works. It has worked for many people, and it can work for you, too.

Web pages to help you further

In this the exercise section of our website we have many pages. You will find direct links to all the exercise pages on our site map/index, which is at the bottom of the menu/navigation buttons to the left of this page.

First, to get you started see the:

GXP intense cardio

page, and the

strength training


To increase your understanding, and to enhance your exercise efforts, use the correct

fat burning foods

with fat burning exercises.

Recommended books for fat burning exercises

If you gained useful information from the fat burning exercises page and wish to improve your weight loss further, the following books are highly recommended.

These are our top suggestions:

  • D. Bradford, Weight Lifting: Basic Moves for Effective Training for Muscle Building in Minimum Time!
  • A. Sears, P.A.C.E.
  • C. Poliquin, German Body Comp Program
  • S. McRobert, Build Muscle Lose Fat Look Great
  • J. Wendler, 5/3/1
  • M. Lauren & J. Clark, You Are Your Own Gym

  • All the above books are in stock at Amazon.com (for the USA) and Amazon.co.uk (for the UK)

› Fat Burning Exercises

If you are now looking for more about fat burning exercises, you can search our website or the World Wide Web.


HIIT -- high intensity interval training cardio

This is a useful video for more about fat burning exercises. It demonstrates interval training on three different pieces of equipment. Twice weekly is fine; it will be intense, so it must be brief. Notice he states that intense cardio is secondary to good nutrition and strength training if you are trying to lose body fat.

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