6 Effective Ways to Burn More Calories at the Gym

Get burning!

 

You’ve read the magazines, watched the YouTube videos, followed advice from a well-known Instagram fitness model — all on how to tone down or lean out. Most always, the advice you’re given doesn’t work effectively. And now you’re lying on the couch, digging your fat ass into your third Ben & Jerry’s tub, thinking why the life you’ve been given is one void of fat loss.

Everybody has the ability to lose fat — that’s a given. What everybody doesn’t have, is the resources or knowledge, or even commitment, to do so. There’s not much I can do about your level of commitment — that’s all on you. What I can do, however, is provide you with the much-needed information to help educate you, and ultimately, point you in the right direction to the rest of your fit life.

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When it comes to the gym, most women just want to get in and out as quickly as they possibly can. And who can blame them? Shoot, not even I want to spend upwards of an hour keeping my ass in shape, let alone do meal prep. But I do these things. Why? Because I love the way it makes me feel. The amount of confidence I’ve gained through transforming my body from that of a smooth-skin to having a six-pack year-round is incredible!

So, the next time you dread going to the gym, just remember what you want to look like. It may not take a month—or even two—but you’ll certainly get there if you persist.

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Let’s take a look at eight pieces of cardio equipment that may help you break through the paused progress you’ve been experiencing as of late.

1. TRX Suspension Training

I’d be willing to bet that you’ve seen these yellow bands hanging around your gym, am I right? You might have even thought to yourself, “What the hell are those things?” Fret not, I’m here to break it down. TRX is the next best thing after regular bodyweight exercises. These straps hanging from the walls of your gym are adjustable, meaning that you can either make an exercise easier or more difficult. However, if you’ve not used this before, it is inadvisable to go balls-to-the-walls on your first day of trying out this form of suspension training.

Example TRX Exercises:

Note: Perform each exercise for three sets. To up the intensity, perform each exercise in immediate succession; after all these exercises have been completed, it will count as one set.

1. Squats — 15-20 reps

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Harder variation: Single-Leg Squat

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2. Chest Press — 12-15 reps

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3. Plank — 20-30 seconds

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Harder variation: Atomic Pike

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4. Rows — 10-12 reps

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5. The Power Pull — 10-12 reps

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2. Fan Bike, aka, The Misery Machine

Okay, so the “Misery Machine” absolutely does not sound appealing, especially not to anyone who dreads going to the gym. But here’s the good news: this machine works. Period. If you are looking to burn more calories during the short period of time in the gym, hop right onto the fan bike.

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The thing that makes this machine so effective, is that it kind of “fights” back when you’re using it. This is caused by the resistance of the fan. The more effort you exert, the higher the resistance becomes.

Here’s a beginner HIIT routine to get you started:

Note that the level of difficulty is measured on your rate of perceived exertion (or PRE) on a scale of 1-10. Level 1 is quite easy, and level 10 is a full-out sprint.

Perform this routine three times a week, just until you’re able to push harder.

  • Warm-up — 5 minutes at a 3-5 intensity level
  • Working phase — 10 sec. at an 8-10 intensity level (working phase), 50 sec. at 3-5 intensity level (recovery phase) — repeat this process 8-10 times
  • Cool-down — 5 minutes at a 4 intensity level

Once the above routine becomes easy, consider the below routine to rev up your fat-burning goals.

  • Warm-up — 5 minutes at a 3-5 intensity level
  • Pyramiding your intervals:
    • 10 sec. sprint, 50 sec. recovery
    • 20 sec. sprint, 40 sec. recovery
    • 30 sec. sprint, 30 sec. recovery
    • 40 sec. sprint, 20 sec. recovery
    • 50 sec. sprint, 10 sec. recovery
    • 40 sec. sprint, 20 sec. recovery
    • 30 sec. sprint, 30 sec. recovery
    • 20 sec. sprint, 40 sec. recovery
    • 10 sec. sprint, 50 sec. recovery
  • Cool-down — 5 minutes at a level 4 intensity

3. Heavy Weight Lifting Sessions

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You didn’t think that I’d leave this one off the list, did you? I’m not going to preach the whole women-don’t-have-as-much-testosterone-as-men-do-and-therefore-can’t-put-on-as-much-muscle-mass story — we’ve all heard it. It’s old news. But why should you consider doing weight training? For one, increased muscle mass equals more calories burned during the day, although not a lot (around 5-7 calories per pound of muscle mass), but every bit counts.

On the other hand, lifting heavy will ultimately burn a decent amount of calories. Remember to conserve a good amount of your daily carbohydrate intake for after your weight training session. By doing this, you ensure that most of the nutrients consumed after training go directly to your muscle cells instead of fat cells. This is due to increased insulin sensitivity, and glucose transporters being pushed out to the surface of whichever muscle group you trained.

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4. Jump That Rope

Ever seen what boxers look like? Pretty lean. Well, I’m sure that some of it have something to with the jump rope. Ever noticed how much boxers use the jump rope in their training programs? Maybe it’s time to take some pointers from our fighting friends.

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If you’re looking to add variation to your workout, try the following jump rope routine:

  • Standard forward jump — 60 seconds
  • Side-to-side jump — 45 seconds — Perform this by jumping a few inches to the left, and then to the right
  • Backward jump — 30 seconds — Perform this by swinging the rope backward with each jump
  • Single-leg jump (left leg) — 30 seconds — Jump only on one foot, in this case, the left foot
  • Single-leg jump (right leg) — 30 seconds — Now, jump on the right foot

5. Weight Sleds

If you haven’t heard or seen what a weight sled is, then you’ll thank me for being your sensei. Weight sleds come in the form of a sled that you can push, or a sled onto which you attach a harness which you wrap around your torso.

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Example workout for the weight sled:

Note: Complete all exercises for three sets unless otherwise instructed.

  • Bear crawls — 50ft to one end, and then back.
  • Sled push — 50ft to one end, and then back.
  • Sled sprints — 50ft to one end, catch your breath and sprint back
  • Walking lunges —  2 sets of 12-15 reps for each leg.

6. Jump On That VersaClimber

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The VersaClimber is a machine that simulates a climbing-like motion. Tilted at a 75-degree angle, this machine is nothing like you’ve seen before. It allows for a great range of motion, utilizes push-and-pull movements which work the entire upper body, according to Jason Walsh, who, exclusively runs cardio classes that solely use the VersaClimber.

According to Walsh, the VersaClimber is able to burn anywhere between 600-800 calories per 30-minute sessions. We’re guessing that these sessions will have to be a tad intense.

Example workout for the VersaClimber:

  • Warmup — 4 min. at a pace of 100-130 ft/min. — Perform using long strokes (16-18 inches)
  • Working phase — 3 min. total — 45 sec. short strokes (10-12 inches), 170 ft/min. / 45 sec. long strokes, 100 ft/min. Repeat this process once more
  • Rest — 30 sec.
  • Working phase — 3 min. total — 30 sec. short strokes, 170 ft/min. / 30 sec. long strokes, 120 ft/min. Repeat this process twice more
  • Rest — 30 sec.
  • Working phase — 4 min. total — 20 sec. short strokes, 200 ft/min. / 10 sec. short strokes, 100 ft/min. Repeat this process seven more times
  • Cool-down — 4 min. at a pace of 100- ft/min. — Perform using long strokes

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