A Personal Trainer's Top Fat Burning Exercises

Updated: Apr 2

Get a professional trainer's advice on fat burning exercises that actually work..

Here are some of my the top fat-burning workouts you can experiment with this week. Start with one of the ideas below, or ending your workout with it. I am a huge advocate of exercising in the morning, after your lemon water and before breakfast, but do what suits your body and lifestyle best.

1. Quick Power Walks

Walking is one of the best workouts when you are trying to lose weight. Just about anyone can do it and given there so many different forms of walking, you can choose your intensity to suit your end goal. If you have been sedentary for some time, this is the perfect start for you to ease back into exercising.

BEGINNERS: start by taking casual walks as a beginner and work up to longer periods of time. You will keep your body moving and kick start the burn of calories. I highly recommend that you time yourself or use a marker such a a landmark to track your progress from week to week. You'll be amazed just how fast the body adapts when you are consistent.

MODERATE to ADVANCED: remember to keep pushing yourself. The body adapt with regular stimulus in as less than 10 days so be mindful and keep mixing it up, going super hard some days, easing off and mixing up your walking terrain each week.

CHALLENGER: As you progress, be sure to add in some challenges to push yourself. If you want to burn more fat, you need to increase the intensity. Instead of an hour-long casual walk, try a fast-paced, power walk but for about 20-30 minutes. Carry weights, push the pram or throw bubs in the baby sling. Take to the beach and walk briskly on sand to really engage your core and the larger and stabiliser muscles of your legs. Hiking uphill over uneven terrain also has the same effect. Kick it up a notch each week to help your body burn fat and progress.

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2. Do Weights Before Cardio

Another effective method for burning fat is to do at least a few minutes of weight lifting before you do cardio. Warm up and then lift.

Adding a mini weight lifting session (even on days when your only mission is to do some cardio) can help you increase your weight loss results and boost your efforts. When people do at least 10-15 minutes of weight lifting before stepping on the treadmill or elliptical, it has been proven to help them lose weight more quickly and toned up at the same time. Weight lifting can also help you create an afterburn effect and burn calories long after your workout is over.

BEGINNER: stick to the machines as these help your keep better form than going it alone with free weights. Start off light and do 10-12 reps paying close attention to your form. If you are not sure, ask the gym floor trainer to come give you a quick once through of the equipment. Most gyms do this for members for free. As you become confident with each machine, up your weight and lower the reps to 8-10. To gauge if the weight is heavy enough, by the tenth rep you should be fatigued in that muscle group. Move on to the next muscle group and do the same. Then hit your usual cardio workout, and notice the difference this makes!

MODERATE to ADVANCED: trying this trainer's hack can help you push through a weight loss or training plateau. Hit those free weights and get that after burn effect by doing a short circuit of lifts or weight machines with 6-8 reps; really challenge yourself to feel that muscle group fatigue. Rest or switch to the opposite part of the body (lower or upper).

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3. Try Circuit Training

If you are a bit intimidated with cardio or weight lifting, then circuit training might be for you.

Many fitness centres offer circuit training as a class, or provide an area of the gym where each machine can be used in a circuit. Curves is well known for sessions using circuit training. Following a well planned circuit will make it a lot easier for you to workout, without worrying about which machines or exercises to do or for how long. Circuit training can be an easy way to burn more fat at the gym and maximise use of the machines without needing a personal trainer to show you how it’s done each time. Once shown, you can work independently toward your goals.

You can try circuit training at home with your own home gym equipment no matter your fitness level. Just set up a small sequence of exercises and a set time in which to complete each one. A super simple home circuit could be 60 seconds running on the spot; 30 seconds of Mt. Climbers; 20 seconds of bicep and tricep curls, and overhead press with dumbbells (or tin cans); 30 seconds of lunges, squats and ab crunches. YouTube is your friend if you are new to this. There are thousands of workouts to search from. My favourite channel is Fitness Blender and beginner workouts like the one below.

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4. Mix Up Your Workouts

This isn’t a specific type of workout, but rather a method of exercising. If you want to burn more fat while losing weight, then you don’t want to do the same exact workout every single day. The body adapts quickly so mix it up every 10 days to keep your body guessing.

Instead of your usual power walk, 5K run or fitness class, try mixing it up and adding in some Yoga or Pilates. Do this before or after your regular routine to bolster your fat burning efforts. Go for an intense hike instead of using the gym treadmill, or trying a new activity that gets your body moving in new ways such as jumping at an indoor trampoline park or indoor ninja obstacle course. When you work different muscles of your body and have a different level of intensity, you start to burn more fat. This is the way to bust through those training and weight loss plateaus!

Put it into action. ...what are you going to try from this article?

Wishing you health + happiness,

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