What is the best exercise to lose fat?

Running? Lifting weight? Circuit training? Sport?

How many times a week do I need to do it, how long for and how much does it need to hurt before it’s effective?

These questions I get asked almost every day. Of course we want to know what exercise is the best, we don’t want to be training for hours on end smashing ourselves in to the ground when we can be out getting smashed on pints of lager and eating Pizza Hut right? OK, so a little sarcasm there, but you get my drift.

I’ve often said in the past that I don’t really like running, I don’t think its an effective form of fat loss comparatively speaking to the modes that I enjoy and like to use on the people I train. I stand by this, and in my personal experience and opinion it’s true. I won’t bore you with the science, (I personally don’t find it boring), however, if you want some answers on that particular question, read this: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/rr-cardio-vs-weights As these guys REALLY know what they are talking about.

Fat Loss/Weight Loss

Anyway, something I’d like to point out, is fat loss and weight loss are two totally different things. Fat loss is the loss of just fat tissue, whereas weight loss is the loss of any tissue within the body inclusive of fat AND lean tissue. We want to hold on to as much lean tissue as we can! Studies are now showing that the ageing process is actually slowed down by the retention of muscle tissue, and that it is not ageing but more so lifestyle choices as you age that contribute heavily to your metabolism slowing down etc. Heavy hey.

I train my clients in a couple of different modes of exercise. They train primarily in bodybuilding routines, that are periodised and progressive over 6 weeks approximately. They also do a lot of body weight conditioning training, sprint intervals and if they enjoy it, they can do aerobic work too.

This is how I personally get results out of people. It works for me/them. Other trainers are really in to their running, and coach their clients in that format. They also get results, I’d probably say their goals would be different however.


I appear to be rambling as ever, so I’ll cut it short here and get to the chase.

The best form of fat loss exercise IS……….. The one that works for you!

Nothing particularly insightful I admit, however hear  me out. If I take a client on, who absolutely flat out doesn’t want to lift weight (that would never happen of course!) then what could I possibly expect to gain by training her in the weights room? Jack shit to be quite honest.


I know I could get results, but her heart won’t be in it. She/he won’t want to come to train with me as much as if I programmed them something they enjoyed. Can you see where I am going with this? Ultimately, I always ask them to try it, as in life you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone from time to time otherwise it will just be boring. However, you’ve got to play to your strengths.

No bloke who enjoys playing football, is suddenly going to turn around and start doing pole dance fitness or whatever, because he won’t enjoy it. (I can categorically state right now I’ve never done this, honest!)

I always say, try new things though. Don’t just stay in a little bubble because you are used to it. Get out there and try new things. Lift some weights, properly and progressively and you should enjoy the changes that come with it. If you try it for 6 weeks, hate it, then speak to a trainer who can point you in the right direction.

Other than that, find a mode that works for you and you enjoy doing, and work your arse off at doing it. It might take you longer to reach your goals, but you will enjoy the ride and that, I think is what is most important.

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