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Fitness & Health

05th May 2015

Feature: Three big fat burning tips you need at the gym…

Beer belly be gone...

Ben Kenyon

Summer is coming, so – without wanting to sound like that ‘are you beach body ready?’ poster – we guess you’ll be stoking up your fat burning furnace ready to hit the beach.

But you can slave away at the gym without seeing the fat loss results your hard work deserves.

That’s why JOE is bringing you three essential tips to maximise your fat burning potential from personal trainer Jason Wittrock. This should do the trick…


1. No carbs before barbs (barbells, sorry)

This is a biggie. Most people fall into the trap of thinking you need to carb-up before hitting the gym.

This might be the case if you’re looking for size and strength, but the opposite is true if you’re looking to shred up.

Here’s the science part: Basically if you feed your body sugar (think energy drinks, pasta or grains) before you hit the gym then that is what your body will burn off first.

Once it has burned off all the glucose from your carbs it will then drain your muscles of glycogen (which is essentially your muscles’ store of glucose).

Once all that energy is expended only then the body will finally start dipping into those fat stores.

So, if you want to maximise your fat burning then avoid carbs before you work out – this way your body will start burning that nasty fat much quicker.

A good pre-workout meal would be rich in protein and essential fats (think salmon, oily fish, chicken and avacados).

2. Weights come first

This is a fundamental fat burning tip. You will get maximum benefit from hitting the weights first.

Primarily you want as much energy as possible to get the most out of your strength training rather than burning off all your glycogen (stored carbs) first doing cardio.

But secondly, hitting the weights will burn up all the glycogen first, meaning that when you start your cardio afterwards you will be burning pure fat.

Jason says glycogen is like a tank in your muscles and when it’s empty your body will move onto burning fat stores.

3. Cardio always comes second

Once you’ve bashed out a load of squats or bicep curled your arms into oblivion, those muscle glycogen stores will probably have had all the sugars squeezed out of them.

This is the prime time to do some fat burning cardio.

This falls broadly into two camps. You have got low-impact steady state cardio (LISS) or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) (they’re not as sciencey as they sound.)

Basically LISS is any exercise that keeps your heart rate at a steady pace (around 60% of your max) and encourages your body to burn fat. It includes anything like a fast walk, a slow jog or work on a cross-trainer or step machine for 30-60 minutes.

HIIT – or interval training – is super high-intensity bursts of sprinting, cycling or rowing for a short interval of 10-30 seconds followed by a longer period of rest or low-intensity work.

This seems to be the most effective fat burner of the two because it will boost your metabolism for hours after you’ve finished whereas LISS won’t.

And don’t forget 5 easy ways to clean up your diet.