- 1 How explosive workouts will help you burn fat faster
- 2 Why explosive workouts are so powerful
How explosive workouts will help you burn fat faster
Hate spending an hour on the treadmill hoping that the longer you run, the faster you'll lose weight? Me too! Lucky for us more and more research is showing that it isn't all that effective anyway! Studies now show that quick, fast workouts are way more effective at getting rid of fat stores than those long boring cardio hauls!
Using short explosive training methods in your workout is going to help you get the most out of your workout time and burn fat much quicker. Now, if you are at the very beginning of your weight loss journey, you need to take time working your way up to these workouts.
If you’ve been leading a pretty sedentary lifestyle and reaching for the TV remote is the most exercise that you get throughout the day, explosive workouts are NOT something you should start with. You’d be better off with resistance training and cardio sessions that are not overly taxing on your body.
You need to get into the swing of things before you attempt explosive training. After about a month of daily exercise, your stamina levels will be better and you’ll become much more limber. Then (and only then) should you start engaging in workouts that are explosive. If you’re body's ready, you could injure yourself by spraining a muscle, throwing out your back or end up overly sore the next day because of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
If you’re affected by severe obesity, its best to focus on losing a few pounds so that you're in the 25% to 30% body fat percentage range. If you’re too heavy, explosive workouts will be very stressful on your joints and you’ll be gasping for breath. It would be advisable to talk to your doctor first before beginning any form of training.
Why explosive workouts are so powerful
It Starts With Physics
The first thing you need to understand is a simple physics equation:
- Work done = Force times Distance Moved
While you do not need to know how to calculate and apply this equation, you need to understand the 3 variables involved.
Let’s say you walk 1 mile. That is the distance you have moved. The walking is your force. You carrying your weight across the 1 mile is the ‘work done.’ It required some effort and you’d have expended some calories in the process.
Now let’s say you sprint 1 mile and there are hurdles throughout. You’ll need much more effort to run this distance and jumping over the hurdles requires a force that is much greater than just walking. So, your work done is greater because more force has been used. The metabolic cost of the workout has increased.
There is a principle here known as EPOC, but we’ll look at that further down. OK, Let’s look at example number 2.
Let's say you do a push-up. You lower your chest nearly to the ground, bending your elbows, and raise your body weight back up to the starting position. The distance moved and your effort is the amount of work done.
Now, if you added a clap as you push yourself up, it would require extra effort and you’d have covered more distance since you’d have jumped and clapped. The amount of work you’ve done has just increased.
The same can apply to squats done with a jump or a pull-up that becomes a muscle-up. This requires much more effort and the distance moved will be greater. That means more work done and ultimately, more calories burned.
Your goal is to get the max amount of work done. That’s what metabolic cost means. It is the amount of energy consumed when you execute the exercises and it’s usually measured in calories.
So, let’s talk about EPOC now.
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)
This is one of the pillars on the science behind weight loss… and is one of the reasons why explosive training so effective. When your workouts are slow or moderate in intensity, you’ll burn calories during the workout.
For example, if you go for an hour-long stroll, your body will burn calories during this 1 hour. Once your stroll is over, your calorie burning will quickly taper off. So, all together you may have burned roughly 300 to 400 calories. Maybe a little more if your walking quickly.
However, let’s say you do a 25-minute intense workout where you do sprints, box jumps, mountain climbers and other explosive exercises. You will not have burned just as many calories as the hour-long workout.
Now, this is where EPOC kicks in. Since your explosive workout was so intense, your body would be in a state known as ‘oxygen deficit.’ Your metabolism will get an huge boost and your body will be in fat burning mode for 10 to 14 hours after the workout.
Your body becomes a fat burning furnace for hours after your workout is over. You’ll end up burning 3 to 4 times more calories than someone who only does slow or moderate cardio.
This is why you’ll notice that sprinters at the Olympics are muscular and ripped whereas marathon runners often look very thin.
Most of the animals in the animal kingdom move explosively. You’ll never see a lion chasing a zebra for hours. It’s always a fast and explosive chase and if the prey eludes the lion for too long, it stops chasing it. Even the lion knows how to save its strength. Only man subjects himself to hours of endless cardio.
Explosive training is definitely the best way to burn your fat.
How to Train Explosively
Do note that there is a difference between explosive and high-intensity. Doing push-ups fast just means that you’re training at a high intensity. Doing push-ups where you clap or executing Aztec push-ups is explosive training.
Any exercise that requires you to jump, push off or jerk a weight up or down is explosive in nature. It requires a sudden burst of energy to execute. Many martial arts consist of explosive moves. Kicking, punching, leaping and throwing are all explosive moves.
Here are some of the best explosive exercises to work into your routines.
- Explosive rows
- Box jumps
- Tuck jumps
- Burpees with tuck jump
- Medicine ball slams
- Power plank up
- Plyo push-ups
- Dumbbell swings
- Kettlebell swings
- Squat thrusters
- Ski jumps
How to Successfully Incorporate Explosive Exercises
The goal here is to not only add these exercises to your workouts but to also do them quickly. To speed up weight loss, you need to enter the EPOC zone. To do that, you need to be fast. Doing 2 Dumbbell swings in an hour will not help you. Doing 20 in 30 seconds will leave you panting… and that's what will put you in the fat burning mode.
Not only will explosive training help you lose weight quickly, but you’ll see gains in strength and power. Your weight loss will be mostly fat with very minimal lean muscle loss. This is the ideal type of fat loss you want to be aiming for.
You can always search online for more of such exercises or look for tutorials if you do not know how to execute the moves mentioned above. Now that you know about explosive training, slowly add the exercises above to your training regimen as often as you can and you’ll see the fat melt off in no time at all.
Explosive training is not easy, but it’s worth it. My favorite workout motto, “If you look good at the end of your workout, you didn’t train hard enough.” So, if your muscles burn and you feel like dying… go ahead and do 10 more reps! You got this.