While cardio is a necessary component of training when your aim is to decrease body fat, it is not the only way to shed unwanted fat weight. In order to improve overall body composition, weight training is a must. Not only will it keep your body burning calories for up to 48 hours after an intense training session, it will also help you improve muscle mass to give you an overall tight and toned physique.

Weight training helps to promote the release of natural anabolic hormones like testosterone and growth hormone in both men and women which assist in both building muscle mass and burning fat. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will burn; and the more calories you burn, the more fat you will be able to shred.

By following a weight training regimen which comprises of mainly heavy, multi-joint compound lifts, you will be burning an exorbitant number of calories, improving overall muscular endurance and packing on muscle mass. So, if your aim is to achieve a truly aesthetically-pleasing physique, then performing a weight training regimen which emphasizes the following training elements is a must.

INTENSITY

There are a number of ways to increase the intensity of your workout. You can either increase weight, increasing volume, decrease rest periods, include training techniques like super sets, drop sets, giant sets, time under tension and so on; or you can use a combination of these. How you increase intensity depends on your fitness ability. For example, if you are a beginner, try start off by increasing weight a little bit every week and once you have reached a maximum weight, only then should you start increasing volume or decreasing rest periods.


FREQUENCY

Depending upon your preferences, you can either perform full body workouts or split your training days to focus more on specific muscle groups. If your goal is to build muscle mass, then training splits are the best way to go as they allow maximal stimulation for each muscle group and they generally allow more time for adequate recovery, a key to muscle hypertrophy. For split programs, you should train each muscle group a maximum of twice per week.

Another option for training splits, and possibly the best one in terms of burning fat, is to do an upper/lower split. Performing this split allows you to work your upper and lower body twice per week at a gruelling intensity but still gives you enough time to recover between workouts.


WORKOUT EXAMPLE


DAY 1. UPPER BODY


Exercise
Sets
Reps
Barbell bench press
4
6-8
Incline dumbbell press
3
8-12
Barbell deadlift
3
6-10
Single-arm bent-over dumbbell row
2
8-12
Dumbbell shoulder press
4
8-12
Barbell bicep curl
4
8-12
Lying tricep extension (ez bar)
3
8-12


Day 2. LOWER BODY


Exercise
Sets
Reps
Barbell squats
4
6-8
Barbell walking lunges
2
8-12
Leg extensions
3
6-10
Lying leg curls
3
8-12
Stiff-legged deadlift
3
8-12
Standing calf raises
4
8-12
Seated calf raises
3
20-25


Day 3. REST



Day 4. UPPER BODY


Exercise
Sets
Reps
Barbell bent-over rows
4
6-8
Wide-grip lat pulldown
3
8-12
Incline barbell bench press
3
6-10
Hammer strength machine press
2
8-12
Smith machine shoulder press
4
8-12
Side lateral raises
4
8-12
Seated dumbbell overhead extension
3
8-12
Preacher curl (ez bar)
3
8-12


Day 5. LOWER BODY


Exercise
Sets
Reps
Narrow-stance barbell squat
4
6-8
Front barbell squat
3
8-12
Reverse lunges (dumbbell)
3
6-10
Seated leg curl
2
8-12
Leg extension
4
8-12
Toe press (on leg press)
4
8-12
Donkey calf raises
3
8-12



Day 6. REST




Day 7. REST



The above example is intended for an intermediate athlete but can be adjusted for an advanced athlete by keeping rest periods to a minimum or by incorporating super sets or giant sets into the workout.


And remember, a good training plan is complemented by a good nutrition and training regimen, so make sure that you are eating and supplementing right for your goal.


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