Fitness Columnist Dominic Lucibello
by Dominic Lucibello | June 05, 2013
Fat loss is war. The fight requires a strategic plan and a commitment to stick to the plan no matter how long the battle lasts. Exercise, nutrition, hormones, digestion, sleep, hydration, supplementation and stress levels all have an effect on fat loss.
When we physically attack fat with exercise, our attack should come from the rear. I am referring to the back of the body known as the posterior chain. The posterior chain includes all of the musculature from the base of your skull to your feet. The gluteus maximus, also known as your “rear” happens to be the largest muscle in the body.
Fat loss requires intelligent, planned training. Don’t confuse training with physical recreation. Walking, random Zumba class and gardening are examples of physical recreation. Training is doing precise movements with specific loads (weights) and repetitions that produce a target change.
During war, an objective is to keep troop causalities to a minimum. Muscle is your front line in the war on fat. This is why weight training is so important – it builds and maintains muscle. Muscle is the only tissue in the body that can increase your basal metabolic rate. Your BMR is how much energy (calories) you burn just to regulate a normal state. The more muscle, the more energy required. Muscle turns your body into a fat-fighting machine!
Before you bring a knife to a gun fight, let’s discuss what exercises are best for building the posterior chain.
Nothing works the entire posterior chain better than the deadlift. If you only had time for one movement this should be it. Sadly, some gyms have banned this movement – you’ve seen the commercial, “I lift things up and put them down.”
Considered the king of exercises, the squat is primarily a leg exercise, but by loading the spine, all the musculature in your torso and back are forced to assist and stabilize the body.
These movements can be done with body weight using suspension straps, rings or a pullup bar. They can be done with dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells or machines. All pulling movements involve the musculature of the back. Depending on the angle from which you’re pulling, whether you’re standing, sitting or in a bent position determines what other muscles will be used. For instance, a bent-over row using a barbell involves the hamstrings (back of the leg), the powerful glutes and a tight abdomen to maintain the proper position.
Many people have restraints due to back issues. Due to the compressive force that squats and deadlifts can put on the spine, they may not always be suitable choices. The answer? Split squats, lunges and other single-leg movements. Single-leg work will wake up those glutes, so be careful to control the volume (repetitions) or you will find it awfully hard to sit down the next day.
There are many factors that go into choosing the right arsenal of movements in your assault on fat. A trained professional can be a great ally. Fat will not fight fairly and will resist many attacks. If you fight fairly and line up your troops like Lord Cornwallis, good luck. Instead, harass your enemy with a deliberate rear assault. Then continue to dig in and fight, never giving up until you have achieved your mission.
* Building muscle is essential for fat loss.
* Learn to train, not merely do random acts of physical work hoping for results.
* Focus on training the back of your body (posterior chain).
* Have a plan, and stick with it long enough to see if it’s working.
* Always master a movement before increasing resistance or trying an advanced variation.
If you would like to see video of the exercises discussed in this article, go to YouTube and search Coachdomluc.
Declare war on fat cells, pick battles strategically
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