Here are eight rules for effective fat loss training.


8 Rules for Fat Loss Training by Coach Agnes

Stop following those mainstream fitness workouts designed for short term results only. Real fat loss training should build calluses on your hands. There are no short cuts but the good news is that our CrossFit Strength & Conditioning program is a great tool to help you. But there’s more to consider.
— Coach Agnes & Owner ChalkBox

1 – Prioritize Nutrition

Yes, this is a training article, but nutrition is the single most important thing for fat loss. If you're serious about stripping off body fat, you must make time for grocery shopping, cooking, meal prep, doing dishes, and keeping a food journal. If you don't have time for this, make time. Cut down on time wasters like social media, web surfing, playing on your iphone or TV.

If you truly have eliminated every possible time waster and are still pressed for time, train less to have the time to take care of your nutrition. That's right, train less! For example, in my training program, I have Tuesdays and Sundays as shopping( online 😃)/meal prep days. You can still train on these days, but if you're truly pressed for time, sacrifice your training on these days to take care of your top priority for fat loss – your nutrition. 

As far as what to eat, there's no rule that says you have to perfectly follow a particular diet. You probably already know what foods are getting you into trouble. However, certain aspects of certain diets are worth emulating. For instance, you can take aspects of the paleo diet (natural, single-ingredient foods, meats, fish, whole eggs and vegetables) without unnecessarily restricting other foods that are not paleo but still support your training goals, like quality supplements such as fish oils, BCAA's, protein,and some starchy carbs such as rice).


2 – Pick Big, Hard WODs

Regardless of your goals, effective training starts with picking the right exercises. The best exercises for fat loss are the best exercises for almost any goal. The big, hard compound movements are the ones you should be doing.


3 – Get Stronger

While most people understand that getting stronger is important for building muscle and enhancing performance, its relevance for fat loss is often overlooked. When your goal is fat loss, you want to burn as much fuel as possible. To do this, you want your body to be as fuel inefficient as possible. 


One of the huge problems with cardio for fat loss is that the more you do, the better you get at it and thus the more fuel efficient you become. With resistance training the opposite is true. The better you get at strength training, the more weight you can lift and the more it takes out of you. Spending some of your training time getting stronger allows you to do all your other forms of training (e.g., metabolic resistance training, conditioning) at a higher/faster level and this makes them even more effective for getting rid of unwanted body fat.

4 – Build Muscle

Virtually everyone trying to lose body fat should gain some muscle. Most people know this, but it bears repeating again and again. Even a few extra pounds of lean muscle means a lot more calories burned each day.

5 – Jack Up Metabolism Post Training

Years ago exercise scientists told us to do long, slow cardio in order to burn fat. However, this answer was a response to the wrong question. Fat loss training isn't about what burns the most amount of fat during a training session, it's about what burns the most amount of fat in a 24 hour period. Short, high-intensity exercise creates an oxygen debt (known as E.P.O.C., or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and this results in a metabolic boost long after the training session is over.


6 – Schedule Wisely

Consider how different styles of training affect different systems and thus affect recovery. For example:

  • Joint stressors: sprints, high impact jumps, heavy barbell training
  • Spinal compression: heavy squats, deadlifts, farmer's walks
  • Nervous system stressors: speed/power training, heavy, low-rep training (especially >90% 1RM), training to failure
  • Metabolic stressors: lactate work (i.e., doing things that last about 30 seconds to 3 minutes and produce a lot of lactic acid. Great for fat loss, but harder to recover from)

The programming at ChalkBox allow for some "space" between different types of stressors. For example, if you stress something one day, there’s a lighter session or work a different type of stress the next day. 



7 – Rotate Strategies

As with any goal, following an effective program will only work for so long before you hit a plateau. Too often people trying to lose body fat just use intense metabolic resistance training and HITT (high intensity interval training). While these are excellent, they won't work forever. With fat loss programs, switch as needed to different strategies. As you know our strength & conditioning program changes frequently to avoid your body gets used it to it. The following strategies we program:

0.Metabolic resistance training: Use moderate weights for moderate reps while alternating upper/lower body exercises or doing whole body circuits.

  • Strength training: Use more traditional strength training methods to allow you to lift more weight when you return to metabolic resistance training.
  • Bodybuilding: Focus on building lean muscle to raise metabolic rate and doing brisk walking to burn a few extra calories.
  • Strength plus conditioning: Focus on getting stronger in the blue box (our weight room 😃) and doing challenging forms of conditioning to boost EPOC (that after-burn effect). 

The trick is to not only periodize your training, but to periodize your diet, too. When some people try a lower-volume strength training program, they find they gain fat. This isn't because of the training. Obviously, strength training doesn't cause fat gain. However, if you switch from higher volume training (think typical fat loss metabolic stuff) to a lower volume training (think powerlifting program) and don't drop down your carbs and total calories, you'll gain fat.


8 – Get Outside

We're made to be outdoors. While it's not always practical to haul a whole barbell set outside on our rig look to do something physical outside. Run sprints at the track, find a hill and do sprints, push a Prowler or pull a sled. Grab a sledgehammer and try to beat an old tire to a pulp. Also, doing some other activities such as sports or outdoor recreation is great to not only burn a few extra calories, but also to have fun, reduce stress, and enjoy the benefits of the finely conditioned machine you're building at ChalkBox.