5 Principles Of Time-Efficient Fat-Burning

You don’t want or have time to spend 5 days per week exercising for 60+ minutes each workout, and thankfully, you don’t have to do that in order to get great results. In order to reduce the time you spend exercising each week, and get significantly better fat-burning results with shorter and less frequent workouts, there are 5 principles that your workouts must follow.

1. Metabolic Resistance Training (Not Cardio)

Metabolic resistance training (MRT) involves taking traditional resistance training exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, rows, etc, and performing them with higher rep ranges (12 to 15 reps per set) and incomplete recovery periods (limited rest between sets).

MRT is the most time-efficient way to burn calories during the workout, as well as after the workout during what’s called the “after-burn” (also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC).

Besides being brutally boring, cardio exercise is almost completely useless towards burning fat (it can actually make you fatter). Needless to say, cardio also doesn’t produce a significant after-burn effect, but with MRT, you will be burning calories at a higher than normal rate for up to 48 hours after you stop exercising.

2. Total-Body Workouts (Not Split Routines)

If you want to maximize the time you spend exercising, you absolutely must focus on total-body workouts that work all of your major muscles in each workout.

The opposite of total-body workouts are what’s called “split routines”, which is when you only work certain muscle groups each workout. Split routines are a gigantic waste of time and should be avoided by anyone who wants great results in only a few short weekly workouts.

The problem with split routines is that it’s impossible to burn many calories when you’re only using a small percentage of muscles on your body during the workout. Leg workouts can be very effective towards fat-burning, but upper-body workouts range from less effective (chest or back) to a complete and utter waste of time (arms or abs).

The key to getting insane results in only a few short weekly workouts is to ensure that each workout focuses on total-body metabolic resistance training so that you’re working all of the major muscles on your body each workout.

3. Compound Exercises (Not Isolation Exercises)

Compound exercises are when multiple joints are moving and multiple muscles are working during the exercise. Examples of compound exercises are squats, lunges, deadlifts, pushups, rows, military press, and pull-ups.

Isolation exercises are when a single joint and muscle is working during the exercise. Examples of isolation exercises are leg extensions, hamstring curls, chest flys, reverse flys, triceps pushdowns, biceps curls, and shoulder raises.

Compound exercises provide maximum bang for your buck because you’re working more muscles each exercise. Compound exercises are also more functional than isolation exercises, because compound exercises more closely mimic the movements you do in every day life.

Back to the topic of fat-burning, by choosing the best compound exercises, you’re essentially stacking multiple muscles groups into the same exercise and burning many times the amount of calories that you could burn if you were just performing inefficient isolation exercises.

4. Non-Competitive Exercise Order (Not Straight-Set Format)

Non-competitive exercise order means that you are performing your exercises in such a way that each subsequent exercise works different muscles than the previous exercise. This allows you to work out harder and with less rest.

A simple example of non-competitive exercise order is as follows:

  1. Squats
  2. Pushups
  3. Lunges
  4. Rows

That exercise order switches between lower-body and upper-body, and it also switches between push and pull for the upper-body exercises. The benefit of this type of order is that you can take very limited rest periods and still maintain a high intensity because you’re not working the same muscle groups back to back throughout the series.

Straight-set format is when you do multiple sets of each exercise before moving onto the next exercise. That forces you to take longer rests periods or else the quality of your workout will suffer. Performing your exercises in non-competitive order allows you to maximize every second that you spend working out.

5. Maximum Intensity (Not The “Fat-Burning Zone”)

The most ridiculous myth in the history of the fitness industry is something called the “fat-burning zone”. The idea behind the fat-burning zone is that there is a certain level of intensity where you burn the highest percentage of calories from stored body-fat. It’s so incredibly stupid that I feel dumber just writing about it, but here goes.

When you exercise, you burn stored energy (calories) to fuel your workout. Energy comes from three places: glycogen, body-fat, and muscle breakdown. Ideally when you exercise, you want your energy to come form the first two, and avoid burning muscle tissue to fuel your workout.

The fat-burning zone is the level of intensity where the percentage of calories being burned by body-fat is highest. The key word there is “percentage”. Staying in the fat-burning zone means that you’ll be burning significantly less total calories than you’ll burn if you crank up the intensity and go balls to the ceiling.


For the best possible fat-burning results in the least possible amount of time spent exercising, perform total-body metabolic resistance training workouts that focus on compound exercises done in non-competitive order at the highest intensity you can handle. Unless you enjoy wasting your time on efficient workouts, avoid boring cardio, meathead split routines and isolation exercises performed in straight-set format, and stay the hell out of the useless “fat-burning zone”.