MAXIMIZE YOUR CALORIE BURNING
DEVELOPING LEAN MUSCLES
MINIMIZING YOUR REST PERIOD BETWEEN SETS
Shana Daniels, 2002 Ms. Fitness California, B.S. Sports Science
order to get that lean sculpted look that most people desire, we
need to turn our bodies into “fat-burning machines”. We can achieve
this by doing weight training or resistance training to develop and
maintain lean muscle mass, which burns more calories for us 24/7!
very important fact to know is that a majority of our calories,
especially fat calories, is burned in our muscles. Muscles burn 37½
times more calories than our fat cells. In fact, your muscles burn
50-90% of all of the calories used by the body and this fat burning
continues even while you sleep!
Strength training for even 15-30 minutes two to four times a week
will produce dramatic results in the composition, look and feel of
your body. When researchers investigated this phenomenon they were
stunned by their findings. They studied two groups of overweight
men and women for eight weeks. One group did only aerobic activity
and the other did a combination of weight training and cardio for
the same amount of time. The first group lost an average of 3
pounds of fat and gained a ½ pound of muscle while the second group
lost an average of 10 pounds of fat and gained 2 pounds of muscle in
the same amount of time! Talk about getting more “bang for your
Other research has shown that keeping rest periods to one minute or
less between sets, almost doubles one’s metabolic rate when compared
to resting for three minutes between sets with an identical
workout. While both workouts burn the same amount of calories
during the routine, the one with the shorter rest periods produces
almost twice the resting metabolic rate and calorie burn over the
next day even. The reason for these dramatic results seems to be due
to elevating your heart rate more, a quicker energy turnover, and
greater hormone release.
can increase your post-workout calorie burn and thus your resting
metabolic rate by incorporating these techniques into your
• Try “descending sets” of
10, 10 & 10; 15, 15 & 15; or 20, 20 & 20. You start with a weight
that you can just complete a set of either 10, 15 or 20 reps with
good form and then immediately drop the weight and do another set
for the same reps and repeat one more time for a total of 3 sets.
• Try “super sets” where you do
two exercises for the same or opposing body parts in a row with
little or no rest in between or “giant sets” where you group three
or more exercises in a row.
• Try a circuit training routine
using “moderate” weights in which you can perform just 8-12 reps
with using proper form.
• Watch the clock so you know
when your 30-60 second rest period is up.
• If you have a training partner
rest only long enough for them to finish their set.
• Keep socializing to a minimum
during your workout. Try using an I-pod to keep you focused and
save the chatting for after you’ve finished your routine.