A Faster Way to Burn Fat

In order to melt body fat, you can’t do things halfway. When your goal is fast fat loss through exercise you must generate the highest metabolic cost possible. It’s imperative to full-body workouts in order to create an oxygen debt which, in turn, stimulates your body to burn more calories and fat (especially after you stop training). Most people just jog on a treadmill or maybe run a few sprints to burn fat. Think of any typical cardio exercise and I’ll bet it’s a lower-body exercise (sprints, jogging, biking, hiking, etc). But there’s a much better, faster way to see your abs. (Don’t forget, eating the right foods is essential, too.)

While training, the key is to do high intensity cardio that stimulates your upper- and lower-body muscles in the same workout. If you just run, no matter how fast, you’re only get half the results you could be getting if you simply added in an upper body exercise. The problem is, people don’t equate upper body exercises with cardio so they don’t know how to supercharge their fat loss.

The best upper body cardio exercise is boxing since it works virtually every upper body muscle and your core. It has a very high metabolic cost, too. The cool part about boxing is that you don’t need to be good at it to see quick results. Just get a pair of 16-ounce gloves, throw punches and hooks against a bag or in the air, and voila, you’re on your way to a leaner, fitter body.

Why not skip the gloves and just throw your punches without gloves? Two reasons. First, those seemingly light 16-ounce gloves make your muscles work significantly harder. Second, wearing boxing gloves creates a psychological response akin to combat. Those gloves put your mind in a state that’s ready for action!

Here’s a sample fat-burning workout that you can do after lifting weights or on a separate day. I’ve had everyone from Playboy playmates to professional fighters strip off body fat with this style of training. It’s awesome. I prefer to do all training outdoors so that’s what I’ll outline first. Then I’ll show you how to modify the workouts for home or gyms.

Warm-up: start with a few minutes of rope jumping, foam roller exercises, or mobility drills to prepare your muscles. Once your body feels ready, it’s time to turn on the juice.

Workout (outdoors): sprint for 50 yards, then jog backward to the starting line. As soon as you return, put on boxing gloves and throw punches (shadow boxing) for one minute. It’s essential that you move around while punching, don’t just stand in place. After a minute of shadow boxing, slip off your gloves and perform another 50 yard sprint followed by a backward jog to the starting point. Continue with this sprint/shadow boxing combination for 10 rounds (about 15 minutes’ worth of work). If you’re in better condition, do it for 15 rounds.

1A Sprint 50 yards
No rest
1B Jog backward to starting line
Rest 15 seconds (enough time to slip on boxing gloves)
1C Shadow box for one minute
Rest 30 seconds (enough time to slip off boxing gloves) and repeat 1A-1C 9-14 more times

Workout (indoors): sprint on a treadmill or in place for 10 seconds followed by 20 jumping jacks. Next, slip on the gloves and hit a bag or shadow box for one minute while moving around. Continue with this sequence for 10-15 rounds.

1A Sprint on a treadmill or in place for 10 seconds
No rest
1B 20 jumping jacks
Rest 15 seconds (enough time to slip on boxing gloves)
1C Hit a bag or shadow box for one minute
Rest 30 seconds (enough time to slip off boxing gloves) and repeat 1A-1C 9-14 more times

There are endless combinations of full-body workouts that can melt body fat, but the sprinting/boxing combo is an excellent change of pace. It’s worth mentioning that just a private session or two with a qualified boxing instructor can make these workouts even more enjoyable and effective. If you’re going to put in the work, you might as well do it right. Who knows, honing your boxing skills might come in handy someday.

Stay Focused,

19 thoughts on “A Faster Way to Burn Fat

  1. Chad,

    Would various movements with 1-2 pound Indian clubs be another option in place of boxing? The chance for high-velocity, multi-pattern upper body movements seems like it would work well paired with a lower body movement in such a set-up?

  2. Thank you for the helpful article. Personally, I am more into using a Concept 2 Rower than boxing. It would be excellent if you could write a post similar to this using rowing instead of boxing. (As a side note, I am half way through the v-diet; thank you for the workout you created for it. Looking forward to moving onto Huge in a Hurry; after that and following your How to Eat to Build Muscle post for nutrition. Financially I can only afford BCAA powder. Is it ok to take 10g w/ 4 oz. of juice?) Thanks again.

  3. This is a very interesting point of view. Your blog is refreshing, but I wish one could find more content, though. I am looking forward to reading more from you. Keep up the good work. thanks.

  4. Chad,

    Your website / blog is vastly improved! Great place to see your articles and for you to win more fans. I got Body of Fire recently and am looking forward to starting program. Took some of the ideas out of it and put those to use right away. I lost nearly 2-1/2 pounds the first weekend by adding jump rope and jump ups after my elliptical time. I’m also benefiting from an Excel spreadsheet that keeps track of my weight, fat % and water %, plus a food log (prevents cheating).
    Thanks for your insight, knowledge and encouragement. My goal of going from 183/24% to 175/15% is within reach.

  5. this may seem a little off topic but what is your view of Blast straps or TRX suspension work aftr a workout or the next day….

  6. Nice post Chad,
    HIIT is the only way I train when I’m looking to shed kilos (via the elliptical no less).
    I’d love to give boxing HIIT training a try though…

  7. Jenn, replace all squat or lunge variations with a deadlift (double or single-leg) variation since it imposes little stress on the knees.

  8. Mustafa, I think straps and TRX are great for many exercises, especially push-ups, pull-ups, and core work.

  9. Marv, it’s great to have you on the site. Most of all, it’s awesome to hear that you’re keeping cancer at bay. Thanks for the support and stay in touch.

  10. Hi Chad,

    Even if it is not my goal (those days) because I have more hard work to gain muscles, I’m very interested in fat loss. I’m curious, with my scientific studies, and maybe because I -seem- to know very well about what I talk about when I talk about traning, people pretty often ask me “Hey, can you give me tips or program to lose this ?”. And also, I love to help them when I can. My few knowings on that matter come from all what I read in books, in articles, especially yours and HIAH, a book that I really enjoy by the way !
    In this article, and in the “Get Lean” program of HIAH (I didn’t buy BOF (yet !) !) you are refering to HIIT. I simply wonder if you read what seems to be the last researchs about their potentials and what you think about it. I read all the articles from Lyle McDonald on the comparison between HIIT and steady cardio training ( http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/ ), very interesting.
    With that, your “New way of running” seems really even more better for fat loss than classic HIIT.

    Regards from France !

    P.S. : Is there any translation of BOF in other languages like french ? Or Huge in a Hurry ? Because if I am ok with english, people I recommend your books aren’t… And, of course, where could I find them in those languages if they exist ?

    CW: Thanks for the post. I like this way of training for fat loss better than simply alternating between sprinting/jogging for the reasons I mentioned in the article. However, when you’re doing plenty of other strength work like I have in HIAH, sprints alternated with jogging are beneficial. Both methods will work.

    The only translation that I know of for HIAH is in German. The other books haven’t been translated.

  11. hay chad i am in the third week of body on fire the workouts ar mental and i am geting the best results ever. i woud highly recomend this workout plan and this concepet of working out for fat lose to eanyone. i was woundering if i could perform ur gpp asap routen on my off days . thank u for all ur help

    CW: Great to hear. If you can recover (ie, your performance in the BOF workouts doesn’t decrease), the GPP program is fine on the off days.

  12. CW,

    What do you think a good method would be to become “cut.” I don’t necessarily want to get bigger, or even that much stronger, but more defined. Would this kind of workout be suitable for this?

    Also, is it smart to power lift and then follow it with cardio to achieve this goal?


    CW: Don’t worry about getting too big or strong. I recommend the Get Lean program from Huge in a Hurry with the fat loss diet that’s covered in it.

  13. Hi Chad,

    My doctor banned me from running again, ever. Running plus a jumping jack workout together caused the stress fracture I’m finally recovering from. After that, and previous problems – IT band, plantar fasciitis (twice), sprained ankle (twice), I’ve finally decided I’m going to listen to my doc. This is all just from trying to drop fat, I’m not an athlete or anything. I DO pay attention to form, though. I’m more careful than you can imagine. Did running clinics and all, worked with trainers and physios. I’m just done with it. I do strength, but need cardio – am a pear-shaped woman with *those* thighs, at 25% bf, bmi 21.

    What I can do: rowing machine, elliptical, stationary bike (but, hate it), walking @ 4 mph with incline. If I broke up HIIT sessions of these cardio exercises with, e.g., punches, or minute-long drills of e.g. pushups, burpees, squats w/ presses, could it work almost as well? (You’ve mentioned something like this in one of your articles on T-Nation or Figure Athlete, can’t remember which now :/)

    Please let rowing be best, it’s the most fun…

    CW: Rowing is great, as long as your form stays in tact. The key is to maintain an arch in your low back. If you do that, you can do it all day long with no problems.

  14. Chad, if one is doing full-body workouts, which I prefer, when is the best time to do HIIT? For example, straight after a full-body workout, on separate days, etc etc?

    Are there any caveats to HIIT, especially HIIT that involves sprinting (eg never sprint the day before a full-body workout?)


    CW: Good question, but it depends on how many days you can train per week. If HIIT has to be on the same day, do it after your full body workout. But a separate day (48 hours after full body) is best.

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