If you want to burn fat in a time­ef­fi­cient man­ner but don’t want to lose your hard­earned mus­cle, a com­plex could be key.

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If you want to burn fat in a time-ef­fi­cient man­ner but don’t want to lose your hard­earned mus­cle, a com­plex could be key.

ome­times the sim­plest way to burn fat is com­plex, and no, we don’t mean “com­pli­cated.” A com­plex is a se­ries of ex­er­cises per­formed seam­lessly one af­ter the other, us­ing the same equip­ment and same weight for all the moves. All reps of one move must be com­pleted be­fore mov­ing to the next, and you can only put the equip­ment down when all ex­er­cises are fin­ished.

Com­plexes are es­sen­tially a form of meta­bolic con­di­tion­ing, which in­cin­er­ates mega-fat while main­tain­ing lean mass. Ac­cord­ing to one study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Nu­tri­tion, par­tic­i­pants who ex­er­cised three days a week us­ing tech­niques sim­i­lar to a com­plex lost more fat than par­tic­i­pants who only did four hours of aer­o­bics per week. Fur­ther­more, the lifters re­tained all their lean mass and were shown to sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease their me­tab­o­lism — while the aer­o­bic-only group

de­creased theirs. Take this bar­bell com­plex out for a test-drive, ei­ther as a fin­isher for a strength ses­sion or as a stand-alone con­di­tion­ing work­out. Since the idea is to boost your me­tab­o­lism and ig­nite the fat burn, don’t use a crush­ing weight — just play to your weak­est lift. For in­stance, if you can squat a Smart Car but can’t do an over­head press with a naked bar­bell, then use a naked bar for all the lifts. When in doubt, err on the lighter side; you can al­ways in­crease your weight next work­out.

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