It’s springtime!

Everything is beautiful: trees and flowers are blooming, the grass is green, and the ol’ ballpark is alive with roaring fans. You soon forget how terrible winter and cold weather were. With the warm weather, or if you’re in the dirty south, the HOT weather, you feel refreshed and invigorated. Energized and ready to take on the day.

Then it hits you.

A literal and figurative gut-bomb from the ballpark chilli dog, nacho cheese, funnel cake and stale beer combo.

Pool season is just around the corner

You haven’t shaken that winter weight you were saving, ya know, in case of another mini ice age. Or if you’re like me, you haven’t shaken that honeymoon weight…from 1.5 years ago. 

Your unmet fat-loss goals smack you in the face.

Or slap you in the belly. Either/or.

What to do?

Enter the “finisher”

Sounds like punishment. YEAH. Punishment for your stored fat! (Groan..)

A finisher is a simple “topping off” the workout you’ve already completed.

A sort of “grand finale” of sweat and heavy breathing, if you will.

In a finisher, you set aside 10-15 minutes for higher intensity work aimed at burning extra calories really fast and efficiently, which in turn will help you with your fat-loss and washboard ab goals.

So what activities might be in your finisher?

Some people might jump at the idea of running on a treadmill and going for a lovely sprint or two or 10.

If you know me, you know I loathe running. The incessant smashing of my joints over and over for a predetermined hell sounds about as fun as falling face first into a nest of yellow jackets.

So the treadmill is a choice. Not my choice, but a choice. Maybe you’d like something that doesn’t require running or burpees. Remember burpees? It’s that slap-dick, bone crushing, floor humping fish-flop and jump exercise.

Burpees suck.

If you’re like me, you want something that burns calories and doesn’t suck. So let’s jump right into the organic meat and sweet potatoes:

Here are 7 fat loss finishers that don’t suck

1. Fix your busted Diet

Come on. Did you really think I wasn’t going to address this issue?

The cold hard truth is this: if you have a busted diet, you’re never going to get that six pack you’re looking for. Period. No matter how hard you train or how #beastmode you go in the gym.

But you’re in luck! Fat loss through diet is a simple concept:

You must expend more calories than you take in.

While this is a simple concept, it isn’t easy.

First, use THIS calculator or THIS calculator to determine what your maintenance calories are (based on age, sex, height, current body weight, and activity level).

Then subtract about 500 calories per day. This part is key: while you could subtract more in an effort to lose more, you’ll likely find this to suck, a lot, and be incredibly difficult to sustain. Fat loss should be a marathon, not a sprint.

Track daily using My Fitness Pal or some other tracker. If you’re losing ~1 lb per week, stay the course. If you’re not losing, subtract an additional 200 or so calories, then continue to track until you’re losing.

Simple, but not easy.

2. Skipping rope

Recently I started adding rope-skipping to mine and my clients’ workouts, with incredible results. Not only do you burn about 10 calories a minute (on the same scale as a high-speed run) but you also improve athleticism and build a bangin’ lower body.

Plus, if you haven’t skipped rope in a long time you’ll likely burn more calories doing this as your body is unaccustomed to the exercise, and is therefore less efficient.

There are a couple ways to attack it:

10 minutes continuous

OR

Accumulate 1000 skips through intervals of 100-250 skips at a time, resting as needed between rounds.

No matter how often I skip rope, this^ workout still kicks my ass.

3. Kettlebell swings

The kettlebell swing is and “explosive” hip hinge: you throw the kettlebell between you thighs and explosively thrust your hips forward, sending the kettlebell back up to about eye-height, and repeating. Because of the nature of a kettlebell swing (explosive, no heavy eccentric loading) you burn a shitload of calories (15-20/minute) while building a great backside.

How to do it:

  1. Set feet outside hip width apart, with the KB in front of you, like you’re going to hike a football.
  2. Hike the KB between your legs, while hinging back towards the wall.
  3. Explosive “snap” your hips forward, propelling the KB in front of you.
  4. Let the KB stay loose in your hands. This isn’t a jerky movement. It should flow and look smooth.
  5. Pull the KB back towards your hips, playing “chicken” with your crotch.
  6. Hinge, and repeat.

Try this simple, but challenging workout:

  • 10 KB swings, rest 30-60s
  • Repeat 5-10 times, or 50-100 swings, depending on abilities

Make sure you pick an appropriate weight: none of this 8-10 lb bullshit. Only a heavy-ish kettlebell is going to drive results:

Ladies, at least 25-45 lbs

Gentlemen, at least 35-55 lbs

4. Bear Crawl

I love bear crawling. Not only does it help build strong shoulders, abs, and hips, but it burns a ton of calories (~10/min)

How to do it:

Start with all fours on the floor. Lift your hips, leaving about 1-2 inches clearance between knees and the floor. Keep inside this “box” you’ve created with your shoulders and hips, and make small movements, with left hand and right foot moving first, then switching.

Try this bear crawl ladder:

  • Crawl 10 yards, rest
  • 20 yards, rest
  • 30 yards, rest
  • 40 yards, rest
  • 50 yards, rest
  • 40 yards, rest
  • 30 yards, rest
  • 20 yards, rest
  • 10 yards, rest

That’s 250 yards, or 2.5 football fields of crawling. You’ll be smoked afterwards!

5. Complexes

A “complex” is a series of exercises strung together for a number of reps, all completed before the implement is set down. I’ve talked about complexes HERE before in the past.

Using dumbbells, here is a sample complex:

  • Thruster x 10
  • Bent-over row x 10
  • RDL x 10
  • Reverse Lunge x 5/side

Rest as needed. Complete 3-5 rounds and call it a day

Complexes are a sort of “weight training cardio” where you can build muscle and burn fat all at the same time. They can be brutal, but only if you choose an appropriate weight.

Here’s a KB complex ladder for you to try:

  • 10 swings
  • 5 goblet squats
  • 10 swings
  • 4 squats

And so on, until you complete 10 swings and 1 squat. Afterward, you’ll have completed 50 swings and 15 goblet squats.

6. Row Ergometer Sprints

I love the rower. Not just because it burns me up like crazy, but also adds some much needed upper back pulling volume. In other words, it helps fix my shit posture. Plus you burn ~10 calories/min doing them

How to do it:

Make sure the straps are around the last lace on your shoes.

“Reach” as far as you can with the handles

“Drive” hard through your legs

“Finish” with arms

“Easy” recovery, as you “reach” again and start your pull

Try this workout:

200 meters, rest 60-90s

^complete 5 times

The next week, shave about 10-15 seconds off your rest period and go again.

7. Mix and Match (aka Circuits)

Let’s have some fun with it shall we! The above workouts are a whole lot of fun, but they’re straight forward. Let’s try a little mix and match:

Workout 1:

  • 10 KB Swings
  • 5 KB Squats
  • 5 Pushups
  • Bear crawl x 30 yrds
  • Rest

Workout 2:

  • 200 skips with rope
  • 10 KB Swings
  • Farmer’s walk 40 yrds
  • 5 pushups
  • Farmer’s walk 40 yrds
  • rest and repeat

Workout 3:

  • 200 m Row
  • Bear Crawl x 20 yrds forward and reverse (ass-backwards)
  • Bicep Curls, cuz gunz
  • Rest, repeat 3-5 times

This is just an example of how you can mix and match some of your favorite fat-loss finishers.

Summary

Fix your busted diet

Ditch the treadmill

Have some fun with complexes, kettlebells, rope skipping, etc and watch the fat melt away!

Andy Van Grinsven

About Andy Van Grinsven

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