Trimming away excess fat around the midsection (and rest of the body) is one of the primary goals of folks who spend time in the gym.  There are a number of theories on “the best” method of burning fat – from performing multiple cardio sessions per day to completely avoiding certain subsections of food while dieting to performing intense bouts of cardio on an empty stomach to burn stored fat for energy.

There is no doubt that cardio and diet can play a major role in your overall body fat percentage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that spending hour after hour on the treadmill six days a week or completely starving yourself are the best methods for getting lean. 

What some people fail to realize is that, while you can burn a substantial amount of calories from doing traditional cardio, you can also burn a substantial amount of calories through resistance training by lifting weights.  In fact – lifting weights helps build lean body mass, which actually helps you to continue to burn calories long after you’ve left the gym.

We know some people are already thinking, “I don’t want to ‘bulk up,’ I just want to burn fat.”  Things like bulking up and losing flexibility are common complaints of people who avoid weights and resistance machines, but truth be told, if you approach your resistance workouts with a sensible plan and a clean diet you could achieve the exact body results that you are looking for in a fraction of the time that you would by just using traditional cardio.

If you spend 45-60 minutes per day, three days per week at the gym focusing on compound lifts (like squats, bench press, pull ups, overhead press, etc.) to hit all of your major muscle groups the benefits are twofold.  You’ll be burning calories during the workout (depending upon how you perform your resistance workouts, you could burn just as much during these as you would during a cardio session).  

Secondly resistance training continues to burn calories at a high level after you’ve completed your workout – this means that you’ll continue to rid your body of excess fat during your post workout shower and during your car ride home from the gym.

You’ll also be building lean body mass through resistance training and having strong legs, a strong back and strong arms gives your body more shape and improves your silhouette.  Think about the ultimate goal you want to achieve from your time in the gym – is it just to “lose fat” or is it to lose fat and to look and feel better?  If you want to turn heads and improve how you move and feel you should strongly consider adding resistance exercise to your routine.

When it comes to structuring the perfect workout for getting lean and improving overall fitness you should use a mix of resistance training, cardio and a clean diet. 

Performing full body resistance training 2 to 3 non-consecutive days per week with two days of traditional or high intensity cardio sessions mixed in and a diet that focuses on lean proteins, greens and healthy fats will put you on the fast track to looking and feeling better.

For exercise ideas, check out Dolphin Fitness Exercise Library at