It’s the end of a grueling training session, but I know it isn’t really the end. My mind takes me back to my teenage years, playing Mortal Kombat when I hear the words, “FINISH HIM”, repeat in my mind and I know what is coming next.
Workout finishers are intense exercises, or combinations of exercises, performed at the end of your training sessions in order to take advantage of low energy stores when the potential for using fat as energy is greatest. Finishers should be performed 3-5 times a week at the end of training sessions and usually are around 5-15 minutes in length.
If you are thinking, “is that all?”, you’re not imagining the appropriate intensity. Finishers are INTENSE, nausea-producing workouts. If you feel like doing anything after you are done, you did it wrong. I do not recommend going to full-on vomit speed, however, as the time spent doing that will count as extra rest and, well, that just defeats the purpose doesn’t it.
Here are a few of my favorite fat burning workout finishers.
This little number uses the Push up, Pull up, Tire Drag. It is is performed by going to the ground for 60 seconds of push ups performed at a pace that allows you to continue moving for the entire time.
Get up, head straight to the pull up bar and get some wind moving in your hair as you perform 5- 10 reps of pull ups. Don’t go to failure or it will make it difficult to complete the rest of the rounds.
Hop down from the bar, and using a harness and rope attached to a tire, sprint forward dragging the tire 20 yards, turn and sprint backward 20 yards.
Now you’ve been introduced to fire as your quads, calves and hamstrings are melting. Repeat for as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.
Fat Burning Workout Finisher #2: Ascending/Descending Ladders
The Kettlebell Swing, Goblet Squat, Turkish Get up are the movements used for this finisher. Life has its ups and downs and so does this finisher. Start with 2 Kettlebell Swings, then do 20 Goblet Squats followed by 1 Turkish Get Up each side. Rest as little as necessary and then do 4 Kettlebell Swings, 18 Goblets Squats and 1 Turkish Get Up each side.
Continue the ascending and descending ladder counting by two’s until you reach 20 swings and 2 Goblet Squats followed by the final set of 1 Turkish Get up each side.
Fat Burning Workout Finisher #3: Clean Up on Aisle 15
The Kettlebell Clean, Kettlebell Bent Row, and HAKS make up this finisher. The 15 rep finisher is not a “low weight/high rep” workout. You will find the heaviest possible weight you can use to complete the 15 repetitions. If you can do 16 reps, go heavier.
Once you’ve determined the weight, perform 15 reps of KB Cleans then 15 reps of KB Bent Rows, then the 15 reps of HAKS, or” heavy ass kettlebell swings”. Complete 3-5 rounds.
Fat Burning Workout Finisher #4: Heavy Farmer Walk Tabatas
This one is simple. Grab a heavy weight and carry it for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds, pick it back up and walk around for 20 more seconds. Rest 10 seconds. Repeat for 8 rounds total. Easy, right?
This tabata is one of the toughest I’ve done. It is an equal opportunity destroyer, trashing grips, forearms, shoulders, traps, core, and lower body all in one fell swoop. I had to drop to progressively lower weights to maintain grip throughout all the rounds of 20 second walks and on the last round grabbed the heaviest bells again for the final walk.
It is important to remember that the term “tabata” not only refers to the interval of work/rest, but also implies a very high intensity, around 100% effort. This should be harder than carrying all your groceries in from the car in one trip… Much harder.
Fat Burning Workout Finisher #5: Cosgrove’s Evil 8
Complexes are my favorite finishers. There are many out there, but this has always been my favorite barbell version. The eight movements go as follows: Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift, Bentover Row, Power Clean, Front Squat, Push Press, Back Squat, Good Morning. To find your weight, consider your weakest movement.
If you load the bar for your deadlift then try to press that overhead, it probably isn’t going to go very well. You won’t need a lot of weight to make this work. Most sources say 95 pounds is sufficient for most men. Most of my fit female clients get worked with 45-65 pounds.
You will perform 6 reps of each movement without setting the bar down until you’ve completed all eight movements. Rest 90 seconds then complete 5 reps of each movement. Continue for 4,3,2,1 reps with 90 seconds of rest between each round. If the 90 seconds seem like “too much”, you need more weight.