In this episode I go over 3 ways to get better at any exercise TODAY!
Record yourself exercising
Tune in if you want to improve your workouts. If you enjoy the episode feel free to leave a 5 star rating and review it would mean the world to me. Reach out if you would like me to review your form video! -E.
Giselle has worked out hard her entire life and lives in the gym til this day.
Despite that fact she could not get the weight to come off.
She knew the diet part was holding her back.
When I asked her how many calories she was eating she looked at me like I had 3 heads.
From this day forward we started counting calories consistently and in turn she is 30 lbs down while also becoming more confident in her food choices.
Trust me she went through all of the most common calorie counting mistakes. The one thing she also did was never gave up which is the most important thing if you are looking to change your physique.
I tell you this because I am insanely proud of the hard work she has put in and how she never gave up.
I also tell you this because just like you Giselle has had tough times throughout her journey. As long as you do not give up you will achieve your goals.
Ready to learn what Giselle learned? Keep reading.
Before We Get Any Farther.. How Does Weight Loss Happen?
One of if not the most common calorie counting mistakes I see people make is not understanding how weight loss truly works.
You see weight loss is simple math. Sheer physics. Calculated science. Einstein would be so proud of me for using those words.
To lose weight you must create a negative energy balance. To put this in better context, you need to consume less calories than you are expending.
That would make sense at least right?
To lose weight this scale above would need to have the energy intake (calories eaten) to be below the energy expenditure (calories burned). So the right side would be above the left side meaning you ate less calories than your body burned for that day.
Before you ask no I don’t think you should do hours of cardio to burn more calories. If you want the best workout to burn calories head HERE to my article that loads out a full exercise program for that.
Hence why you are counting calories in the first place, to ensure that your calories consumed are less than your calories burned.
Let me make this next statement very clear. Lean in.
If you are not losing weight you are not in a calorie deficit.
You are not in a negative energy balance which means you will not lose weight.
This will be the cornerstone of everything else moving forward in this article.
This is also very empowering because instead of wondering if your metabolism is just slow, if your age is catching up to you, or if your stress is causing you to eat 6 donuts…
You can know that at the end of the day all of it comes down to being in a calorie deficit and not any of those things above.
Want to know how many calories to eat to lose weight? Head HERE for my article on that.
5 Most Common Calorie Counting Mistakes
#1 Guessing Portion Sizes
By far the single most common calorie counting mistake I see is people simply guessing portion sizes.
You can clearly see a difference in portion sizes there. With a high calorie food like peanut butter this could easily lead to being 2-300 calories off.
Meaning if you think you are eating 200 calories of peanut butter, you are actually eating 400 calories.
Not only are you doing this for peanut butter but for your chicken, rice, chips and cookies.
So if you are missing 200 calories here on peanut butter, 80 calories on chicken, 100 calories on rice, and 100 for chips and cookies.
I know it may not look like much individually.
Then when you add it up you get 480 calories for one day of eating that is not accounted for. If you then times that by 7 days in a week that is 3,360 calories that are unaccounted for.
This can absolutely take you out of that calorie deficit meaning you will not lose weight.
I get it. It is annoying as hell sometimes to get out your food scale and weigh your food.
Or maybe you are dining out at a restaurant and can’t weigh your food.
The point is being as accurate as you possibly can as often as you possibly can is going to yield better results.
That is if you want to see the best results you can.
#2 Not Counting All Bites / Snacks
This one can piggy back off the one above so let’s bring it to the light.
I am here to tell you that the bites of food you eat while cooking dinner counts as calories for the day.
The two or three bites you take off your kids plate at lunch counts as calories for the day.
The two or three chips you eat during the day counts as calories for the day.
As the peanut butter example above it may seem like it is not a big deal but I urge you to rethink that.
We already have 480 calories a day you are missing from guessing portion sizes.
Let’s say the bites of food you eat while cooking dinner are 60 calories, the bites of food you eat off your kids plates are 60 calories, and the 3 chips are 60 calories.
Sure by themselves 60 calories may not be a huge deal… But when done 2 or 3x a day that is 180 calories a day.
Adds up quick huh?
Not to mention the 480 calories you were already missing from guessing portion sizes, so now that is 660 calories a day that are not accounted for.
660 calories unaccounted for x 7 days a week = 4620 calories a week.
See how quick that can add up?
Which again can easily take you out of a calorie deficit meaning you will not lose weight.
# 3 Cooking Oils
One of the overlooked most common calorie counting mistakes comes at the helm of cooking oils.
When I first get people into my online coaching program I ask them to give me a weeks worth of food to see what they are currently eating.
“Hey, what do you use to cook your chicken with?”
“Oh I use olive oil I love it! Plus I am trying to keep it healthy.”
“Amazing, I couldn’t agree more! Hey do you know if olive oil has calories in it?”
“….I have no clue….”
1 tbsp of olive oil has 120 calories in it.
*When they find that out*
So remember to add in your cooking oils when you count your calories for the day.
If you are keeping that is 120 calories unaccounted for bringing us to a total of 780 calories potentially missed in one day. This adds up to 5,460 calories a week.
And we still have 2 more left ;).
#4 Liquid Calories
Liquid calories are next up on the list that are often overlooked when it comes to counting calories.
First and foremost the most common liquid calories people think of would be alcohol.
Simply put yes alcohol should be tracked and accounted for.
Alcohol has 7 calories per gram.
It doesn’t matter if you are only having vodka or drinks with no sugar in it because alcohol still has calories, so therefore it should be accounted for.
This is not to say you cannot have alcohol because you surely can. That being said, if you have a calorie limit of 2000 calories and you want to have 500 calories worth of drinks it would behoove you to plan ahead for that to stay within your calorie deficit.
On top of alcohol things like juices or smoothies have calories in them and often a ton more than you think.
Take this “healthy green smoothie” for example.
This “healthy” smoothie has 270 calories in it with 63 g of carbs.
Are you seeing why I am using the “healthy” attached to this?
Don’t let the small in stature deter size you from its high calories.
For reasons of this article let’s say you forgot to track it because it is “healthy” (which happens more times than you can imagine), that adds 270 calories to our list for the day.
A total of 1,050 calories unaccounted for in a day and 7,350 for the week.
Oof. On to the last one.
#5 Not Tracking Weekends
Oh the weekend’s.
Your time off work that you can just kick it back and relax. Enjoy some free time. Enjoy some good food.
Nothing wrong with that at all. Where you can go wrong though is thinking that the weekends don’t count towards your calorie count for the week.
You can be spot on Monday – Friday. Yet if Friday night – Sunday are completely botched then you are not going to make progress.
The biggest piece of advice I can give you is plan plan plan.
There will be some instances where you can’t and that is just life but when you can plan what you are going to eat over the weekend you will set yourself up for better success.
This is not to say you can’t enjoy drinks or enjoy a burger.
What that does mean though is you can enjoy your favorite foods while also still sticking to your calorie deficit.
Which will in turn lead you to still losing weight.
Remember there is no one food or drink that makes you gain weight rather it is going back to the beginning of this article referring to the energy balance.
As long as you are in a negative energy balance, aka calorie deficit, you will lose weight.
A great coach in the fitness industry, Jordan Syatt, actually ate a big mac every day for 30 days straight and lost 7 lbs. Click HERE if you don’t believe me.
You can easily not track the weekends and eat 3000 40006000 calories. Therefore I will exclude this from our current count.
Just know that the weekends can easily break you. If you think you want some extra help with your nutrition feel free to head HERE to ask me questions. I would love to help.
What Are The Ramifications Of The Most Common Calorie Counting Mistakes?
I hope you not only have been able to see some of the most common calorie counting mistakes that you could be making but also how to fix them.
I want to revisit that energy balance we touched on earlier to bring this all together for you.
Remember to lose weight you must be in a negative energy balance on the see saw, aka be in a calorie deficit.
Through the 5 mistakes we approximated you could be having 1,050 calories a day that are unaccounted for (not including weekends because.. yeah).
Which is 7,350 calories a week.
Let’s say that for you to lose weight you need to eat 1800 calories a day which is what you thought you were eating before reading this article.
That is 12,600 calories a week.
Now add the unaccounted 7,350 calories to the 12,600 calories.
That is 19,950 calories. This will take you out of that calorie deficit and make you not lose weight.
Let this article guide your calorie counting diet and make you aware of the traps you could fall into so you can swiftly avoid them.
Right now I am going to give you the best workout to burn calories.
I’m going to lay out what exercises you should be spending your time on and what may not be so important. I’ll teach you how to spike your metabolism to burn calories all throughout the day. I’ll tell you the biggest secrets when it comes to what is the best workout to burn calories.
Incredibly kind of me right? I do ask one thing from you in return.
Keep your eyes peeled to your screen.
Don’t look away if your house is on fire or if your child painted a fun new decoration on the wall!
Do we have a deal? Cool, now let’s dive in.
The Best Workout To Burn Calories
If you just stumbled across here, welcome. My name is Eric, but just call me E.
My main goal is to get my arms as big as my sarcasm.
As you may be able to sense there, I tease.. kind of. A large part of my childhood was sculpted from this sensation I wanted to be ripped. I wanted to look like the body builders on the fitness magazines or now instagram.
Yet that quickly turned for me the more I realized this fitness thing wasn’t about me. It was about helping the others around me through my passion.
Take Katie from Virginia for example.
She joined my online coaching program and immediately started to change her body. She is incredibly disciplined, has the heart of a saint, follows my guidelines like an army general, and always gives 110%.
All jokes aside, she is fiery, she takes jabs at me to keep me on my toes, and makes my “job” fun.
Melissa is a mom of two, business owner, and certified bad a**. She has lost 100 lbs, has a powerful personality to her, and will NOT be stopped short of her goals.
I show you these stories not to impress, but to make you realize these people are just like you. Using the same guidelines I am going to talk about here for the best workout to burn calories you too can shed unwanted body fat and take control of your fitness journey.
If you want to see more client success stories, head HERE.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
What Exercises Burn The Most Calories?
Most fitness marketers will try to sell you on this theory that you can burn 500-1000 calories in one hour of exercise.
The problem is this is simply untrue no matter what your apple watch or fit bit tells you.
Why would they lie to you?
Stick with me because I am about to explain something that is going to make you look at me like I have 3 heads.
The problem with the calorie trackers you wear on your wrist is that they vastly overestimate your calories burned. In other words they are dirty rotten liars.
Studies show calorie trackers over estimate your calorie burn by up to 50%.
When you think you burned 500 calories you really only burned 250 on a good day.
Alison was vey much in the mindset of cardio was the best workout to burn calories and lifting weights was not going to help in her journey.
I thoroughly explained to her that lifting weights was going to increase her metabolism over time and actually have her burn MORE calories doing nothing. Whereas cardio will only burn calories in that moment you do it and then it is done-zo.
As she does with everything in her life she tackled my directions head on and as you can see changed her physique. She now actually has more time on her hands because she is not doing hours of cardio.
Wait. So What Does This Mean?
Well this means that the best workout to burn calories may not be about the number of calories burned after all.
I am going to guess that in short you want the best workout to burn calories to help aid in your weight loss journey. You want to lose weight and look a certain way.
Let me paint a picture for you.
Now that you know that the calorie burn trackers are 50% over estimated imagine you spend 1.5 to 2 hours burning 500-800 calories.
That is a long time right?
Now imagine you eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. How long did it take you to eat that?
Wait what? What does americas favorite sandwich have to do with this?
If it takes you 1.5 hours to burn 500 calories but only 10 minutes to eat 500 calories, you tell me what is wrong here.
Your quest to find high calorie burning workouts to make you lose weight faster is never going to work.
The math simply will not make sense. You will never be able to burn off the calories you eat from a poor diet.
If you want help with your diet, feel free to head HEREfor my FREE diet guide for weight loss.
So.. Then What Is The Best Workout To Burn Calories?
Now that I have shattered what your previous thoughts were about exercise let me provide you a new way of looking at it.
When you exercise your focus should be building your body up not tearing it down.
What I mean by that is exercise is centered around getting stronger, building more defined muscles, doing more reps, etc.
You should not be focusing on losing weight with your exercise because that should be done through your diet.
This is done through getting off the treadmill or hopping out of the Zumba class and lifting weights.
The best part is when you make this mental shift you not only get stronger but you lose more fat in the process as well.
Okay enough of me babbling. Let’s talk actual workouts now.
I am going to give you a sample 3x a week workout below but first let me explain what they are made up of.
I like to break the workouts up into 3 different parts and the first is centering your workout around full body compound movements.
These should be the first exercises you are doing within any given workout.
For example things like squats, deadlifts, chest presses, shoulder presses, chin ups / pull ups are considered full body compound movements.
You should be prioritizing these within your training because they will give you the best return on your investment, aka your time in the gym.
They require the most total body effort. For example a squat is more than just a lower body movement. A squat requires your core to stabilize you, it requires your back to stabilize you, it requires your brain to tell you not to throw up if you are doing them right.
Kidding… kind of.
Funny enough the best workout to burn calories would actually include a lot of these exercises because they do burn the most calories.
Think about doing a squat versus doing a bicep curl. A squat is a more difficult exercise than a bicep curl you would say yes? I would hope so at least.
These movements should make up the staple of your training and you should be aiming to get stronger on these movements.
Over time you will require more work from your body meaning you will get stronger and build more defined muscles which is exactly what you want.
Next up on the list is going to be accessory movements.
These are going to be exercises like lunges, single leg deadlifts, bent over rows, to name a few.
These come secondary because they still provide a great stimulus to your body to push the strength gains and muscle definition you are looking for.
These should be done after the full body compound exercises.
Last not but last, isolation exercises can come into play.
These would be things like bicep curls, shoulder raises, glute kick backs to name a few.
These exercises are great for getting some extra work in but should not make up the bulk of your training.
3x A Week Workout Plan
Below I am going to lay out a sample program I gave to one of my online coaching clients that made them completely change their physique so I know it can for you as well.
Many fitness professionals told me not to put this out or I would lose all of my business. I call baloney and above all else I want to help you get results.
You can use this workout program for 4, 6, 8 weeks at a time. Likewise for that same period of time you should be looking to increase your strength. This can be through more reps, more weight, better form, to name a few.
Push your heel into the ground and squeeze your butt!
** I included some videos to certain exercises, feel free to click on them to make sure you are doing them correctly.
** Note: If an exercise says 5a and 5b, that indicates a superset. What this means is do exercise a and then immediately do exercise b with little to no rest in between. Once exercise b is complete, rest for the allotted time.
Day Two – Upper Body
Sets x Reps
1a. Lat stretch on bench
Big breaths here,
1b. Plank Climb Overs
Keep body level, just try to walk hands up and over
Stuck at home, and feeling like Billy Madison here above?
Trying to keep up with your exercise routine, but you don’t have all the equipment you normally do?
The best you are really working with is a half empty bottle of laundry detergent, some bands, and your kids as weapon.. I mean weights.
I assume you are worried about how you can not only keep your progress, but get somewhat comparable workouts.
Well, that is why I am writing this article for you homie, I got your back.
I get that circumstances are unprecedented right now, and all of us don’t have access to state of the art equipment or even dumbbells.
I am going to teach you some ways in this article that can lead you to still keep your workout intensity up, still challenge yourself, and honestly probably still make progress.
But first, let’s peel the curtain back a bit and understand WHY we can still get quality workouts with soup cans or laundry detergent bottles.
Alright peel the curtain, or scroll down farther what you are waiting on?
Your Muscles Are Stupid.. Don’t Worry, Mine Are Too
Haha, this meme is funny. Anywho.
What does this mean? Why am I insulting your muscles, and mine? You thought I was a pretty cool guy now here I am making fun of you.
Let me break it down.
Without going too nerdy on science here, your muscles get worked through how much force they have to produce.
Now, using load (dumbbells, barbells, cables etc), USUALLY lends you to produce the most amount of force to them.
This is because you can continuously increase the force output by adding reps, adding weight, adding total volume, to name a few.
But, you don’t have the weight you normally do.. So that is why this principle comes into play even more.
Your muscles need to have a high force output to be able to stimulate and grow. That is it. They don’t NEED weight (though clearly this is the best way), you just need to find a way to make them produce a high amount of force still.
How can you do this?
Continue reading on, quarantiners.
Manipulating Rep Movements
One way I LOVE increasing the amount of force your muscles have to be produce is by manipulating WHAT your reps actually look like.
Every rep has 3 movements, the concentric, isometric, and eccentric.
Concentric means the raising portion, so think in a bicep curl when you are actually curling the weight up.
Isometric is the static portion, so NOT when you are brining it up, and NOT when you are lowering it down, but when it is at the top of the bicep curl motion.
Eccentric is the lowering portion, so think as you are returning the weight down from the top of the bicep curl, letting your arm go straight again.
Why did I just tell you this? They are going to be important for modifying your intensity and how much force you apply to your muscles.
Let’s now use a squat for the 3 movement parts above.
For the concentric, if you EXPLODE up as hard as you possibly can, that is going to provide a TON of force.
You HAVE to use force to explode up as fast as you possibly can, or else you won’t move fast. You can easily manipulate you pushing yourself back up out of the bottom of a squat by making it explosive.
BUT, not JUST that, you can add in an isometric hold to that!
At the bottom of a squat, if you are flexed in that position (aka not just sagging and hanging out waiting for a coffee), your muscles have to work to keep you there.
If you even had 15 20 lb weights, and you add in an isometric hold at the bottom of a squat, that is going to light your legs on fire.
Think about it, if you have weight, gravity is pushing you down, you fight not only the gravity by keeping yourself in that position, but also fatigue from doing 5 10 12 reps of squats. That will BURN.
So now you are holding yourself at the bottom, and then EXPLODING back up rep after rep after rep..
Best part is, that is not all!
If you REALLY think about a squat, was is the easiest part? Lowering the weight down. Yea getting back up is hard, but if you just FALL down, you can easily bounce back up.
So, on your squats, if you can slowwwwly control the eccentric, do 3 4 5 seconds on the way down, your muscles are going to have to work more.
Instead of just letting the weight drag you down, you actually control yourself on the way down. Feel your leg muscles do this.
They are not used to having to go 3 4 5 seconds on the way down, so when you add this in, especially if you don’t have the load (weight) you would normally use, it can make a huge difference.
So now you can 3 seconds on the way down, hold at the bottom in a flexed position for a 2 second pause, and then EXPLODE up as fast as you can.
That has me grimacing just typing it.
Your bodyweight will be enough to make you work hard there, add any kind of weight… Consider your muscles toast.
Work Your Muscles Where They Are Weakest
As we just learned above, there are different parts to every rep. And every rep has a spot where it is the hardest and or easiest.
Take a side shoulder raise for example.
When you have the dumbbell in your hand, and are lifting your arm up and out to the side, what is the hardest part?
If you think about gravity, when you get to the top of the rep, where your arm is up around your ear, that line of gravity is pulling STRAIGHT down on your shoulder muscle.
That dumbbell in your hand is pulling straight down, but you are keeping it up via your shoulder muscle.
This is where your muscle is also the weakest, because it is damn hard to keep your arm up there as gravity is pulling you straight down, that is why we do one rep and drop it.
Therefore, this is the hardest part of the rep… So, if you only have say a band, or a can of soup, what can we do?
Work the muscle where it is the hardest / weakest.
Get that band or can of soup, raise your arm up and out to the side, and HOLD IT THERE!
You don’t have the weight you normally do, but you do have gravity still. And if you can put some extra work where it is hard, that will be another way your muscles have to produce more force.
What you can do it pre fatigue the muscle, so get that band, hold your arm up and out for 30 seconds… Your shoulders will be on fire from fighting that gravity, then what you can do is do 10 reps of your normal shoulder side raises.
Your muscles will already be burnt up a bit, and then you can do your “regular work”.
Though nothing about this will be regular, you will be BURNING up.
This concept can apply to a bicep curl, a glute bridge, a push up, anything.
Mind Muscle Connection
This is something that can instantly change the effectiveness of your workout.
For not only at home, but when you return back to the gym.
Think about it, if you are doing a shoulder press… What is supposed to be working in theory?
But if you are using your legs to push it back up, if you are using momentum, if you are basically just trying to move the weight from point a to point b…
You are kind of missing the point.
One thing I CHALLENGE you to do (because trust me, it is a challenge especially at first) is to actually FEEL the muscle you are trying to work.
If you are doing a bicep curl, make sure you feel your bicep the whole time.
If you are doing a deadlift, make sure you feel the hamstrings and glutes work.
What this can automatically do is increase the intensity of the workout, and increase force via that.
Logic will tell us, if you make the muscle ACTUALLY work, instead of having momentum do it, then you will be increasing the force production of that muscle.
It will go from just moving the weight from A to B, to using force on the concentric, isometric, and eccentric…
Pop quiz from earlier! What do those words mean?!
If you want to get a more effective workout, and honestly build the body you want to, start incorporating more mind muscle connection into your exercises.
This will be hard at first, and will require mental effort. You can’t just sit there on Facebook and do this. But I promise if you can give me some effort to do it, it will help you.
Nice, Dense… Sets
What did you think I was going to say? Jeez.
Alright so if you don’t have the load you normally do, what does that mean?
You also aren’t getting the regular volume you normally do.
What is volume? The total amount of weight you lift.
So say you normally go 10 reps of squats with 40 lbs.
That would be 400 lifts lifted, 40lbs x 10 reps.
But if you only have 20 lbs now, that mean 10 reps would equal 200 total lbs.
Now, you can just do 20 reps, that is certainly one way to equate volume and keep your force production high.
But meh, 20 reps?
So, what you can also do, is make sets very very dense.
What I mean by that is, say you take that 20 lbs and do squats, reverse lunges, forward lunges, and side lunges, all for 10 reps.
Do all them back to back, with resting after all 4 exercises are done.
You are now getting 4 different exercises with 40 reps in. Rest 1-2 minutes, and do it again, now you have 80 reps.
You are getting a lot of volume in a short amount of time. Since you don’t have the load you normally do, you can condense volume with getting a lot in a short period of time. Thus, that will be a ton of force your muscles have to produce to keep up.
So, all of these words are cool, but what does it actually look like?