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Workouts That Burn The Most Calories


Multi joint exercises vs single joint exercises

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m answering a question about workouts that burn the most calories, and comparing multi joint exercises vs single joint exercises.

Typically people looking to burn a lot of calories with their workouts have a goal of weight loss.

Makes sense, since it’s super important to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight.

However, these same people assume the best workouts to burn calories, include hours of boring low intensity steady state cardio, often called LISS.


I say this because the style of workouts that burn the most calories are not based on long endurance, aerobic cardio.

Workouts that burn the most calories are accomplished by following a properly designed full body resistance training program, with a focus on the large muscle groups.

This takes a mindset shift to properly understand this

When calorie burning is your goal, this doesn’t mean your goal is to burn the most calories, during your workout.


Stay with me here.

The goal is to increase TOTAL calorie burning throughout the day.

This means hours after you leave the gym, even when you’re sleeping, your body is burning more total calories, to repair itself.

This is called EPOC

EPOC stands for excessive post oxygen consumption.

I also call it, the Afterburn Effect.

This is when the body experiences an increased rate of oxygen intake after a strenuous workout, to help in the recovery process.

This process boosts your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and increases calorie burn, thus breaking down stored body fat, to be burned for fuel.

The length of time of the afterburn effect is debatable, but some studies show an increase in your resting metabolic rate and calorie burning, for up to 48 hours.

Again, EPOC is elevated after strenuous exercise.

Not a casual walk on the treadmill for 1-2 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, LISS cardio has its place in burning calories, especially for extremely obese people.

Also people looking to lose the last few pounds can benefit from LISS in moderation.

Workouts that burn the most calories

However, a properly designed resistance training workouts will elicit the highest metabolic and fat burning hormonal response in the body.

That’s why it should be your primary style when you’re looking for workouts that burn the most calories.

But this doesn’t mean any random workout with dumbbells and barbells is best for calorie burning.

Remember, in order to burn fat quicker, you need to perform exercises that burn the most calories.

For example, ab specific exercises do not burn a lot of calories.

Spot reduction is the term used when people try to burn fat in the typical trouble zones, like the belly, by doing exercises that target that area.

It’s a waste of time.

If you have a flabby belly, doing 1000 seated abs crunches a day is the wrong way to get rid of your belly fat.

The best way to get rid of your belly fat, is to stop wasting the majority of your time doing crunches, and start focusing on the best exercises that burn the most calories.

Compound multi joint vs isolation single joint exercises

The exercises that burn the most calories, and release the necessary fat burning hormones and enzymes when completing a rep, primarily include compound multi joint movements.

If you never heard of that term before, let me simply break this down for you.

Most exercises can be classified as either a multi joint or single joint exercises.

The big difference is multi joint exercises recruit more than one muscle at a time, while single-joint exercises do their best to isolate only one muscle for the majority of the lift.

Workouts That Burn The Most Calories Live Lean TV

Compound multi joint exercises include:

Workouts That Burn The Most Calories Live Lean TV

Isolation single joint exercises include:

Although most single-joint exercises do use other muscles, they use them to a much smaller degree when compared to multi joint exercises.

So by performing exercises that recruit more muscles, you tend to burn more calories, and release more fat burning hormones.

To sum it up:

Multi joint exercises = more calorie burn + better hormonal response + greater metabolic response

In addition to recruiting more muscle groups, thus allowing you to lift more weight, multi joint exercises typically also move the weight in a longer range of motion.


This increased distance to move the weight from point A to point B, again, creates more calorie burn.

Think about the distance it takes to lift a dumbbell off the ground and then press over your head.

Now compare that with the distance it takes to complete a dumbbell bicep curl.

This is not to say that isolation exercises are wrong.

Unlike spot reduction, you can spot shape, meaning your can grow a specific muscle by isolating it with a specific exercise.

Although, compound multi joint exercise are better for adding more muscle mass, isolation exercises are good for adding more detail and cuts to specific muscle groups.

800 calorie weight training workout

With all this said, I filmed an 800 calorie burning weight training workout a few weeks ago.

If you’re looking for workouts that burn the most calories, give this one a try.

When done properly, and with limited rest periods, this workout only takes 60 minutes.

This workout will also torch the calories without stepping on a piece of cardio equipment.

You’ll be amazed at how high your heart rate gets by performing multi joint compound exercises.

If you want access to more calorie crushing workouts like this, I have a 42 day program called Live Lean Afterburn 2.0.

It’s called Afterburn because all the workouts are strategically designed to create a metabolic response in the body.

This will increase your body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR), burn more calories, and release more fat burning hormones and enzymes.

The metabolic response created by this program, far exceeds other resistance training workouts that strictly target 1-2 muscle groups per workout or just doing 100% low intensity steady state cardio.

I hope you enjoyed this post on workouts that burn the most calories.

If you did, click the social media logos to share this post with your friends, and subscribe to our Live Lean TV YouTube channel with notifications turned on.


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