Back in 2002, we reported that it would take 250,000
crunches to burn a pound of fat, according to estimates from University of
Virginia scientists. We're pretty sure those researchers published that
statistic to make a point. But after almost a decade, the point still may not
have hit home. "I'm amazed at the number of people who think that simply
doing ab exercises will make their belly disappear," says Rasmussen.
"That is probably the least efficient way to reveal a six-pack."
Do work every single
"Muscle is your body's primary fat burner," says
Rasmussen. Your muscles require energy to contract, which is why you burn
calories when you exercise. But resistance training, unlike running or cycling,
also causes a significant amount of damage to your muscle fibers. And that's a
good thing. "Your body has to expend energy to repair and upgrade those
fibers after your workout," says Rasmussen. "And a single total-body
weight-training session can boost your metabolism for up to 2 days."
So you shouldn't neglect a single inch of your body. That
goes double for the legs, a body part that plenty of men either train just once
a week or simply ignore. Case in point: Syracuse University researchers
determined that people burned more calories the day after a lower-body
resistance session than the day after they worked their upper bodies. Why?
Because your lower half houses more muscle. The upshot: "A busy guy's
smartest approach is to train his entire body every other day," says
Rasmussen. "That allows you to elevate your metabolism maximally all week
long, even though you're working out only 3 or 4 days a week."