One of the most common Fitness goals in America, if not THE most common, is Fat loss. While you cannot out train a poor diet or poor food choices by training in the gym and Abs truly are made in the kitchen, there are several effective methods that help to significantly increase fat burning during your workout.
One method that has been around since the 1960's is PHA Training. PHA Training (Peripheral Heart Action) was developed by Dr Arthur Steinhaus and was popularized by bodybuilder Bob Gajda, former Mr America and Mr Universe. PHA Training is a form of Circuit Training, however the "nuts and bolts" of this method are in the alternating of Upper Body Exercises and Lower Body Exercises using a Vertical Loading Sequence with minimal to no rest between exercises.
Typically a circuit can be set up with 5-7+ exercises being performed for 6-20 reps alternating between upper and lower body exercises for 2-5 rounds depending on the exercises used, as well as the level of training and needs and goals of the trainee. It is also feasible to time the work performed at each exercise for 20-45 seconds, and it also seems logical to integrate some Total Body Exercises in the circuit as well to change things up.
This method works very well because when you alternate high effort compound/multi-joint movements between your upper and lower body it increases the demand for blood flow to the working muscles, and since the working muscles are your upper and lower body it has a tremendous cardiovascular, circulatory and metabolic effect. Ideally, and when appropriate, the trainee should try to keep his or her Heart Rate at 80% of Target Heart Rate.
Another benefit is that because you are alternating between upper and lower body exercises there is not a significant accumulation of lactic acid and other metabolic by-products of anaerobic metabolism in any one muscle group or area of the body. This allows you to train harder and longer and the end result is a very systemic kickass workout that enhances fat burning and blood circulation.
PHA Training is a very useful tool and is scalable for most novice or beginner trainees seeking to burn fat without doing traditional monotonous and boring cardio that you see MANY people doing at most commercial gyms. Additionally, because resistance training is being performed you can utilize progressive overload to provide a continuous stimulus and attain a consistent training effect for a significant length of time before needing to drastically change your workouts. Progressive overload can come in the form of progressively heavier weights each week, more rounds, or less rest time between exercises and rounds. It truly is a time proven and effective method for burning fat during your workout.
PHA Training can also be used by advanced trainees who may be in need of a "deload" or taper in volume and intensity. Additionally, it can give your joints and central nervous system a break from heavy loading, high impact training and/or high volume exercise.
Below I will provide 3 PHA Training Circuits and an Exercise Index listing various different Upper, Lower and Total Body exercises that can be plugged into the templates in the 3 Circuits below. Ideally it is best to use Compound or Multi-joint exercises as they have a greater demand on the body as a whole.