When we talk about fat loss we’re really talking about getting our bodies to use fat for fuel instead of sugar. Eccentric resistance training does exactly that, both during and after the workouts.
As we discussed, when you focus on the eccentric portion of a movement you inherently move slower. If you consistently move with this intention and control throughout your workout your heart rate will stay much lower. Keeping the heart rate down like this is essential for fat loss. Once your heart rate spikes too high your body will begin using carbohydrates for energy and hold on to the fat.
Try moving at one constant pace throughout your workout while slowing the down portion of your exercises. If you wear a smart watch check it periodically to keep your heart rate generally between 120-150bpm. This target varies slightly with age.
One of the best parts of eccentric training for fat loss comes after the workout is over. These types of workouts raise the rate of energy expenditure after you are finished. In fact one study showed this increase lasts “up to 72 hours post training.” “To date, this is the longest duration for which significant augmentations in the rate of energy expenditure after resistance training have been observed.”1
These results are tremendous because they show that you will continue using more of your fat stores even after you finish eccentrics. This is unlike the past theories on High Intensity Training, which also claim higher post workout energy expenditure. High Intensity Training increases this simply keeping the heart rate elevated for prolonged amounts of time. We want low resting heart rates though, so we try to avoid this.
The post workout energy expenditure from eccentric training comes instead from the need to rebuild your muscles. To do this you body begins using fat to fuel the process needed. In doing so, these types of workouts actually help to modify your metabolism so your body uses fat more throughout the day.2
If your goal is to lose some fat or just to get a little more toned then you should be incorporating eccentric training into your routine. Gone are the days of seeing how high and for how long you can keep your heart rate. Instead, focus on keeping one steady pace throughout your workout while lifting and you will see much greater results.