5 Killer Strength Training Combos For Fat Loss

Here’s my attempt to reconcile the title of this blog: My bad.

The truth is training for fat loss is a small sliver of the pie.

If you aren’t afraid of some hard training or desire you want to sacrifice your nutritional (or other) sins on the altar of exercise, step into my office.

As with all things anywhere, context is key (read: knuckle up if you want to feel the heat)

#1 Trap Bar Deadlift & Push-up to 1A Support

I don’t love high rep deadlifts, unless they are on the trap bar. That extra couple inches makes all the difference. Yes there’s a cheap joke in the last statement, stay with me. I like the trap bar deadlift even as a sumo style puller because it reinforces pushing the ground.

This is a strength version of Dan John’s favorite swing & push-up combination.  Using to a 1A support push-up checks 3 boxes:

  • A unilateral reach with an exhale. That’s your cue, abs.
  • Sagittal plane core training with an anti-transvere effect
  • Shoulder stability

There is also something sadistic about making adult humans go in a prone or crawling position. The prime muscles involved in each of these aren’t in direction competition. This means you hit your all-overs and, yes, it feels like a nut kick (It’s just this one time, I won’t do it again).

#2 Squat & Kettlebell Row

8 weeks off the fractured tibia and those squats aren’t looking too shabby, no?  I prefer anterior loaded squats for this combo (front, goblet, and 2KB).  Either way, what a nasty combo.

High rep squats? Good night lungs.  Then to bend over and try to row.  Yuck.

The back squats make you a sagittal monster, and following up with the rows to get the ribs and scapulae moving feels abusive (I swear I’ve changed).

Great combo. Lethal in high reps.

#3. Clean & See-saw press

I love the clean because it’s a lot more work than the swing, I can still use a lot of weight, and I actually feel like I’m doing something.  Power exercises? AKA 200bpm movements? Plyos for cardio is generally useless, but this low impact version gets the nod from me.

Coupling this with the see-saw press rocks because the push-pull creates alternating function that in the frontal plane and more control through the thorax. It also feels way more athletic than a double KB press.

The offset position of the bells in a double KB press seems to invite more extension simple to counteract the center of gravity. I notice less of this with alternating or see-saw movements too.

#4. Clean to squat to push press

This borders on a kettlebell complex.  I much prefer a kettlebells to a barbell with this combination. You can whip from the rack position back into another clean with more speed.  The uptempo nature this is awful (I swear this is the last time.)

I was huffing and puffing just from the few reps I did for this video. These are great, but I have hate in my heart when I see them in my program.

#5. Goblet Reverse Lunge & Renegade Row

Hell yes reverse lunges. I gave up trying to go crazy heavy on our single leg work several months back.  My thinking was simple: use the bilateral lifts to get after it and the unilateral lifts for to hammer lumbopelvic control.

An anterior load combined with an accelerative single-leg exercise that is knee friendly? Check yes.

These exercises fall in our tier 2 or Group B exercises.  Anything lower body jacks up the heart rate, then to add a combo stabilization push/pull exercise.  Yuck.

The trick? This isn’t 2 exercises. It’s really 4, two x two sides. The best part is the rhetorical “should I keep going?” as sweat drips on the bells.
Yes. Yes you should.

Closing Thoughts

I hate you so much I’m almost as miserable as when we’re apart.  Just kidding.  Come back baby, I won’t make you do those combos again.



Coach Ryan