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©2020 by Jonathon Reid

  • Jon Reid

'Finishers' for Fat Burning

With the summer season on the sunny horizon, lots of people (three) have asked me about good ways to squeeze a little extra calorie burn out of their training sessions.

One such way is to add a ‘finisher’ to the end of your training session.


A finisher is a signature move of a professional wrestler, after which their opponent will be unable to continue the match.

In training terminology, a finisher means some form of high intensity work at the end of the session to ‘finish’ you off. One last big effort to solidify all the good work you’ve done and send you away with your calorie burning furnace well and truly Louis Litt up (Suits).

There are many different ways to incorporate ‘finishers’ and the exercises/method used will depend on the person, what they’ve already done in the session, their skill level, how much they’ve got left in the tank and, most crucially, their training goal.

Keep it Simple

Like with most things in training, I believe the most effective methods are often the simplest.

Pick one or two exercises, focus on doing them properly and getting the most out of them. Avoid elaborate circuits that require you to dart all over the place, confuse movement patterns and leave you feeling more confused and dizzy than tired.

Whole Body Fat Burning

Here are a couple examples of finishers that I’ve used with rugby players. These finishers were used to help with fat burning and building muscle in a ‘functional’ manner.

Walk, Squat, Press

This is an excellent 'finisher' that combines loaded carries, squatting and overhead pressing, three of the best exercises around:

  • Grab two dumbbells that you could press over your head around 10 times.

  • Perform 6 dumbbell squat to press

  • Flip the dumbbells down to your side and walk 20m (fast)

  • Perform 5 dumbbell squat to presses

  • Flip the dumbbells down and walk 20m…

  • 4 dumbbell squat to press… walk 20m…

  • Continue until you reach 1 squat to press.

  • Rest and repeat.

The numbers and weight used can be manipulated depending on fatigue and strength levels.

20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Pick an exercise and do it for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest. Repeat this another 7 times (8 sets of 20 seconds in total) and you have completed what is known as a ‘Tabata.’

Stick to low skill movements and lighter weights, and be strict on the work and rest times. It only takes four minutes but will leave you puffing and panting.


Ending your session with a high intensity finisher is a great way to ensure you are maximising the fat burning effects of the training session.

Think of finishers as the icing on the cake that you won’t be eating; get all the planned work done first, then, if you’ve got time, add a finisher to sweeten the session.

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