Here’s how you can create your own weight loss workout….
How would you like a workout plan that will help you with your weight loss? Imagine having that one plan that is given to you and with that plan you’re guaranteed to lose weight. Life would surely be simple and easy, all you have to do is follow it and there’s nothing more to it.
Unfortunately, there is no one plan that is going to work for everyone, because we’re all different. However what I’m going to share with you today is a base template you can use that will help you towards your weight loss goals. If you follow this template and eat right I promise you that you will lose weight, but there’s the catch….you have to follow it AND make sure you’re eating right…
Start with weights
The first thing you need to focus on is weight training, and this is very counter-intuitive to what we would like to do. If you want to lose bodyfat you go and do some cardio, right? You jump on the bike or treadmill because that’s the best way to burn calories. While that is true that you burn more calories doing cardio than weight training, the problem is that you also lose lean muscle, your metabolism slows down and you won’t get the body you want (I’ll dive deeper into this in the ‘cardio’ section).
If you want to lose body fat as quickly as possible, and also gain lean muscle so you have that nice toned look and flat stomach, you have to make sure you’re training with weights at least 2–3 times per week. When you train with weights you’re building up lean muscle, and by doing this you’re actually increasing your metabolic rate, losing body fat and working towards that toned body. When we are trying to lose body fat without weight training it can be detrimental because you’re also losing muscle mass. The reason you’re losing muscle mass is because you’re simply not using them, and the body thinks they’re not important. Weight training puts strain on your muscles and breaks them down, and when the body realises that you are using these muscles it’s going to want to build them up and preserve them. Your body will focus more on that, and less on trying to keep body fat.
Do Full body exercises
If you’re only training with weights 2–3 times a week you need to make sure you’re getting the best results possible. There’s no point in just trying to work on your arms, abs and thighs and neglecting everything else, because the problem with that is that you will become out of proportion, you won’t build as much lean muscle and it will take longer to see results. The best thing you can do when training with weights is focusing on full body exercises that recruit all of your muscles (including your arms and abs).
Learning how to do the Squat, Deadlift, Overhead Press, Chin-up, Walking Lunges, and the plank are essential because these will help you burn more calories, build more lean muscle and tone up your whole body. Free weight exercises like these are going to provide much better results than just doing bicep curls, sit-ups and the abductor and adductor machine because you’re using more body parts. When you learn to do a squat or deadlift you’re using a lot of muscles (especially your abs) to hold yourself upright and to do the movement. A lot of people say after doing chin-ups their abs are killing them and they aren’t even doing an ab exercise however, the abdominals are always being worked in full body movements.
A few common questions…
How long should you workout?
I would suggest working out with weights for 45 minutes — an hour depending on how much time you’ve got. You don’t want to spend 90 minutes in the gym if you can help it, especially when you’re trying to lose weight, because there comes a point where if you’re just working a muscle too hard, the opposite effect can occur and you will start to lose muscle. So if you keep your workout around the 45–60-minute mark you’re going to get the best results.
How many sets and reps should you do for each exercise?
Give yourself enough time to warm up for the exercise by performing 2–3 sets of lighter weights. So if you can bench press 65kg, I would suggest warming up for 6–8 reps with the bar, and then warming up with 40kg for your second set and then performing 3–4 sets of 8–10 reps. This is enough for your body to get results. When you’re doing the sets you want to make sure you keep the weight constant. So make sure that each set you use 65kg x 8 reps for all 4 sets. If it gets too heavy after set number 2 you need to reduce the weight. Every week you should either aim to increase the amount of weight on the bar or the amount of repetitions you do for each exercise.
Weight training action plan
- Train with weights 2–3 times a week
- Focus on Full body exercises
- Perform 8–10 reps of each exercise for 3–4 sets
Now comes the second part of your workout plan. The reason I have put cardio second is because it’s not as important as weight training. There are people who do no type of cardio and just focus on weight training and can still lose body fat. While I don’t advise this approach, it can be done, however it’s harder when it comes to eating less.
When it comes to cardio training most of us think of running slowly on the treadmill or doing 40 minutes on the bike and we pretty much hate every minute of it. While this type of training does have its place for certain people, most of us don’t enjoy it. There are other types of cardio that you can put into your routine that don’t take so much time and aren’t as boring. At the end of the day, it’s up to if you can handle different types of cardio, or if you even like it. The best type of cardio is going to be the one you “enjoy the most” and can tolerate doing it a few times a week. I could tell you that H.I.I.T exercise is the best training, but if you absolutely hate it and most likely won’t do it, then it’s not going to be very useful in your routine.
Low-intensity steady state (LISS) cardio is the type of cardio I was talking about earlier. L.I.S.S involves going for a jog or going for a bike ride at a sustained pace for a certain amount of time, usually 30–60 minutes long, and then you’re done. It can be challenging, but it’s not super strenuous. Liss cardio can be done on a bike, treadmill, running outside, swimming or anything else that increases your heart rate for a steady pace and you can maintain that level of activity. If you’re someone who enjoys this type of training then L.I.S.S cardio can be a great way for you to burn calories.
High-intensity cardio, or H.I.I.T, is a shorter workout that you do and put more intensity into. Examples of this would be doing hill sprints in the park. You would sprint up a hill, walk back down at a steady pace and once you reach the bottom you would sprint back up and repeat this process for 5–8 times. You could also do this on a stationary bike where you pedal for as hard and fast as you can for 20 seconds and then you have a minute break. Once the minute break is up you repeat it again and again for 5–8 times.
The best thing about H.I.I.T training is that it doesn’t take as long to do in the gym and you also burn calories after the workout is complete. If you’re like me and you hate doing longer periods of cardio then this would be a better option.
Common cardio Questions
What’s better HIIT or LISS cardio?
It really depends on what you mean by better. Like I noted earlier, if you hate going on long jogs then H.I.I.T training is going to be a lot better for you. From a health perspective, H.I.I.T training is better because you’re not training for as long, you still get cardio benefits and it’s less strain on your joints. If you’re someone who can swim for an hour straight, and enjoy your swimming, then this will be the best option for you as you will still burn calories and fat and get the cardio benefits.
How many times should you do cardio?
I would suggest doing cardio 2–3 times a week depending on how your body feels. If you’re training with weights 3 days a week and then doing cardio for 3 days a week that means you’re training 6 days a week which is a good amount of training that you need to be doing to lose body fat and gain lean muscle
Should I do cardio before my weight training?
I would recommend you either split up your cardio routine on different days from your weight training, or different times. If you’re unable to do this I always recommend that you do your weight training first because it’s going to get you better results. Remember weight training builds lean muscle and helps burn body fat, cardio doesn’t necessarily build muscle.
Cardio Action steps
- Try both LISS and HIIT cardio
- Pick the types of cardio you like doing
- Choose the days you will do them (2–3 times a week, preferably on the non-weight training days)
Putting the plan together
So now I’ve given you a template on how your week should look for a training plan. You should be training with weights 2–3 times a week and doing cardio 2–3 times a week. This means that you will be exercising 5–6 days a week and having either 1–2 rest days depending on how your body is feeling. Following this plan is going to help you with losing body fat quickly, building lean toned muscle and helping you get the fastest results possible.
I hope this will help you towards your weight loss goals :)
Have a healthy week