You are trying to lose weight, and that’s why you are here trying to search for a perfect workout plan for weight loss; well, you found one. Before you even start reading, understand that losing weight is not a phase, it’s a journey. I will lose 15 pounds of weight in 3 months, fit into that stylish tuxedo or cute black dress and then I can give up on it – this whole idea is wrong.
Losing and gaining weight repeatedly takes a toll on your body, especially if you focus only on weight and forget about strength.
Why Get out and Get Sweaty won’t work?
While running, jumping, swimming, and other cardiovascular activities are known to help lose weight fast they are not the most effective. If you have tried losing weight with cardio you would have seen your weight dropping but you don’t see a difference in the mirror. Cardio drops weight fast, but it reduces your muscle strength as well, and muscles being denser than fat, you don’t see a difference in the mirror, more so you were damaging your body in the run.
We would also need to mention your post cardio eating habits. Unless you fix them, the whole process won’t work. Working out and immediately eating something unhealthy or grabbing a quick bite from the fridge puts your whole hour of cardio down the drain. Eating healthy and a balanced diet is the way forward. Here’s how you can lose weight quickly without losing strength, and a workout that will force you to maintain a good diet.
Here is What We Recommend
Cardio – Low Intensity – Once a Week
So first off, let’s take "everyday cardio" off your calendar and put it up just once a week, well twice if you count HIIT. Cardio once a week is more than enough. You need cardio only to let your body get a breather. Let it stretch, let yourself focus on your breath, and let your arms and legs move together in harmony. Cardio exists to keep your heart healthy and not to burden it to lose weight. Don’t worry you will lose weight while you are at it, but let's see it only as an assist to our goal and not the way to get it.
Now if you are wondering what is a good cardio exercise, just remember all movement is good movement. You can do anything you like to do and do it for at least one hour. Running, walking, swimming, hiking, cycling, paddle boating, or anything you want. Just try to avoid jumping for a prolonged period of time.
Strength Training – 45 to 60 minutes – 3 times a week
While it may not seem like it, but strength training is the most significant part of losing weight. Just shouting out cardio, cardio, and cardio every day won’t help you lose weight. Strength training unlike cardio, helps you lose weight even when you are resting.
In a way, it increases your metabolic activity to help you burn fat, and more than losing weight it will help you tone your body into shape. Losing weight but having no core strength has helped no one.
You can break your three-day strength training into three different focus session:
1. Compound Lower-body Exercise
Lower body exercises are very effective in losing weight. Most lower body workouts are highly energy-intensive, more so, in the compound lower-body workout plan we are talking about working out the biggest muscles of your body.
A compound exercise is any workout that puts stress on more than one muscle in one repetition. Squats, goblet squats, or deadlifts would do the trick. Don’t exert yourself, anything up to 8-10 reps per set would be great in lower body workouts.
2. Upper-body Exercises
Working your chest, shoulder, backs and arms, all counts in the upper-body workout. Most of these exercises are simplistic, that is they work one muscle at a time, and are far simpler in performing. Upper-body workouts aren’t as effective as lower-body workouts for losing weight.
There are tricks to make these exercises effective for weight loss, and one such trick is supersets. In supersets, you do one set of one variation and then without break, you change the weights and perform the next set. This increases the heart rate significantly as compared to the regular method, besides causing the muscle burn that triggers loss of weight overnight.
A word of caution, supersets are far more difficult than regular sets. Do them only if you have someone with you or have prior experience.
3. Core Strength Training
Core strength training mostly revolves around your abs and hips. Russian twists, crunches, and plank are all great exercises for core training. In fact, if you could add tuck plank or scissors to your workout you would be able to feel your abs working out with the burn.
HIIT – 20 to 30 minutes – Once a Week
High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a very effective form of cardio activity. Here’s what you need to do, pick up any activity that you like swimming, running, kayaking, boxing, or anything else and you have to do it for only 20 to 30 minutes.
The catch being, you have to do it in a short burst of high intensity. Say you choose running, so for 30 seconds you have to run as fast as you can, and then you take a small break and then run again for 30 seconds. The length of the break depends on you. If you are starting right now your breaks are going longer than your workout burst. For starters, you can use a 2-to-1 as break-to-workout time ratio.
HIIT greatly increases your heart rate and burns fat a lot faster than most other methods of losing weight.
Recovery – 2 Days
When we say 2 days of recovery, we mean 2 days of active recovery with gentle movements. Gentle movements being the keyword. Recovery day isn’t a free pass to being a couch potato even though you want to be after those 3 days of intense strength training.
You don’t need to go out to jog or cycle around the town on a recovery day, you can just move around. If you love to do something, go do that, need to go to the market go do that, as long as it makes you give up your couch privileges. Happy gains!
Consciously written by Sunain Banga.