How to Correctly Work Out for Weight Loss
Working out is good for us. This is an absolute fact that we know.
We also know that in order to lose weight we need to start working out too.
Yes, fine looking abs are first made in the kitchen (or more precisely visiting the kitchen less), it is also beneficial to exercise on a weekly basis to help burn the fat that is already on our bodies, increase our lean muscle mass, as well as work off the calories we eat through the day.
What are the best workouts for weight loss?
But, what should we do on a weekly basis to effectively burn the fat?
Should we perform cardio or weights, or both? And if so, does it matter which one we do first?
And what about yoga? That’s supposed to be good for us too, isn’t it?
To help you program the best workouts for your week (and help you look better naked), I have written out exactly what and when you should be doing for your workouts to effectively and correctly lose weight.
Before we dive into that, though, I need to explain a couple of the energy systems in the body that need to be hit for best results.
How to correctly workout for weight loss
First, the anaerobic system.
The anaerobic system depends on energy sources that are already stored in the muscles. This system is utilized when we perform short-lasting, yet high intensity, activities.
Some examples are: sprinting, running up stairs, or doing a hard set of weights.
Anaerobic training is the type of training that burns when you workout. This is because the active muscles are running without the use of oxygen and they are becoming increasingly acidic as the seconds tick.
Anaerobic exercise can only last a few seconds to about two minutes max.
If you are still able to keep going after the two-minute mark you have switched over to your aerobic energy system.
Now you are using oxygen to help break down the glycogen to fuel your muscles. This is why you are more breathless running, than say with weight training. The body is telling you to breath more to help fuel the working muscles.
Aerobic exercise is any workout that is longer in duration and medium in intensity.
Some examples are jogging and bike riding. Basically it’s any steady-state workout where you maintain about the same intensity throughout.
To effectively burn the greatest amount of calories (and therefore fat), you need to hit both of these energy systems.
However, if done in a specific order you can really maximize your fat burning capabilities.
How to maximize your fat-burning potential
For instance, if you perform your aerobic, or cardio, workout after your strength training workout you will burn a higher percentage of stored fat.
This is because you burned the already stored glycogen in the muscle cells first during your strength workout. Afterwards, once when you hit the treadmill, you will start hitting your stored fat cells faster.
Getting older sucks for weight loss
As well, the research pointing towards strength training as a better way to lose weight is astounding – and it could not be clearer for those of us over the age of 40.
You see after the age 30 we start to lose a percentage of our lean muscle mass with every passing year.
This lean muscle mass is what helps our metabolic furnace run smoothly and efficiently. We are better fat-burners with more lean muscle mass.
Take away this lean muscle mass and now you have people who have never had to watch their weight before look down at their waistlines at 50 years of age and think “Where the heck did that come from?”.
It came from a depressed metabolism due to a lower lean muscle mass, my friend. That’s where “that” came from.
There is also some great research on fasted cardio for weight loss (as well as some equally great research saying otherwise… haha).
The theory behind fasted cardio is that you start burning your stored fat faster as a fuel, as opposed to the carbs stored in the cells.
I, personally, have tested this theory and found it works for me and some of my clients. Try it yourself and see if you have success with it.
7-Day Workout Plan
Sunday – long, slow cardio. Perform an aerobic activity for 40-60 minutes. This can also be a family activity such as: hiking, or a long bike ride.
Monday – 45-minute total body strength workout, finished off with 15-minutes of intervals on the treadmill or StairMaster. Start with an easy 5-minute pace and then increase the pace and intensity for one minute, recovering for another minute. Alternate these high and low intensities for the remaining 10 minutes.
Tuesday – fasted cardio first thing in the morning for 20-30 minutes, yoga in the evening to help you sleep.
Wednesday – 40-minute total body strength workout, finished off with 20-minutes of intervals on the treadmill. Try jogging, or walking, and using a hill incline for your intervals. Example: warm up for 5-minutes, increase hill to 10% for one-minute, lower to 8% for one-minute, 6% for one-minute, 4% for one-minute and 2% for one-minute. That is one set, perform three.
Thursday – fasted cardio 20-30 minutes and yoga or stretching afterwards or in the evening.
Friday – 45-minute total body strength workout, finished off with 15-minutes of intervals on the treadmill or StairMaster.
Saturday – 20-30 minute fasted cardio, or day off.
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