When it comes to training for fat loss, it can be a minefield of information out there. Every month you’re bombarded with the latest new workouts, exercises, and training technologies in fitness magazines, on television, and through social media. With so many different options to choose from, how do you know what to do?
Surprisingly, the best thing to do is to keep it simple.
Fat loss training doesn’t need to be ultra complicated, revolve around you doing thousands of different exercises, or require you to have every latest exercise related gadget and gizmo. Sometimes, a basic, yet intense routine is the one that will yield the best results.
With that established, let’s examine the different variables you should consider when creating a workout routine for fat loss.
Frequency refers to how often you train. Clearly, as training burns calories, the more often you train, the more calories you’ll burn, and the more fat you’ll lose. However, you do need to take into consideration your own physical limits. Most people will burn out, and quickly plateau when training six or seven days per week. Likewise, you’re probably too busy to spend every day in the gym, especially if you’ve got a busy work, family and social life.
Four times per week is the perfect number when training for fat loss. However, if your schedule doesn’t allow you to train that often, you can still get great results from two or three sessions.
Most people think that the best way to lose fat is to hammer the cardio as hard as possible. It’s not surprise that this is a common belief, considering that most gyms are packed full of treadmills, ellipticals and bikes. But, in actual fact, weight training may be the best thing you can do for fat loss.
Weight training not only burns calories, but boosts your metabolism, builds lean muscle tissue, and helps prevent injuries much more than CV training does. You can use whatever you like for weight training – barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or even your own body-weight. You want to focus on compound exercises though. These are exercises which work more than one muscle group at a time. Exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, bench presses, chin ups, rows and push ups are perfect, as they hit a large number of muscle fibers, burn lots of calories and build strength.
One main factor in the effectiveness of your program is how much work you put in. If you want results, you have to work hard. It’s no use simply sitting on a stationary bike for half an hour while reading a book, then going to do a few sets of crunches. If it was this easy, everyone would be lean and defined.
Finding the right level of intensity is key.
Your sessions should last around 45 minutes to an hour, and by the end of them, you should feel exhausted. If you still feel fresh, you haven’t worked hard enough, but if you end up being sick, or feeling like you’ve passed out, you’ve probably done too much.
When doing weights, aim to lift slightly heavier, or do more reps in every session. Stick in the 6-12 rep range on all your exercises.
Fat Loss Workout Sample Plan
Putting it all together, your weekly plan may look something like this:
Monday – Upper body weights – Bench presses, dumbbell rows, chin-ups, push-ups. 15 minutes of high intensity CV work on any machine.
Tuesday – Lower body weights – Barbell squats, dumbbell lunges, kettlebell swings. 15 minutes core training – planks, bridges, leg lifts and side bends.
Wednesday – Rest day. Perform some light activity, such as walking or swimming if you want to.
Thursday – Full Body Weights – Deadlifts, split squats, dips, pulldowns, core work. 15 minutes of high intensity CV work on any machine.
Friday – Rest day. As Wednesday.
Saturday – Circuits. Pick five or six exercises that hit your entire body, and perform them in a circuit style for 30 minutes.
Sunday – Rest day. As Wednesday.