This article is wrote for those of you who want to lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life. Weight loss can be overwhelming but by approaching your journey from an exercise, nutrition, and accountability angle you will be set to take back your life.
The best way to lose weight is to jump in with both feet by beginning an exercise plan, setting up a nutrition plan, and having someone hold you accountable. By combining exercise with proper nutrition you should begin feeling result immediately and seeing results within a couple weeks. This article will focus on the exercise portion of your weight loss plan and be divided into cardiovascular (cardio) training, resistance training, and circuit training.
Cardio Training – Big Time Calorie Burn to Lose Weight
Cardio training is the simplest form of exercise. I like to think of cardio training as building a snowball. The initial phase of cardio training takes a lot of effort. Once your base, or snowball is formed you can roll downhill as you lose weight with more advanced strategies. The basic technique of steady state cardio training is to elevate your heart rate and breathing, then maintain this effort for an extended period of time. Including cardio training in your weight loss program will help you in two ways. First, while cardio training your body will burn a ton of calories, anywhere from 600 to 1000 calories per hour! To burn and lose fat we must burn more calories than we eat on a daily basis so more calorie burn the better. Second, cardio training improves your body’s ability to recover, which allows us to use more advanced exercise strategies to burn fat even faster! See circuit training below.
Starting out 20 minutes may be all you can manage on a cardio machine. Wherever you are starting is okay. Each week push yourself to go a little longer on your cardio machine. Over time your goal should be to increase your total length of maintained effort to 60 minutes.
Resistance Training – Boost your Metabolism
Weight lifting isn’t only for body builders. When you lift weights, your muscles develop many micro tears in them. This is a good thing. Your body will interpret these micro tears as a sign that it needs to become stronger. Thus, your body will set off repairing the damaged muscles and building them stronger than they were before. This repair process takes energy (calories) and so you will have an increased metabolism for up to 12 hours following a resistance workout! An additional benefit to resistance training is this; muscle burns calories at rest and more calories while exercising, therefore, by building muscle your overall daily calorie burn increases.
Circuit Training – Best of Both Worlds
Circuit training is the sweet spot for exercising to lose weight. Here you are resistance training with very short to zero rest breaks. You will achieve a high calorie burn in a short period of time while also building muscle creating an increased metabolism over time.
The challenge with circuit training is that it requires you to have a solid cardiovascular base (from cardio training) and have adequate strength and movement technique (from resistance training).
I recommend you initially focus on cardio training and build up to 60 minutes of effort. Next, combine a couple days of resistance training and a couple days of cardio training each week. Lastly, after a few months of progress you may be ready to take on circuit training.
Check back for articles on nutrition for weight loss, and the importance of accountability to a successful weight loss plan.
Please submit your fitness questions or comments below, and I will be sure to address them in a future article.
I wish you success on your weight loss journey,
Your local Greeley Personal Trainer