The Basics of Weight Loss - Part One
. Probably the most common two words used in the world of health and fitness. It’s so easy to get side-tracked with our hectic jobs, family, social life that we tend to forget about a very important part of our lives, our health.
Personally my health is at the top of my priority list. I wouldn’t be the happy, upbeat person I normally am. Without good health I wouldn’t be able to perform optimally as my job as a personal trainer, perform as well in the gym or compete in sports. Health affects everything and it certainly affects your weight.
From how we exercise, to what we put in our mouths, to how we sleep at night directly effects our weight and body composition. I’m going to discuss the basics when it comes to weight loss as sometimes it can become a minefield. Sometimes keeping it simple can be the most effective solution.
In part 1 of this blog we’ll discuss the best exercise methods to help combat stubborn body fat and lose weight as quickly as possible.
Best workouts/exercises for weight loss
When it comes to exercise for weight loss you need to hit it hard, you need to sweat, you need to challenge yourself and get out your comfort zone. Walking on a treadmill or taking it easy on a cross trainer for half an hour is going to be the bare minimum when it comes to burning calories.
Doing countless amounts of sit-ups is pretty much pointless if your body fat percentage isn’t 15% or below as your midsection (abs) won’t be visible. There are better options out there when it comes to training for quick weight loss.
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HIIT is great for burning fat...[/caption]
High Intense Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT training can be performed pretty much anywhere and only needs to be done for about 10-20 minutes to really benefit from it. You can do this in the gym on a treadmill, bike or rower. Or even outside in the park on foot or on a bike. Set yourself the speed you want to sprint/run for and then set your speed you want as a rest period.
For example on a treadmill, sprint for 30 seconds at 15kph rest for 30 seconds at 9kph, this is a work to rest ratio of 1:1.
Now you can play around with this as much as you like. 60 seconds work, 30 seconds rest (2:1) or vice versa (1:2) if you want it easier or are new to HIIT training. I always start with the ratio of 1:1 and play around with the times and speed from there.
As I said you really only need to do this for around 10-20 minutes on whatever piece of equipment you are using. If you’re doing 30 seconds work and 30 seconds rest then do that 10X and you got yourself a 10 minutes HIIT session.
10 minutes doesn’t sound long but trust me you’ll be feeling it. Start at 10 minutes and work your way up to 20 minutes and push yourself!
Incorporate HIIT training into your programme 2-3 times a week to get the full benefits and speed up that weight loss. You’ll be burning more calories in less time to a standard jog or walk and also raise your metabolism meaning you’ll be burning more calories AFTER the workout is done.
The best place to do sprints would be in an open area somewhere, like a local park, field, car park, where ever you can sprint distances from around 50m-100m.
If you can find a place with a hill involved that would be even better. Sprint a certain distance, as fast as you can, then rest, walk back to your starting position and go again (30-60 seconds rest).
Do this as long as you like, but again the sweet spot of time for this would be around 10-20 minutes. If you’re going for 20, rest at the 10 minute mark for a few minutes, suck it up, get a drink, then go again.
Count the amount of sprints you do in the amount of time you’re doing it and try beat it next time. Sprinting not only burns fat at an alarming rate, but builds muscle in too.
Again this method of cardio burns more calories than your casual treadmill workout and boosts your metabolism.
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Circuit training is great for boosting intensity[/caption]
Circuit training is fantastic for burning fat, losing weight and building up strength. The beauty of it is you can make it as hard as you like, you can put whatever exercise you want in and work for as long as you want. As long as you’re working hard and pushing your body it’s a great way to get fitter and lose weight, fast.
As an example, incorporate cardio and resistance based exercises that will work your full body. All you need is a few bits of equipment, an open space and yourself. Or maybe set up a circuit at your local gym.Get some friends involved as well and you can give each other some extra motivation. Here’s an example of a simple circuit:
- Walking Lunges
- Kettlebell Swings
- Press Ups
- Leg Raises/Plank
- Lateral Raises with dumbbells
- Shuttle Runs/Sprints
You can time yourself on each “station” for as long as you like, 30-60 seconds is about right. Or set yourself a number of reps on each “station” to do (e.g. 10-20 reps on each) the above is just an example; you can put what your want in your circuit. Perform 3-4 rounds on your circuit which will last 20-40 minutes and you’ll be done!
Incorporate a circuit style training session to your programme once or twice a week and watch the weight drop off and fat melt!
The above workouts are in my opinion, the best methods to burn fat and lose weight quickly. If you’re new to the gym and training or haven’t exercised in a while, then I would recommend building your fitness up first for a few weeks before your try HIIT, Sprints or Circuit training. Then when you feel ready, give them a go.
Start off simple and easy and build it up each week. Give yourself time, don’t expect to lose 4 stone in a month, be realistic, work hard and be consistent, then weight WILL start coming off!
PART TWO HERE!