I keep hearing all these complicated and different ways to lose weight. So I wanted to write this series of articles to help simplify what makes a successful weight-loss plan. Someone’s plan doesn’t need to be complicated to be successful. If someone sets up extremely restrictive or complicated rules, it’s easy for them to “fall off” and then start a downward spiral. Make sure you nail the basics before you try complicating things. The basics are: training, diet and tracking. In this article I’ll be honing in on what makes a good lifting routine for weight-loss.
Firstly, if you want to lose weight: you cannot reduce the fat from your stomach by doing crunches. Fat does NOT melt off of your body in localised regions. It happens across your entire body. So the best workout routines will involve your entire body NOT just your abs.
Secondly, I want you to know that there is no single routine which is the best for fat-loss. And really, there is not a great deal of difference between a good weightloss-routine or any other good weight-lifting routine. There should be common themes in both.
In a nutshell: you want to be hitting all major muscle groups 2-3 times a week focusing on compound exercises. For fat-loss you want to be increasing your metabolism to burn more calories throughout the day and also maintain muscle mass. Fortunately compound exercises are ideal for both of these things. A focus on compound exercises (exercises involving more than 1 joint in an exercise for example: squats, lunges, deadlifts, pullups, rows, bench presses, dips). These exercises recruit more muscle fibres per exercise than isolation exercises which is what you want to get the biggest bang for your buck.
If you’re relatively new to weight training, it can be very beneficial to start with total-body programs which allow you to hit each body part 3x a week. But split programs can work just as well as long as there is an emphasis on compound exercises. For simplicity, I’ve detailed below a total body workout routine that can be used for a weight-loss routine.
Frequency: 3x a week on non-consecutive days (eg. Mon/Wed/Fri)
Reps: Vary each 1-4 weeks between 5-8 reps, 10-12 reps, 15-20 reps.
Rest: From 60s for higher rep days and up to 2 minutes for lower rep days.
You’ll notice these are all very well-known exercises and there’s nothing crazy and complicated that you’ve never heard of before. That’s because you don’t need to be doing overly complicated exercises like “1 leg squat whilst doing a bicep curl in 1 arm and a shoulder press with the other arm”. I made that up, but we all know those types of exercises. Anyway, here are some of the most beneficial yet straight-forward exercises out there.
Make sure you’re tracking the weight of your lifts and for how many reps. Always try to be pushing for more. Also be sure to keep the intensity high, set a timer so that your weight training sessions don’t run over 60minutes. The higher the intensity, the higher the reward.
You can’t ab-crunch your way to a 6pack.
Stick to compound lifts.
Track your lifts.
Keep intensity high.