Jun 7th, 2019
There are hundreds of workouts that all claim to be the best for fat loss!
The truth is that fat loss always has (and always will!) come down to creating a calorie deficit…
Whatever the activity, walking, lifting weights, or swimming etc, if you are burning more calories than you are taking into your body, then it has no choice but to tap into current stored energy and use it for fuel.
Any type of activity will help you burn calories, whether that’s a gym session, or walking up a flight of stairs, gardening, or even doing the washing up! All types of movement works well to burn calories.
From my experience as a trainer over the last 12 years, the most common goals that clients have are to lose weight and just tone up. This is the most common answer I get from clients and as I dig deeper into what they want I find that they just want a small reduction in bodyfat so their arm doesn’t look too big in a dress or their stomach doesn’t bulge when wearing that t-shirt.
So what’s the game plan? How should you plan for fat loss if running or activities haven’t worked?
I’ll try my best to explain how to set up your workouts for fat loss, so that you…
#1 Burn calories
#2 Improve muscle mass – which will improve your body shape.
HOW TO PLAN YOUR GYM WORKOUTS FOR FAT LOSS…
#1 WARM UP (5-10 MINS)
The first thing to focus on is warming up your body correctly, one this will prevent injury and two it will start the calorie burning process.
I’d recommend doing a 5-10 minute warm up each session. Skipping is a favourite warm up exercise, although any form of cardiovascular exercise can be used to warm up the body, you can also use a rowing machine, and cross trainer – these machines warm up lots of different muscles all at once and increase overall circulation around the body.
#2 STRENGTH WORK (10-15 MINS)
Once the hearts racing faster, and the body is feeling more mobile we can start with a strength exercise. Strength exercises include: deadlifts, squats, bench press, pull ups, dips, and the shoulder press.
Choose one strength exercise per work out and do 3 warm-up sets, where you get your technique correct, and slowly add weight to warm up.
Once warmed up perform 2-3 sets where you give 70-90% of your maximum effort. For the strength, work stick to a rep range of 3-5 reps.
#3 MEDIUM REP WORK (10 MINS)
This part of the session focuses on slightly higher reps (10-15 reps per exercise). The aim here is to increase workout intensity and get the muscles burning. For this section, I’d recommend using dumbbells.
#4 HIGH REP WORK (10 MINS)
High rep work is where you train in a rep range of anything from 15-25 reps (sometimes higher!) the aim here is to completely burn out the muscles, improve endurance and burn fuel! For the higher rep work, I’d recommend using machines or free weights.
#5 HIIT TRAINING (3-5 MINS)
For this final part of your workout, I’d recommend using a fitness bike or rowing machine. Do 20s as fast as you can, followed by 40s going at a slow pace to recover. Repeat this for 3-5 minutes. When you do your fast 20s go as quick as possible (like a 100m sprint!) You should be completely knackered after this final part!
WEEKLY FAT LOSS TRAINING PLAN
Ok so now I’ve explained a good set up for fat loss, what would a weekly fat loss program look like?
Here’s a highly effective training split that I use with some of my clients…
- Monday – Full Body (1)
- Wednesday – Full Body (2)
- Friday – Full Body (3)
Full Body (1)
- 5 mins on the rowing machine
- Deadlift – 3 warm-up sets, 2-3 maximum sets (3-5 reps)
- DB clean & press + DB lunges – 3 sets x 10-15 reps
- Cable Bicep curl + Cable tricep extension – 3 sets x 15-25 reps
- 5 mins HIIT on fitness bike
Full Body (2)
- 5 mins on the cross trainer
- Squats – 3 warm-up sets, 2-3 maximum sets (3-5 reps)
- DB close grip press + DB Romanian Deadlifts – 3 sets x 10-15 reps
- DB side raises + DB curls – 3 sets x 15-25 reps
- 5 mins HIIT on a rowing machine
Full Body (3)
- 5 mins on the treadmill
- Pull up or bench press – 3 warm-up sets, 2-3 maximum sets (3-5 reps)
- DB flys + Incline DB rows – 3 sets x 10-15 reps
- Cable cross over + Cable row – 3 sets x 15-25 reps
- 5 mins HIIT using battle ropes
On rest days the aim is to either complete 10,000 steps or do 30-45 minutes of low-intensity cardio.
It’s a really great training split, perfect for beginners. Make sure that you are performing the exercises correctly – if in doubt hire a personal trainer to show you how to do them. Before I set a client up with a program like the above I may spend anything from 2-4 weeks teaching techniques to ensure that they are using the correct muscles.
Each week (or every few weeks) the aim is to improve by either adding weight, increasing reps, or reducing rest time.
Good luck! Be safe!