Starting to lose weight: Part 2

This week we continue our discussion of the initial steps to take when losing weight. We focus on the involvement of weights in your routine and the different forms of cardio training you can do.

As we discussed in last week’s article there are a lot of things to consider when starting to lose weight. We have looked at the ways in which diet and nutrition can affect your weight loss goals and we have detailed what kind of heart rate target we should be aiming for. This week we will start to discuss what kind of different cardio routines there are for you try in order to really be hitting those fat reserves and keep the weight dropping. We will also look at how lifting weights can add to your weight reduction with the correct training techniques.

Can I lift and still lose weight?

There is a common misunderstanding when people are beginning to lose weight that lifting weights in your routine adds to your total body weight. This can be true if the weights you are lifting are heavy or you are spending too much time at the iron bar. When losing weight your aim should be to lift light weights and have more repetitions when doing so. Your body will be losing a serious amount of weight and there can be a tendency for it to become less toned and saggy. In order to combat this you will need to try and tone as you go, this means lifting in lower weights and trying to keep your skin toned and your muscles tight. You should aim for a full body blitz and keep the exercises varied in order for your body to keep second guessing the workload. Below is an example workout you could follow when losing weight;

  • Bench press (CHEST) - 2 sets of 12-15 reps, 1 minute rest between sets
  • Barbell Squat (LEGS) - 3 sets of 12-15 reps, 1 minute rest between sets
  • Barbell row (BACK) - 3 sets of 12-15 reps, 2 minute rest between sets
  • Dumbbell shoulder press (SHOULDERS) - 3 sets of 12-15 reps, 2 minute rest between sets
  • Barbell curl (BICEPS) - 2 sets of 12-15 reps, 1 minute rest between sets
  • Dumbbell lunges (LEGS) - 3 sets of 12-15 reps, 2 minute rest between sets

The above workout should be a good starting point for anyone looking to tone and attack the whole body with one workout. When thinking of weight limits just stick to a weight load that will make you work hard but not one that is excessive or will cause you to hurt too much whilst lifting. After this starting point it can be raised a level by adding more weight and including more varied exercises to your routine.

What cardio could I do to lose weight?

Considering cardio should be at the top of your list for losing weight and is an essential part of your training regime. You need to be thinking of doing at least 4 workouts a week with some form of cardio involved. Each cardio session should be at least 25-30 minutes in length and you need to be hitting your target heart rate as discussed last week.

At first you may struggle to hit the required ‘zone’ but you have to start somewhere and if you are feeling the burn, sweating and making progress with your regime then you should be heading in the right direction. Staying hydrated is key to being able to hit your targets and having adequate rest in between workouts is a valuable key to success. Alongside this stretching should always be high on your list as having an injury during training can set you back with your routine before you have even started. Aim for a 10 second long stretch on each body part and getting loose before and after each workout.

If you can put together a full and varied diet, extensive cardio training, get some good rest between workouts and stay focussed and committed to your goals then you can really begin to build a good base for a healthier life. With the right attitude and the correct training plan you should be looking at feeling the benefits of your new healthy self after about 3 months. The key is staying focussed on your bigger goal and remembering that any setbacks you may have are only leading up to a bigger comeback. So get out there and just Do The Damn Thing!

Written by:

Taeo Robinson

Taeo Robinson

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