Working out is a great way to accelerate your weight loss goals. For most who want to lose weight, working out is not an option–it is a requirement. But that leads to a very important question: What workout is right for you?
Answering the above question is a bit tricky. There are many theories by many experts talking about what kind of work out one should and should not do. And, like I have mentioned in previous posts, I am not an expert. I can only tell you what I have done to lose weight myself, and what I have recommended to my clients.
First off, I am of the opinion that (most) any exercise is better than nothing. This is particularly true for beginners. Generally speaking, for people who just starting, a low-carb diet along with most any workout will accelerate fat mobilization. In other words, I am not one of those coaches that say, “Don’t do cardio,” or, “Only do cardio.” If you are a beginner, just get moving!
There is also a psychological advantage in doing a workout that you enjoy. And that is simply this: if you enjoy it, you are more likely to do it! So pick something you like and go for it!
However, I do have to say that this kind of philosophy on working out is only good for a short period of time. The reason is your body adjusts and it becomes more resistant to fat mobilization. This is particularly true of cardio. The better you get at cardio, the longer you have to do it in order to get the same effects.
A good example of this is jogging. At the beginning, person may struggle to jog a block. But at the end of a month, he can jog a block with no problem. In order for the same person to receive the same benefits, he has to now run further which will takes more time. People can continue to lose wight doing cardio as long as the workouts continue to intensify and the duration increases.
This leads me to one of my favorite kinds of workouts and that is strength training. One of the best ways I have found to accelerate weight loss is lifting weights. This kind of workout does not suffer from the same problem as cardio. What do I mean by this? Well it is true that your body can adjust and as a result stop mobilizing fat as readily. However, in order to fix this problem you do not have to increase the duration of your workout. All you have to do is increase the weights.
This does not mean that lifting does not have its setbacks. For example, you can adjust to strength training and there does come a point when adding weight no longer helps. This situation does take much longer to reach with strength training rather than cardio, but you will still get there.
The other problem is that of too much bulk. Leaning out and buffing up is great. But, there are not too many people out there that desire to look like a professional weight lifter. In fact, for most, that kind of look is simply unattractive.
With that in mind, it is important to note that for a great majority of people bulking up like a professional will never be a problem. This is partly due to the fact that in order to look like a professional body builder you have to take supplements (some legal some not so legal) that increase growth hormone in addition to working out. But some people with some body types can bulk up with like a professional without the supplements.
I know that I have to watch out for this personally. I have a naturally thick build, and if I do too much strength training, it is easy for me to get too bulkie.
There should be something said about Yoga and HIIT. However, this article is getting too long already so we will have to save these subjects for another time.
So what kind of workout do I recommend? At first, I suggest that you pick a workout you like and do that two to three days a week. But do not do it every day because of the reasons listed above. Break these workouts up with other workouts. Here is an example of what I have done and have recommended:
Day 1: Strength training (pick only two or three muscle groups).
Day 2: Strength training (make these different from the muscle groups form day one).
Day 3: Cardio (your choice. Just make it intense).
Day 4: Strength training (Mix it up).
Day 5: Yoga.
Day 6: Cardio or Hiit.
Day 7: Rest.
I will keep this kind of workout up for about three weeks. Then I change to this:
Day 1: Cardio (usually Martial Arts).
Day 2: Strength training (two or three muscle groups).
Day 3: Cardio.
Day 4: Yoga.
Day 5: Weights.
Day 6: Cardio (maybe a HIIT workout).
Day 7: Rest.
I usually keep this second set of days going for a two weeks. Then I go back to the first set of days for another three weeks.
If you are a beginner, just get moving. Pick a workout you like, but don’t do it everyday. And remember, success is the ultimate test of whether or not something is working. If it is not getting you closer to the goals, DO SOMETHING ELSE.