If you can read a magazine on a treadmill, you may as well have stayed in bed. The primary reason that stops people from getting results is that they do not train in intensity.
High-intensity interval training consists of periods of short sharp workouts followed by complete recovery. But before we go in detail into those, let’s ask ourselves how much exercise do we need and how can we fit it in? EHC does a sneak peek into the popular workouts and how to do them effectively for losing weight and staying healthy.
For weight loss, you will need to do at least 5 days of cardio at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes but, it usually takes more than that to really burn calories. You need to combine it with interval training 2-3 days a week and more moderate workouts on the other days. By alternating high intensity segments with recovery, you will burn more calories and build endurance more quickly.
Strength training is incredibly important for weight loss, but some people stick with cardio because they like it, it burns more calories in one fell swoop and they don't want to get bulky. But muscle is much more active than fat, so the more you build, the more weight you lose over the long term.
Circuit training is a good option here. By doing an exercise, one after the other, you keep your heart rate up and burn more calories. It also makes the workout a little more exciting so you are not as bored.
Increase intensity, not duration
Any type of long, slow endurance exercise, when done regularly will cause the body to become more endurance-focused. It will then want to store energy as fat to ensure it has plenty of reserves to get through all the miles it is using as fuel. So instead of constantly going for longer, go harder instead. As your workouts start to feel less demanding, instead of adding on more reps or time spent doing an exercise increase the weight or do a more advanced version of the exercise.
Once you switch from high-intensity sessions and added more variety and strength training into your training your body should see changes fast.
Mix up your routine
It is easy to fall into the trap of finding a routine and sticking to it week in, week out but you are more than likely doing more damage than good. A varied training schedule featuring different types of exercises and methods of training reduces your risk of injuries which are often caused by too much repetition of the same movements, and maximizes your results.
Leave your comfort zone
Doing exercise for long, lengthy periods probably means you are essentially not pushing yourself hard enough. To change your body you need to step it and work at an intensity that really challenges it. That is when your body will take notice and make changes.
Get a strategy that suits your lifestyle
It is very much possible to get an affective all-body workout with no equipment at all and it is good to have a few bodyweight sessions on file for when you don’t have access to any kit. If you’d like to do all of your workouts at home I recommend investing in a few key pieces of equipment, but it doesn’t need to be space-consuming or expensive – some weights and gym ball is enough.
Support your workouts with good eating
If you are training hard but starving yourself, then your weight loss will effectively go nowhere. Food gives us fuel to be able exercise and it also delivers the resources the body needs to adapt to training. It is essential that you give your body the nutrients it needs, especially protein, to make these repairs and improvements so you can get fitter and keep those fat-burning metabolic fires burning.
Free weights over machines
Exercising with free weights employs more muscles which mean more fat burning and strengthening benefits. They can also help even out imbalances and encourage better functional movement patterns. You can just buy a set of dumbbells at home and use them from the comfort of your sitting room – practical in every way.
Set session goals
When most people say they have been to the gym for an hour what they actually mean is they have wasted 15 minutes dithering around wondering what to do next. Setting mini-goals for each session is a great way of getting around this to make your gym time really count.
The key to losing weight is to stop focusing on cardio so much and move over to weight training instead. With a good training and eating plan you will get stronger and fitter with every session too. The muscle tissue you add to your body will speed up your metabolic rate and make fat loss easier along with giving you a sexier, sculpted shape to be revealed as you strip back the fat.