There are a million and one workout programmes 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…
Whether that’s walking, lifting weights, swimming, running, cycling, playing sport, etc, etc if you are burning more calories than you are consuming your body has no choice but to tap into it’s current stored energy and use it for fuel.
In a nutshell any type of exercise 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 movement is good as it burns calories.
That said most general members of the public are not only looking to lose weight, but also to improve the way they look. For example they want a better looking body shape: firmer butt, leaner arms, flatter stomach, etc.
In this post I’m going to explain how to set up your gym workouts for fat loss, so that you…
#1 Burn lots of calories
#2 Improve muscle mass – which will improve your body shape.
I’ll also share one of the systems that I use with my clients to get great results.
Why should you trust me?
I’ve completed over 10,000 1-1 personal training sessions and have tried near enough every workout program under the sun! I’ve done this on both myself and clients. I know what works and what doesn’t!
How To Set Up 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. Although any form of cardiovascular exercise can be used to warm up the body, I’m particularly a fan of the 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, I’d recommend going into a strength exercise. Strength exercises include: deadlifts, squats, bench press, pull ups, dips, and the shoulder press.
Pick one strength exercise per workout 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)
This is the final part of the session where you leave ‘no stones left unturned’ – it’s time to go 100% and beast the body.
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 my LEP 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 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. The only thing I will say is 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.
Once your techniques are in place it’s time to follow the program. Each week (or every few weeks) the aim is to improve by either adding weight, increasing reps, or reducing rest time. A good personal trainer will plan this out for you so that you are always improving.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions please comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org