July 14, 2010

How to Lose Weight Fast: Part Seven: Training Programme

So, now that we've covered dieting and supplementation, it's time we get to the training part. Now, there's so much misconception about training, especially when it comes to women's training. So let me dedicate a few paragraphs to clear up these misconceptions.

Misconception 1: Dieting Without Exercise Works
No, it doesn't. Not even close. Let's say you burn 2000 calories per day and diet down to 1500 calories. So each day, you're deficit by 500 calories. But if you train, you burn an additional 700-1000 calories. So you can have a 1200-1500 calorie deficit! That makes a BIG difference. And exercising has benefits that dieting can't give you. One is increase in muscle mass, which will increase your metabolism and making weight maintenance in the future easier.

Misconception 2: Women Shouldn't Weight Train
This is the biggest bullshit in the fitness world and the worst thing is, many people still believe it! Here's the thing, some women fear that they will turn out masculine and female bodybuilder-ish if they weight train. Remember ladies, women have a fraction of testosterone output of men and can barely build and muscle. Plus, the muscular ladies you've seen before are on steroids and their workout and dieting plans are A LOT more intense and strict than the ones outlined here. In short, muscle is not something that happens out of the blue. You must really want it to have it. Plus, if you don't weight train, you will NEVER achieve that chiselled, healthy and toned body. So, do it. In fact, read this - click here.

Great! Now that we've cleared up the common misconceptions, let's go on to the training programme. Your training programme will be split up into two parts - weight training and cardio workouts. Now, I know some of you are into various other gym activities such as BodyCombat, BodyPump, BodyToss, BodyTwist, BodySomersault, etc. These exercises do provide some stimulation for the body, but honestly, they are designed more for the fun and social reasons (as weight training and cardio can be a lonely and boring activity at times) and therefore does not provide acute and specific stimulation for your physique goals. So, it's up to you whether you want to devote your gym time towards your physique goals or for fun.

To lose weight, you'll need to follow a weight loss weight training programme... I'm just kidding. There's no such thing as a weight loss weight training programme. Whether to lose fat or gain muscle, your weight training programme should be the same - heavy and intense. Don't mistake weight loss training as a time to tone down on the weights cause if you do, YOU'LL LOSE MUSCLE.

So, since you're still gonna weight train like you do off-season, choose a workout programme from here (click here!).

For ladies, use this workout routine. Remember ladies, push as hard as you can for every exercise. The only changes I've made to this workout routine is that I took out the exercises that trains the "masculine" muscles and put in a few "feminine" exercises.

Workout One
Dumbbell Squats - 1 warm up set, 3 sets
Stiff-Leg Deadlifts - 3 sets
Dumbbell Standing Calf Raise - 3 sets
Leg Lift - 3 sets
Lying Leg Raise - 3 sets
Crunches - 3 sets

Workout Two
Dumbbell Bench Press - 1 warm up set, 3 sets
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows - 1 warm up set, 3 sets
Dumbbell Laterals - 3 sets
Dumbbell Curls - 3 sets
Dumbbell Kickbacks - 3 sets
Hyperextensions - 3 sets
Twist - 3 sets

*Perform 12 reps for each working set and 15 reps for every warm-up set.

As for cardio, every cardio session should be 45 minutes long. You can either use the stationary bike, treadmill or stepper. My favourite is the treadmill, because it feels more natural to me. And the bike is the worst choice, because you're sitting on your ass and you'll be burning fewer calories. You should maintain a medium pace, something that you could maintain throughout the whole 45 minutes. For me, I set the treadmill to an incline of 13% (which is almost the highest) and walk at the speed of 6. And that's another weight loss secret - high incline, low-medium speed. If you can't maintain the same incline and speed as me, try 10% incline at the speed of 5.5 then work your way up.

The Training Schedule
Follow this schedule. As you can see, I don't outline each day as specifically Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and so on. So, your Day One can be any day of the week. It's the order that matters.

Day One - Weights
Day Two - Cardio
Day Three - Rest
Day Four - Weights
Day Five - Cardio
Day Six -Rest
Day Seven - Repeat Day One

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
If some of you kept up with the progress in the fitness industry, you will know that lately, there's been a rise in popularity of HIIT. This form of cardio takes only 15-30 minutes and it burns more calories (up to 3x more!) due to the post-workout increase in metabolism. So why didn't I recommend it as a default choice of cardio, right?

Because on a calorie-restricted diet, HIIT can be catabolic (muscle burning) and make you too hungry to stick to your diet. That's with ME, of course. And I'm an ectomorph (naturally thin). For someone who is an endomorph (naturally fat), his or her body probably can handle the stress of HIIT. In short, stick to the above routine and if you're stuck in a rut, replace one cardio session with HIIT cardio. If you still feel ok (not overly hungry), try replacing both cardio sessions with HIIT. This is to gauge how much your body can handle.

Here's how you perform a HIIT workout. There are many variations available but I'm outlining one for beginners. I'll use the treadmill as an example but if you can improvise this routine on other cardio machines, go ahead.

First, slow jog for five minutes as a warm up.

Then, up the speed (and incline) to the point that you're sprinting the hell out of yourself. Continue for a minute.

After a minute, lower the speed and incline to the point that you're walking slowly. Grab a drink and continue walking for two minutes.

This is counted as a set. Repeat these sets of sprints five times.

Then, slow walk for three minutes and you're done.

And that's it for training.

For the next part, I'll include dozens of tips that will make big differences if you adhere to them!


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