When you’re trying to lose weight, a healthy diet and regular exercise are key. But creating a workout schedule that helps you stick with your plan can be difficult. By scheduling regular sessions of both cardio and strength training, you can make the most of your workouts and see better results in less time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week — that’s roughly a brisk walk or biking at a casual pace. But to see real changes in your health and fitness, you need to vary the type and intensity of your workouts. You also need to incorporate recovery activities to help keep you injury-free.
Start your week with a blood-pumping cardio workout, and then follow up with a full-body strength session. This allows you to alternate your workouts each week to avoid muscle fatigue. It also gives you a chance to recover on the fifth day, which is important for fat loss.
To maximize your performance, have a small carbohydrate-rich snack one to two hours before you exercise. This will provide you with the energy you need to work out at a high intensity for longer periods of time. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, oats, beans and nuts, are ideal preworkout fuel. Fruit, sports drinks and even white bread are all viable options, too, but make sure to consume the carbs at least one hour before exercise.
For your second workout of the week, hit the “pushing” bodyparts (chest, shoulders and triceps) on Monday; then, move to pull-ups and assisted pushups on Tuesday, as well as deadlifts and dumbbell shoulder presses on Wednesday. Including these exercises will help you build shoulder and back muscles for a more balanced physique.
During each of these days, perform four sets for the large bodyparts (chest, shoulders and quads) and three sets for smaller ones (biceps, triceps and abs). In addition to building muscle, this rep scheme promotes the best fat loss.
On the fifth day, take a restorative yoga class or attend a stretch class to get your blood flowing and your joints moving freely. This is a great way to prevent injuries, maintain flexibility and reduce the risk of chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
When you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to have a trainer or other fitness professional guide you through your exercise routines. This person can help you find the right weight for each exercise, so that you’re challenging your muscles without causing injuries. He or she can also teach you proper technique for each exercise, so that you’re exercising in a safe and effective manner. For instance, the trainer can demonstrate how to properly perform a leg lift to help you prevent lower-back pain. He or she can also show you how to use a gym’s safety equipment, such as dumbbells and barbells. If you’re a beginner, it may be helpful to have an exercise calendar that shows each workout and provides instructions for each. Kost och träningsschema