A lot of my new clients come to me AFTER they’ve been working out for a long time without seeing results. They may be yoga or spin class fanatics, kick-boxers or fitness class junkies, but they all say the same thing “I’m just not seeing the results I thought I would.” I started thinking about this and realized they all have one thing in common: they’re not lifting weights.
Have you ever noticed the most toned people in the gym are the ones using free weights and machines? You may think to yourself “that’s not for me, I don’t need to bulk up. I just want to lose a few pounds and look good in my clothes.” Well, lifting weights is important for everyone. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, gain muscle definition or just get stronger. Weight bearing exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your body. Don’t believe me? Just ask your doctor. It boosts metabolism, builds stronger bones and more muscle. Your body burns more fat even while at rest.
Even a low calorie diet combined with aerobic exercise won’t help you burn as much fat and can even contribute to muscle loss. When you lose muscle, or lean mass, your metabolism slows down. Your weight loss slows down and your body begins to store fat. By increasing your lean muscle mass, you increase your metabolism. The faster you metabolize your food, the more weight you lose. Even when sleeping.
Creating Your Workout Schedule
What Are The Right Exercises For Your Workout?
There is not a single workout you can find in a magazine, online or download from an app that is perfect for every body type. You want to create your workout with exercises that suit your body and your fitness goals. One type of workout routine that may have given great results for one person may not do so much for another person. Bodies, metabolisms, recovery rate and general fitness can be radically different from person to person. Of course, there are some exercises out there that are generally better than others.
Unbeknownst to most, amount of movement while lifting weights is the most important factor in calorie and fat burning when considering adding the exercises for your workout program. If you choose mostly isolation exercises with little to no body movement, then it is to be expected that you would burn fewer calories compared to a compound exercise that requires you to move more of your body over a wider range of motion. The more complex movements (exercises) per workout, the more calories you will burn. Complex movements use several large muscles at one time. With this type of movement your heart rate will stay at a high pace which will result in more calorie burning.
Choosing The Right Exercises for You
Exercises that are more complex should form the base of your routine. Included are squats, lunges, push ups, step ups, deadlifts, and bent-over rows. A few examples of isolation exercises that should be added for detail and shaping are crunches, bicep curls, leg extensions, triceps extensions, and hamstring curls. You can get creative and mix two exercises to make an even more complex movement. It can be fun trying out different exercises, but you need to make sure to perform them correctly to prevent injury or wasting your time.
Here are some combination exercises I will use in a personal training session:
- Side lateral raise with lunging backwards
- Dumbbell curls will lunging forward
- Dumbbell overhead press with squats
- Front dumbbell raise with backwards or side lunge
- Walking lunge with twist holding a medicine ball
Now that you know the right type of exercises to choose, you can then opt to increase the intensity of your workout. Try performing a superset, which means you do two or more exercises back to back. This will surely get your heart pumping faster, the calories burning intensified. Doing three or more exercises in this fashion is generally referred to as a giant set. To further step up the calorie burning intensity, you should finish your gym session with your fat burning cardio workout. You can opt to do a longer steady state cardio session or a shorter and more intense interval cardio session.
Bonus Tip: Proper Breathing While Lifting Weights
I know, you already breathe all day and all night. Why do you need to be reminded to breathe? Well, you may not be doing it correctly. Breathing from your chest seems like the logical place to breathe, right? Yes and no. Your lungs are in your chest, so it makes sense to breathe from there. However, breathing from your diaphragm is the best way to oxygenate the body, tissues, muscles and more. You should be able to see your stomach muscles expanding and contracting every time you breathe. Never hold your breath when lifting weights. Inhale through the nose on the negative portion of the rep, exhale through the mouth on the positive portion (the lift). Believe me when I say, you will see and feel a significant change for the positive in your training when you breathe properly. Want to know more? Contact me today to create a custom workout and nutrition plan. When all elements are combined properly, you’ll get reach your fitness goals and feel great.