Typical Workout For Weight Loss

May 9, 2011
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I get asked this on forums and in person all the time.  What is the best workout to start a new exercise regimen?  How much cardio?  How much weight lifting?  Well here is the best scenario that I can give you to jump start your workout efforts.

I believe that the first thing you need to work on is your diet.  I will get to the workouts, but if your diet is horrible, then your workout efforts are useless.  If you do not eat the right foods at the right time,  then your recovery from your workouts will lag behind and your weight loss efforts will suffer also.  You need adequate protein intake throughout the day, especially after a workout.  Also, you need the right kind of carbohydrates at the right time.  Check out the many articles written on this topic at HealthyWeightLossASAP.

Cardiovascular Training.  I believe that this should be done formally 2-3 days per week and then throughout the week with general outside activities, like playing with kids, tennis, golf, etc…  Furthermore, I recommend you do it either first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, or right after a weight lifting workout.  By doing it in the morning you don’t have many calories in your system and therefore you will utilize the fat on your body for the energy needed for the exercise.  If you do your cardiovascular after your weight workout, then it will lead to the same outcome as above, because most of the calories in your system will be used for the effort of your weight workout and then you will utilize the fat on your body for your fat burning cardio efforts.

Weight lifting is a different story.  When you are doing weight training it is always a benefit to warm up with some light cardio to get the body ready for the workout.  It is also recommended to stretch prior to and after lifting to get your muscles ready for the workout.  When you start your weight lifting efforts for the first time, I recommend doing 3 days per week of weights with a day of cardio between each weight lifting day.  Two of those days should be upper body and then one day of lower body.  Then the next week you need to increase lower body to two days per week and upper body one day per week.  Then alternate weeks so the upper and lower body get the same amount of time working out.  In regards to the amount of weight and number of reps I like to recommend alternating between low reps and heavy weights with high reps and lighter reps.  By alternating between these two types of workouts your muscles will continuously adapt to accomplish the workout.  The heavier weight workout will increase strength and fiber size and the lighter weight with higher reps will increase the volume of muscle cells and lead to bigger muscles while trimming fat from the body.  Don’t forget that weight lifting burns calories also and can lead to fat loss also.

Finally, before your weight workout it is good to eat a small amount of carbs or drink an energy drink to get you the energy you need for your workout.  Prior to cardio it is recommended not to eat anything so you can burn the fat on your body for energy.  After your workout, you need to drink a recovery drink with lots of protein and some carbohydrates.  This will replenish your carb stores in your muscle and the protein will give the body the right building blocks for your muscles to grow.  Keep track of your efforts by utilizing a journal and then check the journal with each workout and increase or decrease your weights to allow continuous muscle stimulation so it has to adapt to grow.  Remember to get your rest as your muscles grow when you rest and sleep.  Stick to it daily and take it one day at a time.

For what it’s worth,
Dr. B

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