How To Build A Workout Routine For Weight Loss

How To Build A Workout Routine For Weight Loss | EMAC Certifications

How To Build A Workout Routine For Weight Loss

Knowing how to build a workout routine for weight loss starts with understanding how the body functions and responds to exercise. Learning basic principles of exercise science will help you create the best weight loss workout plan. In fact, working out as little as 30 minutes a day will be enough for fat loss goals.

The key things you need to build the best weight loss workout routine are knowing:

  • What has to happen for the body to lose weight 
  • What are all the factors that can impact fat loss
  • Basic principles in exercise program design
  • Applications of these principles to a nutrition and fitness program

What Needs To Happen For The Body To Lose Weight?

Although fat loss can sometimes seem complicated, it’s easy. To lose weight, one must expend more energy than they consume. This forces the body to use stored fat as fuel. Simply put, you can lose weight when you eat less than what you’re burning.

There are 3,500 calories in one pound of body fat. Therefore, the best weight loss plan is one with a negative caloric balance consistently.  For example, if you burn 500 calories in your workout and you eat 500 calories less per day, this is a 1,000 calorie deficit. Over the course of a week, you will lose two pounds of body fat. It seems simple. But what are all the factors that affect caloric burn and how can YOU apply them to create an effective workout routine for weight loss.

Factors Impacting Calorie Burn

You can break down your daily caloric burn into three segments:

  1. Calories burned during exercise

There are two primary forms of exercise for weight loss. The first is cardio and the second is strength training. Cardio is any form of exercise that elevates the heart rate and breathing rate. You’re working harder, so you’re burning more calories. A strength training workout (aka resistance training) will also elevate the heart rate, however depending on the workout, it might not be as much as cardio. 

  1. Calories burned after and a result of a workout (cardio or strength training)
  1. Daily caloric burn external to a specific workout

There are ways other than traditional exercise to achieve fat loss goals. For example, simply parking farther away at the grocery store is one way you can increase your calorie deficit. Equally important to know, is the more body weight you’re carrying around, the more calories you’ll burn. If you’re losing body fat, this means your daily caloric burn will decline. However, if you can get muscle gain, you’re able to offset some of these changes. Muscle size is based on the number and size of the muscle fiber in the corresponding muscle group. However, it is hard to gain more than one to two pounds of muscle per month. Further, one pound of muscle will burn about 6 calories per hour. On the other hand, a pound of body fat will only burn about 2. That’s about 100 calories per day extra when you have an extra pound of lean muscle

Principles In Workout Design

You know what the body has to go through for weight loss. Now, you need to understand the principles of fitness program design before you can create a weight loss program. We’ll address three concepts professional personal trainers use to build weight loss programs. 

The first principle is the general adaptation syndrome. When the body experiences something out of the norm it goes through an alarm stage. It recognizes there is a new stimulus. The second stage is resistance. This is where the body starts changing and making adaptations to deal with the change or new stimulus. When the stimulus goes on for too long or with too much intensity, it can cause the third stage, exhaustion. This is important because you have to give the body enough of a stimulus for it to make a change. For example, a beginner workout doesn’t have to be high intensity. Instead, if someone is completely new to exercise then basic body weight exercises will be enough to shake things up. It allows them to build up a resistance slowly. Then, over time, you induce more change like adding heavier weight to the exercise program. Again, slowly but enough to cause a change without injury.

The second personal training principle is the SAID principle. It stands for Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands (aka principle of specificity). All this means is your body will change exactly to what you’re asking it to change. It’s basic but people overlook it or overcomplicate it. If you want your resting heart rate to improve, get stronger, and go down, you need to do things that increase my heart rate and make it work harder. Similarly, if you want to build upper body strength, your resistance training should include these exercises. For weight loss, keep things simple. Your fitness program should include exercises that maximize calorie burn and minimize time. 

How To Build A Workout Routine For Weight Loss

Let’s take a look at how the principles of exercise program design intersect with factors impacting a calorie deficit.

Burn More Calories During Exercise

You should be doing a combination of strength training and cardio exercise for your workout routine. Cardio will be the quickest and most effective way to burn the most amount of calories in the least amount of time. Therefore, follow these tips in your cardio workout:

  • Keep your intensity (heart rate) moderately high. On a scale of 1 to 10, aim to be working at a 6 or 7 for a beginner workout. If you aren’t new to the cardio workout, aim for higher intensity levels near 8 and even 9, with short bouts of active recovery (30 – 60 seconds) between the harder intervals
  • Aim for a total body cardio workout. This will help you get your heart rate higher.
  • Get a heart rate monitor or activity tracker. You should know exactly what your heart rate is so you can make sure you’re placing enough demand on yourself during  your workout.

When you do resistance training, choose compound exercises. Compound exercises use more than one joint. This means your using more muscle and you’ll burn more calories. Also choose for total body exercises, or exercises that use large muscle groups. These are great choices for a weight loss workout routine:

  • Squats- When you do squats correctly, you’ll burn a ton of extra calories. Plus you can do progressions like a jump squat or single leg squat to challenge yourself even more.
  • Lunges- Just like the squat, if you know how to properly do a lunge, you’ll have plenty to choose from on a lower body day. You can do walking lunges, jump lunges, lateral lunges, curtsy lunges, and more.
  • Pushups- Perfect a traditional push up. The chest is a large muscle group so it will help maximize your calorie burn. But, this exercise also engages your core, triceps, and lats. It’s a must for an upper body day. And, you can maximize it by doing it with a weighted vest, adding a resistance band, doing a power push up, or doing it with one arm or leg.
  • Rows- A good cable row will help you activate large muscles of your upper and lower back. You’ll hit your lats, trapezius, and rear deltoids. You can also change it up with a resistance band or as a bent over dumbbell row.

Take Advantage Of The “After Burn”

Since you know how EPOC works, consider break up a longer workout into two shorter ones. Make sure the aerobic exercise intensity is high enough that it will take time for you to recover. If you burn 10% more calories for three hours after your workout, you that can mean you’ll burn an extra 100 calories a day breaking it up.

Make General Physical Activity And Lean Muscle Your Friend

Don’t make your gym workout the only way and time you are thinking about burning calories. Find time to stand and walk for a few minutes each hour. Park farther away, take more trips to put things away, and walk while you talk with friends. Depending on your size, this can be up to an additional 750 extra calories a day you’re burning.

If you’re able to get even one pound of muscle gain a month, that’s almost an extra pound of body fat per month you can lose. Building muscle is hard to do. And, if you don’t want to gain muscle, STILL DO RESISTANCE TRAINING. You should be doing resistance training two to three times per week. When you do weight training, your body breaks down the muscle tissue. Then, it takes 24 to 48 hours to put it back together. So, when you’re feeling sore, know that you’re at least burning more calories.

Total Body Strength (30 min)RepEquipment Needed: NONE
Pushups10 Slightly inclined, full ROM, 2/2 tempo
Drop Squats20Focus on the deceleration, explode at the top
Body Weight Squats20Full ROM, 1/1 tempo
Plank Pikes20Hold forearm plank, round lower back lifting hips up then back to neutral, 2/2 tempo
Rest after 3 sets
Tricep Push ups10Toes, knees, or modified with hands elevated, 2/2 tempo
Hip Bridges20Single or double leg, 1/1 tempo
Speed Lunges Right12Stationary, as quickly as possible
Speed Lunges Left12Stationary, as quickly as possible
Rest after 3 sets
Plank Pushup10 ea.10 leading up right, 10 leading up left
Full Burpee15Modified if needed (knees for pushup or w/o jump)
Lateral Lunge Right20Full range of motion, reach for floor
Lateral Lunge Left20Full range of motion, reach for floor
Rest after 3 sets
Cobra w Shoulder Press15Lift in floor cobra, arms lift up and shoulders back, press arms overhead, return.
Mountain ClimbersAs fast as possible for 30 seconds
Walking Lunges2mAlternating, weighted if possible
Forearm Plank30sModified if needed
Workout Routine For Weight Loss: EMAC Certifications
Type: CardioEquipment Needed: NONE
Client Type: ANYGoal Type: Weight loss, general cardio
Burpees- Low Impact30 secStep out at bottom (vs jump) and body weight squat (versus squat jump)
Alt. Stepping Lunges30 secRight then left, no weight
Jacks30 secLow impact for regression, full arm ROM for progression
Plank Hand Touches30 secIn push-up position, touch R hand to L and L hand to R. 
Total: 8 minute circuit
Plank Jacks30 secIn hand or forearm plank position, hop both feet wide, then hop both feet back together
Body Weight Squats60 secPerform quickly and without pausing
High Knees60 secFor progression, add arms. Regression, no impact.
Speed Skaters30 secRegression without hop, progression jump farther and react faster
Total: 12 minute circuit
10 Squat Jumps/10 Body Weight Squats2 min10 leading up right, 10 leading up left
Boxer Shuffle30 secAdd arms or jump lunges to add intensity
Burpee Full ROM30 sec
Side Plank Hold30 sec30 seconds each side for total 60 seconds
Total Circuit: 15 minutes
Horizontal Side Jumps30 secJump to the R side, jump to L side
Mountain Climbers60 secAs fast as possible for 30 seconds
Cobra to Shoulder Press60 secAlternating, weighted if possible
Forearm Plank30 secModified if needed
Total Circuit: 12 minutes
Workout Routine For Weight Loss: EMAC Certifications

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