Losing weight is the toughest part of your fitness routine and leading an active lifestyle. It can really test how badly you want to be in a smaller dress or pant size. You’re working to change some bad habits that got you to the point you’re in now and you’ve made a big step in making the decision to correct those habits.
Overall, you want to get your body heat raised (thermogenesis) and your metabolism working harder for you so you can burn more calories while at rest.
It’s like having compound interest increasing your money when you’re not adding anything to your retirement account. Your metabolism is working for you behind the scenes.
To increase thermogenesis and maximize metabolism, we’ll work on three areas of your program:
studies have shown diets higher in protein make your metabolism work up
to 30% harder and generates higher fat loss success rates.
- The recommended portions of one portion protein, one portion carbohydrate meals are considered higher protein eating plans. Most eating habits today involve a higher percentage of processed carb foods than protein or hardly any protein at all.
- Cardio – short but higher intensity workout studies proved better fat burning results than slow, longer duration cardio sessions. Your metabolism also stays revved up for an additional 1-3 hours after your workout!
- Weight Training – muscle burns calories at rest. And lifting hard and heavy will make your body work harder to burn even more calories.
- For the women – you won’t get huge lifting heavy weights. Your bodies do not generate the right amount of testosterone to make this possible. You can lift weights, lose fat, and have a nice lean figure.
Here’s the general guideline:
- Warm up for 5-10 minutes
- Walk 1-3 sessions per day, 30-60 minutes, six days per week – for maximum results (and if you have the time), I highly recommend 2-3 walking sessions per day.
- Tue, Thur, Sat – replace one walking session with one 20 minute high intensity cardio fitness workout. These high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions should be done on non-weight training days.
- Cool down for 5 minutes and do some stretching.
Weight training –
- Warm up for 5 minutes
- Perform a total body or upper/lower body weight training routine in 4-6 week cycles.
- Three days per week with one day of rest in between – such as Mon, Wed, Fri. Increase the intensity level each week.
- Cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes
Using weight training in your weekly fitness routines plays a great part in keeping your metabolism running at a higher level, burning calories, b/c muscle is active at rest.
Weight training also develops muscle strength and muscle tone, giving you that attractive appeal nicely shaped muscles give off. Plus, it also prevents our bodies from deteriorating as we get older. I bet, if more seniors did a little resistance training 2-3 days a week, they could throw aside their canes and walkers.
Designing Your Weight Training Routine
1) Choose the days you want to workout.
Total body workout 3 days/week?
Upper/Lower body workouts, 3 days/week?
Make a journal in a small notebook or develop a spreadsheet. Taking this with you to the club will allow you to make notes to help tweak the workouts as you go. It’s rare you get everything perfect the first time.
2) Choose your exercises
3) Choose your set x rep schemes
- Basic 3×10-12
- Use light weight on first set, heaviest weight on second set, then decrease a little on third set that’s heavier than first set.
- 1×5 (for strength)
**You can also view some sample workouts if you need more help**
First workout day is “find your max day”:
- Find your max weight for 10-12 reps or 5 reps if you’re going to do a strength set.
- Increase the weight a small amount on the maxes, say 5-10 lbs more, and write these in your journal for your last week’s goal to reach.
- Then work your way backwards each week, decreasing the weight amounts by 2 1/2 – 10 lbs (depending on the exercise and how large of muscle groups the exercise works) all the way back to Week 1.
- Now you’ve set up a routine that keeps your body guessing and making it stronger by making it work harder each week.
- Read these other intensity increasing ideas to get creative in planning future activity routines.
Increasing the Intensity of your Workouts
Increasing the intensity of your weight workouts prevents hitting a plateau in your progression. Some of these ideas are small changes, but your body definitely recognizes them and adjusts.
- Increase your poundage by 2 ½ to 10 lbs each week, depending on the size of the muscle group being trained. Quad exercises like squats and leg presses can increase 10 lbs per week. Small muscles that generate less power, like biceps and shoulders, can increase by 2 ½ to 5 lbs each week.
- Increase by one rep each week.
- Can increase up to 3-4 reps, then back down to original rep point
- Example –
- Week 1 – 8 reps x 50 lbs
- Week 2 – 9 reps x 50 lbs
- Week 3 – 10 reps x 50 lbs
- Week 4 – 8 reps x 55 lbs
- Week 5 – 9 reps x 55 lbs
- This works great with small muscles that can’t handle a 5 lb increase each week and there’s no 2 ½ lb option, like with dumbbells and some machines.
- Decrease your rest time between sets
- Rest times can be changed for each 4-6 week workout cycle, not necessarily each week (although that can be done too).
- Start with one minute rests, then decrease to 45 seconds, then 30 seconds
- 5-6 small meals – one portion protein, one portion carbs (use some fibrous vegetables with minimum two meals per day). One portion is equal to the size of your clenched fist. Eat one meal every 3 hours.
- Include a cheat day once per week.
- Have you heard about the additional health benefits of a vegan diet?
Drink plenty of water during the entire process
How much water is enough? Use the pee test – light colored or clear urine = you’re well hydrated. dark colored urine = dehydrated – drink more.
Important! – during the course of your training, use these tools to help measure your progress. Gauging your progress each week will let you know if the program is working effectively or not and whether to tweak or maintain what you’re currently doing.
Is it tough? Dang right it is!
Is this a permanent way to exercise?
Do as many 4-6 week cycles as needed until you hit your desired body weight or dress size. Then you go into maintenance mode where you cut down the amounts of exercise and can relax the eating strictness (only a little!).
Maintaining is much easier to perform over the long term after you bust your rear for a very short period of your life to get yourself into a better position health-wise. The workouts can be 3-6 days per week with only one short 20-30 minute session per day.
Many people feel so good once they develop their new bodies there’s no way they’re going to let old habits creep back into their lives and wreak havoc again.
The good news is, this phase is only temporary.Some people have more work to do than others. And once you’ve achieved your goal, maintaining your weight is much easier and the good feelings you have inside every day from increased confidence about yourself is priceless.
If you want or have the ability to pursue this weight loss cycle to a high level, do 2-3 cardio sessions per day. Something low intensity like walking outside or on treadmill, on a elliptical machine, or biking – only do the high intensity sessions 3 times per week, every other day.
Weight training involves sessions about 30 minutes long performing a total body or an upper body/lower body split workout. Rest 30-60 seconds between sets to increase the intensity, helping you burn more calories and get that metabolism revving in high gear.
Eating for this plan is 5-6 small meals per day.
The body is usually better suited to burn smaller portions of high quality foods than 3 bigger meals that are traditional in American culture.
Not only does this keep you from eating too many calories at one sitting, but keeps more stable blood sugar levels and constant energy than hitting a wall when your blood sugar drops and hard to stay awake after a big meal.
Ready to shrink yourself?
Follow the guidelines above and do as many cycles as needed until you reach your desired weight levels:
Okay, the time will come after busting your rear for weeks or months and will be able to go into Maintenance Mode. You’ve sacrificed and did a lot of hard work to sculpt your new body, it’s time to ease back and maintain what your intense work has produced:
- Once you reach your desired body weight and/or fitness level, change your walking or other cardio to once a day, 3-6 days per week. You can choose to continue or not continue the high intensity workouts.
- Continue eating 5-6 small high protein meals every 3 hours. Enjoy a restaurant meal or your favorite cheat food a couple times per week. Remember PORTION CONTROL!If you find yourself gaining weight again, cut back on the amounts of food you eat at each meal, cut back on your cheat foods, or increase your workout intensity.
- Continue your weight workouts performing 4-6 week cycles
Successful Fitness Principles
These are some principles listed in the book The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant: Principles for Successful Living that fit well into living a successful fitness and active lifestyle. The principles are listed below as they are originally quoted in the book. While these are great guidelines as originally written, I’ll give a brief explanation in how I view them in the realm of healthy living:
- Work Hard and God Will Prosper You
- Anything worth doing involves hard work. Getting a fitness routine started is definitely tough if it hasn’t been a part of your life for many years. But just like repetitions develop your muscles, being repetitious and diligent in your workouts and improved eating habits will lead you to prosper in developing better health, mind, and body
- Financial Prosperity is Connected to Soul Prosperity
- Or another way – Fitness Prosperity is Connected to Soul Prosperity. Imagine how you’d feel leading a more active lifestyle – an improved body physically, mentally, and spiritually. Your soul will flourish as a result of your improved fitness levels.
- A Man Must Do Whatever He Can to Provide for His Family
- An individual must also provide for themselves. Not in a selfish manner, but I mean he or she must have a level of self respect to take care of their own health first in order to be able to provide for their family. How can one take care of their family if their health is consistently unfavorable?
- Trials Develop Your Character, Preparing You for Increased Blessings
- Hitting plateaus in your training give you an opportunity to take your current workouts to the next level in order to break over that hump and improve your fitness. Doing the same routine without pushing yourself to a higher level results in stagnation and halted results. Your blessings will cease without putting yourself through a different trial.
- Take Responsibility for Problems as a Result of Your Own Bad Decisions. Don’t Displace the Blame.
- This has to be the most outstanding principle that applies in our lives. Many people want a quick fix to problems it took them years to develop – like declaring bankruptcy from their bills or surgery to reduce their bodyweight. This does not fix the root problem of bad behavior. What good does bankruptcy do if they continue to have bad spending habits and what good does surgery do if they continue to have poor eating and exercising habits?
- See Challenges as Stepping Stones, Not as Obstacles.
- See Principle #4
- Be Meek Before God, But Bold Before Men
- Loaning Money Destroys Relationships
- Live Debt Free and Below Your Means
- Live Saturated/Trans Fat/Low Sugar Free and At/Below Your Caloric Means!
- Always Keep to Your Budget
- Always Keep to Your Daily Caloric Means (your calorie budget).
- Set Aside the First 10% to Honor God
- Understand the Power of Partnership
- Having a support system while working to achieve your fitness goals is huge! Success is achieved by your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, trainers, anyone you come across respecting what you’re trying to achieve and doing what they can to provide their support. If someone tries to sabotage what you’re trying to achieve, tell them to get lost.