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Advice on best gym workout for fat burning please!


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I am starting back at the gym tomorrow after not having been for 2/3months. My main focus will be on losing weight & fat burning, can anyone advise on the best equipment to use? I used to do about 20 mins on the cross trainer or treadmill (brisk walk) then 20 mins on the weights, and then about 20 mins swimming. I'm just not sure if I should be concentrating anymore in one area that's best for burning fat.

 

Thanks!

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If you want the best results you can get, I would actually focus on weights. That is what is going to give you that tight, youthful look (and raise your metabolic rate).

 

If you are going 5 days a week, maybe do 3 days every other where you do about 15 minutes cardio warm up (you should be burning at least 150 calories there). Then do weights as heavy as you can to do like 10-15 reps (2 sets) with it being hard. Focus on lower body one day upper the next. Half way through do about 5 minutes of cardio at a higher rate. Repeat the circuit. Cool down with 10 minutes cardio. That should get you to burn over 250 from cardio alone and give you an hour. Total of 4 sets per.

 

Then 2 out of your 5 days focus mostly on just cardio. Have a day for swimming, spinning, whatever you like.

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I am starting back at the gym tomorrow after not having been for 2/3months. My main focus will be on losing weight & fat burning, can anyone advise on the best equipment to use? I used to do about 20 mins on the cross trainer or treadmill (brisk walk) then 20 mins on the weights, and then about 20 mins swimming. I'm just not sure if I should be concentrating anymore in one area that's best for burning fat.

 

Thanks!

 

That plan actually sounds good. A lot of women don't hit the weights at all which is a big mistake. It's good you've got a balanced setup like that. Generally, for weight loss, longer cardio sessions (45min or so) with a lower heart rate are best. With your cross trainer and the swimming, you've got about 40 min... then you've got 20 min on the weights for strength training and possibly some more cardio depending on how fast you rotate through the machines.

 

It seems like a good plan to me.

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Those can all be great. My recommendation is get a VO2 test done at a local gym that provides testing. Doesn't cost much, but will tell you at what heart rate your body burns fat best, and then you can look to curtail your workout to the appropriate intensity and duration. The trainer/tester will be able to explain the results to you. I've become a big proponent of heart rate training recently, hopefully you'll get results that turn you into a fan too.

 

By the way, this requires a heart rate monitor watch and chest strap for best results.

 

Weight training is also great for building muscle to aid in fat burning. So keep it up.

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cool, some good advice, thanks guys!

 

When I have done weights in the past, I have been doing a managable weight at 50 reps x 2, but it's better to use a heavier weight with fewer reps?

 

Sounds like i've got the cardio right though.

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cool, some good advice, thanks guys!

 

When I have done weights in the past, I have been doing a managable weight at 50 reps x 2, but it's better to use a heavier weight with fewer reps?

 

Sounds like i've got the cardio right though.

 

50 reps is way too many reps for a set.

 

A set in which you can do about 10-12 reps is considered light weight, good for toning and moderate muscle growth. A set with 3-5 reps would be heavy weight, for strength training.

 

3-4 sets is good for most things.

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50 reps is way too many reps for a set.

 

A set in which you can do about 10-12 reps is considered light weight, good for toning and moderate muscle growth. A set with 3-5 reps would be heavy weight, for strength training.

 

3-4 sets is good for most things.

 

 

Wow, and there was me thinking I was brilliant for doing so many hehe!

 

I'll try that then.

 

Should I mix some cardio between sets then? Or can I do one set legs, then go onto arms, then tummy crunches etc?

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Wow, and there was me thinking I was brilliant for doing so many hehe!

 

I'll try that then.

 

Should I mix some cardio between sets then? Or can I do one set legs, then go onto arms, then tummy crunches etc?

 

That may be personal preference. For me, I generally do about 5-10 min of cardio just to warm-up. Then I do weights strictly for a set time. If it's a day to focus mostly on strength, I'll do weights for a long time and that'll be it. If it's an easy day on the weights, I'll do another 20-30 min of cardio afterwards.

 

I generally don't do long cardio sessions at the gym... I like to be outside for those so I keep them on a separate schedule. So you may consider creating a weights schedule and a cardio schedule... for instance:

 

MWF you could go to the gym and do a warm-up, followed by 30 min on weights, followed by a short cool down cardio session. Then on TTh you could do long runs or swims.

 

There are so many different ways to structure work-outs that will all work well for you. You really just have to try things out and see what you like best. Plus changing things up every now and then keeps it from becoming monotonous.

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The reason to have one day where you focus on lower body is so that you hit it hard, and you have a long enough recovery. I took a lifting course and was told you should always have about 48 hours to recover a muscle group if you are doing heavier lifting (the amount you need to stimulate muscle growth).

 

And really, if you only have an hour, you can't get a good lifting session in if you do total body ontop of moderate cardio.

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If you eat really well you can get away without doing any cardio. You can't get away with no weight lifting if you want that toned look though.

 

Wouldn't agree tbh, as every fitness professional i've ever talked to, plus my current personal trainer has said the opposite. There are many cardio exercises you can do that not only burn fat but will build muscle aswell. I feel better now in my legs, arms and chest from just cycling and swimming than I ever did doing weights.

 

 

Though then again, as my personal trainer says, 'toning' is a fitness myth, kind of like 'spot training', and the 'do mostly weights to build muscle because a pound of muscle burns more than a pound of fat' myth (last not being a myth, but being misused as motivation to do the wrong thing). To burn fat your best just doing alot of cardio and eat healthy really, thats what i've been told. Seems to be working for me to...and this is me who was always doing weights before.

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Interval training does depend highly on how fit you are tbh. Proper HIIT is pound for pound the best fat burning exercise you can do (according to Scientists, Doctors etc) but the problem is proper HIIT leaves even highly trained athletes on the floor and gasping for breath upon completion...What most people do in gyms and call HIIT is just normal interval training.

 

Problem with interval training in general as a method of fat burning is in general you have to be pretty fit anyway to get the best results. I did alot of research into it and it is something that sounds simple in concept but is alot harder in practice. It is on paper the convenient persons exercise, as you only need to do 20 mins or less every other day, so it appeals to people. Problem is that if you don't get someone to instruct you first and plow in too heavy (not getting enough rest inbetween bursts) you run a huge risk...and I mean huge...you do run the risk of dying if you do it wrong, moreso than with most other exercises...

 

It's a bummer tbh, because it is a great way to lose fat quick...but the intensity you need to go, coupled with the fitness you need prior makes proper HIIT (the one with the fat burning research behind it) impossible for the vast majority of casual gym goers. As for normal interval training, again most people can't do it properly tbh and research shows that when you can't do it properly you are best just sticking with standard cardio exercises and sparing your poor muscles the torture.

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