Here are 6 simple tips that you can incorporate in your own life to get yourself started, if you have absolutely no idea where to begin on your road to losing that extra weight.
Now most of these tips should primarily be applied by people with a lot of fat to lose, with body fat percentages in excess of about 18%. But, all the points can still be used by pretty much anyone looking to shed that extra fat and/or for someone beginning to change their sedentary lifestyle into a more active one and firm up.
1. Start weight training with COMPOUND LIFTS at least 3 times a week
Compound lifts/exercises are ‘big’ exercises which use much more than just one muscle or muscle group. The more muscles/muscle groups you recruit in an exercise the more calories you can burn. So keep these exercises as the main focus of your training regime in order to stimulate more of your muscles in less time.
Some great compound exercises include:
2. Keep your rest periods between sets, anywhere from 45 seconds to 1 and a half minutes
The idea here is to keep your workouts intense. You don’t want to be wasting time unnecessarily and in turn not burning as many calories as you can. If you’re using relatively heavy weights then you can rest a bit longer but try to keep your rest periods, between sets of each exercise, up to 1 and a half minutes max.
3. Don’t waste your time with ab specific training initially
Many people are still under the impression that in order for them to lose fat on their stomach they need to do every available ab exercise all the time. By doing sit ups, for example, does not necessarily mean that you will lose fat on your tummy specifically; you cannot choose exactly where you want to lose fat from, by doing specific exercises.
Check out this article to find out more on spot reduction: Can Spot Reduction (Losing Fat on Specific Areas) Be Done?
So rather focus on your weight training to burn calories and shed the fat which covers your abs, and keep the ab exercises for every now and then and for when you can start to see your abs.
4. Add in cardio slowly and build it up over time
Cardio should be used as an additional tool to burn fat, in addition to your weight training. The key with cardio is to start small and gradually increase or build it up. Don’t just go from doing no cardio to doing 5 cardio sessions of an hour each per week and expect to change your body in a week. You really do not need to do so much in order to lose weight. Small gradual changes can have more of an effect. So, as you (or your body) get used to something, then you can make a change and increase one aspect of your cardio to challenge your body a little bit more and thus keeping it from getting used to one thing. Another great way to do cardio, and burn a lot of calories in a small amount of time is with HIIT cardio. Basically this is where you, (lets take running for instance), jog for a minute, then sprint for a minute; that’s one cycle. You can repeat this 4 to 5 times or do it for 10 – 15 minutes. It is a lot more intense, but it beats doing boring steady state cardio for 30 minutes.
5. Review your diet and drink more water
When your goal is to lose weight/fat, you HAVE TO, HAVE TO, HAVE TO, clean up your diet. Without giving your diet the attention and discipline that it needs, you really cannot expect to achieve that goal. Again, to make it easier start with small changes. Cut out certain things one by one and slowly clean it up until it becomes your lifestyle and a way of life. Dont think about completely eliminating all the junk and bad stuff such as fizzy drinks, sweets, cakes, biscuits, fast food, etc., start with REDUCING it all initially.
Drinking more water is also a must, not only to help with losing weight, but also to maintain optimal hydration levels, and optimal health.
6. Be Consistent
I’m sure you may be tired of seeing this point in almost every article, but this is one of the most important factors involved in getting ahead and we need to be constantly reminded of it. You need to keep at it and keep pushing through, day in and day out to see results. Don’t stop and don’t give up!