This Is the Best Workout For Losing Weight.

If you’re trying to lose weight, eating a healthy, portion-controlled diet that creates a calorie deficit is absolutely key — it may even be more important than working out. But if you’re eating right, adding exercise into your routine can absolutely burn extra calories and speed up the process. So which workout should you be doing?

To maximize your exercise time, we asked fitness instructor John Kersbergen what the best workout for weight loss is, and the answer may surprise you. It’s not tons and tons of calorie-burning, steady-state cardio like running straight for an hour. He said, “The most efficient way to get results is to do some form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for a total-body workout and to focus on strength training certain body parts (upper body, lower body, core) on different days of the week.” And no need to suffer for hours at the gym. John said, “The whole workout including warmup doesn’t need to be more than 45 minutes to be effective.” And three to four times a week is enough.

Here’s an example of a week’s worth of workouts.

Monday: total-body HIIT + lower body
Tuesday: total-body HIIT + upper body
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: total-body HIIT + abs and back
Friday: total-body HIIT + whatever else you want to focus on for your goals
Saturday: rest
Sunday: active rest such as going for an easy hike or yoga

For HIIT, basically you follow a work-to-rest ratio, and a popular one is 2:1. That could be 40 seconds of working at 70 to 90 percent of your max followed by 20 seconds of rest. An example of HIIT could be running, biking, jumping rope, rowing, or swimming with sprint or hill intervals included, and/or a mix of strength-training moves like burpees, squats, plyometrics exercises like jumping lunges, or push-ups.

Here are some HIIT workouts to give you some ideas.

Make sure your HIIT workout includes strength training, so don’t just do a 45-minute running interval workout and call it a day. Bodyweight exercises could be enough — like squats, for example — but adding weights will get results faster, like doing goblet squats holding a kettlebell.

John said, “Get as much work done in as short amount of time, each time, with mostly total-body compound movements that recruit more muscles and burn more calories.” So instead of just standing while doing bicep curls, couple it with a wide squat. Other examples of effective strength-training moves include squat variations like jumping squats, weighted squats, and dumbbell thrusters, as well as deadlifts, weighted step-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and plank variations such as up-down planks and side planks with leg lifts.

Each total-body HIIT workout should work multiple muscle groups, so it’s not like Monday will be the only day you work your legs. But focusing on one part of the body on a specific day is an opportunity to add weight or reps so you can gradually increase your strength and endurance for those muscles. It’s also a chance to give certain parts of the body time to rest and repair, which will build muscle faster and prevent injury.

If weight loss is your goal, this should be great news! No more forcing yourself to do hours upon hours of boring cardio. If you’re new to HIIT, start with 10 minutes of short bursts of intense, heart-pumping intervals and muscle-burning strength-training moves. Then work your way up to 45-minute workouts three to four times a week. Mix up the exercises you do, the body parts you work, the equipment you use, and the order you do the exercises. It’ll keep your muscles guessing, prevent boredom, and build the most muscle, which will help burn the most fat. Most importantly, it’ll keep you inspired to work out, so you’ll be consistent with your weekly workouts, which is the key to seeing results and reaching your goal.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Rima Brindamour

 

FAT-LOSS BASICS

Don’t Believe All the Fad-Diet Hype — Losing Fat Boils Down to These 7 Basics

by CHRISTINA STIEHL

It seems like every day there’s a new headline on the internet or a new coverline on a magazine promising you can slim down in days, shed belly fat with just one ab move, and completely transform your body with one specific fad diet.

In reality, losing fat (which is really what people want to lose when they lose weight) boils down to these simple basics. We tapped registered dietitians and personal trainers, who explained how to lose body fat and keep it off for good. For starters, you’ll want to get rid of that Shake Weight and those weird body-wrap things and actually start eating carbs (yes, carbs!). Scroll through for more expert tips.

Eat in a Healthy Calorie Deficit

Ultimately, losing weight is all about calories in, calories out. In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. “You have to create a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound,” explained registered dietitian and ACSM-certified personal trainer Jim White, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios. “This can be done by burning extra calories through exercise or reducing your intake of calories, but the best way is to use a combination of both methods. This ensures that you’re giving your body enough nutrients during periods of weight loss.”

However, eating in a 3,500-calorie deficit doesn’t guarantee an exact weight loss of one pound. There are a lot of other factors that impact how your body loses weight, including stress, sleep, and hormones.

Although you should eat in a calorie deficit, he doesn’t recommend anyone eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day. And since calorie needs are highly individual from person to person, Jim recommends meeting with a registered dietitian if you can to assess your needs and your goals. If that’s not a possibility, you can use this formula to calculate your estimated calorie deficit for weight loss.

Focus on Healthy Fats and Lean Proteins

For your diet, you should load up on whole foods, with an emphasis on lean protein and healthy fats. “Focus on healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, seeds, and legumes that will help your body by feeling satiated,” explained registered dietitian Shana Spence, MS. She also recommends eating lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, or plant-based proteins like tofu. “These also fill you up and leave you satisfied,” she said.

As far as how much of these macronutrients you should eat, Jim recommends a macro breakdown of 40:30:30 — 40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat.

Don’t Totally Give Up Carbs

Like Jim said, 40 percent of your diet should come from carbs. So even though low- and no-carb diets are wildly popular, to lose fat for good, you’ll still want to eat carbs.

“Many people make the mistake of going low-carb or trying to cut carbs altogether; you want to do the exact opposite,” Shana recommended. “Our body needs carbs to survive: it’s fuel for our body and brain.”

As for what type of carbs to eat, she recommends complex carbs that have fiber to fill you up. “These can include healthy grains like quinoa, which is also a protein, whole-wheat bread, oats, barley, or farro.”

Be Active Outside the Gym

When people think of activity for fat loss, they usually envision hours on the treadmill or taking an intense Spin class. In reality, to get in more activity and boost fat loss, it’s all about just moving more.

Eric Bowling, NASM-certified personal trainer at Ultimate Performance, said he encourages his clients to be more active outside of the gym and increasing their overall steps to 10,000 per day minimum. 

“This little addition will increase your daily activity and rapidly boost the total amount of calories burned throughout the day,” he said. “This is called nonexercise activity thermogenesis, and it’s one of the most effective fat-loss tools most people overlook.”

Lift Weights

Yes, cardio burns calories. But people often neglect strength training, which can help you lose fat for the long-term. Eric recommends lifting weights three times a week starting out. Weightlifting will help you build lean muscle, which burns more calories at rest. It will also change your body composition, so you’ll look more toned and defined.

And don’t be afraid to lift heavy; it will help you lose fat, not get bulky. If you’re just getting started, check out our four-week strength-training program.

Try HIIT

HIIT, which stands for high-intensity interval training, can help you get in an effective workout in a shorter amount of time. In HIIT, you do a period of all-out exercise followed by an even longer period of rest. You can do HIIT with bodyweight exercises, weightlifting moves, or cardio, such as sprinting on the treadmill.

There is some evidence that HIIT can target belly fat. Eric is a fan of HIIT and recommends people do it one or two times a week to lose fat. HIIT can also help you achieve EPOC, or excess postexercise oxygen consumption, also known as the afterburn effect, during which your body keeps burning calories even after the workout.

Get Enough Sleep

And while diet and exercise are important for fat loss, many people tend to overlook another important lifestyle habit: sleep. A lack of sleep could increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol.

“When you are sleep-deprived and cortisol levels increase to keep the body running, you will likely experience fatigue, increased food cravings, mental fog, and lower ‘real’ energy,” Eric explained. “All of these will impact your effectiveness in the gym and impair your adherence to an eating plan.”

Aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night.


Courtesy of PopSugar

LIFT WEIGHTS TO LOSE BELLY FAT

A Trainer Explains Why Weightlifting Is the Most Important Type of Exercise For Losing Belly Fat

by CHRISTINA STIEHL

When it comes to losing belly fat, your mind may immediately think of doing dozens of crunches or spending hours on a cardio machine. And while these moves may help you burn calories, they’re not the most effective method of burning body fat. In fact, you’ll want to hit the weight room and grab some dumbbells or a barbell. Eric Bowling, an NASM-certified personal trainer at Ultimate Performance in Los Angeles, explained why.

How to Lose Belly Fat

We can’t talk about belly fat without first debunking the myth of spot-targeting fat loss. If you are looking to get rid of fat, specifically on your midsection, we have some news for you: you can’t control where your body loses fat. When you lose weight, it’s up to your genetics (thanks, Mom and Dad!) to determine where on your body you lose fat. So to lose belly fat, you have to lose body fat overall.

To do this, Eric has what he calls the five cornerstones to any successful fat-loss program: increasing nonexercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT (the activity you do outside of the gym), weightlifting three days a week, implementing HIIT one to two days a week, getting enough sleep (seven to eight hours a night), and eating in a healthy calorie deficit. If you’re curious why hours of cardio aren’t on the list, that’s no accident.

Why You Should Lift Weights to Lose Belly Fat

You may not think barbell squats or deadlifts will have any impact on your midsection, but you’d be wrong. “Lifting weights has been shown to do a few phenomenal things to improve body composition,” Eric said. Weightlifting helps increase your muscle mass, and more muscle mass is one of the only proven ways to boost your metabolism. This is because muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does, so more muscle mass means a higher resting metabolic rate. A higher resting metabolic rate means burning more calories, and therefore more fat, at rest.

Plus, lifting weights in and of itself burns calories. So while you’re pumping through your reps and breaking a sweat, your body is burning calories. You just need to make sure you are lifting weights that are heavy enough to be a challenge but doable to make it through full sets; if you’re not sure where to start, check out this guide. After a weight starts to become too easy, it’s time to lift heavier or increase reps to continue to see progress; this is known as progressive overload.

Eric recommends lifting weights three times a week, especially if you’re starting out. It’s also best to focus on compound exercises, which are exercises that target groups of large muscles, such as barbell squats, deadlifts, and leg presses. “Compound movements concentrating on larger muscle groups will burn the most calories,” Rachel Gerson, an NASM-certified personal trainer. “If you think about it, you’ll feel a lot more tired after doing a barbell squat than doing a bicep curl.”

Sure, cardio and HIIT have a place in a weight-loss program; we’re not saying to give up your favorite Spin class completely. But if you’re looking for an effective workout plan to lose fat long-term, you must incorporate strength training. It won’t make you too bulky; it will help you carve lean muscle that burns more calories at rest. Not sure where to begin? Start with this four-week strength-training program.

DOMINATE WALL BALLS

From BoxLife Magazine

5 Tips to Dominate Wall Balls

Wall balls are an integral part of CrossFit. Do 150 of them and you’ve just completed Karen, one of the sport’s most notorious benchmark workouts. The idea of a wall ball sounds easy enough, right? Squat bellow parallel. Thrust the ball up to a target. Catch the ball as it comes down and repeat until you’ve completed the specified number of reps.
Easy, right? Wrong. Anyone who’s ever been smacked in the face with a med ball or thrown the ball up and completely missed the target can testify that wall balls are a lot harder than they look.

Here are five tips to practice to help you dominate the wall ball.

1. Know your distance
Keeping proper distance from the wall ball target is key in moving efficiently. Stand too close and you’ll risk throwing the ball straight up and missing the target completely. Stand too far and you’ll find yourself working harder to cover the distance between you and the target. It’s important to note that being too far from the target is usually better than being too close.

To measure the proper distance, stand under the target and extend your arms out in front of you. Your fingers should be able to touch the wall or rig. At this point, you should find yourself 20-25 inches from the wall or rig. Practice from this position and slightly adjust until you find your sweet spot. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to adjust more than five inches from the starting spot.

2. Drop low
Athletes sometimes think they’re saving time and energy by not squatting to full depth, but holding back on how low you go can actually have the opposite effect. For starters, energy is wasted in the deceleration process as you attempt to stop just below parallel. It’s actually easier to drop all the way down and bounce out of the bottom—as your body takes advantage of the stretch shortening cycle where your muscles act like a spring, driving you up, resulting in a more efficient movement.

3. Catch in place 
Ideally, you want to catch the med ball so that your hands are on the underside of the ball (as opposed to the sides), as close to your body as possible, with your wrists about six inches apart. Catching the med ball on its side can cause your chest to fall forward, making the ball feel heavier and even possibly falling out of your hands.
As the ball makes initial contact with your hands, you should still be standing with your hands near the middle of you face. Begin to squat once the ball has made contact. Squatting before you’ve caught the med ball can make the impact feel heavier. Over the course of a few reps, this impact can take a toll.

4. Rest when you can
Whether or not you’re doing wall balls, holding your arms overhead can become exhausting. Every five reps or so, once you’ve thrown the ball, quickly bring your arms down and shake them out. Your shoulders will appreciate the short breaks.

5. Don’t hold your breath
Just like any other exercise, breathing is fundamental to your efficiency and endurance. Breathing in sync with your reps helps create a rhythm as you’re moving through the workout. As you begin your descent into the squat, inhale. As you spring up, exhale.

Final Word
Practice makes perfect. Focus on perfecting one or two of these techniques every time you perform wall balls. Once you’ve mastered a technique, move on to another one. With enough practice, these tips will become second nature to you!

Cardio or Weights

by TAMARA PRIDGETT

Not Sure If Cardio or Lifting Weights Is Better For Weight Loss? 

The debate over whether you should do cardio or lift weights to lose weight never seems to end. Gather 20 trainers and ask them what they think, and they’ll all give you different answers and plans for weight loss. The thing is, when it comes to fitness, very few things are universal.

Experts have explained that the best workout to burn fat and lose weight will depend on variables such as whether your body burns fat more efficiently with steady-state cardio or more high-intensity forms of exercise.

This is how both cardio and strength training play a role in weight loss.

The Benefits of Lifting Weights For Weight Loss

Regardless of your fitness goals, I think every person can benefit from adding strength training into their workout routine. According to a review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, “The general benefits of strength training for both men and women include an increase in bone mass and lean mass, improved body composition (due to decreased fat mass), cardiovascular fitness, strength, and an enhanced sense of well being.”

“For purely weight loss in the short-term, or even medium-term (a few weeks or a month), the answer is: it probably doesn’t matter,” Dr. Harrison told POPSUGAR. “But in the long-term, if you had to pick one, weight training is almost certainly better because of your increased muscle mass and its ability to continue to burn more calories at rest,” he explained. According to Dr. Harrison, most people don’t actually want to lose weight because they’ll end up losing both fat and muscle. Instead, he said, most people want to lose fat and maintain and build muscle.

Strength training is also one of the best ways to boost your metabolism. Because you’re building more muscle, which is more metabolically active than fat and requires more energy, you’ll be burning more fat and calories than if you had less muscle and, as a result, losing weight.

Although everyone is unique and responds to exercise differently, I generally recommend starting with three days of strength training and one to two cardio sessions a week. There are a variety of ways to set up your workouts; you can make them specific to a muscle group (arms, back, legs, glutes) or do a full-body workout. “For the superdedicated folks, I’ll have them do six days per week of lifting with only light cardio on their one ‘rest’ day,” Dr. Harrison said. If that won’t work with your schedule or feels like too much, too soon, Dr. Harrison said to do four days of strength training per week, focusing on full-body workouts.

The Benefits of Cardio For Weight Loss

As I stated earlier, ask any trainer and you’ll quickly realize that the strength training to cardio ratio will vary from person to person. Dr. Harrison typically recommends one day of cardio for people who are lifting six times a week, whereas I like to typically start clients off with just three workout sessions a week. With that split, two days would be strength training and one day would be cardio. Other weekly formats I suggest are three days of strength and two days of cardio or four days of strength, one day of cardio, and one day of active recovery (like yoga or walking). Some examples of cardio I recommend to my clients are jumping rope, doing a 20- to 30-minute run, cycling, and swimming.

Cardio is a great way to mix up your strength workouts without taking a day off (rest is important, though!), and it can also help you burn fat when done in a fasted state. This happens around eight to 12 hours after your last meal. “Benefits of fasted cardio include increased breakdown of fat cells for energy and use of energy from fat cells instead of carbohydrates from a meal or from glycogen (the body’s most usable storage form of carbohydrates),” Perri Halpern, MS, RD, a clinical dietitian at The Mount Sinai Hospital.

Other Things You Should Focus on If You Want to Lose Weight

Losing weight isn’t just about what you do at the gym. In order to really see results, you should be physically active and you should also focus on your nutrition. There isn’t one perfect weight-loss diet, which is why you should work with a registered dietitian who can provide you with proper nutritional guidance to support your goals.

I also recommend making sure you’re finding ways to manage your stress, since stress has been found to contribute to weight gain. Don’t forget that getting an adequate amount of sleep is also important to managing stress and losing weight.

I can’t stress enough that fitness is complicated and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, especially when it comes to weight loss. Both strength training and cardio play important roles in helping you lose weight. If you aren’t sure how to design a balanced cardio and strength program, schedule a free fitness assessment — it’ll get you started on the right foot.

Workout of the Day

January 16, 2019

Here’s the conditioning workout I did today:

A. 4 Rounds*
12 Calories Airdyne Bike
12 Burpees

B. 4 Rounds *
400m Run (Trueform)

C. 4 Rounds *
400m Row

D. 4 Rounds *
12 Calories Ski Erg
12 Box Jumps, 24″

* rest 2 minutes between rounds

EATING FOR ABS

To make progress in the quest for a six-pack, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Eat 4-6 small meals each day, rather then three large ones.
  • Up your protein to 1/3 of your daily calories.
  • Reduce your intake of complex (starchy) carbohydrates like pasta, rice, potatoes & bread; increase your intake of fruits and vegetables instead.
  • Fat-free products are often loaded with simple sugars. Read labels carefully.
  • Cut back on saturated fat

grocery-store-32227-1920x1080

If you’re going to reduce your caloric intake, make small alterations. Your body’s starvation-protection system, your thyroid gland, regulates the body’s metabolism. Drastically reducing your caloric intake for an extended period (over four weeks) will trigger that starvation mechanism, and your thyroid will slow your metabolism down. Once you have lost that initial chunk of weight as a result of crash dieting and
resume eating in a healthy manner, your body will pack the fat right back on because your thyroid will have shut down. Again, reduce your calories sensibly.

active adult athlete barbell

Photo by Isabella Mendes on Pexels.com

In addition to eating right, a regular exercise program is essential for shedding body fat and bringing out your abs. Incorporate strength training two to three times per week in your workout schedule. Strength training is a potent weight loss tool, because it
builds muscle. Unlike fat, muscle is active tissue that uses up calories. A pound of muscle burns 50 more calories per day than a pound of fat. A Tufts University study compared women who followed identical diet plans; those who strength trained lost 44
percent more fat than those who just dieted. Strength training powers weight loss in three ways:

  1. It revs up your metabolism – you’ll burn up to 15% more
    calories with added muscle.
  2. Stronger muscles make aerobic exercise easier, and that helps
    burn calories too.
  3. You’ll be trimmer and firmer, because a pound of fat is bulkier
    than a pound of muscle.

Workout of the Day (10/26/18)

WORKOUT A:

Performance
5 Rounds
5 Devils Press (40/20 lbs.)
7 Power Snatch (115/85 lbs.)
9 Bar Facing Burpees

Fitness
5 Rounds
5 Devils Press (40/20 lbs.)
10 Alternating Dumbbell Snatch (40/20 lbs.)
15 Dumbbell Hop Overs

WORKOUT B:

21-15-9 Dumbbell Bench Press (50/35 lbs.)
42-30-18 Calories Rowing

* Rest 5 minutes between Workout A & B.