whether you're looking to lose weight, build strength, or develop muscle, I'll approach each goal in detail in this article. Before we start, let me preface by saying that you will be asked to do cardio if anyone wants to lose weight, and for each goal, I highly recommend taking intermittent fasting for at least 2 days a week, if not all days if you want amazing results for both weight loss, muscle development, increased stamina, mental focus and overall health. I have written previous articles on intermittent fasting, and if you are unfamiliar, I encourage you to stop for a moment to read.
Defining your goals and objectives
I often get a little philosophical in these articles, and you can expect the same here. One of the best ways you can start implementation is by defining goals, objectives, and intentions. Simply put, what do you want to achieve and why? Do you want to lose weight, get stronger or build muscle? You may think, 'Well, that sounds great!', but the best approach is to identify one main goal. The reason is that different training styles will affect your body in different ways. For example, when I was losing weight to shed fat, my approach focused heavily on that and used calorie restriction, nutrient macro calculations, and intermittent fasting. One of the main reasons why I suggest setting goals for yourself is because now, you can start supporting those goals with visualization and then start developing an action plan or strategy to achieve your goal. Your goals will always change, and using myself as an example, after I lost weight and reached my original goal of 8% body fat, my new goal was to develop more muscle with an emphasis on getting stronger. My workouts have shifted from high rep bodybuilding to a lot of cardio, minimal rep strength training (according to strict programming) and little to no cardio. I also increased my carbohydrate intake to support muscle building and strength gains.
Muscle Mass Strength vs.
Many get these confused or twisted; thinking that from one comes another, which is not always true. I have personally watched a small/narrow 155lbs adult male squat twice as much weight as a beefy 200lb+ male. How? Because the less people have trained their strength, which largely revolves around the central nervous system (CNS) and the method of training. The training style is very different if a person wants to focus on building muscle versus strength. If a person is interested in building muscle, then training will have a higher repeatability range and more volume. More volume means doing more sets and reps overall. There's an easy way to calculate your total weekly volume, but take your total sets and reps for all the exercises that week, and multiply that by the weight lifted that week. The equation looks like this: Training volume (V) = sets (s) x reps (R) x weight (W) or simplified: in \uXNUMXd S x R x W For example, if I worked 3 days a week and did 5 sets of 5 squats with 315lbs then my total weekly volume is 3 x 5 (sec) x 5 (R) x 315lbs (H) = 23,625 kg total volume. Powerlifters and strength athletes tend to be more focused on how it develops performance for how much you can lift and how strong you can be. There is periodization involved in this process for powerlifters as strength tends to come in waves - we can't lift heavy all the time, it just won't work. Bodybuilders tend to be more involved with more sets and reps, but the weight is significantly lower. The goal of a bodybuilder is to create a "pump", which essentially means to "spoil" the body's muscles during exercise and in the process of driving blood into the muscles to stimulate regeneration, repair, and growth. Bodybuilders tend to tear down the muscle in order to build it back up stronger. Of course, this should be backed up by protein and a diet rich in carbohydrates. In addition, powerlifters also require a high protein/cab intake to support training. The difference between the two is that bodybuilders are more likely to rely on macro nutrients and calories compared to strength athletes. This is because bodybuilders have set themselves the goal of losing fat and more muscle, while powerlifters just want to get stronger.
Creating a plan or strategy
So now that you've identified your goal, let's look at the recommended strategies for each. I'll keep this organized under the heading of each goal so it's easy to follow.
Exercises to lose weight
If you are new to exercising, I honestly suggest you workout every day or 6 days 1 day off, and the reason is simply that you will get such amazing results in the initial stages - capitalize on it! When you are looking to lose weight, be prepared to do some cardio. If you don't like cardio, too bad, get over it and do it anyway. You can start with 3-4 walks per day for 15 minutes (up to 60 minutes total walking time), or you can reduce this to only do cardio for your workouts. If you decide to only do cardio in your workouts, that works well and I've covered it up with the below approach:
Perform these movements in a pyramid where you start with light weights and work your way up to heavier ones. Example: 2 x 15 light weight, 2 x 12 moderate weight, 1 x 10 slightly heavier weight, but not where you struggle to complete the last rap - you should be able to theoretically analyze 2 or more reps, but stop at 10
- Warm up cardio 15 minutes (moderate pace first 10 minutes, fast pace last 5 minutes)
- Superset Biceps Curls with triceps extensions, this can be done with dumbbells or a cable machine
- superset bench press with bent strings, or push-ups with pull-ups, this time can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells
- Superset squat rack leg deadlift or standard deadlift, and keep those light
- Overhead Press with dumbbells or barbell
You can also choose the standard barbell squats for a few days a week and the difference between the two is that you train the front chain a little more, so in before squats. However, in general, a high or low bar back squat can be argued as an excellent mechanism, but I will not go into it. The above exercises will give you a very simple template to build. Now let's look in more detail below.
Warm up every workout with 15 minutes of cardio at a moderate pace (running, or very fast walking pace). The goal here is to increase your heart rate per minute ("RPM"). Now that you've warmed up, you can get into your workouts. The great thing about being new to design is that you can get massive results very quickly! You can analyze your workouts by targeting the whole body, while an experienced athlete is often required to split workouts into different muscle groups, also known as "split workouts". An example of a split workout would be Monday - Chest, Tuesday - Back, Wed - Legs, Thu - Arms..etc. Another example of a split would be to train the front chain one day, and the back chain the next. The front chain will cover the chest, abs, arms.. while the rear chain will cover the thighs, buttocks, back..etc. I highly recommend as a beginner, you ignore this nonsense and focus on doing a full body workout for at least the first few months for education. A full body workout may include, for example, a bench press workout, and immediately after a set of walking up to a machine or equipment for training. By moving from one exercise to another, you are guaranteed an increased heart rate, which is great for burning fat and losing weight. This is also known as a 'superset' and I have made several videos on superset training. Here's one: When you're done with lifting weights for your workout, it's time for a cool down cardio workout—10 minutes at a less moderate pace (brisk walking)—this promotes circulation. Generally speaking, your workout can be reduced to 1-hour if you follow the above approach and it would look something like this: 15min cardio warm-up, 30-40min workout, and 10 minute cardio cool-down. Because you are using supersets while training 40 minutes, your heart rate will be elevated and you will burn maximum fat during the workout. Now you can replenish it by training in a hungry state to really shed weight.
Muscle Building Exercises
Building muscle mass will not require as much cardio in a weight loss workout, however, it will require more weights with more volume. Your warm-up can be limited to 10 minutes and cool down to 5 minutes, leaving more time for lifting weights in between. As a new loader, you can still perform full body workouts and achieve amazing results by simply twisting through muscle groups during your workout every day. After a few months of full body training, you may need to switch to the training split that I covered earlier in this article. If you are interested in the details of the bodybuilding split training, hit me up on social media (comments, or DM) and let me know! I will be glad if there is interest in bodybuilding training.
Exercise to get stronger
Training to get stronger is not complete, however does require cardio, for general health purposes I still recommend cardio to the extent stated above for 'training to build muscle'. Cardio aside, the approach to training to get stronger needs to be backed up by a proven program. Some great examples of strength programs and I encourage you to research each one specifically to determine what is best for you! I have personally run several different programs, including coupled training and the Texas Method Powerlifting program, which I created on a YouTube video series/magazine in detail. It looks like this…
5/3/1 Jim Wendler -
Each training cycle lasts four weeks and the rap patterns for each week (and each exercise) look like this:
- Week 1: 3 x 5
- Week 2: 3 x 3
- Week 3: 3 x 5, 3, 1 (get it?)
- Week 4: deloading
Reg Park 5x5
- 45 degrees back extension 3×10
- Back squat 5×5
- Bench press 5×5
- Deadlift 5×5
- Rest 3-5 minutes between the last 3 sets of each exercise.
I train three days a week for three months. The first two sets of 5 should be a heavier warm-up before moving on to 3 sets at the same weight. Once you can do the last three sets of five reps, you move all the weights around 5-10kg.
Louis Simmons Westside Barbell Conjugate
Basic breakdown of the week:
- Monday - Max Effort Squat/Deadlift
- Wednesday - Maximum Effort Bench
- Friday - Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift
- Saturday - Dynamic Force Press
Don't just read this article.. do it! Stand up and make it happen, take action than ever the goal you have set. Especially in the early stages of exercising, you need to start accepting that the snowball will turn into an avalanche of success. Look deep inside yourself and ask exactly what you want to achieve, now accomplish it!
I'm always talking about keeping yourself accountable and keeping your own path through the little-studied process of tracking results! There are so many great mobile apps, wearables and fitness trackers including heart rate monitors and more. Personally, I've had a lot of experience with MyFitnessPal for tracking calories and macronutrients while losing weight, and stronglifts for tracking workouts. There are many more apps you can explore and pick up, here's what you should track your progress on because that alone is the motivation to keep rocking. You on this fitfam!
More Fitness Tips
- The ultimate workout routine for men (tailor-made for different fitness levels)
- The ultimate 5-day workout routine for women to get strong and toned
- 10 Ways to Boost Your Workout Motivation