Most of my work at the is talking to women and men who have joined to lose weight. Many of them think they can’t afford personal training, so they take advantage of 1-3 session specials to garner some tips on how to best try and work out on their own.
They never bring paper and pencil or take notes. I’m not sure how they expect to remember what I say- if it were easy enough to pass along in 45 minutes we really wouldn’t need personal trainers. But I thought I’d sit down and blog my condensed tips for those who wish to give it a try on their own.
1. Cardio -for you- will be key.
It burns more calories than sitting on your butt, and it’s usually safe if you’re working out alone. (There are always those fools who don’t eat, do cardio for hours, then pass out on the treadmill. Let’s not be one of those people.)
Push yourself to get your heart rate up to ~70% of your maximum. (The simplest formula is: (220 minus your age) times point 7 equals your target heart rate. You should be flushed, sweaty and slightly breathless if you’re working at this level. Casually strolling on a flat treadmill won’t cut it.
2. Do Resistance Training Twice a Week.
To be safe, most of your workout should be machine based. There is no way I can safely teach you to lift freeways in 10 minutes. Work weight training should take you about 50 minutes to complete.
- Control the weight. You don’t want to be “throwing it” away from you. You want a control press and return.
- 12-15 reps in a set
- 2-3 sets per body part
- Work in a circuit style if possible. Complete one set of an exercise then quickly move to the next one. The only rest is the time it takes to adjust the machine to your settings.
- Ideally alternate between one upper body exercise and a lower body exercise.
If you are extremely overweight stay off the floor. It is not only safer for you to remain standing, you are burning more calories and working more muscles by standing.
You are not going to bulk up and have muscle pushing your fat out. Muscle is denser than fat- as you build it, you should see yourself getting smaller but firmer. Also, muscle burns more calories than fat- so building some muscle will help with your weightloss.
3. It Don’t Mean A Thing If You Don’t Eat Lean
Your diet should be made up of healthy foods in a proportion close to 30% protein, 20% fat and 50% carbohydrates. Of th0se carbs, most of them should be fiberous vegetables (colorful vegetables -green, orange, red, yellow). You may also have about 2 servings of fresh fruit and 2 servings of grain a day.
Make sure you eat enough- if you’re a woman with 20# or so lose, do not go below 1200 calories a day/ if you have more than 50# to lose, do not below 1600 calories. A man’s lowest limit is 1600/2100. These numbers may sound either very high or very low to you, but they are completely workable caloric limits if you stick to a vegetable-based instead of grain-based diet plan.
If you find you have trouble getting enough protein without getting too much fat, add one serving of a protein powder mix to your diet every day. These usually run about 120 calories for 20-25 grams of protein with only 1-2 grm. of fat and carbs. I usually use Ultimate Gold Whey.
That’s it. A very basic plan for those who want or need to do it on their own. Obviously if I were working with you, it would be much more detailed than this- but this plan should be successful for anyone looking to lose weight.