Beginner’s Guide to Exercising for Weight Loss
This article is not written for someone who is trying to get into the single digit body fat percentages. I wrote it for the average person who struggles with weight loss and just wants to go from overweight to a healthy body weight.
Table Of Contents:
- Introduction to exercising for Fat Loss
- Why You Should Optimize Your Program
- The Psychology of Weight Loss
- Fat Loss | Strength Training vs. Cardio
- Beginner Fat Loss Exercise Programs
- Dustin’s Politically Incorrect Fat Loss Rant
- You Should At Least Be Capable of This
- Intermediate Fat Loss Exercise Program
- Beyond Intermediate | Getting to Optimal
- Top 10 Exercise for Fat Loss Articles (sources)
This article contains actionable step by step advice that you can start using today to burn fat fast without crash dieting or losing your sanity.
How Out of Shape are You?
There is an “optimal” way to exercise for fat loss.
You can find these articles all over the internet, and they will tell you that some form of the following is the BEST way to exercise for fat loss: metabolic resistance training, multi-joint barbell complexes, high intensity interval training (HIIT).
Basically, the best exercise program for fat loss will:
- increase or preserve muscle mass,
- use multiple energy systems,
- cause a major metabolic disturbance in your body which leads to Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).
I refer to this as the Fat Loss Trifecta (a term I just made up while typing this article at my local Starbucks).
Why Optimal Doesn’t Work For Beginners
The general public who is trying to lose weight would probably injure themselves if they went to the gym and attempted the HIIT or barbell complexes required by the Fat Loss Trifecta for “optimal” fat loss.
If you are relatively new to exercising, then you should start at your current level of ability and make it your goal to slowly progress to more optimal fat loss training methods as you become stronger and more conditioned.
So before we design your “optimal” exercise for fat loss program, we are going to have to assess your current level of physical conditioning, and design a program based on your current abilities. Then we will slowly progress to a more optimal exercise method for fat loss.
You will eventually end up at the fat loss trifecta, it’s just a matter of how much pre-conditioning we have to do to get you there.
Exercise Programs That Don’t Work
Most people, who want to lose weight, begin a fat loss exercise program by…
- Walking or jogging for 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week,
- Getting on an elliptical machine, treadmill, exercise bike, or similar for 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week, or
- Joining a yoga class, spin class, Zumba class, Barre Class, pole dancing class, or similar
These are all great beginner programs. With a sound diet, consistency, and patience, any and all of these methods can be used to help you lose weight.
However, those exercise programs are not optimal for fat loss.
For instance, Yoga is an excellent physical activity. Yoga is the optimal method of exercising for stress relief.
Everything Works, Nothing Works For Long
Yoga is far superior to any other form of exercise when it comes to designing an exercise program for mental and spiritual relaxation. I love Yoga and anyone who practices or teaches it!
But, whoever invented Yoga did not design it as the optimal exercise for fat loss method.
I doubt that Yoga was created with any degree of fat loss in mind at all.
So, problem number 1 the above exercise programs is that they are not optimal for fat loss. Problem number 2 is that most of these programs will give you results in the beginning of your fitness journey, but those results will disappear as your body becomes accustomed to the exercise. At which point, you will most likely have to further restrict your caloric intake to see any future weight loss.
The Exercising for Fat Loss Catch 22
In the beginning of your fitness journey, you are likely not in “good enough shape” to use exercising methods that are optimal for fat loss.
You have to spend some amount of time “getting in shape to get in shape.”
You can’t really get in shape until you first get in shape. That’s a classic catch 22.
Yes, in the beginning you are going to have to walk for 30 minutes 3x/week, or join a Yoga class, or take up Zumba, or something similar. But this is not your final exercise for fat loss program. This is simply one progression on your journey.
And that is where most of us fail when it comes to exercising for weight loss. You start a diet, you start walking 3 or 4 times a week. You see a few results in the beginning. The results quickly stop. You get frustrated and quit.