Performing full-body workouts, including both strength training and cardiovascular ones, is a path to safe, sustainable and enjoyable weight loss. A consistent workout routine can result in significant long-term weight loss. This holds especially true when these activities are coupled with a healthy, calorie-conscious nutritional diet. Your best bet is to perform upper-body workouts twice a week and lower-body workouts twice a week as well, interspersing days for rest and performing cardiovascular activities on many days as well. This will allow you to work out your entire body each week.
Perform lower-body workouts on Mondays and Thursdays. Concentrate on working all major muscle groups of your lower body, including your thighs, hamstrings, buttocks and calves. Some exercises that work the lower body include leg lifts, leg presses, lunges and squats. Strength-training workouts build muscle, which burns more calories than fat to help you lose weight.
Perform upper-body workouts on Tuesdays and Fridays. This will leave Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday free for rest, or an increasing number of weekly cardio workouts as your fitness level improves. Work all major upper-body muscle groups across the two workout sessions, with exercises such as concentration curls, various bench press moves, pull-downs and dumbbell rows.
Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise, at least twice per week at first and increasing to four or five times per week as your fitness level improves. Use an online calorie burn calculator to determine how many calories you're burning with each workout. For every 3,500 calories you burn through exercise and dieting, you'll lose 1 pound. Concentrate on full-body cardiovascular exercises such as stationary rowing, which works your heart and lungs as well as your upper and lower body with each repetition. Consider limiting strength-training exercises on intense cardio days.
Eat a nutritional, calorie-conscious diet to support your weight-training and cardiovascular exercise efforts. The goal is to consume calories that consist of important nutrients like complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fats, rather than simple sugars and saturated fats. Burning more calories than you consume each day is crucial to weight loss.
Get plenty of sleep each night. Many studies suggest that getting at least eight hours of sleep per night is crucial to retaining muscle mass and burning away fat tissue during your weight-loss efforts.
- Allow very little time between sets of strength-training exercises to keep your heart rate up and burn more calories over the course of each session.
- Strength train only three days per week instead of four, depending on your fitness level. In this case, alternate between doing two upper-body workouts / one lower-body workout and two lower-body workouts / one upper-body workout each week.
- Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program for weight loss.
Kevin Richards has been a writer and editor since 2009, specializing in fitness, health and nutrition, as well as technology, finance and legal issues. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan.