Gym Routine for Losing Weight

Author: Lee Bell

March 12th 2018

Use this 4-week workout routine to ditch body fat, lose weight and tone up in all the right places

It’s time to forget about crash diets, equipment fads and celebrity workouts. In this detailed guide we tell you everything you need to know to lose weight… and keep it off for good.

With the right tools and just a little bit of hard work, you can completely transform the way you look and feel about about your own body.

Lose inches, drop pounds on the scales, and tone up in as little as one month.

What does this program cover?

Goal:Weight loss
Aimed at:Beginner
Program duration:4 weeks
Workout duration:30-45 minutes
Equipment needed:Resistance and cardio machines

Weight Loss Workout Plan for Beginners

Losing weight isn’t easy.

Current research shows that many people fail in their quest to achieve their target weight. And even if you do, only 20% can keep that weight off [1].

But this won’t be you.

You’re going to use the tips, tricks and information in this article to change your diet, your lifestyle and your activity regime for good.

You’ll cover all bases and transform not just your body weight, but your health and behavior too.

Build positive habits and reach your weight loss goal

The hardest part of weight loss isn’t so much the physiology behind what’s happening to your fat cells, but the habits and behavior that go with it.

You need an exercise plan that fits into your hectic lifestyle.

An eating plan that is accessible and achievable helps to keep you on track with your diet. And finding time to commit to an active lifestyle away from the gym boosts your progress and overall health.

In this guide we didn’t just want to focus on giving you a random exercise plan and wishing you the best of luck.

Particularly if the research tell us the chances of success are low.

Instead we wanted to use our collective expertise as activity behavior specialists, personal trainers and elite coaches to cover all bases.

And that’s where we’re going here.

Key Point: Successful weight loss plans aren’t just about exercise. They change behavior and habits, helping you achieve an overall healthier lifestyle.

Top 6 Weight Loss Strategies: From Activity to Diet

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight before you’ll know how difficult it can be. Even the motivation you get from losing a few pounds sometimes isn’t enough to keep you on track as the days and weeks pass.

The feeling of fitting into your cocktail dress, skinny jeans or summer t-shirt is unbeatable.

But unless you keep the momentum going, you can soon find your old habits creeping in.

Before you know it, one cheat meal turns into a cheat day, feelings of guilt, another cheat day… and before you know it, you’ve come off your plan altogether.

But use these easy-to-follow strategies and you’ll cruise to your target weight.

#1. Don’t just use weight loss as a measure of success

Jumping on the scales every morning might be motivating in the first couple of weeks. After all, when you see the dial moving to the left you know your hard work is paying off.

The number on the scales doesn’t tell the full story though. It’s more than possible that you’re losing fat, but the scale isn’t moving.

If you’re adding muscle or you’ve eaten a carb-rich meal you can trick the weighing scale into sliding in the wrong direction.

Using only weighting scales to chart your progress can leave you disappointed. But using it in conjunction with other variables such as measurements of your hips, arms, butt and legs tells a much better story.

And if you’ve got the ability to track your body fat with specialized weighing scales too, that’s even better.

#2. Track your calories

The single most important factor for fat loss is calorie balance. No matter how hard you workout with a gym routine, if you eat too much, you won’t lose weight.

Achieving a calorie deficit where you burn off more energy than you put in your body each day will guarantee that you’ll lose fat.

It’s just simple physics.

Tracking your foods, portions and calories allows you to keep a more objective eye on your diet, and sail to smooth fat loss, with no obstacles.

#3. Plan your food in advance

Without having the right foods available, you can struggle to eat the right number of calories.

You might be left hungry and with little to choose from other than high-energy junk foods or low-nutrient options instead.

But good eating shouldn’t be difficult.

If you take the time to plan your meals in advance you’ll never be left in the cold with your diet. How you your meals depends on your own schedule, but making a batch of 4-5 meals on one night that’ll last you a week or so works wonders.

It’s what the pro’s are calling ‘meal prep’. And if it’s good enough for them, it’ll sure work here too.

#4. Be as active as possible

Hitting the gym 3 or 4 times per week is great for weight loss. Not only does it help to keep you fit and healthy, it also boosts the number of calories you expend each day too.

You’ll really see the difference when you supplement your gym sessions with day-today physical activities on top.

Referred to as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) in the research, unstructured activities such as walking, dancing, fidgeting, gardening and housework burn a surprising amount of energy.

Being generally more active is also great for your mood, cognition, vascular system and metabolic health too.

It all adds up.

#5. Keep a log of your progress

It makes sense that being fitter and stronger will help you lose weight. The harder you work in the gym, the more calories you burn – and the more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be.

Using a technique called progressive overload helps you maximize results by forcing your body to adapt to the stimulus of exercise.

Each week, try to increase the intensity of your session just slightly.

This could be adding 5 lbs to the dumbbells you use or 2 kph to your running speed.

By continuously challenging your body, you’ll build more muscle, get stronger, quicker, increase endurance and shred body fat.

#6. Train with a buddy

Accountability is a big thing when it come to building positive habits. There might be nights when you just can’t face going out in the dark and the cold to the gym… especially when it’s leg day.

But having a training partner helps to build social support. And you’re much less likely to skip a workout when you’re letting a friend down too.

It’s what scientist refer to as the Köhler effect.

Not only are you more likely to never miss a workout with a friend – you’ll also work harder once you’re there.

Research shows that when the fear of letting down a training partner (or even that little element of competition between you both) is factored into an exercise session, you’ll work at a higher intensity for a significantly longer period [2].

Young female athlete performing a low cable row in the gym to get fitter

Gym Routine for Weight Loss

Now that you’ve looked at some of the key lifestyle habits to support your weight loss journey, it’s time to focus directly on your gym routine.

For this 4-week weight loss routine you’re going to need to use every trick in the book.

But you can do this. 

Here’s the basic outline of your plan:

  • Strength training 3 times per week
  • Cardio training 2 times per week
  • Daily light-to-moderate acitivies
  • 2 days of active rest per week

Strength training to maintain lean mass

Lifting weights on a weight loss gym routine isn’t about building huge slabs of muscle. It’s not about creating athlete-level strength either.

What you’re aiming for here is to maintain as much muscle tissue as possible while you’re on a calorie deficit.

By implementing large muscle exercises such as variations on squats, presses and pulls you’ll help to keep your metabolism ramped up to maximum.

And as a bonus, you can use strength training to keep your muscles looking shapely and athletic too. You won’t win a bodybuilding show anytime soon, but you will look good with your newly-found definition and curves.

Cardio to boost energy expenditure

Whether it’s the treadmill, exercise bike, swimming or rowing – cardio helps to create a larger calorie deficit by ramping up energy expenditure.

You’ll improve your metabolic and vascular health. And while hours and hours of cardio can be unproductive and boring, we’re striking a balance here by keeping the dose to a minimum.

Minute-by-minute, cardio burns more calories than weightlifting. Even 20-30 minutes a couple of times per week can lead to dramatic results if you work hard and use progressive overload.

And to make sure you give this your best shot, we’ve added in a couple of different cardio workouts for you to try.

Choose which one works best for you and make that the focal point of your weekly cardio. Try your best to vary it where you can, but if there’s one you enjoy more than the others, stay with that one.

Use this program for 4 weeks and you’ll notice some big changes to your confidence, size, fitness levels and lifestyle.

Choose weights that are challenging and keep your rest times on schedule.

You get out what you put in with this plan – it’s your time to shine, and it’s your best opportunity yet to craft a physique you can be proud of.

Give it your all and let’s see what you can create.

Strength workout

Number ExerciseRepsSetsRest Time
1Chest press 8-1532-3 minutes
2Leg press8-1532-3 minutes
3Lat pulldown8-1532-3 minutes
4Shoulder press8-1532-3 minutes
5Lying leg curl8-1532-3 minutes
6Seated row8-1532-3 minutes
7Leg extension8-1532-3 minutes

Cardio workouts

Number Cardio methodDurationDetails
1Steady state25-30 minutesStay at an intensity of 70% of max heart rate (a difficulty of around 7/10)
2Moderate intervals30 minutes 3 minutes at an intensity of 8/10 for your work intervals and 3 minutes at an intensity of 5/10 for your recovery interval. That's a total of 5 tough work intervals.
3High-intensity interval training30 minutes1 minute at an intensity of 10/10 for your work intervals and 3 minutes at an intensity of 3/10 for active rest. That's a total of 10 tough work intervals.
  1. Wing, RR et al. Long-term weight loss maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005; 82(1): 222S-225S
  2. King, AC et al. Ongoing physical activity advice by humans versus computers: The Community Health Advice by Telephone (CHAT) Trial. Health Psychology; 26(6): 718-727

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