Weight Loss Exercise Programs
Weight Loss Exercise Programs: here you'll find programs for beginners and everyone else. These are excellent for weight loss that will last.
Even if you are unaccustomed to these programs, don't worry: you can start at your own level. Since these programs involve no competition, please forget about what anyone else does or does not do. Simply do your best and steadily make progress.
The two kinds of exercise are strength training (weightlifting, resistance training) and fitness training (cardio). Fitness training can be mild or intense. It's also a good idea at least twice weekly to do some stretching for flexibility.
So, let's find out more.
Levels of weight loss exercise programs
From the standpoint of physical training, where are you? Before embarking on our exercise programs, please classify yourself as either a beginner, intermediate, or master (advanced, expert) trainer.
If you have any doubt, classify yourself at the next level down.
Let's classify you as an "intermediate" trainer if you have been training regularly for one to ten years.
Let's classify you as a "master" if you have been training regularly for ten years or longer.
If you are a master trainer in excellent physical condition, even you may pick up a useful idea or two in this section; however, that will be more likely to occur in the weight loss foods, nutrition, psychological, and spiritual sections of this website.
In the sections on strength and fitness, you'll find weight loss exercise programs for both beginners and intermediates.
Let's here set aside walking (or whatever exercise you choose for mild fitness training), because you'll determine the frequency with which you walk, if any, after you set your strength and intense fitness training schedule.
What your program may look like
Since intense fitness training and strength training are superior to anything else for fat burning after exercising, they should have priority.
If you are a beginner or intermediate trainee and follow this guideline, in practice it may look like this:
Two strength training sessions weekly.
Two or, preferably, three intense fitness sessions weekly.
One brisk walk weekly -- but this is optional if you are doing strength training and intense fitness training as well as eating properly.
Two full-body stretching sessions weekly (but you may stretch daily if you wish).
It will be the same for advanced trainees except that they may reduce the strength training sessions to once a week (or even less frequently).
Everyone should take at least one day off from formal exercise per week.
It will be the same for more advanced trainees except that they may reduce the strength training sessions to once a week (or even possibly less frequently).
This initially may seem like a lot of clock time to devote to any weight loss exercise program, but it's not.
A strength training session requires just thirty or forty minutes if you are training alone.
An intense fitness training session requires just nine to about twenty minutes including warming up and cooling down!
A full-body stretching session can be done in fifteen minutes (and you can do it watching TV).
Excluding walks, that's less than two hours weekly. That's not too bad to promote flourishing physically, is it?
Guidelines for weight loss exercise programs
The rule for weight loss exercise programs is the same as the general rule for living well: pay attention. In this case, pay attention to your body. Learn to "read" it.
A day or two after strength training (or, sometimes, after intense fitness training), you may experience delayed-onset muscular soreness (D.O.M.S.) in various muscles that you trained.
Here's the guideline: note when all D.O.M.S. disappears and then wait at least 24 hours before another strength training session.
There's nothing wrong with waiting 48 or 72 hours, or even longer if necessary. This permits systemic as well as localized recovery. Meanwhile, ensure that you get (two or) three intense fitness sessions weekly. If you want, you may also want to add a brisk walk once a week for 30 to 60 minutes.
(Incidentally, supplementing with d-robose powder may help to decrease DOMS. It's critical to eat well and get plenty of sleep and rest.)
Mild fitness training
If you are not now regularly walking (or doing some other equivalent mild fitness training) and want to walk, it may take you some months to work up to walking well. Just work up to walking four miles in an hour once a week. That's the maximum we suggest. Again, it's optional and walking just three or even two miles at that pace is fine.
Unlike strength training, you may find mild fitness training boring. If so, we recommend listening to an audio program during your walks. It may be a reading from a book, music, a spiritual talk, business training, a motivational talk, a lecture, or whatever. In other words, while you are walking, you can be nourishing your mind as well as training your body.
You can listen also while doing your stretching routine, which is best done after (not before) a strength training or intense fitness training session.
If you don't count them, you are psychologically back to less than two hours weekly to get sufficient exercise. That still leaves you with over 166 hours each week to do whatever you want!
If you don't find mild fitness training boring, then just do it. There's certainly nothing wrong with going for a walk (or stretching) without deliberately listening to something.
If you are a competitive athlete, you should adjust your training around your sport. Overtraining can become a problem during the season if you don't carefully monitor your workouts. We are assuming on this website that you are training the same way year round -- but that won't be true for competitive athletes.
The strength and intense fitness training sessions can -- and must -- be brief because they are intense.
Because they are much less intense, mild fitness training sessions require more time.
How to start
The weight loss exercise program for 'fitness exercise' is presented in the Walking for Weight Loss section of our website. There are two free walking plans (one easier plan, one harder plan). You will find the direct links to those plans listed on our site map/index.
The weight loss exercise program for 'strength exercise' is presented in the
If you want to achieve weight loss more quickly, you may spend more time walking (or doing other kinds of mild fitness training)as long as you are sure you are not over-training. However, eating well is the key.
Competitive bodybuilders, for example, are very concerned about reducing body fat (about getting "cut," "shredded" or "ripped") immediately before contests.
In addition to doing strength training in that pre-contest period, some spend an hour each morning and another hour each evening doing mild fitness exercise.
As long as it's mild fitness exercise that you tolerate well, you may emulate them if you want to. The pace at which you make progress is up to you.
The trick is to balance the fitness and strength training
There is no one way to achieve that balance that is suitable for everyone. We recommend that you don't do mild fitness training more than once weekly until you are confident that you are not overtraining.
Then, if you want, you can add in more sessions.
If you decide to do two training sessions in one day, it's best to separate them by 8 or 10 hours.
Begin with the weight loss exercise program suggested here, but please experiment to find an excellent balance for you.
How to organize your exercise programs
So, here's how you might organize your week of training.
1. On Mondays and Thursdays, do strength training for thirty or forty minutes.
2. On Tuesdays and Fridays, do intense fitness training followed by a fifteen-minute stretching routine.
3. On Wednesdays, walk briskly for an hour. This, again, is optional.
Do you want to lose weight faster?
Add in a third intense fitness training session.
If you would enjoy even more and are sure you are not over-training, do the optional walk and even add in a second one.
Because of the dangers of overtraining, we don't recommend that beginners of weight loss exercise do any more than that.
If, on the other hand, during a week's vacation, you wanted to walk every day and eliminate strength training, nobody would arrest you.
What about recovery from the other kinds of exercise? We recommend twice-a-week intense fitness exercise (of the kind presented here on this website, namely, either GXP, HIIT, or PACE) every week from now until you are in your dotage.
With respect to strength training, we recommend that everyone take one whole week off at least every two or three months.
Supportive weight loss aids
In addition to the information on this website about eating well, to support the weight loss exercise programs please notice that there are free psychological tools.
Just visit the Psychology pages of our website. You will fnd them listed on the page menu.
Type of exercise programs
Why do we recommend that you do both cardio as well as strength training?
It's because of what's known as the specificity-of-exercise principle: exercise produces specific effects. If you want to become a better hockey player, you shouldn't practice baseball: practice hockey!
Basically, there are two kinds of physical exercise. "Aerobic" ("with oxygen") exercise is sustainable fitness exercise such as brisk walking or jogging. "Anaerobic" ("without oxygen") exercise is exercise such as resistance training or sprinting that is not sustainable.
Since both types stimulate fat use ("fat burning"), the best weight loss exercise programs use both to promote permanent weight loss.
Fat can only be used in the presence of oxygen, which is why aerobic exercise initially seems preferable for weight loss exercise programs.
After about 20 minutes of exercise (depending on your fitness level), mild fitness exercise is the best exercise for fat burning during exercise.
However, both intense fitness exercise and strength training are better than mild fitness exercise for fat burning after exercise.
Therefore, it's more important to do intense fitness exercise and strength training than it is to do mild fitness exercise if your goal is fat burning.
Notice that anaerobic exercise is usually much more intense than aerobic exercise and, of course, intense aerobic exercise is more intense than mild aerobic exercise.
For example, it's possible to walk briskly and continuously for thirty minutes, but it's not possible to do bench presses or sprint continuously for thirty minutes.
Muscle glycogen is the major fuel for anaerobic exercise. Circulating blood glucose will come into play in an anaerobic workout only if it lasts for over two hours.
Why not, then, only do aerobic exercises on a weight loss exercise program?
It's because of what happens when one is not exercising. An intense anaerobic session as well as strength training will increase one's strength, which correlates to increased muscle mass. The greater one's muscle mass, the higher one's resting metabolic rate, in other words, the more calories one uses when one isn't exercising, which is most of the time.
Since anaerobic exercise and intense aerobic exercise promote a greater increase in one's post-training metabolic rate than mild aerobic exercise, both types of exercise are important in any well-designed weight loss exercise program.
Maximize the benefits of your aerobic exercise
Roughly, during the first half hour of mild aerobic exercise one burns about 50% glycogen and about 50% blood glucose. After that, one begins to burn fat, and, the longer one keeps exercising, the more fat one burns.
This is why we recommend one mild fitness training session weekly that lasts thirty to sixty. If you are doing mild aerobic exercise for less than half an hour, you will not be burning much fat. To burn fat, you should do mild aerobic exercise for forty minutes or, better, fifty minutes or, better, an hour.
Because the risk of injury significantly increases, we don't recommend ever exercising for more than an hour at any one workout.
If the only kind of exercise you did was mild fitness training, since, after about 20 minutes, you'd be burning about 55% of the calories burned from stored fat, you would be teaching your body to store fat for your next walk! That's the opposite of what you want.
Since you'll already be doing two strength training sessions weekly and two or three intense fitness training sessions weekly, one hour long brisk walk each week is enough. Do a second walk only if you want to and if you are sure you are not overtraining.
Bodybuilders preparing for a contest want as low a percentage of body fat as possible. The information on this page explains how we, too, can emulate them temporarily if we want to lose body fat rapidly and we are willing to put in the time and energy required.
There's never any need for us to train this hard, but at least now it's possible to understand why such a program works. This web page has outlined a total, free weight loss exercise program that you can live with for the rest of your life.
(If you are a competitive athlete, it's an excellent off-season program; just ensure that you are not overtraining during the season.)
May you enjoy good health!
Web pages to help you further
The strength/weight training exercise pages are listed in another section of our website. The link to that section is given on the main menu navigation buttons and on the site map/index.
In this the fitness exercise section of our website we have the following pages:
You will find the direct links to those pages on our site map/index which is at the bottom of the navigation buttons to the left of your screen.
Meanwhile, you may wish to use the link right at the very bottom of this page to go to Fat Burning Exercises, which is the first page in this section of our website.
Recommended books for weight loss exercises
Here are some initial book suggestions:
The books are available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk