Weight loss is probably the most common goal for people when it comes to health and fitness.
However, when it comes to workouts they are not all equally efficient at shedding and shifting the fat.
Below I’ve ranked my favourite workouts on the basis of how efficiently they burn fat.
But before that, please note the following…
WEIGHT LOSS & FAT LOSS – there’s a difference:
Most people say they want to lose weight, but most often they actually mean they want to lose fat!
This is really important because there are workouts that are extremely good for fat loss, such as resistance/weight training that can see people gain weight at the same time through building lean muscle.
This is often referred to as body composition, and can see a person look slimmer and toned, whilst remaining the same weight or even gaining.
For most the actual weight on the scale doesn’t really matter – it’s how they look and feel.
Also, by adding muscle mass to your body brings about an increase in metabolism – which aids fat loss long-term.
ROUTINE & CONSISTENCY:
No matter how good or efficient the workout is – if you can’t build it into your weekly routine and do it consistently it isn’t good to get you the results!
The BEST workout for weight loss for each individual really is what they can feasibly get down and do week in, week out.
That also means you should like it at some level. I know…some people will never love working out, but if you are doing a workout you absolutely detest 4 or 5 times a week you are more likely to give up.
There are so many options available – don’t decide you HATE exercise without trying the many many options available.
EXERCISE ISN’T EVERYTHING:
Whilst we all know working out and exercising is important – we also know it’s not the most important factor when it comes to weight loss.
No matter how hard you are working out, if you’re overeating and eating the wrong things regularly you aren’t going to be efficiently working towards your goal.
For weight loss to occur you need to be in a calorie deficit, meaning ‘calories in’ is less that ‘calories out’.
1) RESISTANCE / WEIGHT TRAINING :
Lifting weights is a great way to lose weight as it improves your metabolic rate and helps you to continue calorie burn once the workout is done.
Whilst all forms of weight training beneficial for weight loss – you want the workout to be of a good intensity and challenging to maximise results.
This may be lifting heavy, or it may be by doing lots of sets and reps, or even adding in split sets, drop sets, giant sets etc…
It has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to burn maximum amounts of calories during and after the training session.
Combine heavy or intense weight training with a balanced calorie deficit based diet and you have my recipe for success!
2) HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT):
In recent years HIIT has become an incredibly well-know and respected style of weight-loss / fat loss workout
In many studies, HIIT style exercises have been shown to be more effective than their steady-state exercise counterparts.
A great HIIT style to get started with is EMOM – ‘Every Minute On The Minute’.
This is where you pick an exercise or a few exercises and compete them. These should take no less than 30 seconds to complete. Once done you rest until the minute is over – and then go again. You then have the option of doing the exercise quick and higher intensity, thus have a longer rest time. Or if you go slower you will have a shorter rest time.
3) BODYWEIGHT WORKOUTS:
Bodyweight exercises are great as they require no equipment, can be done in most places can be used for both cardio and strength style training.
From push-ups, to squats, to jumping jacks, to belt kicks, to burpees, to plank – there are a whole range of bodyweight exercises to work your muscles and cardio – which we know is great for weight loss / fat loss.
4) Circuit Training:
Whilst similar to HIIT, circuits usually involve less rest.
Circuits are a superb addition if you have very limited time to exercise.
By performing, say, 5–10 exercises for, say, 1 minute each without rest will really get the body working!
The exercises can be bodyweight or weight based, and the number of circuit sets you do adjusted to fit the time you have available.
Skipping can burn anywhere from 600–800 calories an hour.
Now, unless you are a skipping champion you won’t be jumping for a whole hour!
However, its a super way to get heart rate up.
Its also a great addition to a Circuit or HIIT style workout if you don’t want to solely focus on the skipping,
Most boxers are in pretty good shape – right?
If you’ve ever put on the gloves to hit a heavy bag, do some pad work or even a bit of sparring you will know its a tiring, sweaty and intense form of workout.
Obviously the intensity and duration of your cycle is important, but cycling is a very efficient form of weight loss exercise.
Rowing brings the full body into play and is a great low-impact, highly effective weight loss workout.
Running can be effective for weight loss, with the efficiency determined by how you approach it.
Whilst steady-state running for a long length of time will undoubtedly burn a lot of calories, it’s efficiency must be compared on a like for like time basis.
A lot of runners takes exception to this, and as stated if you run for 1, 2 or 3 hours your will being burning lots of calories. But compare this to 1,2 or 3 hours of the above workouts and it doesn’t usually compare favourably in terms of calories burnt and weight loss.
However, running has many faces – and by adding interval or split style training where you may do, say, 3 minutes steady-state and then follow with 20-second sprints before returning to steady-state and repeating – has great weight loss potential.