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Apr 6 / Jeremy

My Favorite Workout Routine for Weight Loss


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Below I am going to outline my favorite workout routine for weight loss, but I am also going to take it a step further and explain why this method is so effective.  By doing this you will be able to take this information and tailor it to your specific needs.  I first started using this workout routine when I decided that I wanted to reclaim my health by dropping 20 pounds.  Utilizing the routine outlined below I was able to reach my goal in only 10 weeks.  Since I have now found a diet that fits with my lifestyle and keeps this weight off I only really turn to this workout routine when I want to look my best by trimming a bit more fat for a vacation or weekend at the beach.  This is a long post but it is loaded with tons a great content that many people are trying to sell you.  I believe this information is too important to charge an entrance fee.  That is why it is published here for all to see.  I hope that it will empower you to achieve your weight loss potential.
Weight Loss Work Out Program

A Brief Note on Diet

No  workout plan can beat a bad diet so when I use the following workout routine for weight loss I am also going to pay extra close attention to my diet.  During this intense period of weight loss I am aiming to eat an average of 500 calories less per day than my BMR (Check out this article if you want to learn more about how I do this – Fast Weight Loss Diet).  To speed up the weight loss process, I will tailor my workout to promote as much fat burning as possible.

All effective workout routines need to incorporate these four components: resistance training, cardio training, rest days, and walking.  I will discuss how I tailor each of them to target as much fat loss as possible.

Resistance Training for Weight Loss:

Resistance training is important for men AND women when trying to burn fat and lose weight.  You don’t necessarily need to be focused on building large muscles with resistance training and you definitely do not have to lift free weights or even go to the gym to do resistance training.  But you do need to do some sort of resistance training in your workout routine for weight loss.  At the very least you want to make sure that you maintain your current muscle mass while operating under a pretty significant calorie restriction.  Maybe more importantly, once you strip away the fat what do you want people to see?  They will either see muscle or bone.  How much of each do you want to show off?  I’m willing to bet most people would prefer a nice solid layer of muscle to appear once they strip the fat.  They don’t have to be big bulky muscles, but even small dense muscles are better than bone in most parts of the body.

If you are looking to build bigger, dense muscles then you’ll want to incorporate resistance training into your daily workout routine at least 4 times per week.  Develop a two-day split that is laser focused on the specific muscle groups you want to get bigger.  Do you want to improve your chest?  Your shoulders? Your back?  Find a two-day split that will work each muscle group you want to target and limit your workout to no more than 45 minutes.  In fact, it is probably best if you can hit compound exercises targeting your key muscle groups and get your workout done in 30 minutes.  I say this because after your workout you are going to do some intense cardio and we can’t necessarily afford to live in the gym.

If you are not looking to show bigger muscles after you strip away the fat, then find a two-day split that will cover your full body and complete two training sessions per week so you hit every muscle group in your body at least once.

Cardio Training for Weight Loss:

When most people hear the work cardio they think of long, slow, boring runs on a treadmill.  What I love about cardio training for fat loss is that it couldn’t be further from long, slow, boring cardio.  Cardio for fat loss is defined by short bursts of intense cardio exercises and the options available to you are endless keeping this type of exercise far from boring.  Below are some of my favorite variations of cardio for fat loss.

Body Weight Circuits:

Workout routine for weight lossBody weight circuits are truly a fun way to complete a great cardio workout that turns on your fat burners.  Body weight circuits use nothing but your body weight and a diverse group of exercises to challenge your whole body, crank up your heart rate, and burn fat.  Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training program offers an endless amount of body weight circuit workouts plus he is always developing new ones which means endless variety in your workouts.

Click the eBook on the right to download a free four-week body weight circuit program.  I wanted to make sure you had this so you can have some examples of body weight circuits for your own fat loss routine.  I’ve also posted his Crazy 8 Body Weight Circuit on a previous post which is one of my favorite body weight circuits.

HIIT Jump Rope Cardio Routine:

The jump rope is one of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment.  Do not worry if you are not good at jump roping.  It is an activity that you can quickly pick up and you’ll find yourself constantly getting better the more you use it.  That is one of the greatest things about a jump rope.  You will see results quickly and the more you practice the more fun you can have.

To use a jump rope to burn as much fat as possible you want to do high intensity intervals.  This means jumping rope as fast as you can for at least 30 seconds, then rest for 30-60 seconds, and repeat until you’ve hit your designated time.  Aim to get up to 20 minutes of HIIT Jump Rope cardio.  For more detailed information on this type of routine you can check outour post on my favorite HIIT jump rope workout.


[Check out this video to see Buddy Lee do some crazy jump roping. Now that is high intensity!]

HIIT Sprints Followed by Steady-State Cardio:

The third type of cardio exercise I incorporate into my workout routine for weight loss is HIIT sprints followed by steady-state cardio.  I learned this method from Rusty Moore over at Fitness Black Book.  Steady-state cardio is my least favorite type of cardio.  In fact, it is normally not a regular part of my exercise routine, but if I find that my fat is being a bit stubborn about relocating I’ll add in some steady-state cardio after doing HIIT sprints.  I’ve found that this usually helps give my fat loss a little added momentum.  The key is to start with HIIT sprints because the HIIT workout will reduce insulin and increase HGH levels in your blood stream.  In other words, your hormones are telling your body to release stored fat as a source of energy.  Once you’ve complete 6-8 high intensity sprint intervals your hormone levels should be primed to use fat as energy.  This is when you jump on the treadmill and do 20-30 minutes of steady-state cardio.  You will be using stored fat as energy the whole time you are running, and this fat burning will continue until your next meal.

Rest Days and Walking for Weight Loss

When you are looking to lose fat fast you need to maintain a high activity level throughout the week, but you still must give yourself one or two days of rest.  This will allow your body to recover from the strain of your workouts and it will also allow you to sustain this type of workout routine for a longer period of time.  If you do not rest, you will burn out.

However, rest days should not mean sitting on your bum and watching television all day. If you do this then you are more likely to be tempted to eat more food than you need.  If you find yourself tempted by your refrigerator on rest days then get up and go for a walk.

When I am serious about losing fat I will make sure that I walk for a minimum of 30 minutes on rest days.  Walking helps keep your muscles loose; it improves circulation; it increases the number of calories you burn on a rest day, and it helps to relieve mental stress.  All of this is good for muscle recovery and fat loss.


[Couldn’t help but throw in some old school Johnny Cash.  This song may not be great for intense workouts, but it is a great song for walking.]

Timing Your Workout Routine for Weight Loss

The timing of your workouts can have a significant impact on how much fat burning you achieve.  If you want to achieve the greatest fat burning results from your workout then you have to do your workouts first thing in the morning before you eat anything.

I’ve heard quite a few people say they’ve tried to do fasted workout and they claim their body just cannot perform the same as when it is in a fed state.  I believe people when they say this, but the reason for it is simply because they’ve conditioned their body to be in a fed state before training.  All they need to do is recondition their body to exercise in a fasted state.  It may be a difficult transition at first, especially if you have been training in fed state for a long period of time, but I assure you, once your body adapts to the new expectations, you will have no problem completing an intense, highly effective, training session in a fasted sate.

On days when you do resistance training you should also do a cardio workout.  To maximize fat burning on these days you will want to complete the resistance training workout first thing in the morning, in a fasted state, then go immediately into your cardio workout.  This if for two reasons: first, you will be able to complete a more intense and more effective resistance training workout if it is done before cardio.  Second, resistance training is a very effective way to increase HGH levels in your blood which leads to the release of stored fat into your bloodstream.  Doing cardio after your resistance training workout will ensure that all of that released fat is burned up for good.

Some days you may not be able to perform cardio immediately after resistance training.  This may be because you do not have enough time or you are feeling too worn out.  Don’t worry about this.  Instead, enjoy your day and try to fit in a quick 15-20 minute HIIT cardio workout in the late afternoon or early evening.  This is when I would most often utilize the HIIT Jump Rope Workout.  This is still very effective for weight loss because you will spike your HGH levels at two different times during the day giving your body a second fat burning opportunity late in the day.  Try not to eat for at least 2 hours after this HIIT workout.

Putting It All Together

My Favorite Workout Routine for Weight Loss:

Day 1: 30 min. of Resistance Training followed by 20-30 minutes of cardio
Day 2: 45 min. of Resistance Training; 20 min. HIIT Cardio workout in the evening
Day 3: Rest Day (30-60 minutes of walking)
Day 4: 20-30 minutes of Cardio Training
Day 5: 30 min. of Resistance Training followed by 20-30 minutes of cardio
Day 6: 45 min. of Resistance Training; 20 min. HIIT Cardio workout in the evening
Day 7: Rest Day (30-60 minutes of walking)
As you can see from the four resistance training session I was focusing on building as much muscle as possible while losing weight.  When implementing this routine I recommend using the jump rope and HIIT sprints with steady-state running for your cardio workouts.  Body weight circuits require a significant amount of muscular strength and you risk overtraining your muscles.

If you are more interested in maintaining muscle mass while burning fat, then I highly recommend the use of body weight circuits on days when you are not doing resistance training.  In this case, a workout routine might look like the following:

Alternate Workout Routine for Weight Loss:

Day 1: 30 min. of Resistance Training followed by 20-30 minutes of cardio
Day 2: Rest Day (30-60 minutes of walking)
Day 3: 20 minute body weight circuit in the morning; 20 min. HIIT Cardio workout in the evening
Day 4: 30-40 minutes of Cardio Training
Day 5: 30 min. of Resistance Training followed by 20-30 minutes of cardio
Day 6: Rest Day (30-60 minutes of walking)
Day 7: 20 minute body weight circuit; 20 min. HIIT Cardio workout in the evening

If all of this seems a bit too advanced for where are currently, don’t sweat it.  You will get there eventually.  Here is another option for beginners:

Beginner Workout Routine for Weight Loss:

Day 1: 30 min. of Resistance Training
Day 2: 10 min. HIIT sprints followed by 20 minutes steady-state cardio
Day 3: Rest Day (30-60 minutes of walking)
Day 4: 20 min. HIIT Cardio Training or 20 minute body weight circuit
Day 5: 30 min. of Resistance Training
Day 6: Rest Day (30-60 minutes of walking)
Day 7: 20 min. HIIT Cardio Training or 20 minute body weight circuit

The  volume of exercise is reduced for the beginner routine, but the most important thing is that you are doing some sort of fat burning exercise on active days and that you spend a minimum of 30 minutes walking on rest days.

Conclusion

It is important to note that the above workout routines are designed for fast weight loss.  This workout routine is not intended to be used year round.  In fact, I do not recommend trying to implement this program for more than 12 weeks without giving your body a break.  The truth is, once you master your diet so that you keep the weight off year round you should only ever need to use this type of workout for a maximum of 8 weeks to be beach ready.

It is my sincere hope that my favorite workout routine for weight loss will help you achieve your weight loss potential.  However, it is important to remember that for your weight loss to be sustainable you need to find a healthy way of maintaining your weight through a diet that fits with your lifestyle.  You can learn more about my permanent diet solution here: the best weight loss diet.

 

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7 Comments

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  1. Raymond-ZenMyFitness / Apr 7 2011

    Great list of points to get fit … I agree with them all … I buy a lot of workout and diet programs out of self interest but the list you have really says it all.
    I use to think that I had to be fed to workout too but after a while I got use t training fasted and now that;s the only way I like to train!.
    Raymond

  2. Excellent job compiling a number of different techniques utilized in your workout routine. Between this and your diet, I’ll bet you could come up with a pretty good e-book.

  3. Jeremy & Kim / Apr 11 2011

    @Raymond – Yeah, I hear it all the time. “There is no way I could get a good work out in a fasted state.” From my experience, they just have not conditioned there body to get a good work out in a fasted state. Which is too bad for those whose primary goal is to lose fat. Eating 500 calories right before hitting the gym and burning 500 calories is not going to do nearly as much for fat loss as training in a fasted state.

  4. Jeremy & Kim / Apr 11 2011

    @Dave – Thanks! An e-book is in the works, but we are not quite there yet. We’ll be sure to give you a heads up when its ready. Cheers.

  5. This is great !;-)

    I love the way you’re considering all factors, resistance training, HITT, Fasting, and even the correct timing!

    Right on !;-)

    Mark

  6. Jeremy & Kim / Apr 28 2011

    Thanks, Mark!

  7. Ahmed-LivingNotSurviving / Jun 16 2011

    Great list you have here. Weight Lifting/HIIT/Fasting have been my three musketeers when it comes to losing fat and building muscle.

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