To accelerate your fat loss and increase your muscle mass, you need to train with weights.
The benefits of weight training are so positive, that I cannot understand why everyone is not doing it. For example, it helps to increase your muscle mass. This is essential because muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle mass you have the faster your metabolism.
Weight training also tones up your existing muscle, giving you a more shapely silhouette. With the right exercises, it can broaden your shoulders, trim your waist, lift and tighten and lift your butt, tone your thighs and broaden your chest. As an added bonus, weight training also helps to strengthen your bones and tendons, which is essential for helping to prevent injury as we age.
USE FREE WEIGHTS NOT MACHINES
Not only did I have to change my diet, but I had to learn the correct way to weight train for muscle mass as well. In the past, I was using mostly machines, and had no reason to use free weights. this was a mistake.
The only way to gain muscle mass quickly is to use free weights. Most machines are a waste of time and they give you a false sense of strength. Pro bodybuilders and Olympic athletes do not use machines – they use free weights almost exclusively!
DON’T OVER TRAIN
I also had to stop training so often. Some people still believe that the more training means more muscle and increased fat loss. Not true. It doesn’t work that way. Working out too often does not allow your muscles the necessary time to recuperate. Not only will you not gain any muscle, but you will be setting yourself up for chronic injuries from over training.
Improper diet and over training are two reasons why most people never get beyond an average physique. I see people at the gym who workout 5-6 days per week for 2 hours or more each day – but they always look the same.
For my program, I worked out 3 times per week, working my upper body twice per week and legs once. I kept my workout between 45 to 75 minutes and concentrated on exercises that worked large muscle groups like bench press, squats, dead lifts, pull-ups and dips.
I used heavy weight (weight that was challenging for me), and low reps. I rested 2 minutes between sets and increased the weight after each set. My body adapted quickly to specific workouts so I had to change my parameters (sets, reps, tempo, exercises) frequently (usually every 4-6 weeks).
PERFORM AEROBIC EXERCISE REGULARLY
To shed the fat quickly, aerobic exercise is essential — it is not an option. Many people will begin to see results just from this alone.
It not only helps to burn fat and calories during the actual time you are exercising, but it also elevates your metabolism for hours afterwards. This leads to greater calorie burning and fat loss throughout the day.
Any exercise that elevates your heart rate for about 30-45 minutes will do. I prefer riding a stationary bike, but many people prefer running, climbing stairs, aerobics classes or boxing.
When choosing an exercise, make sure that it keeps your heart rate elevated consistently without breaks. Some “stop & go” sports like basketball or football, are not adequate candidates for our purposes. These game have too many pauses, breaks and periods of low activity. They will not keep your heart rate elevated long enough to burn much fat or elevate your metabolism.
It is not the simple fact of doing the cadio that will increase your fat loss, but when you do it and what you eat. The only time you should be doing cardio for fat loss purposes is first thing in the morning before your first meal — this is when you burn the most fat. Any other time should be considered recreational. The pace should be moderate otherwise you would be working towards cardiovascular endurance, not fat loss.
After about 4 weeks of this, you can then add interval training into the mix to change things up. This is when you do one minute of normal intensity, then one minute of high (almost max) intensity. You alternate this for 30-45 minutes.
I know aerobics instructors who teach 5-6 classes per week, but are still soft and overweight. You would think with that much cardio exercise, they would be ripped. They are not because their diets are not correct and they do not train at the correct times for fat loss.
If you are a beginner, start out slowly. Exercise at a moderate pace for about 15 minutes, no more than three times per week. Keep your heart rate around 130-140 beats per minute. Eventually your goal will be to work up to 30-45 minutes of moderate-high intensity cardio 3-4 times per week.