If you are in reasonably good physical condition and need to lose a few pounds, you can check out my high-power fat-loss program. But if you’re starting from scratch with a lot of weight to lose and not much experience with exercise programs, then this program is for you. It’s based around walking and weights, and also includes one weekly session of what's called a "circuit program."
Basics Steps in Beginner’s Weight Training Weight LossGet a doctor’s clearance. It’s all very well for overweight people to get hammered by personal trainers on shows like "The Biggest Loser," but you need to be sure you have no underlying medical reasons not to exercise regularly, especially if you've been sedentary for many years. Your doctor can reassure you of this.
Move more during non-exercise activity. Studies have shown that overweight and obese people tend to move less during everyday activities. This may be a result of the excess weight, or it may be a cause of it. In either case, it’s likely a vicious circle. Extra incidental movement throughout the day is a key factor in establishing a basis for weight loss.
Walk, walk, walk. You can mix this up with slow jogging, if you feel up to it, but at least 40 minutes of brisk walking, six days each week should be your goal. You can do this on a treadmill, on a sidewalk or at the park.
Perform three dumbbell weights sessions. You have easy access to weight training gear at the gym, where free weights and machines are at the ready. But dumbbell lifting can be done easily at the gym or at home. I like the idea of having dumbbells conveniently placed in the house so that it's easy to pump out a few dozen repetitions in between other activities or even while watching TV, videos or listening to music. Check out the beginner resources to get familiar with how weight training works.
Perform one circuit training session each week. My circuit training program combines dumbbell weights with rapid movement between each exercise. Use my circuit program and modify it if you need to, by slowing it down, so that you can complete at least three circuits. This is designed to get you working somewhat hard, so give it your best shot. You will breathe heavier and you should break a sweat.
Eat a healthy diet. Your diet needs to restrict calories, so that you lose fat, while providing you with essential nutrients and sufficient energy to fuel your activity program. Here’s the basis of a healthy diet for this program:
- Eat a moderately low-fat, high-fiber diet while keeping animal fats to a minimum.
- Throw out refined carbs like biscuits, cakes, sweets, sugar drinks and white bread.
- Maintaining a moderately low-carb diet is OK, but don't go as low as some of the popular low-carb diets, such as The South Beach Diet or Atkins Diet. Make sure the fats you eat are good fats.
- Include low-fat dairy instead of full-fat milk, yogurt, cheeses or soy substitutes.
- Choose whole grain breads and cereals, and eat lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.
- Select lean, low-fat meats or vegetarian alternatives.
- Eat fast foods rarely, and choose healthy options when available.
Beginner's Weight Loss Weights Program ScheduleHere is a weekly schedule of the program. Walk on 6 days; take one day off. Use dumbbells, or other weights, at home or at the gym.
- Days 1 to 6
Walk for at least 40 minutes at a brisk pace or one that makes you breathe heavy, but does not make you breathless. Split the session up if it suits you, but try to keep up the intensity.
- Day 2
Choose 8 dumbbell exercises from the dumbbell program, and do 3 sets of 12 exercise repetitions. If doing 8 exercises at once is too much, break it up into 4 exercises for two separate sessions.
- Day 3
Do the circuit training program.
- Day 4
Walk for 40 minutes.
- Day 5
Repeat the dumbbell program performed on day 2.
- Day 6 Repeat the dumbbell program performed on day 2 again.
- Day 7
Walk for 40 minutes, or take a rest day.
Don't forget to control your eating. But remember: Very low-calorie diets are not suitable, as you will shed muscle (and bone) and your metabolism will slow down, making it difficult to resume normal eating while managing weight. In addition, you'll likely miss out on important nutrients your body needs.
Secrets to Success
Get going as soon as possible. Don't worry too much if you don't quite meet your goals for the day to begin with -- just aim to start each of the allocated sessions for the week. Be determined, start slowly and improve performance week by week.