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  • Writer's picturelemonfrogfitness

How To Design Your Programme For Fat Loss

A goal without a well designed plan is like throwing a dart blindfolded, if you want to reach your goals you need a plan to get you there. Nothing in life gets accomplished without a plan or strategy, so why treat your fat loss goals any differently?

I know a lot of people who will not seek help to design their gym plan or feel they don’t even need to plan one. If you fall into this category this article is to help you design the best programme possible and what you need to take into consideration.

Firstly you need to schedule in your warm up/pulse raiser. A warm up is to get your joints and muscles warmed up for exercise, when your muscles are “cold” they are more open to injury. If you are training upper body and lower body I’d recommend a machine that uses both, the rower or cross trainer gets your shoulders moving as well as your legs. Spend 3-5 minutes on your warm up no longer as you don’t want it eating into your workout time.

Next I’d focus on some mobility work. If you are getting ready to do some squats some mobility work through your hips and deep squat position can be beneficial to prevent injury and increase ROM (Range Of Movement). If you are going to be doing some upper body exercises some shoulder mobility exercises will be beneficial for your session. Pick two mobility exercises that will benefit your session. An example would be if you are doing a lower body session, chose 90/90 hip rotations and deep body-weight squats into a pike position. Again spend up to 5 minutes on this no longer.

Next you should schedule in your weights, weights will be more beneficial for fat loss in the long run. Weights prevent muscle wastage, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn, if you just do cardio you will lose muscle as well as fat.

When designing your weights routine you want to start with the compound lifts first. Compound exercise's use more than one muscle group and joint. An example would be a pull up it works your lats and your biceps, an isolation move would be a bicep curl, it only works your biceps. The compound exercise will be more beneficial and will build more muscle in less movements. Staying with the lower body example this is how I’d plan my weights session.

A, Squats 1-2 Sets x 15 Reps (Warm up set, light weight)

B, Squats 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps 60-90 Seconds rest

C, Barbell Hip Thrusts 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps 60-90 Seconds rest

D1, Leg Ext 4 Sets x 15 Reps

D2, Leg Curl 4 Sets x 15 Reps 90-120 Seconds Rest

In this workout we have started with the compound lifts first, these will be more beneficial for building/maintaining the most muscle mass. Then we finish up the session with two isolation exercises as a super set (no rest between exercises). This helps burn more calories as you have no rest between the exercises. Also choosing slightly higher reps to support this and build a better mind muscle connection, this will enable you to contract those targeted muscles more in the compound lifts.

At the end of your workout is where I would schedule in your cardio work. If you place the cardio at the start you will be zapped of all energy and not perform well in the weights area.

If you like to get your cardio done as quickly as possible I’d recommend HIIT training. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is more time efficient than LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) I’d recommend spending no longer than 15-20 minutes on this, realistically you shouldn’t be able to spend any longer if you do it right. I’d recommend 60 seconds slow and 30 seconds fast. On the slow part you should be aiming for 4/10 for effort on the 30 seconds you need to be hitting 9/10 if not 10/10 for effort for true HIIT training. An example would be:


2-3 Minute warm up

30 Seconds 10/10 effort x 8

60 Seconds 4/10 effort x 8

3 Minute cool down.

Alternatively if you want to do LISS training I’d recommend doing this on a day you don’t go the the gym so you aren’t spending to long in there. Go for a 45-60 minute walk at a steady pace. This is my preferred cardio I find a walk easy on my joints and more relaxing, I also listen to an audio book to learn on the go.

If you aren’t getting any results then now is the time to create or seek a plan. Winging it will never get you were you want to go, you need to take charge and guide yourself there.

If you are looking for a well designed plan but not sure where to start, please feel free to message me. All of the plans I create for my clients are designed specifically for them, their goals and commitment availability.

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Thanks for reading :)

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