Darren Bruce reveals the scientific formula to the perfect workout for sustainable, healthy weightloss
If you’re training to lose weight, either for better health or to fit into your favourite jeans of yesteryear, those living room DVDs won’t work. Nor will the internet pop-ups promising to get your ripped in two weeks. Your workouts need to be smart and systematic, but they can also be simple, too. There’s no need for weird quick fixes.
Here we uncover the step-by-step guide to getting in your best shape ever, every time you hit the gym floor. Bookmark this page now.
The pillar refers to your shoulders, torso and hips and at the start of every session is where your want to switch it on. The more muscle fibres you activate before a workout – especially throughout your trunk and in the larger muscles of your lower body – the more you will benefit. Using more muscles will help you to lift more and add extra fire to your metabolism. Both of which will set your on course for shedding unwanted pounds.
But first, start with some soft tissue release work. Use a foam roller on your glutes for a couple of minutes, for example. It’ll focus your mind on the workout at hand, firing up the mind-body connection that makes activating muscle fibres easier. It’s brain training, but without the need for annoying su do kus.
Now spend 5-10 minutes on your pillar. An excellent move for the hips is the glute bridge using mini bands. Tense your glutes and the top of the rep and work against the band to stop your knees coming together to really fire up the fibres in your backside. You can then activate torso by switching between a plank with alternate arm reach or rollouts on a Swiss ball.
This is your more traditional warm up phase that takes you through general movement and dynamic stretching. You should have a light sweat on by the end of this as your muscles heat up. Warm muscles are not only fully engaged and metabolically active, but they’re also more resistant to injury. And nothing derails your weightloss ambition that time spent out the gym nursing a tweaked muscle.
Again, you only want to spend 5-10 minutes on this component. Start with the slower movements first, for example forward lunges with elbow to instep followed by inchworms. Finish with two five second sprints on the spot and you’ll be ready to go.
In this component you want to work the whole body and cover all of the movement patterns (push, pull and rotational across your upper and lower body) to create a balanced session. You can’t spot reduce fat. That means working your abs won’t reduce the weight sitting around your middle. Working your entire body will engage more muscles to burn more calories – the key to successful weightloss. This block of work will be your longest in time, around 30-35mins.
The key to weightloss success is to work across trisets and supersets using freeweights. By targeting different muscle groups in each superset you can still work through quality work whilst pushing up your heart rate to burn calories, rather than resorting to the sloppy all-out reps of traditional HIIT that most use for weightloss training. For the recommendations below you want to be doing three sets of eight reps for each super or tri-set before moving on to the next one. This way you can enjoy strength gains while maintaining a metabolic focus.
Doing supersets you can do a compound exercise followed by a core exercise, for example: Squat to press with dumbells followed by a plank.
With the tri-sets you could choose an upper followed by lower body movement to a core exercise, for example: dumbbell chest press w/alternating arms, single leg RDLs with dumbbells and a side plank.
This stands for Energy Systems Development. This is your cardio block. This is where you improve your aerobic and anaerobic fitness, which will help to your metabolism while also burning extra calories in minutes.
This block has got three zones to it: yellow, green and red. Yellow = low intensity; green = medium intensity; red = high intensity. This block is going to be around 10-15mins and because of this small timeframe you need to work in the red and green zones with interval based work. This adds variety for different metabolic benefits whilst still working toward the end goal of weight loss.
In the green zone your work to rest ratio is going to be up to a 1:1-3. Hop on the treadmill run at a medium intensity 30 seconds and then rest for between 30 and 90 seconds, depending on your fitness levels, and then repeat.
In the red zone you should up your work to rest ratio to 1:5-6. Clamber onto the Versaclimber and finish the ESD segment by completing 10 seconds at 100% effort with 50 seconds rest and repeat for 10 rounds.
The final component is equally important – this is where you start your recovery process. It’s important to remember that works plus rest equals success! One of the main reasons weightloss plans fail is because people give up, either from finding it too difficult or not seeing results. Starting your recovery at the end of the workout will help you to wake up fresher tomorrow (which makes turning up again easier) and maximises your body’s adaptations to the workout for faster results.
There are many ways to help facilitate recovery and the one you’ll use in the gym is foam rolling and stretching. Simply spend 5-10mins stretching and rolling the areas you’ve been working. Combine this with good nutrition and a solid six to eight hours of sleep a night and your route to your target weight will finally become clear. The rest, as they say, is up to you.