Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to Get Results with Your Fat Loss Workout

By Mike Roulston

Most people struggle to see results from their workout program, for the simple reason that most people don’t exercise consistently or intensely enough to produce any real results. And without regular exercise at a high intensity, progression is completely lost.

Plain and simply, if you don’t exercise regularly, intensely, and with progression (i.e. improving from workout to workout), you’ll never see any significant fat-loss results from your workouts.

I’ve found that it’s a real challenge for most people to exercise regularly and intensely. Most people don’t enjoy exercising, and if you don’t enjoy doing something, you’ll be hard-pressed to do it regularly, much less with any intensity.

So when I work with people to help them see the fat-loss results that they’re striving towards, I’ve found that the most important factor is simply finding a way to get people to enjoy their workouts and look forward to exercising.

If you enjoy your exercise program, and look forward to your workouts, you’ll find consistency, intensity, progression, and ultimately results are taken care of quite easily.

My entire exercise philosophy is based around the notion that people who enjoy their workouts will be much more likely to exercise consistently and intensely enough to see results.

If, in that past, you’ve struggled to workout regularly, and you’re trying to get yourself into a solid routine of consistent exercise, I want you to focus on answering the following question:

What type of exercise will you enjoy enough to consistently stick to your workout program, and put forth a genuine effort each and every time you workout?

If you can figure out the answer to that question, you’ll find that all of the other important components to a results focussed fat-loss workout program should fall into place for you.

I can’t answer that question for you, but I can certainly give you a few tips to get you pointed in the right direction.

Tip #1)You do NOT need a gym membership to burn fat and get fit. If you can’t stand gyms and health clubs, that’s perfectly fine. Simply invest in a few inexpensive pieces of exercise equipment (workout straps, resistance bands, adjustable dumbbells, etc), and you’ll be all set to have effective total-body home workouts that you’ll be much more likely to stick to, as opposed to exercising at a gym if you don’t like that environment.

Tip #2)You do NOT need to do long boring marathon cardio to burn fat. If you can’t stand peddling away for hours upon hours on the cardio machine, that’s perfectly fine. You wouldn’t see any results from doing that anyway.
For optimal fat-loss results, you need to perform only a few short (20 to 30 minutes) but intense total-body resistance training workouts each week, along with a couple of short (15 to 20 minutes) high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts per week.

Tip #3) You DO need to include as much variety as possible in your workout program. Variety is huge towards seeing results from your exercise program, and it also helps keep your workouts fresh and interesting which will go a long way towards helping you stay consistent with your exercise program.
If you do the same exact workout 3 times per week for 3 straight months, not only will your body adapt and prevent you from continuing to see results, but you’ll also almost surely get so bored with your workouts that the intensity will start to drop, and you’ll slowly stop exercising altogether.

Keep these tips in mind when trying to answer the question of how to enjoy your workouts. Too many people avoid exercising regularly simply because they believe the commitment they need to make to their exercise program is too large.

Once you realize how short and infrequent you actually need to exercise in order to see amazing results, you’ll be much more likely to start enjoying your workouts and ultimately give the consistency and intensity that’s necessary to produce substantial fat-loss results.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tips on how to have effective and enjoyable fat-burning workouts at home with minimal equipment. Click here to visit Mike's channel:

=> http://modeathletics.com/youtube


Darren said...

I feel I need to disagree with you about cardio. You always stress that 'long boring marathon cardio' would not see results anyways. However, I am a living example that it does reveal results. Two years ago I was 215 lbs, and I decided to get back into shape. So I took up running. I am now 175 lbs, and could run 10k without getting tired. Only a sprained ankle playing basketball has altered that.
While I agree with you it probably is not the most effective way to burn fat and get into shape, I feel it can be effective for some people. Running makes me want to work out, and without running, I struggle to work out at all.
Cheers, I love your workouts

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

Thanks Darren.

Just to clarify, I stress that cardio is not necessary AND that research shows it often leads to no results. Big difference.

However, I also say if you like it, then go for it.

But again, it is not necessary for folks to put that much time into something most folks don't like.

To each their own!


David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts.com said...

I just wanted to comment on Darren's comment. I'm not big on running long distances at all for a variety of reasons. However, is it possible to lose weight doing this? Sure. But, is it the fastest and most effective way to lose weight? There's no way. Having said that, however, you have to find what works for you. Running is better than sitting on the couch eating potato chips. (and cheers on losing the weight, regardless!)

- Dave

Darren said...

I did say that I agree that cardio is not the most effective way to lose weight and get fit. I actually agree/beleive that Craig's theories weight loss are extremely interesting and correct. They make sense. It just irks me (alittle) that he seems to claim that cardio does not lead to results. Tip#2 "You wouldn't see any results from doing that anyway."
Again, I am not saying cardio is the best, but is this statement not incorrect? I am probably nit-picking, and I do apologize for that, but everytime I read that on this blog, I just think 'well that is not true!'
An aside, last night my wife came home from the gym and commented that an hour isnt long enough to be there because she needs to run more than 30mins. I told her, if your focus it weightloss, you dont need to run more, but workout more.

Andy said...

Great, great post, CB! Nuff said. Thanks for sharing some fitness insider insights! Definitely all so true..will check out his youtube link in a minute.

He says it pretty much straight and forward...and it's all so true, too!!!!

Thanks again.


Andy said...

Darren, running is fine. If that is truly what some people love to do (I like sprinting)...then it should be ok. Running is good cardio...but if you want to do things other than cardio and mix it up here with other forms of fat loss approaches without added overuse injuries that come from doing the same routine over and over again (running, sprinting) - that's really up to the individual. I think what Craig's point here is trying to add VARIETY to your exercise programs - that's the key. It's almost a slam dunk that you will beat plateuas that will come (and they will eventually).

I don't think he means to stop cardio all together if that's something you enjoy - just mix things up and it will make exercise fun and interesting.

I don't run outdoors much so running isn't really my cup of tea...but I will sprint! Just not as much as I used to because there's simply other ways of losing fat.

skinnybuddah said...

I agree with most points.

David hits the nail on the head, running beats sitting on the couch eating potato chips.

Is running the most effective for fat loss? - No

Does running provide some benefits and cardiovascular benefits? - Yes

Are HIIT sessions and Craigs TT sessions better for fat loss than running - Without a shadow of a doubt!

What way do you want to burn your fat? - Thats completely up to you but I'd recommend Craigs way.

Incidentally, I'm a personal trainer and an (slow) ex-marathon runner.
My epiphany came at the 17th mile of the Loch Ness Marathon, Scotland, when I suddenly asked myself...Why am I doing this?
By mile 18, I'd resolved never to do another. Since then I've only really done one run longer than 45mins when I took a client around a 10K. other than that it's only been 15-20min HIIT sessions and 3-4 30-40min full body workouts a week. The result...
More muscle, less body fat, no great change in weight, more energy, more time away from training.

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