This is a great question and one I often get asked. The answer is both simple but also not a straight forward one size fits all situation.
It would be great if I could say “hey, do this exercise and you will instantly lose weight and just carry on doing until you get to the size you want to be”
But as you probably know it just doesn’t work that way.
The thing is that is really doesn’t have to be mega hard work or complicated – you just need to send your body the correct messages to respond.
Best exercise for Beginners to Lose weight
Let’s start at the beginning …
The best exercise to lose weight for a beginner would be any form of moderate cardio work, plus some basic strength work.
Stick with a steady pace and build up the duration first, then the intensity after your body has adapted and can cope with a steady 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.
Some good forms of cardio are jogging, cycling, swimming, cross trainer and rowing. It is good practice to use 2 or 3 forms of cardio to prevent injury and gain fitness over different disciplines to challenge the body a little more.
Ideally the beginners routine would also include some strength based exercises that condition the whole body, not just the areas we want to see changes like the abs, legs etc. We need to activate as many muscles in the body to get the metabolism to fire up as much as possible, as well as creating good muscular balance and posture and helping with everyday functional movements.
If you don’t have access to a gym or have children, or maybe time is tight, you can easily workout at home with very good results. The same principals apply but you need to be a little more creative with the cardio aspects of the plan.
The beginner workout plans here on FITme take a series of appropriate exercises and group them together in a way that will achieve both a cardio and strength elements together – meaning you get maximum value for the time spent exercising.
I am a big fan of short workouts and when structured correctly it is all you need to get top results as a beginner.
Summary – Mixture of cardio and total body strength work at a steady intensity – 3 to 4 times a week – 20 to 30 minutes a session.
Best Exercise if you have been working out for a little while
As someone who is progressing with their routines and maybe has been working out for a while, you can look to adding more intensity into your plan. The harder you can work the more calories you will burn and the harder your body will work after the exercise has finished to repair itself and get fitter. This has the knock on effect of – the fitter you are the harder you can work and the more the body will respond again to improving its fitness.
Routines can be in many forms and a few examples would be interval training where you stick with one activity but vary the speed or resistance from easier to harder. One minute fast followed by 2 minutes slow. You can repeat this for the main part of your workout with a more steady paced warm up and cool down either side.
For a more home based session you can start to introduce more intense exercise like burpee’s or deep squat jumps to really ramp up intensity in-between your other exercises. This works really well if you try to take minimal rests before and after the intense exercises.
Summary – Increasing the intensity of the cardio work with interval training – add an extra session a week – start to include explosive movements – 25 to 30 minute sessions.
"For the Advanced exerciser."
The Best exercise to lose weight for the experienced exerciser is – there isn’t one. It is the consistency, intensity and combined effect of many days, weeks and months of training that will have a positive effect.
Your routine should be varied so that it always challenges the body – this is possibly the biggest area people go wrong. I see many gym users going through the same routines they have been doing for months and years without changing anything, pushing themselves any harder or changing any weights or volume of exercises.
If you do not continue to challenge your body it will stop responding – the need to change is not there so it will not happen. You need to tell your body it needs to be different – there must be a demand placed on it that says ‘ be different’.
So, as you can see, this answer is no just one simple, one size fits all. But is easy enough to understand at each stage of your fitness journey that you should be able to adapt your routines to suit and see great results.