Strategies for the Gym When You're Focusing on Losing Weight
There's one thing gym-goers have in common: they want to get in shape. However, even with this common denominator, not everyone who goes to the gym has the same goal. Some people want to build muscle while others want to focus solely on losing weight.
If you’re focusing on losing weight, you’ve probably heard that you just need to focus on cardio. While hitting the gym for cardio sessions seems like a straightforward solution, it might not be right for everyone. If you've been trying to lose weight but the scale won't budge, here's what you need to do.
Increase Your Incline
If walking or running is your go-to-choice for cardio, increasing your incline may be all you need to jumpstart your weight loss again. As with any type of cardio, your body becomes accustomed to the duration and intensity of your workouts. Even though you think you're burning enough calories, you may not be exerting enough energy to keep the burn going.
To prevent injury, slowly increase the incline in 5-minute intervals. You can even do this on an elliptical or stationary bike. Just make sure to slowly build up your endurance so that you don’t overdo it and hurt yourself.
Shake up Your Routine
Another way to jump start weight loss is by changing up your routine. Oftentimes, people say they aren't seeing the results they want, even when working out five or more times per week.
This again can be attributed to muscle memory. Muscle memory is just what it implies. Even when you break a sweat and feel the burn, your muscles become used to the same type of exercise and you may eventually stop seeing results.
To get things back on track, change up your workouts. For example, swap out your usual 30-minute treadmill session with Zumba or HIIT. You can even slow things down and do Pilates or yoga two or three days a week. It doesn’t really matter what kind of exercise you do. It's about working different muscle groups as you alternate through different workouts.
Start Weight Training
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be avoiding the weights area at the gym. Afterall, you’re trying to slim down, not bulk up. However, building muscle won’t necessarily cause you to bulk up, and it’s a great way to improve your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories during simple day-to-day activities than fat would. Also, when you do strength training or HIIT, the muscles you worked will continue to burn more calories than usual even after your workout.
This goes to show that even when you’re working on one specific fitness goal, you need to keep your whole body in mind. You may want to work with a fitness trainer when you’re starting out. Fitness training can help you build a more balanced approach to your health and weight loss. This can help you keep the unwanted weight off after you’ve reached your goals.
Circuit training is another way to lose weight at the gym. In circuit training, you do a series of exercises back-to-back for a set period time. You then take a one to two minute break before beginning the circuit again. You’ll usually repeat this three or four times. The best part of circuit training is that you can do different sets of exercises every time you work out. You can design these sets to target certain muscles.
Losing weight doesn't need to be confusing or boring. The key is developing a weight-loss strategy that is balance, productive, and fun. Work with a fitness trainer on building a workout plan that will help you reach your weight loss goals.