When you’re trying to lose weight, hitting the gym is a great first step. Unfortunately, not everyone benefits the same way from exercise. Often, you end up spending a lot of time between the treadmill and stationary bike completely unaware you’re missing something. If you’re doing the wrong workouts, you’re never going to get the results you want. Here’s why.
The ‘calories in, calories out’ method works … sort of
You have to burn calories — more than you consume — in order to lose weight. However, longer stretches of exercise might not be as effective as shorter bursts of physical activity. Many experts swear by HIIT and similar workouts — exercises that burn more calories in a short amount of time. The workouts you choose could set you up for weight loss success. They could also set you up for failure.
To lose weight, you have to burn fat
Your body uses protein, carbs, and fat as fuel. Of these energy sources, says Livestrong.com, carbs are the first to go. During exercise, your body burns through your carbohydrate stores before it dips into other forms of stored energy. When fat is the most readily available fuel source, it gets “burned off” as you sweat through the last stretch of your HIIT workout. This is one way weight loss happens.
However, many popular workouts don’t promote fat-burning
There’s a widespread misconception that your local gym’s yoga and barre fitness classes are designed to tip the scales in your favor. They aren’t. They have many pros and cons, but when it comes to weight loss, they might be the least effective.
Men’s Fitness warns that group fitness classes especially promote over-training and don’t tend to the specific needs of the individual. They might motivate you to get moving and keep things consistent — which is great. In the long-term, though, you’re going to need more than a group sweat session.
Lifting weights won’t fix everything
No matter how much weight you deadlift, there’s no guarantee you’ll lose weight. Strength training is designed to help you build muscle. The easiest way to guarantee staying at the weight you’re at now — and the fastest way to gain weight — is to pick just one workout and stick with it.
There are also workouts that just don’t work the way you think they will. As fun as they might be, they’re not your key to a slimmer figure.
Here are the worst workouts for weight loss
According to Rodale Wellness, CrossFit, yoga, pilates, and Boot Camp are among the worst workouts to try if you want to lose weight. These aren’t bad workouts — they just aren’t going to help you accomplish your weight loss goals.
Save these for when you need to de-stress and get your body out of a sitting position for awhile. If you want to take your training more seriously, there are better, more effective workouts out there.
What are the most effective workouts for weight loss?
There’s no one exercise that’s best for weight loss. However, a combination of strength training and high-intensity cardio will help you burn fat and build muscle in no time.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are important if you want to burn through your energy stories quickly. But to make the most of your workouts, both upper and lower body lifting (either using bodyweight, free weights, or weight machines) and light cardio need some attention, too. Just don’t stick to one thing and expect it to work in your favor.
Can exercise alone help you lose weight?
If you feel like you’re working out harder than you should be, and you’re not making any progress toward your weight loss goals, you’re doing it wrong. Over-exercising won’t help. Neither will repeating the same workout routine over and over again.
To lose weight, you have to commit to a combination of strength and high-intensity cardio training, a balanced diet, and an overall healthier lifestyle. The right workouts are important — but it’s only one of many ingredients that make up the ideal fat-burning, waist-shrinking recipe.
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