Almost all of us wish to lose weight at one time or another. Finding a fat burning workout plan to suit you is the best way to go about it.
But what exercises should you choose for your workout plan?
Ultimately, short of surgery, the only way to lose weight is to burn off those excess calories. So to answer our question, let us consider the 3 main ways that exercise helps us consume those unwanted stores of fat.
Fat Burning Workout Plan – How Exercise Helps You Burn Your Fat Stores
Firstly, the obvious one is that any exercise requires energy, and this energy comes from the calories that you eat and which becomes stored as fat when you consume more calories than you need.
So, the more exercise you do, the more calories you burn. For example, you’ll burn more calories if you run for 60 minutes at a 10 minute per mile pace than if you were to run 20 minutes at the same pace.
Second is post exercise calorie burn. Whenever we do exercise, our metabolism is elevated beyond normal for anywhere between 24 and 48 hours, sometimes more. This basically means that for at least the following day, you’ll be burning more calories than normal, even whilst resting!
The amount your metabolism becomes elevated is dictated by the type and intensity of exercise you perform, which we will discuss further shortly.
And last but not least is the permanent increase in metabolism due to the increase muscle mass from all your exercise.
Basically, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, and the more calories you burn.
Building Your Fat Burning Workout Plan
So for maximum fat burning you have to design yourself a workout plan that accommodates the above.
First you need to decide how much exercise you want to do each week. If you are new to the fitness lifestyle, avoid the temptation of over training! It will only increase your risk of injury and burnout. You can always build up over the weeks to come.
Try to build up from 2 training sessions per week to 3 or 4, but no more. You need to give your body time to recover after exercise. So you definitely need at least a few rest days each week to recuperate.
Personally, my weekends are always busy, so I try to get all my training out of the way during the week. This isn’t always possible, due to work and family commitments, but it allows me to enjoy my weekends and fully recover for the following week’s training.
So if I train 3 days per week I’ll train Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Or if I’m feeling particularly fit and full of energy I’ll train 4 days per week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
But what sort of exercise should you include in your fat loss plan?
If you are training 3 days per week, then one session should be a long, low intenstiy session, something like a long gentle jog. Start with 20 minutes and build 5 minutes each week until you can jog for a good hour. See the article jogging to lose body fat for an idea on how to progressively build up you endurance.
Of course you don’t have to choose jogging as one of your sessions. It could be cycling, swimming, rowing, hill walking, cross training, or anything else where you can build up to a good hours worth of exercise. Take a look at the list of aerobic activities for other ideas.
These types of long endurance sessions burn a lot of calories whilst exercising. For example, if you can build up to a 60 minute light jog at a 10 minute per mile pace, you’ll burn around 600 calories. And that doesn’t even include any post exercise calorie burn.
One of your other sessions should be a high intensity interval training session, or HIIT session. Take a look at the HIIT training principle to learn more about this type of high intensity training.
This type of training only lasts around 20 minutes, sometimes shorter, but never any longer. Not only do these sessions burn loads of calories, they also have a fantastic post exercise calorie burn, which I mentioned above. In fact, this is the main reason for performing HIIT sessions. Your metabolism will be boosted for a good day or two afterwards.
Your final session should be some sort of resistance training. You don’t need a gym for this. In fact, you could just do bodyweight exercises. This will increase you overall lean muscle mass, which will permanently increase your metabolism. Free calorie burning…amazing!
For my resistance training sessions I prefer to do some sort of circuit training. Take a look at the 20 minute workout for an idea. This particular training session uses dumbbells, but you could swap in bodyweight exercises instead.
Fat Burning Workout Plan Conclusion
Hopefully you can see how this varied fat loss exercise plan maximizes your calorie burn to help you shed that excess weight.
If you wish to build up and push yourself to 4 training sessions per week, then vary it from week to week. One week include an addition HIIT session, then the following week do an extra endurance session, then an additional circuit. And so on.
Have a questions about fat burning workout plan above, or anything else fat loss related? Then head over to the question and answer fitness forum for weight loss and ask away! You’ll soon have a good answer to get you going.