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Gym Routine For Weight Loss

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Weight loss routines at the gym can be a real bore. Sixty sweat-inducing minutes of CV is nothing short of soul-destroying. Even the most committed gym rat would struggle to muster the motivation to get through such a workout. We all have our limits.

But that puts us between a rock and a cross-trainer. If you want to trim away some unwanted fat, you’ve got to be prepared to work for it. When it comes to losing weight, cardio is the most effective exercise method.

Thankfully, there is more than one way to shift those stubborn belly rolls. Most people think that to burn off excess calories you’ve got to spend hours each week slogging away on a treadmill. Emerging research is showing that there is another form of training that is not only more effective at facilitating fat loss but is also far less time-consuming.

Studies outlined by Professor Liberman in his book, Exercised: The Science of Physical Activity, Rest & Health, have revealed that a mere 20- to 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can burn as many calories as sixty solid minutes of steady-state.

In addition, HIIT also triggers a staggering array of physiological adaptations. According to Liberman, those that make HIIT a permanent part of their regime, stand to gain the following benefits.

  1. Reduced total body fat

  2. Healthier body composition

  3. Improved muscle tonality

  4. Decreased risk of coronary heart disease

  5. Elevated aerobic fitness

  6. Enhanced cardiovascular efficiency

  7. Simultaneously stimulates multiple physiological systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular systems.

Related: Learn more about the Benefits of HIIT >

Gym routine for weight loss

The routine begins with a progressive intensity warm-up. This will ensure that you hit the ground running. But also, a structured warm-up that reflects the training tasks reduces injury risk. It’s for this reason that I strongly recommend that you warm up well before starting the routine.

Once you’re firing on all cylinders, it’s time to progress on to the HIIT series. To make the gym routine for weight loss accessible to a wider audience, I have not stipulated the cardio exercise. That choice is yours. The beauty of the HIIT protocol is that it can be applied to any cardio exercise: cycling, swimming, skipping, and, of course, running.

In addition to appealing to diverging training preferences, this routine has also been designed to accommodate differences in fitness level. The primary factor that separates the levels is the work/rest interval durations and complexity of the resistance stations that intersperse each HIIT series.

The HIIT sections are scheduled for five minutes. Concluding a five-minute HIIT, you will work through 100 repetitions of a resistance exercise. That’s one round completed. There are four rounds in total.

Workout routine key points

  • Warm up for at least 10 minutes. The warm-up should feature the cardio exercise(s) that you select for the HIIT routine. Also, over the final two minutes, it’s good practice to include a series of increasing intensity intervals.

  • Before tackling the weight loss routine, select the appropriate level for your fitness ability. Remember, when you’ve selected a level, it’s not set in stone. You can change it during the workout.

  • Aim to complete the five intervals in a series before transitioning to the resistance exercise.

  • The same applies to the resistance exercise. Complete all 100 reps before starting the next HIIT bout.

Weight loss warm-up

  • 1 to 2-minute mobility exercises: ankle and hip rotations and knee flexions > 5-minute cardio exercises (build intensity – 10% increase every minute) > 2 to 3-minute high-intensity intervals.

HIIT #1: Work = 10/20 sec | Rest = 50/40 seconds

Exercises: Round 1 = 100 reps air squat | Round 1 = 100 reps press-up | Round 3 = 100 reps squat thrust | Round 4 = 100 reps burpee

Gym routine for weight loss training plan #1.

HIIT #2: Work = 20/30 sec | Rest = 40/30 seconds

Exercises: Round 1 = 100 reps Hindu squat | Round 1 = 100 reps kettlebell swing | Round 3 = 100 reps medicine ball slams | Round 4 = 100 reps single arm dumbbell snatch

Gym routine for weight loss training plan #2.

HIIT #3: Work = 30/40 sec | Rest = 30/20 seconds

Exercises: Round 1 = 100 reps barbell squat | Round 1 = 100 reps barbell deadlift | Round 3 = 100 reps barbell hang clean | Round 4 = 100 reps barbell push press

Gym routine for weight loss training plan #3.

Gym routine for weight loss hints and tips

If this isn’t your first Hungry4Fitness Workout, you’ll know that all our training plans can be customised to suit your fitness goals. This gym routine for weight loss is no exception. How might you modify the plan? For those HIIT purists, you may want to jettison the resistance exercises. I’ve included them to diversify the training outcomes and break up the boredom of cardio. However, an unavoidable limitation of including superfluous exercises is the potential to impair performance through high-intensity intervals.

What if you want to keep the resistance without blunting your HIIT performance? Can you have your metaphorical cake and eat it? I argue that you can. I would go further and claim that selecting the right resistance exercises could enhance performance. How? By substituting the upper body for lower body movements – replacing squats for bent-over rows – you’ll be able to target major muscle groups without running the risk of fatiguing the legs and aerobic system. And if you keep the weights relatively low (say, 50% of 1RM), the resistance station will serve as an extended rest before the next HIIT series commences.

Tweaking the training tasks to target cardio or muscle endurance is merely a matter of manipulating the ratios. Want to stimulate your CV system more? Simply extend the intervals (from, say, five to seven) and decrease the resistance reps (down from 100 to 75, 50, or 25 – or zero!). Do the opposite for muscle endurance. Just remember though, as we saw in the study outlined by Professor Liberman, cardio is the best way to burn fat. Thus, less time spent HIITing may translate to fewer calories toasted.

How I did the weight loss routine

I selected skipping for my cardio exercise of choice. As well as engaging pretty much the whole body, skipping is perfect for HIIT because you can instantly increase the work rate. This means that no time is lost when transitioning between work/rest intervals. 

For the high-intensity intervals, I performed double unders. Instead of stopping during the rest interval, I reduced the intensity and used it as active recovery. I find it easier to pick the pace up for the next HII when I’ve been ticking over at a lower intensity. Going immediately from a standstill to max output is uncomfortable.

Because I completed the routine at my home gym (which is a very modest setup), I selected a mix of bodyweight and kettlebell exercises. The bodyweight exercises included Hindu squats and press-ups and the kettlebell stations were comprised of swings and snatches. 

These simple movements ensured that every major muscle group was involved in the workout. Also, because they are mainly upper body, my legs weren’t too tired for the HIIT sections.

When you get around to having a go at this gym routine for weight loss, let me know how you got on.


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About Adam Priest –

A former Royal Marines Commando, Adam Priest is a content writer, college lecturer, and health and fitness coach. He is also a fitness author and contributor to other websites. Connect with Adam at

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