The question I get asked all the time is “what type of weight training should I be doing?” Closely followed by “and how many times a week?” There are a lot of misconceptions out there that training one body part a day, and training everyday, will get you the best results. However after doing a lot of research of what works and what doesn’t, I have determined what the best types of workouts are. They consist of lifting heavy weights a few times a week.
Why men like you need to lift heavy weight
Lifting heavy weights has been a daily task since before we had gyms. We have had to use heavy equipment to kill and pick up animal carcasses, we’ve had to move heavy rocks and other natural resources to build houses. Men have always been lifting heavy weights, and that’s what you need to focus on first before anything else. When you lift heavy weights it helps to build strength and muscle. Lifting weights also aids in weight loss by burning body fat. The heavier you lift the more calories you will burn. If someone squats 60kg they will burn less calories than someone squatting 120kg simply because the heavier weights require more energy to lift.
So what you want to focus on when you’re training is the heavy lifting. Doing compound movements while strength training does a lot for not just muscle development but also for growing hormones. Hormones like testosterone and growth hormones play key roles in our body and can be developed when exercising. Always start with heavy exercises like the squat, overhead press, deadlifts, bench press and bent over row. All of these full body movements are going to be the best weight training for you to do. Once you have started your routine with heavier weights start doing less repetitions. Do something like 5 reps of 5 sets and then move on to isolation exercise for your biceps and triceps etc.
The best thing about lifting heavy weights in strength training is losing body fat. If you were someone who only ran, or did no strength training, you would find your body wants to get rid of your muscle. This is because it’s not being used efficiently, and muscle is expensive to hold onto, making the body think that if its not being used it should go – the last thing you want to happen!
How often should you lift?
As I said there’s a big debate about how many times you need to lift weights during the week. Do you need to lift once every day or twice a day? Inevitably you have to do what will suit you and your training times best. To be honest, the most optimal thing you can do is to train your whole body three days a week. So you could perhaps do Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday Thursday Saturday. If you are going to follow this plan you would need to still dedicate a substantial amount of time to each session. If you don’t have enough time that’s when you might start to look at doing body parts splits. An example of a body part split is training upper and lower body workout one day and a push or pull workout another. You do not need to work out your muscles every day, and you certainly don’t need to hit 1 different body part a day.
Your body recovers after 48 hours. Let’s say you train your chest on Monday. By Wednesday it is actually ready to be trained again, however you’re most likely isolating another part of your body, making you miss out on serious gains in the chest. That’s why just training three full body training sessions a week or upper/lower or push/pull exercises multiple times a week is a better way of training. You’re muscles are getting used 2 to 3 times a week rather than once, and you will start to see a much better result.
If you’re trying to lose body fat you also need to include some type of cardio routine into your workout. If you’re training with weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday you can use the other days to do cardio. This will be beneficial when it comes to losing body fat. Doing high intensity exercises or low intensity steady-state exercises on these days isn’t going to affect your muscle recovery. A lot of people want to do something everyday, which is why they train 7 days a week, but if you’re smart and want to lose body fat you would use the spare days on cardio. You will make much more progress losing body fat and will maintain muscle if you have an even balance. Too much cardio will make you lose muscle, hence why I suggest doing 3 to 4 days on weight training week and 3 days of cardio. The days you do cardio will be when you’re resting your muscles, but you’ll still be burning a lot of calories, which is the most efficient thing you can do.
What’s the best exercise ?
There is no single best exercise to do however, like I stated above, the big complex movements will give you the most results. The squat works a lot more muscles than doing leg extensions, same as doing the bench press, which will is work a lot more than doing an isolation chest exercise. When you focus on doing complex full body movements you begin to incorporate a lot of muscles at once. This will get you the best result.
If you only get a small amount of time to exercise its best to focus on the full body movements, like stated earlier: squats, deadlifts, overhead press, bent over row, pull-ups, dips, bench press. These are your go-to exercises – nothing will build more strength, muscle and burn more calories than lifting heavy with these movements.
How many reps should I do of each exercise
With strength training you need to focus on low reps first. I suggest going between 3 to 6 reps for your heavy movements for about 3 to 6 sets. So 3 to 6 reps of your squats, deadlifts etc, and doing about 3 to 6 sets of the exercise. Once you get through the heavy exercises you can progress to your isolation exercises, and this is when you’ll do three sets of eight or three sets of ten to build up a little bit hypertrophy. But don’t neglect strength first. Strength means you can move more weight which will give you so many more benefits to building lean muscle and losing body fat.
What exercise will get me X, Y , or Z
I know a lot of you want bigger triceps, calf muscles and everything else, but they will come over time. However you’re still in the novice phase and they are small muscles that take times to grow. If you have been training for over two to three years then yes, really focusing a lot more on triceps and calves may be beneficial. Just remember it’s essential to work on the foundation of your body. It will take a year or two to develop enough strength to gain muscle while losing body fat. The best way to reach this goal is to focus on the complex exercises. If you purely focus on isolation exercises you’re not going to get the same results that you want.
Your free 12 week fat loss program
You can try and create a tailored program with this info or you can get your free 12 week fat loss program from me by clicking here. I have created a free 12 week fat loss program that incorporates strength training, fat loss and cardio all in one. Every day you’re going to know exactly what you need to do to burn body fat and to get strong. You know exactly what cardio to follow, exactly what weights to use and what days to rest. Is it about time you got the body you want? I’m here to help you do it.