Weight loss is probably the most common goal among fitness and wellness lovers, especially among those who attend gyms.
However, despite the wide availability of tools and equipment, even in the most avant-garde fitness centres, weight loss remains an arduous goal to achieve and equally tiring to maintain.
Let’s go through our 5 tips on how to lose weight in the gym and try to understand why!
Why is weight loss important?
Proceeding in order, before going into the merits of the matter, we should ask ourselves if we need to lose weight. The need to remodel the organism is purely medical in nature.
The doubt that it is necessary to lose a few pounds should arise if:
- There is evidence of being overweight
- Metabolic alterations of lipaemia, blood glucose, blood pressure, uricemia can be diagnosed, or if unfavourable markers such as systemic inflammation (reactive protein C) or liver pain (transaminase) appear; even if the values are border line
- It compromises quality of life, for example because of increased fatigue
- There is an abdominal adipose deposit, especially visceral
- The relationship between the body masses leaves something to be desired, there are few muscles and a discreet fat deposit.
That aesthetic is not a necessity, even if it is undeniable that it associates a better body composition with a better state of health.
Why is losing weight difficult even when going to the gym?
For two reasons:
- To lose weight it is necessary to manage the diet
- To lose weight it is advisable to train totally.
Importance of the diet also for weight loss in the gym
Few really understand that you lose weight at the table, not in the gym. Human ability to eat, digest and absorb far exceeds that of burning. Do not make the mistake of thinking this is to our disadvantage; without this characteristic, gained in millions of years of evolution, we would not be here today.
To lose weight, you need to eat less than you consume, establishing what we call “negative energy balance“; the calculation formula is:
Energy Balance = energy IN – energy OUT.
It is undeniable that different factors such as glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity are also involved, which increase leads to greater weight loss potential. Not even to do it on purpose, however, both undergo an increase with decreasing nutritional energy and with increasing physical exercise. So, “at the end of the race”, it’s the total calories that make the difference.
Let’s say that a good weight loss strategy is to subtract about 30% of the calories from the total which should allow you to lose about 3 kg in a month. If more, the risk is to stress the mind and body excessively, or to suffer from muscle growth. If slightly less (-10 or -20%), with the right motivation in the long term, it is possible to get excellent results with a relative commitment.
The higher overweight, the greater the margin to work on without fear of muscle tissue depletion. Vice versa, if the work is aesthetic and oriented on the cut of a body fat that is not very abundant (for example 12%), it is advisable to proceed with low-calorie cuts and test progress.
Why do almost all diets fail?
Eating less is difficult. Many believe that this depends on the inability to bear the feeling of “hunger“. Fortunately, this is not the case.
Today, the greater knowledge in the dietetic and diet-therapeutic fields allows to completely review the approach to the low-calorie weight-loss diet compared to the end of the 20th century.
A starvation diet is a wrong diet.
This does not mean that the percentage of failures among those who start a weight loss nutritional therapy is still high. This happens because people eat mainly emotionally.
This is demonstrated by the food mainly abused, which are very sweet or very salty, very crunchy or very creamy, etc.
It is instructive to note that, in most cases, I concentrate the tendency to overdo it in the last meal of the day, dinner. It is not a coincidence.
During the day you are taken by a thousand thoughts and the frenzy allows you to ignore physiological stimuli, or not to think about your problems.
How many people realise that they have not drunk even a glass of water? Or not to have gone out of body? Or having skipped lunch and snacks on foot?
This neglect will be paid with interest at dinner, when besides having not only appetite, but genuine hunger, we have to deal with the mood and with all that we have put aside during the day.
There are those who have the attitude of drinking alcohol, those of continuously eating takeaways (sushi, pizza, hamburgers, kebabs etc.), those of exaggerating with sweets, etc.
The result is always the same.
How to train
The best workout for weight loss is mixed. Each metabolic pathway, therefore every type of effort, offers advantages in terms of weight loss, which is why it should characterise all the tables with this aim.
Muscle and strength training
It takes place in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), with specificity for hypertrophy and strength. Muscle mass is the body component to which it attributes the greatest basal energy consumption. The more muscle you have, the more calories you “burn” at rest – and during exertion.
In basal conditions there is a greater use of lipids, which is why it is always advisable to intervene on this front, rather than to maximise the direct consumption of calories with sport.
To hypertrophy the muscle it is necessary to stimulate it mechanically with executions that recruit all the fibres, preferably with an emphasis on the eccentric and isometric phases of contraction, reaching high levels of lactic acid and depleting the reserves of the cellular phosphate groups. The most suitable method is resistance training with overloads (weight lifting), even if some “strong” subjects can exploit callisthenics too.
It divides the muscle tables into series (from 2 to 4 per muscle) and repetitions (from 8 to 12), have a frequency in the single or multiple split macrocycle, with recoveries between sets of around 1’30 ”.
Execution must include high TUT (time under tension).
The force tables have TUT and the relationship between the most natural contraction phases. The training volume is lower but the intensity higher.
Fewer sets and repetitions, closer to the ceiling (1RM). The recoveries are double compared to hypertrophy.
Some women fear that higher muscle levels may affect femininity.
“De gustobus non est disputandum.”
Surely, if the weight increases due to greater muscle tropism, also certain circumferences will increase accordingly.
If this becomes a problem, it is sufficient to make sure that the weight remains constant, that is, to give a slight caloric cut to the diet “from time to time”, for short periods. By increasing muscle but reducing fat, the forms improve, the balance can remain almost unchanged and greater chances of weight loss are obtained even in the long term.
Anyone who is afraid of growing excessively at a muscular level should rationalise the fact that a bodybuilder, to get certain results, sets the whole existence on hypertrophic construction. It’s hard to believe that 3 sets of 10 reps of squats a week can really give a girl’s thighs a masculine look.
It certainly takes place in HIT (High Intensity Training), often in HIIT. It serves to improve glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and to increase post exercise oxygen debt (EPOC). Better management of blood glucose and insulin allow to optimise the compartmental effect of insulin (cit.)
Both in the slimming field, and for recovery and super-compensation.
In this way, even significant quantities of carbohydrates taken post-workout will gain a favourable metabolic destination, without compromising the slimming goal.
The difference between a metabolic workout in HIT or HIIT mainly lies because with the first method, i.e. without breaks, the training volume is limited by high intensity.
It is particularly suitable for those who initially practiced an aerobic or mixed sport, such as running, cycling, swimming, rowing, etc.
- An example of HIT is to perform the entire training session above the anaerobic threshold, producing lactic acid – 40 ‘of running at 162-168 beats per minute (bpm).
- An example of HIIT is to divide a span of time or a distance in “x” into repeated or rhythmic variations, interspersed with active or passive pauses, to be performed almost at VO2max – 4 rep from 2000 meters at 172-175 bpm. Other HIIT methods can be CrossFit circuit training, functional training etc.
Calorie burn workout
The best way to increase calorie consumption is HVT (high volume training) obviously at low or medium intensity. It consists in performing a repeated and prolonged gesture, therefore aerobic, such as walking uphill, the elliptical, the excite, the stepper, the climber etc.
The overall volume should always be greater than 35-40 ‘and up to 60’. Some go as far as almost double, but in that case it is reasonable to split the training in two. The intensity is low aerobic (110-130 bpm) or at most medium (up to 140 bpm).
More generally, it resides between 60 and 70% of the maximum heart rate (HRmax).
As the name implies, calorie consumption training is useful for directly increasing your expenditure.
A part is made up of fats, but the prevalence of glycogen; for this, also the calorie consumption training needs the right amount of carbohydrates in the diet. Otherwise, it could adversely affect muscle mass building.
It is not possible to propose a “standard” training that includes all three of the above. It depends on the time available to train, overweight, any pathologies or uncomfortable conditions, preferences on the training, etc.
Let’s say that if the motivation is good, nothing prevents you from training up to 5-6 times a week. The three types of training, however – four, if we distinguish between strength and hypertrophy – should not all be carried out together in a costly way. We recommend a certain cyclisation and the alternation of macro- or meso-cycles that put “emphasis” on one aim rather than another, but without cutting the blocks.