What to Do At the Gym to Really See Results

WEIGHT LOSS  |  May 30, 2017
  • 1. Go all out
    1 / 4 1. Go all out

    Photo: dolgachov / 123rf.com

    If you want to lose weight, you need to do the kind of exercise that gets you panting – and your heart pumping hard.

    Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days per week, or 20 minutes of more vigorous activity three days per week. You should break into a sweat, but still be able to carry on a conversation, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.

    Crank it up to 60 minutes five times a week once you’re used to the intensity, for better weight loss results. Then add sprinting intervals on the treadmill on non-consecutive days to burn more calories and belly fat.

    “Alternate ‘hard’ and ‘light’ days of exercise. For example, if you run considerably faster and farther than usual on a particular day, take the next day off or decrease the duration and/or intensity of your next workout,” advises Joan Liew, director and personal trainer at Fitness Factory.

    Read more
  • 2. Lift weights
    2 / 4 2. Lift weights

    Photo: Antonio Diaz / 123rf.com

    Strength or resistance training builds muscle, which increases your metabolic rate (read: more calories burnt even at rest) – so leaving this out of your routine or lifting weights that are too light means you won’t build muscle mass effectively.

    For maximum returns in the shortest amount of time, do squats, deadlifts (lifting a barbell off the ground) and lunges, says Joan.

    These work several muscle groups at a time, such as quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, calves and core. Be sure to do enough reps to feel the burn. You’ll know your weights are heavy enough when your muscles feel fatigued after 10 to 12 reps. If not, keep adding 0.5kg at a time until you reach the right resistance.

    Read more
  • 3. Nail your form
    3 / 4 3. Nail your form

    Photo: Andrei Zaripov / 123rf.com

    Always check your form regularly. Getting it right not only stimulates muscles and boosts the benefits of resistance training, but also decreases injury risk.

    Use equipment to perfect your form. For the squat, use a Smith Machine, which stabilises the weight so you can focus on maintaining an upright stance that helps to keep the spine in its neutral position without strain. As for deadlifts and lunges, start with a pole (without weights) to prevent rounding of the back and use a wall for balance when you lower into a lunge respectively. (Also read: The Right Way to Do Squat Exercises)

    Observe yourself in a mirror or consult a personal trainer because if you’re doing the moves incorrectly, like using momentum instead of muscle strength, it could mean that you’re not getting as good a workout as you think.

    Read more
  • 4. Vary your routine
    4 / 4 4. Vary your routine

    Photo: Publicdomainpictures / www.pixabay.com

    Your body tends to adapt to an exercise programme within six to eight weeks, so to relieve boredom and keep it nicely challenged, vary your exercise routine, says Joan.

    For a start, change the gym equipment you use and the order of the exercises you do. Besides joining new fitness classes to work different body parts on different days, also consider interval training (alternating short bursts of high-intensity activity with lower-intensity recovery exercise during a single session). “This will burn more calories than exercising at a consistent level exertion for the same amount of time,” adds Joan.

    Translation: You’ll be rocking a leaner, more sculpted body in no time!

    (Also read: Here’s How to Get The Most Out of Every Workout)

    Read more