Trying to piece together the perfect workout for weight loss?
If you’re just starting towards your weight loss, strength and health goals after a long time off but you want to make your 50’s and beyond a healthy new chapter
or maybe you’ve never really started but for the first time in your life you notice a pooch forming around the tummy and you want to get rid of it now.
Either way, including exercise in your new weight loss plan is a must.
Especially over 50 when the end goal isn’t just to lose weight, but to do it in a healthy way that helps you sleep better, gives you lasting energy and enhances your best quality of life.
As a fitness expert who specializes in fitness and weight loss strategies specifically for women over 50, I wanted to share the most frequently asked questions that come up and how I answer:
Should I do cardio or lift weights?
Over fifty, lean muscle declines. Lean muscle is in charge of keeping your fat burning metabolism high, giving you maximum strength and staving off osteoporosis.
The best workout strategy over 50 is one that increases the lean muscle you’ve lost, and enhances lean muscle growth, and the only way to increase your lean muscle is by lifting weights.
If you enjoy going for a walk, a run, or even participating in a Zumba class, by all means keep it up. It’s great for your heart and increases happy hormones such as serotonin.
Yet, if healthy weight loss is a primary goal, cardio will not get you those results. You’ve got to add weights into your weekly workout plan in order to lose weight, increase your strength and stave off osteoporosis.
There’s another benefit to weight training that cardio doesn’t provide.
After a weight training workout, in order to repair your lean muscle and return your body back to a balanced state, your fat burning system ignites to a whole new level for up to 72 hours after your workout.
In other words, you burn more fat for up to 3 days after a workout.
With steady state cardio (such as walking or Zumba class), you burn calories during your workout and for up to two hours after your workout, then your metabolic rate slows down once again.
So, while both cardio and weight training are great for your health, if you want to lose weight after fifty, lift weights.
The next question that usually follows after I’ve explained the power of a weight training workout for weight loss over 50 is:
It doesn’t feel like I’m doing much when I lift weights. Are you sure it’s really getting me better weight loss results than cardio?
After a cardio session you feel those lungs burning, your temperature rising and you may even feel exhausted and out of breath, while after lifting weights, you may not even break a sweat depending on the type of weight training workout you do.
But do you want to feel out of breath, exhausted and unable to move after a workout?
More importantly, after a long day of work, if I asked you to come home and do that heart pounding, high energy workout, would you feel excited to do it?
If the answer is “yes, I love the feeling of a heart pounding workout and I look forward to doing it after a long day of work”, then great. Continue to do cardio, but add in weights too.
Cardio isn’t the enemy. It’s good for you, and if you’re one of the few that likes the feeling of
a hard cardio session, by all means continue to do it.
But don’t confuse the feeling of a workout designed for weight loss with the antiquated notion that the only way to lose weight and get fit is by “feeling the burn”, following a “no pain no gain” workout plan.
This creates a mindset that exercise is a form of punishment instead of a fun and enjoyable moment of you time.
If there’s a possibility you’ve acquired the “no pain no gain” mentality and you find yourself guilty of ditching your workout on more than one occasion because you just don’t have the energy to do it,
I invite you to view weight training as a fabulous tool that propels you closer towards your weight loss goals, your strength goals and your optimal health goals while you find joy and optimal health in your life, instead of a hard and exhausting form of punishment.
If I lift weights, how many repetitions should I do? How much weight should I lift?
This is a great question, because while weight lifting does not create the same huff, puff, exhausting sensation that high intensity cardio sessions bring, you definitely want to feel like you’re placing some effort on the muscle in order to get results.
The repetitions vary depending on your fitness level, and the type of weight training exercise you’re doing, but in general, the best workout strategy for weight loss when you’re just starting a weight training routine is 15 repetitions, making the last three repetitions feel like you need to concentrate to finish.
It should feel like the weight is heavy, yet doable to lift.
If you want to take a fun test to find out exactly how much weight you should lift to feel firmer and stronger over 50, visit this blog post. Click here.
How many days should I workout?
There are so many factors that go into deciding how many days you should workout. The simple answer is with weight training (especially when you’re just starting out) you only need to exercise 2 or 3 days a week.
When I give this advice half of the women are so excited.
You mean I only need to workout 2 or 3 days a week at first? That’s it!?
I answer, “Yes! That’s all you need to do!”
The other half of the women feel disappointed and usually ask
Can I do more if I want to?
I get it. When you workout more, you feel like you’re on track. You’re working harder towards your goals and you may feel more likely to stick with healthy eating too.
Yet, while it sounds counterintuitive, less is more when it comes to your workouts.
All too often I see women try to exercise every day and after a few short weeks they feel too sore or too tired to keep it up.
They’re tired from the workout and they’re tired of trying to fit it in daily and soon they fall off track.
The perfect workout for weight loss is one you’ll be able to consistently commit to week after week.
Set yourself up for success and commit to no more than 2-3 days a week of weight training.
If you end up doing cardio on the other days, it’s a plus, and if you don’t, then no sweat and no guilt, because the goal was only 2-3 days per week.
- The Best Workout for Weight Loss Over 50 is Weight training
- It Doesn’t need to feel hard and exhausting to get those weight loss results
- Workout 2-3 days a week
- Set yourself up for success. Commit to 2-3 days a week. Less is more.
Click here to start your 7 Day Starters Strength Training and Slim Down Challenge for Women Over 50