How to Create Your Own Workout Routine for Weight Loss

One of the number one reasons why women from all around the globe seek me out as a coach is to help them with weight loss. Surprisingly, a lot of these women actually do workout already. But what I notice most is that they are not working out effectively.

What kind of stuff do I see going on?

Well, many times these new clients are coming to me doing WAY too much cardio. Hours and hours per day, and in some cases very little weight training. Some women ARE in fact training with weights, but they’re training daily. Taking absolutely no rest days – at all! Couple that with a super low calorie diet… You’ve got yourself a recipe for plateaus and no results.

A Smarter and Better Way to Train

The biggest game changer for every single one of these clients happens when we make some sweeping changes in their training set up.

For many of my clients, that means taking a more balanced approach to their programming set up. And doing it in a way that allows clients to use both cardio and strength training smarter and better.

More importantly, creating a set up that gives them the biggest bang for their buck by creating massive change effectively. Let’s take a moment to go over some of these same principles that I typically use for them – and helps to get great results right out of the gate. What you’ll love is that these are things you can start to do right now to see better results from your set up as well.

The 5-Day Training Sequence: My Weight Loss Secret Weapon

In general, when I’m setting up a training program I really like to focus on a 5 day training split. I’m not a fan of training every single day. Honestly it’s one of the worst things you can probably do for the body – if I can be honest.

Why, you might ask? Training daily is a good thing, right?

Well, actually… No. It isn’t. In fact, in this case, more isn’t better. It’s simply MORE – without much benefit.

The reason why is because you aren’t actually building anything in the gym! In the gym, you’re tearing tissue down with each rep, and each set. It isn’t until you are in a state of rest and recovery (outside of the gym) that you are BUILDING tissue. Allow a full day or 2 of rest each week will facilitate this adaptation MUCH quicker and better.

I also like to generally put about 2-3 days of recovery between hitting specific body parts. So if you were going to train back on Monday, I would say that you shouldn’t train that muscle again until Wednesday or Thursday. Allowing this kind of time off in between really helps that muscle to fully recover.

A recovered muscle can be trained harder in the next workout! And really give your body a reason to want to grow – just like you intend it to with all of your hard work in the gym.

Now that we’ve discussed why a 5 day set up is best, let’s talk about how to split those days up to get the most out of your workouts.

Some Quick Tips – Setting Up Your Training Split

Here’s some good news about your training split… You don’t have to get SUPER fancy with your set up. For most clients, I really love to set up a split that incorporates elements of functional movement, explosive power training, pure strength training, and cardio.

Let’s face it, most of us don’t have all day to spend in the gym. Therefore, you want to get the absolute best bang you can while you’re in there.

I find that the simplest set up that really gets your body moving, your strength going up, your head in the game, and the results you want involve the following kind of set up:

  • 2 total body days
  • 1 day of fast paced cardio with core/abs
  • 1 upper body day
  • 1 lower body day

Normally, when I’m setting up a new client’s program, this is the exact kind of structure I’ll tend to begin with. Particularly as we look to establish a foundation upon which more advanced set ups will progress from.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty and break things down to give you more specific tips about how to set this up successfully.

Your 5-Day Workout Routine for Weight Loss Revealed

Keep in mind that in the infographic below, you can allow each day to correspond to whatever day of the week works for you. Just keep everything in order shown below. I’ve set this up to allow you to have enough time for recovery for each body part.

For instance, Day 1 could be Sunday or Monday on your calendar. You might love to take Wednesday off, so that will be your rest day and have Day 3 pick up on Thursday.

You will keep two days of rest a week, and assign those two days as you wish. They can also be shifted around depending on your schedule. I’ll give you some extra tips on this below.

Day 1 – Total Body Strength

As you know, we’ll be hitting up two big total body strength days during the week. The point of the total body days is to get your body to move more functionally (motions similar to what you do in your daily life), and to get a major bang for your buck in the gym. What you’ll also love is that you get a huge caloric burn during this kind of set up – further moving along your fat loss efforts.

For Day 1, I want you to think about setting up your workouts big groups using supersets and giant sets.

A superset is when you pair two exercises back to back (usually of opposing muscles) with minimal to no rest in between. So you can do a dumbbell bench press and a bent over dumbbell row, performed one after the other, as a superset.

A giantset is when you pair 3 or more exercises back to back with minimal to no rest in between. In this case, you can do the bench press, bent over row, and a squat right after to complete the giantset.

This is a great way of designing your workouts to keep the heart rate up, and to get the most out of your training.

Create a program that has a set up similar to the following:

  • 1 Giant Set performed for 4 total sets, 10-15r
  • 2 Super Sets performed for 3 total sets, 8-12r
  • 3 Individual/Single Joint exercises for 2-3 total sets, 6-12r

Keep the rest in between the exercises WITHIN the supersets and giantsets to a minimum (0-30s). But the rest between each FULL SETS of those super/giantsets 60-90s before starting again.

For the single joint exercises (bicep curl, triceps extension, leg curls, etc), keep the rest period between 60-90s as well.

Day 2 – Cardio Core/Abs

Now, I’m not always one that is totally for doing a full ab and core day. I like clients to get their core work from the training we already have – which focuses a lot on core and balance. But I know that a lot of you in the general public love to train the abs, so I’m giving in juuuust a little bit.

For this day, I want you to really jam out with your cardio of choice. Whatever it is that you LOVE.

I know for some of you, you’re likely grumbling when you read this because you HAAAATE cardio. I know, don’t worry, I used to be like that too.  But here’s what I have to say about cardio, do what you LOVE. Do what makes you feel great.

I think that some folks get so hooked up on thinking about cardio being just about hitting machines. Nothing could be further from the case. Instead, step out and find the things that gets your heart pumping, but also inspires you.

Consider the following types of cardio you can do:

  • Any of your favorite machines at the gym
  • Strength training group exercise classes
  • Zumba
  • Dance classes (jazz, ballet, African, Latin, etc)
  • Outdoor running (track, park trail, etc)
  • Swimming
  • Crossfit (although strength based, the workouts do a GREAT job at keeping the heart rate up.
  • Tennis or Racquetball
  • Spin Classes
  • Stair Climbing
  • High intensity types of Yoga
  • Pilates

There are SO many options out there for you to be able to mix up your training in a way that allows you to push yourself. And to do it in a way that keeps you super inspired, motivated, and looking forward to all aspects of your training.

Day 3 – Upper Body Strength

For your upper body day, I want you to really focus on hitting every muscle above the waist. There is SO much you can do to keep this interesting and mixed up. But there are some basics you should keep in mind when setting up your workout.

  • Use a combination of supersets and giantsets to mix your workout up.
  • Drop Sets, pyramids, and negatives can all be options to increase the intensity of your workouts, without making them longer.
  • In general, keep your rep ranges between 6-15 reps. Sets between 2-6 sets per exercise.
  • Use heavy weights relative to the amount of reps you are performing. By the final rep, you want to be about 1-2 reps short of failure.
  • Maintain about 90s to 2 mins of rest between sets for your heaviest work.

Begin your workout with your big compound moves to get them out of the way (bench press, pull ups, lat pull downs, shoulder presses). And as you move through the rest of your workout, you can tag your single joint exercises towards the end (biceps curls, triceps extensions, lateral raises, etc).

Here is a Sample Set Up to Inspire You

  • Pull Ups – 5 sets, 5-10 reps
  • Superset: Bench Press and Seated Cable Lat Pull Down – 5 sets, 8-12 reps.
  • Seated Barbell Shoulder Press – 4 sets, 10-15 reps.
  • Giant Set: Biceps Curl, Triceps Extension, Face Pulls – 3 sets, 8-12 reps.

This is just an example, but you can have fun and play around however you wish.

Day 4 – Total Body Circuits and Cardio

For your second day of total body work, I want you to shift focus on keeping your heart rate SUPER elevated in the gym.

That means you are going to be rocking out with total body circuits, metabolic circuits, and even interspersing your workout with cardio.

Once again, I want you to focus on using high velocity total body exercises. Ones that move the body as one unit from head to toe. However, when you set up your workout, set it up with minimal rest in between the exercises. At the end of the circuit, keep the rest period short – no more than about 60-90s between full sets.

Mix it up and make it fun! Come up with circuits containing about 5 or 6 moves, and create anywhere between 2 or 3 full circuits for an entire workout.

Here is an Example of This in Action

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Dumbbell or Barbell Push Press
  • Stability Ball Chest Press
  • Scissor Jumps
  • Renegade Rows

Day 5 – Lower Body Strength

Finally, we are at your 5th workout day – lower body. In general, I want you to follow the same exact guidelines as the upper body set up.

  • Use a combination of supersets and giantsets to mix your workout up.
  • Drop Sets, pyramids, and negatives can all be options to increase the intensity of your workouts, without making them longer.
  • In general, keep your rep ranges between 6-15 reps. Sets between 2-6 sets per exercise.
  • Use heavy weights relative to the amount of reps you are performing. By the final rep, you want to be about 1-2 reps short of failure.
  • Maintain about 90s to 2 mins of rest between sets for your heaviest work.

Begin your workout with your big compound moves to get them out of the way (squats, leg press, deadlifts). And as you move through the rest of your workout, you can tag your single joint exercises towards the end (hamstring curls, leg extensions, lateral hip raises, etc).

Here is a Sample Set Up to Inspire You

  • Barbell Squats – 5 sets, 5-10 reps
  • Superset: Walking Lunges + Sumo Deadlift – 5 sets, 8-12 reps.
  • Seated Leg Press – 4 sets, 10-15 reps.
  • Giant Set: Hamstring Curl, Leg Extensions, Jump Squats – 3 sets, 8-12 reps.

This is just an example, but you can have fun and play around however you wish.

Some Quick FAQs to Consider

The stuff I’ve laid out for you is just a guideline. I encourage you to try it as it’s laid out, and simply see how it works for you. The one thing about fitness that’s true is that the only absolute is that there are no absolutes! If you keep that in mind, it gives you the freedom and confidence to make variations upon a theme.

One of the rules I want you to truly stick to is the rule about rest and recovery. Let’s discuss this a bit closer.

2 Days of Rest Whenever You Wish

As I mentioned at the top of the post, you can allocate the training days to correspond with what works for you. But the one thing I want you to sincerely keep in mind is that you are doing nothing but breaking down tissue in the gym. You’re NOT building anything. It isn’t until you are actively resting that are in fact building muscle.

And I know, you’re probably all like “But Roxie! I want to BUUUURRN FAT!” Yes doll, I get it. That’s what your diet is for my dear. Your diet is what determines fat loss, so make sure you are on top of that.

With your rest days, you can have them any two days of the week that you wish. They can be done back to back if that works for you as well. I like it when clients do NOTHING on those days. This may be pretty hard for those of you who train daily.

However, trust me on this one. The rest day will do wonders for your body, particularly on the hormonal level. You’ll stand less of a chance of causing adrenal insufficiency or fatigue, overtraining, and/or a myraid of unsavory things.

If you are reluctant to do 2 days at first, go ahead and make one of the rest days an “active recovery” day. So you can do some LIGHT short duration cardio and stretching. Two perfect days to allow the body time to recover, all while staying on track with your goals.

Include Extra Cardio Intelligently

As you notice, I have not given specific cardio recommendations for this workout routine set up. And that’s because I feel that everyone has a very individualized need in this area. In general, when a client is first starting out with me, I do NOT like to go crazy with cardio.

Instead, what we do is allow them to start with just about 30 mins per day of steady state cardio, keeping their heart rate above 75%. Just like with your weight training, it’s important to build a solid foundation upon which more advanced work can stem.

I’ll normally have a client follow this for about a period of 2 to 4 weeks. After that, we’ll bump things up by including HIIT training and longer intervals.

Cardio Programming Guidelines

In general, I want you to do the same kind of thing, but keep the following suggestions in mind when factoring in your cardio:

  • Cardio does NOT need to be done everyday. Remember rest is important.
  • Begin with 30 mins per day, and then slowly increase only as needed. Add on extra cardio in 5 minute intervals.
  • Before resorting to doing more than 45 mins per day, try increasing the intensity.
    • This means putting in more sprinting intervals, HIIT cardio, and anything that raising heart rate dramatically.
  • Don’t exceed more than 60 mins per day (unless it’s a dance class which can often go to 90 mins per class).
  • If your diet is on point, and there are no major hormonal issues, you should see fat loss with 30-60 mins of cardio easily.
  • If your workouts get too long with weights and cardio in the same session – don’t be afraid to split your workouts up in separate sessions.
  • You do NOT have to perform cardio fasted. If you want to, it’s a preference not a requirement.

Closing Thoughts on Creating a Workout Routine for Weight Loss

As you can see, this stuff isn’t rocket science. It’s just SCIENCE. Far more simple!

My biggest suggestion for you is to go forth and experiment. Try and find what works FOR YOU. Put it in action, and simply see what happens.

If things are going well for you and you’re seeing results – don’t change anything! Only make changes based on biofeedback (how you feel, how your clothes fit, what physical changes are happening). For some, that can mean only making changes every 4 weeks or so. It takes the body about that long to see changes after starting on a program.

This is the very basis upon which I base all decisions to progress a client’s program on. So if it works for us, it can most certainly work for you too.

Before you start on putting this stuff to use, I want to teach you a few more things….

Changing Your Training is ONLY The Start – There is Something You MUST DO Before That to See Changes…

I cannot stress enough for you how important it is going to be for you to look at setting goals BEFORE you embark on a new program.

You can have the best training program in the world designed, but it will mean NOTHING if you don’t have a solid base. One rooted in shifting your mindset to the kind of thinking that can bring about incredible results.

I’ve seen this shift in my own clients, and I tell you… It’s a sudden game changer.

Changing your mindset is NOT easy. So to help you out with this, I have an amazing masterclass (that’s FREE) that you cannot afford to miss!

Free Masterclass: The Fitness Industry Has LIED to You!

Discover The RIGHT Way to Transform Your Body in 4 Easy Steps You’ve Never Considered Before…

What if I told that everything you’ve been told about what you need to be doing to transform your body, lose the weight, and gain the muscle you want has been a bold faced lie?

The fitness industry teaches you that the FIRST step to progress and change lies in changing your diet and training right away.

But, after working in the industry for over 21 years as a fitness professional whose helped THOUSANDS of men and women get into the best shape of their lives… I’m going to tell you right now that those are NOT the first steps you need to take.

That’s Not It Ladies! There’s More to the Equation…

Nope!

Instead, there are about 3 crucial steps BEFORE you embark on that new training program that are missing.

And if you don’t take them – honey, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

I Want to Teach You the RIGHT WAY to Transform Your Body – Do It For Good! So Reserve Your Spot Now…

I put together this amazing free masterclass, Your Best Body Yet, to help you to figure out the right way to go about body transformation goals. Whether you’re looking for weight loss, building lean strong muscle, toning up from head to toe, losing fat in those stubborn areas, or just to feel good about yourself… The methods that I want to teach you can be applied to ANY situation.

In about 60 minutes, I am going to teach you:

  • The EASY TO APPY 4 step results-driven fitness approach that is helping women just like you to see AMAZING results. Even if everything they’ve tried has failed in the past. Including working with other coaches or trainers.
  • Why shifting your MINDSET is the key to success and allows you to dig deep and get SUPER connected to your driving factors behind why you MUST accomplish your goal.
  • You’ll discover exactly why this will allow you to gain MASSIVE weight loss success like never before.
  • Why eating less, starving yourself, following the latest fad diet, doing too much cardio, and training every single day has failed you in the past – and what you can do instead.
  • How to start to develop the mindset so that you can put yourself FIRST, find your voice, rebuild your confidence, love who you are, get stronger, feel empowered, and rewrite your story… And to do it all through a smarter approach to fitness.
  • All while setting inspiring goals, eliminating limiting beliefs around what’s possible for you, and creating a lifestyle you LOVE.
  • I’m going to teach you a NO-FAD, NO GIMMICKS, NO MAGIC PILLS APPROACH that gets REAL results. All science, NO B.S.!

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