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Get in better shape in as little as eight weeks.
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Weight loss is one of the most common fitness goals for people visiting the gym. In addition to toning up and getting stronger, developing a well-rounded routine at the gym will blast calories and melt fat to help you meet your target weight - and eight weeks can make quite a difference on the scale. When creating your workout, it's important to incorporate all the major fitness components, including cardio exercises, strength training and stretching and flexibility exercises. The gym will have everything you need, from treadmills to weights to stability balls, to help you get in shape and drop extra weight in just two months.
Cardio, or aerobic, exercise is a crucial part of any routine. At the gym, you can use cardio machines like treadmills, elliptical trainers or stationary bikes to get your heart rate up and increase your breathing to meet your cardio requirements. During the first week or two of your program, you will want to limit your cardio work to about 15 minutes at moderate intensity three times per week. As you lose weight and become more fit, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to a level that is comfortable yet challenging, eventually working your way up to 150 minutes per week, the recommended amount of cardio for adults by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Strength-training exercises should also be done three times per week and can be performed using body-weight resistance or some of the equipment at the gym, like weight machines, dumbbells or resistance bands. Your routine should include exercises that work all the major muscle groups. Pushups, biceps curls and triceps extensions are classic upper-body exercises to consider, while lunges and squats will work your legs. Your core should be a major focus area, as this will contribute to your overall stability and make your other exercises easier. Your abs and back make up your core muscles, and pushups, planks and crunches will build strength in these areas. Like the cardio work, stick to a gradual increase in repetitions for each strength-training exercise.
Stretching and Flexibility
Stretching is another part of an eight-week exercise plan and it should be done at each gym workout. Some simple stretches are OK prior to a workout to get your blood flowing, but the bulk of your flexibility exercises should be done after exercise while the muscles are still warm. A basic stretching routine to use after working out includes all major muscle groups and will help relieve tension and prevent injury. Try a series of stretches that includes shoulder shrugs and stretches for the chest, arms, shoulders and lower back. Work your way down to a hip stretch, calf stretch and hamstring and quad stretches to complete the circuit, and hold each stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.
Other Considerations for Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, you get out what you put in. In other words, if you want to see the most results, you need to challenge yourself and stick to your routine. However, your body also needs rest days to repair itself, so be sure to include between one and three recovery days. Diet also plays a huge role in weight loss; eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water to maximize your fitness. Monitoring your progress can also be beneficial in weight loss. Keep track of your results during your two-month routine and be realistic. According to MayoClinic.com, a safe and realistic goal is to try and lose 1 to 2 pounds per week and as the numbers on the scale decrease, remember to congratulate yourself.