T Nation

Lifting to Lose Weight?

My workout routine started again at a mid-life point in my existence a few months back. I bought an elliptical machine and started doing 30 minutes of cardio a day and put myself on a strict caloric intake.

Fast forward a couple of months and I felt good enough to but a tiny little weight set for curls, military presses, etc. And a bought some whey and creatine as well.
After a month of a high protien intake, and trying to build mass, I realized I had lost sight of my goal of losing weight. I’ve lost about 30 pounds, but I could still stand to lose about 20 more.

So, today, I’m back on a strict calorie diet and cardio, but my question is should I incorporate lifting into a routine designed to shed some body fat? And though I realize the answer is yes, I suppose a more accurate and useful question would be what kind of weight lifting routine should I be seeking to tone up and trim down?

Any basic lifting routine will work for you. Keep it simple. Try Starting Strength. There is a guide to it right on this board.

The goal is not to lose weight, the goal is to lose fat.

Cardio is not a miracle exercise. 3 days a week is all you need of cardio. Lifting is a lot more fun than an elliptical machine.

My body fat kept creeping up while I was incorporating cardio in my plan. I dropped most of it and used the time to lift more weights and started getting leaner.

My cardio is either walking the dogs or HIIT sprints (including my sport) now.

Short bursts of very low carb works very well for me, too. I still eat a ton of food, including lots of fat, but it all gets used to build and repair muscle.

My weight loss was so noticeable when I quit cardio that I had a lot of people comment - “So what did you do? More cardio? Less fat?” They never believed the truth so I just told them I took up smoking, purging and laxatives.

Of course you should incorporate some weights into your fat loss program.

Check out the following:

  1. 10x3 for Fat Loss

  2. TBT EDT

  3. Complexes for Fat Loss

I mix and match them at will. I like supersetting the 10x3 with a big lower body movement and a big upper body movement i.e. squats and pullups, or I’ll just do EDT w/ squats and pullups. I’ll usually go heavier with less reps for the 10x3, but I still get a pretty good sweat out of it, then do some barbell complexes, then some assistance work.

You can do 20-30 min of cardio after your workout 3 days a week. You might even be better off doing 10-15 min of rower or bike sprint intervals. You can even do one day lifting, one day sprints, and one day rest, then repeat.

That should get you started. It might be easier to follow a set template, but personally I like to mix and match.

Theres a lot of other programs too, with weights and fat loss. Try searching around for them.