I would like to know how many times a week and what kind of exercise I should be doing to lose the most weight. I want to lose weight all over but my main concern is my thighs where I find it very hard to lose weight from, everything else goes before them! Is there anything I can do to speed up my general weight loss and in particular shift fat from my dreaded thighs!!
To lose weight, both a healthy diet and an increase in exercise is the trick. You need to have a daily calorie deficit (more calories burned than consumed) to ensure the weight comes off so make sure you are spot on with your food diary targets.
Without knowing your current exercise regime and level of fitness it’s difficult to give you an exact plan, but ideally you want to be on a programme that incorporates a mixture of cardiovascular and resistance exercises. Cardio is an excellent way to burn calories, but by doing resistance training you will increase your lean muscle mass, which in turn speeds up your metabolism.
A minimum of 3 days/week of at least 30 minutes cardiovascular activity and 2 days/week of resistance exercises would be what you should aim for. Of course if you can’t make it to the gym 5 days per week, you can do CV and resistance on the same day or cardiovascular exercise in the form of walking/jogging, whatever works best for you.
You can mix up your cardio training with continuous (same pace) or intervals and pyramids (which take you out of your comfort zone for short periods of time, hence burning more calories) – for example:
INTERVALS (30 - 45 mins- can be applied to all aerobic equipment)
- Warm up for 5 - 10 mins at about 60% effort
- For the next 15 - 20 mins, push it very hard for 2 mins (80% of maximum effort) followed by 2 mins of a lower intensity to recover (60-70% max effort). Complete this about 3 - 5 times.
- Then for the remaining 10 - 15 mins, stick to the pace that you would usually exercise at.
PYRAMID (can be applied to all equipment except the rowing machine, but for the purpose of this example I have used the bike)
- Stick to about 80-90 rpm
- Find a level that is not too difficult (possibly around level 7-10 depending on your fitness level)
- Each minute you are going to manually increase the level by 1.
- Increase it 5 times consecutively then start back down at the original level again and complete about 6-8 times (30 – 40 minutes total)
- For example:
With regards to focusing on your thighs – the increase in cardiovascular exercise will burn calories, and eventually this will definitely show on your legs. You can aid it by doing lots of squats and lunges as these exercises predominantly use your butt and thigh muscles. Just make sure you get a gym trainer to check your technique. Aim for 3 sets of about 10 repetitions when doing weights.
Hope this helps,
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