“Which exercises should I be doing to lose body fat?” Compound exercises, HIIT, body part split, running and how many reps, sets?
Our answer to everyone who asks this question is – what is your goal specifically and what is your training experience?
How we design our programmes for someone with 10 years experience as a confident weight-trainer, will differ completely from someone who has just started or been out of action for a while.
How we design a programme for a man who specifically wants a bigger chest and bigger shoulders, will differ completely from someone who has a goal of fat loss.
There are so many variables to consider, which makes it so difficult to give a set answer to everyone.
However, here are some guidelines to think about.
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If you looking to lose some fat and you’re pretty new to training, you want to be picking exercises which involve as many big muscle groups as possible for example lower body compound exercises or big upper body movements. You would also benefit from a full body approach, where you are moving from lower body to upper body through the workout.
You want to be trying to include as many muscle groups as possible. These are ones where you will be using as muscles within a same exercise as possible. Examples of these are, pull downs and rows, squats, lunges, big pressing movements and deadlifts.
If you’re a beginner, your body will respond so well to multi joint exercises, you wont have to worry about training individual muscles. As you become more experienced, you can then split the body parts up.
If your goal is to build muscle or fat loss and your goal is to achieve a specific shape or size, you do also need to be including a broad range of isolation exercises. Yes you will get some overall growth by using big lifts (deadlifts, bench press etc), but to work on weaker areas you have to work them in isolation.
Too many people copy workouts from magazines that they are purely focused around specific muscle groups, when they really need to be putting on some strength and mass on their frame with the big exercises like squats first. In another scenario, people with the mass who lack shape and tone, need to look at refining their physique with more isolation work.
Think about your goal, be honest about your training experience and work from there.