Home training for the overweight

This article will give some guidelines for those of you who are overweight and wanting to lose fat but wish to train at home rather than in a gym environment. Although eventually you will be limited to what you can do with no equipment, there is still plenty that can be achieved through the use of just bodyweight.

Firstly, it is important to understand that the key thing to fat loss is creating a calorie deficit. I cannot emphasize this point enough. There are two ways to create this deficit:

1)      Eat less

2)      Exercise more


Eating less is far easier than exercising more. Let’s face it; most of us struggle to find the time to exercise enough as it is so it is much easier to eat 500kcal less than to try to burn that amount via exercise.

Secondly, we must use resistance training. This type of training has far greater benefits than cardio alone and is vitally important at improving muscle mass, which after all, will burn more calories. As I have mentioned before in previous articles, it is important to train the way we are designed to move. As human beings we have basic primal movement patterns which include:

Squat Patterns

Push Patterns

Pull Patterns

Lunge Patterns

Bend/Twist Patterns

Finally, after performing the above resistance exercises, it is important to integrate some cardiovascular activities:

Cardio Exercises

Steady state vs. Interval training?

Many experts will argue one is better than the other. Personally I feel both have their place. Depending on how overweight you are, or how unfit you are, then intervals may just simply be impractical. In this case, I would advise steady state cardio. Start by walking 10minutes each day and increase this to 30-60minutes as you feel you are able to progress. When you are able to walk for 60minutes non-stop then you may potentially be ready to move on to intervals.

Intervals work well as they increase the heart rate quickly and require less overall training time. I am sure you would prefer to do 10minutes hard work than an hour of slow cardio. Intervals also burn more calories and work well to improve your fitness levels.

In terms of guidelines I would suggest using the table below. But like anything new, always ensure you start slowly before progressing and if need be, consult a doctor before commencing an exercise program.



Beginner  Frequency: 1-2x weekSets: 1-2

Reps: 5-8

Rest between exercises: 2-3 minutes

Frequency: 1-2x weekNumber of circuits: 1-2

Reps: 8-10

Rest between circuits: as needed

Intermediate  Frequency: 2-3x weekSets: 2-4

Reps: 8-12

Rest between exercises: 1-2 minutes

Frequency: 2-3x weekNumber of circuits: 2-3

Reps: 10-15

Rest between circuits: as needed

Advanced  Frequency: 3-5x weekSets: 3-5

Reps: 12-20

Rest between exercises: 30-60 seconds

Frequency: 3-4x weekNumber of circuits: 3-4

Reps: 15-20

Rest between circuits: as needed

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