If you want to lose a lot of body-fat quickly, you need to go on some sort of a "crash diet," but you'll also lose a lot of muscle in the process. The best workouts for quick weight loss are optimized to reduce muscle wasting, while also not interfering with the diet.
Most of us measure our success by the number we see on the scale. If we lose weight, we're too busy feeling great to remember that it's not all body-fat. Big mistake though - how much muscle you have plays a huge role in how good you look and feel. This is equally important for women just as much as men.
An exercise and diet routine that is optimized to retain muscle while losing body-fat, is far superior to any other weight-loss strategy. So if you're crash dieting, you need to balance it out with the appropriate workouts that will spare as muscle as possible.
1. Energy: muscle mass is very "taxing" and requires sufficient calories to be maintained.
2. Protein: your digestive process breaks proteins down into amino acids, which must be present in your blood in order to build new muscle tissue. Consuming protein triggers the process known as muscle protein synthesis (MPS).
3. Resistance Training: the only other way to trigger MPS is by lifting weights, which makes sense because you're body is being signaled to adapt to the stress gravity is causing.
Now that we've reviewed the components of MPS, we can see why dieting causes muscle wasting and how we can best prevent it from happening. Since we are depriving ourselves of adequate energy, making a conscious effort to eat an abundant amount of protein will slow down muscle loss. On a crash diet, it's that much more important to eat enough protein, because your calorie consumption will be as low as possible for maximum short-term weight loss.
If you want your body to look great, resistance training must be the focus of your exercise routine. Don't make the common mistake of thinking your gym's "strength" classes are sufficient. You need workouts that push the limits of your muscle pumps and strength.
Massive compound movements are best for recruiting more muscle with fewer exercises. I prefer to design routines that incorporate 3 big lifts, and can optionally include other supporting compound or concentrated movements.
Volume is a simple mathematical expression that allows you to visualize how much work you've done for each particular exercise. You multiply the amount of times you did the movement by how much weight you used. Consider the example below.
Under normal circumstances you want to make sure you increase volume over time, or else you won't make progress. When you're crash dieting, however, you should aim for heavier weight while also reducing total volume. Excessive volume with heavy weight adds stress to your central nervous system, and that's not ideal when you're not getting much energy from food.
Ordinarily any weight/rep count is effective, provided that you force progression each time you lift (i.e. increase the weight by 5 pounds every time you squat). On an extreme diet, however, lifting heavy is the best way to tell your body to keep your muscle and instead burn more fat for energy.
Stick to a rep count of 8 or less per set, and use your max weight for that rep count. Using the Bench Press example below: if you can bench 125 pounds for 15 reps, then that is the incorrect weight to use since it's too light. 160 pounds would probably be your true 8-rep max (example below).
Normally you can change your total volume output by increasing or decreasing your weight, rep count, or set count. We can't play around with the weight/reps on a crash diet, however, because we need go heavy so those 2 variables are fixed. The only thing we have left to decrease is sets.
Refer again to the Barbell Bench Press volume example we've been using. If you're normally able to do 150 pounds for 10 reps, 3 times - on a crash diet you'll instead do 160 pounds for 8 reps, twice. Now we have optimized for heavier weight, but lower total volume.
High-intensity-interval-training (HIIT) should be 15 minutes in duration at most, with no more than 2 or 3 sessions per week. Intense cardiovascular training should be kept to a minimum on a crash diet, because you don't want to overwhelm your central nervous system (CNS) as previously discussed.
Long-distance jogging should be avoided on this program. Remember that the very-low-calorie diet provides the most efficient way to lose weight, so it’s fine if you avoid cardio altogether. Some people might even react negatively to intense cardio and see slower or stalled progress. Furthermore, excessive high-heart-rate cardio accelerates muscle loss.
Low-intensity-steady-state cardio (LISS) is an effective form of cardiovascular training that can be implemented as much as you want. It's not taxing on your muscles and CNS, and body-fat will be the primary energy source. Ideally you should go for casual walks (as if you were strolling through a mall), and the more you do, the better.
You may have landed on this page looking to find a workout routine that can help you lose weight quickly, but unless you're planning to work out all day long, no such routine exists. Very-low-calorie deprivation dieting will be most efficient for rapid weight loss.
The workout should be optimized to support your crash diet by helping you retain as much muscle mass as possible. In order to have an effective training program on a rapid fat loss diet, you need to eat lots of protein, lift heavy weights, and limiting cardio.
I did not provide a defined workout program in this article, because everyone is different and I would rather provide you with the exact routine that is uniquely best for YOU. You can get an optimized diet and/or workout routine by clicking the links below.
Click this link to purchase custom-made workout routines that are optimized for your training level, goals, and limitations.
Click this link to purchase custom-made diet routines that are optimized for your dietary preferences, lifestyle, and goals.