Exercising regularly is proven effective in helping people lose weight.
In fact, exercise goes hand in hand with weight loss.
More precisely, it's one of the very things that positively influences your body's energy expenditure - caloric burn.
There are three ways your body burns calories:
- Maintaining bodily functions.
- Digesting food
- Exercising or doing physical activities
The biggest calorie expenditure of all is your regular bodily functions. This includes everything from keeping your body temperature right to maintaining the beating of your heart. According to a certified nutritionist, 50-80% of the daily energy expenditures is dedicated to keeping you alive and functioning (1).
Another effortless way to burn some calories is to eat food. And by that, your body will have to digest food, and that takes calories.
But not all foods would result in the same amount of calories burned. For example, digesting meat takes more calories than ice cream or bread.
Unless you are taking in fewer calories than what your body can burn doing nothing more than eating and breathing, you'll need the third way of burning up some more calories. And that's where exercise comes in.
And even if you are dieting and inputting fewer calories than you use without exercise, it's likely that you eventually face a weight loss plateau due to a slowed metabolic rate.
Exercise is an instant boost in calorie burn. It helps to immediately burn extra calories and also increase your metabolism.
I've seen this a lot with friends. They start dieting to lose weight, but after losing five pounds or so, their weights stop moving.
It's like getting two benefits for the price of one.
Studies have also shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can help you lose weight faster and shape your muscles nicely, which is essential for keeping the weight off (3, 5, 6, 7, 8).
The takeaway: Exercise is crucial in helping you lose weight fast. Exercise regularly increases your metabolism helping you burn more calories per day. It also helps you shape your muscles nicely and preserve muscle loss during weight.
So if you are ready to lose weight, transform your body, shape your muscles, get lean and tone from head to toe— follow this exercise plan for weight loss below.
One-Week Exercise Plan for Weight Loss
Goals: Burn calories, melt fat, lose weight, and increase lean muscle mass in the next 4 weeks.
How is how this workout program works:
This exercise plan consists of 5 workouts per week.
- 3 Resistance training workouts
- 2 Cardio workouts
Each workout consist of 3 part:
- Warm up
- Activation exercises
- Resistance training or cardio
The Exercise Equipment You Need:
Resistance Tubing Bands with Handles: This five-foot durable exercise tubing band set with two soft handles comes in 5 levels to accommodate all your fitness needs; $34.95 to $49.95
Mini-Bands: Long-lasting and capable of stretching up to three times in length, these mini loop bands travel well and come in 5 resistance levels; $22.
Foam Roller: A 24" inch foam roller is a great size that allows you to do all the foam rolling exercises here. They're available at sporting goods stores, online on Amazon for as little as $30 for a good quality one. You can grab one from our online shop it also comes with a poster.
Day1-Monday: Resistance training A-1
Note: Foam roll your body before you start each workout. Do these foam rolling exercises. It shouldn't take any more than 10-minutes to do all of them.
1. Side lying 90/90 stretch
Lie on your right side. Stack your legs, and bent your knees so that they form a 90° angle at the knee and hip joints.
Stack your shoulders so that your upper arms from a 90° angle with your torso, and place your palms on top each other.
Lift your left arm and reach back; try to touch the floor on your left side. Rotate torso only. Pause, then return your left arm to the start position. Try to open up your chest and spinal muscles a little more.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend forward over at the waist and touch the floor in front of your feet with both hands.
Keeping your legs straight and core tight, walk your hands forward away from your legs as far as you can without letting your hips drop. Pause, then slowly walk your feet toward your hands. That's one rep. Do 12.
3. Forward Lunge Elbow-to-Instep
Stand with your arms at your sides, then lunge forward with your right leg; place your left hand on the floor and your right elbow next to the arch of your right foot.
Pause, then rotate your torso to the right, reaching your right-hand overhead. Place both hands on the sides of your right foot and straighten both legs, folding your chest forward toward your right leg. Stand, then repeat with the left leg.
4. Side Lunge
Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, hands at your sides or out in front of your chest.
Step right to the side and bend your knee and start to push your hips backward lower into a side lunge. Keep your chest high, and your head looking straight ahead.
Pause at the bottom, you should feel a stretch in the inner thigh of the opposite leg. Push off your left foot to stand. Do eight to twelve reps, then repeat on the other side.
Place a mini resistance band around your ankles and stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width, knees bent. From the starting position, imagine you're creating a large square.
Step your right foot out to the right side, followed by your left foot, keeping tension in the band the entire time; continue 20 to 30 steps.
6. Wall Slide
Stand with your back to a wall a few inches away from you and lean your head, back, and butt against the wall. Bend your elbows 90° and raise them out to the sides so your hands (palms facing out) are at shoulder height. Keeping your arms pressed into the wall, lower your elbows as far as possible.
Pause for a second, squeezing your shoulder blades together, then slide your arms up the wall as high as they will go without losing contact with the wall. When you start to lose contact, bring your arms back to the starting position. That's one rep. Do 12 to 15.
How to do this: Perform each exercise below at your maximum effort for 30 seconds. For static exercises such as Wall-Sit and Plank, hold the position for 30 seconds.
For exercises that target two sides (such as your legs), alternate each side for 30 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds between each exercise. This circuit can be repeated 2-3 times if desired.
7. Jumping Jack
Stand with your feet together, arms fully extended with your hands by your sides. This is the start position.
Bend your knees slightly then straighten and push through the balls of your feet while straightening your knees to jump up spreading your legs to wider than hip width apart.
As you do so, raise both arms out and up in a smooth arc until your hands meet above your head.
As you return to the ground, bring your feet together and your hands back to your sides with your arms fully extended.
Continue without pause for 30 seconds.
Stand tall with your back against a wall—Both your head and back touching the wall. Position your feet so that they are shoulder-width apart and a few inches away from the wall.
Rest your arms out in front of your chest. Hold them there for the duration of the exercise.
Bend your knees and lower into a squat position until your thighs are parallel to the floor and hold the position for 30 seconds. Return to the starting position by straightening your knees and standing tall again.
Get down into the plank position, with your hands under but slightly outside of your shoulders.
Tighten your core as you lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
As you lower yourself, tuck your elbows, pulling them close to your body so that your upper arms form a 45-degree angle when your torso is in the bottom position. Pause, then push back to the starting position as quickly as possible. Keep your core braced the entire time.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent 90°, feet on the floor and place your hands lightly on either side of your head.
Bring your rib cage toward your pelvis, then return to the start position.
Press your back down flat into the floor to isolate your abdominal muscles. Gently curl your shoulders forward and up off the floor. Continue to push down into the floor with your lower back. Raise your shoulders about four to four to six inches off the floor.
Hold and squeeze your abdominal muscles for a count of one. Return to the start position in a smooth movement.
11. Mini-Band Glute Bridge
Loop a mini band around your legs, just above your knees and lie flat on your back on the floor face-up with your arms at your sides, palms facing up.
Bend your knees 90° and pull your toes up toward your shins so only your heels touch the floor.
Contract your glutes to lift up your hips off the floor until your knees, hips, and shoulders are all in a straight line. Pause, then lower back down. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
Sit on the side of a bench with your palms on the bench, beside your hips.
Your legs should be straight out in front of you and knees slightly bent and heels rested on the floor. Straighten your arms so your butt lifts off the bench.
Bend your arms 90° as you lower your butt toward the floor. Pause, and then push back up to the starting position. That's one rep, continue for the prescribed number of repetitions.
13. Forward Lunge
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips.
Engage your core as you step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Push back to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. That's one rep.
Start in a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the stomach. Hold this position for 30 seconds while breathing deeply.
Wamup: Perform the warmup exercises as follow.
- Side lying 90/90 stretch: Same as day 1 & 5.
- Handwalk: Same as day 1 & 5.
15. Forward Lunge Twist
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at sides. Lunge forward with your right leg, bending at 90°.
As you step forward into the lunge with your foot raise both arms in front of you to shoulder level, palms facing each other. Then rotate your right and torso to the right.
Twist back to center, push off your right foot, and stand back up. Repeat on the other leg. That's one rep. Perform 5 total on each side.
16. Glute Bridge Knee Squeeze
Lie flat on your back, face up with your arms to the side, knees bent at 90°, and heels on the ground.
Squeeze a pad or towel roll between your knees. Raise your hips off the ground until your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line.
Hold 2 -3 seconds, return to the start position and repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
17. One-Arm and One-Leg Reach
start kneeling on all fours with your hands and knees hip and shoulder width apart. Breathe out as you lift your right arm and left leg up until parallel with the floor. Then, in a controlled fluid movement, breathe in and bring them in underneath your body, rounding your spine up towards the ceiling.
As you breathe and move, imagine you are creating a 'bellows' effect in your gut. Now do the same using your left arm and right leg. Repeat on both sides ten times.
18. Fire Hydrant (Mini-Band)
Get down on all fours and wrap a resistance band (mini-band) around your legs just above your knees. Make sure your back is flat and your head and spine are neutral.
Begin by lifting your banded leg up and out to the side to hip level, keeping your knee bent 90°.
Make sure your weight is distributed evenly between your hands and knees.
Pause at the top, then slowly lower the leg back down to the starting, resisting the pull of the band as you return. Continue for the prescribed number of repetitions, then switch sides and repeat.
Tip: Keep your hips squared and steady as you do each rep, and don’t let your back sway.
Resistance Training Exercises
19. Goblet Squat (Tubing)
Stand on the band(s) with both feet hips width apart toes slightly pointing out.
Grip a handle in each hand and bring to your shoulders' level with palms facing each other. Switch the handles, so the band will cross and create "x" in front of your body.
Squat down with your back straight and abs firm till your thighs are parallel to the ground. Pause for a second at the bottom. Get back up to the full standing position and keep your head and back straight, and chest up. Repeat for 30 seconds.
20. Standing Chest Press (Tubing)
Attach the tubing to a secure object, such as a doorknob at chest height. Give a few tugs to make sure the tubing band is securely fastened.
Grab a handle in each hand with your back to the door. Step forward until there's not slack in the band and position your hands at chest height.
Stand with one foot forward.
With elbows up and palms facing down, press the handles forward straight out in front of your chest together at the same time until your arms reach full extension. Squeeze your chest muscles and pause for 1-2 secs. Slowly return to starting position and continue for 30 seconds. .
21. Romanian Deadlift (Tubing)
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, stepping on the band with both feet. Cross the bands under your feet to get proper tension.
Start with a slight bend in your knees and back straight, and sticking your buttocks out, bend at the hips and reach down until you feel a stretch in the hamstring muscles.
Slowly return to starting position, contracting your glutes and hamstrings. Repeat for 30 seconds.
22. Bent Over Row
Holding the handles of the resistance band, step on to the middle. Place your feet at shoulder width with toes pointing forward. Tighten your core and keep your chest up.
Bend at your hips and lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor.
Again, keep the chest up. This is the starting position.
Your knees should be slightly bent and your lower back naturally arched. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the band up to your upper abs. Pause, then return the bar back to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, with your knees bent at 90°. Place your hands lightly on either side of your head. Keep your elbows in so that they are parallel to your body.
Press your back down flat into the floor to isolate your abdominal muscles. Gently curl your shoulders forward and up off the floor. Continue to push down into the floor with your lower back.
Raise your shoulders about four to four to six inches only. Hold and squeeze your abdominal muscles. Return to the start position and repeat for 30 seconds.
24. Diagonal Lift
Attach the tubing to a secure object, such as a doorknob, near the floor with one handle. Hold the other handle with both hands next to your hip. Take a few steps away from the anchor to create tension on the band.
Keeping the arms straight and using your abs, rotate the body and bring the arms up diagonally while squeezing the abs. Rotate the hips and knees as you turn.
Return and repeat for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
For cardio, we're going to use the RPE (rate of perceived exertion), which is a very easy way to determine your level of effort during physical activity.
|RPE||Level of Exertion||Quality of Breathing|
|1||Extremly easy||Very relaxed|
|2||Very easy||Can carry on a coversation (easily|
|3||Easy||Can carry on a conversation (labored)|
|4||Moderate||Talking becomes difficult|
|5||Somewhat hard||Breathing becomes heavy|
|6||Moderately Hard||Deep breaths, conversation avoided|
|7||Hard||Deep, foreceful inhalation/ expiration|
|8||Very hard||Labored breathing; cannot talk|
|9||Very, very hard||Very labored breathing|
|10||Extremly hard||Gasping and strugggling for air|
Day2: Cardio A-2
- Warm-up: 3 minutes, light running, or fast pace walking
- Workout: 15 minutes running (zone 2, RPE 3-4)
- Cooldown: 3 minutes light running or fast pace walking
Day4: Cardio A-2
- Warm-up: 3 minutes, light running, or fast pace walking
- Workout: 15 minutes running (zone 2, RPE 3-4)
- Cooldown: 3 minutes light running or fast pace walking
1-Week Weight Loss Exercise Plan
There you have it! A 1-week exercise plan for weight loss.
Working out is great a way to burn calories, rev up your metabolism and lose weight and keep it off in the long term. Not only exercising regularly will help you lose weight, but resistance training specifically will tone shape your muscles nicely. You'll feel stronger and have more energy throughout the day.
There are a variety of exercises you can do to lose weight, and the plan above is just one example to help get you started working out. Download our 4-Week Exercise Plan for Weight Loss.