Is this workout routine any good?


I've started going back to the gym after many months due to lockdown. Trying to get the belly and moobs off. I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to fitness, but I have been doing a certain routine and just wanted to see if this is sensible.

One day, I will lift weights for my arms and shoulders (machine weights instead of free weights). I would do around 5-6 sets of 8 reps on a weight that's comftable, but also a challenge. Once that's done, I go onto the cross trainer for around 40 minutes and increase the difficulty every 10 minutes. 

This is pretty much the same when I go aside from arms one day, legs another and chest and back another and the same cardio.

Is this an ok routine do you think? I'm really just looking to lose a little weight, not bulk up or anything. 

I understand that 80% of working out is diet so I have been improving on this.

Just wondering what thoughts people had about the routine.



  • littlegreenparrotlittlegreenparrot Forumite
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    Does the gym have trainers around the place?
    Often there is someone who you can ask to help you to design a programme for free. If this is an option I would take it. 

    My knowledge is patchy and possibly out of date, but fwiw...

    I have always worked on 3 sets of 10 - 12 reps per set, weight challenging enough that by the time you get to the end you can only just manage it. 

    The cross trainer would be more effective if you did intervals, so for example go as hard as you can for 1 min, slow down and catch your breath for two. You can of course adjust the times however you want. 
    It might also be useful to do different types of cardio, try the treadmill, rower, step machine, cycle. Different muscles moving in different ways helps prevent injury. 

    Classes really push you and will help you learn more if they are available.                                        There is also loads of stuff online.
  • Grumpy_chapGrumpy_chap Forumite
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    If the aim is to get the belly and moobs off, diet and cardio is the focus required.
  • Louie3166Louie3166 Forumite
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    Photogenic First Post
    Sport is necessary if you want to lose weight, especially you should do a lot of cardio. But for the belly and moobs, the strongest impact makes what you eat. For this reason, you should balance your diet for the best results.
  • edited 23 December 2020 at 2:27PM
    ExodiExodi Forumite
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    edited 23 December 2020 at 2:27PM
    If you really have no interest in bulking up as you say, you shouldn't bother with weights at all - weightlifting burns negligible calories. You should be doing mainly cardio if you want to add exercise to your weight loss efforts.

    Also, as you say 80% of losing weight is diet and I can't empthasize how true this is - but not for the reasons you'd think. People don't appreciate how many calories you consume and how little calories exercise actually burns. The 25 min jog I did with my partner last night burned about the same calories as eating one plain mince pie - which for comparison took all of about 10 seconds to eat, I can't say I was particularly hungry when I ate it or felt particularly sated after.

    I think if people considered it like that, they'd rather skip the two mince pies with custard than run for an hour.

    I lost 1.5 stone earlier in the year. If your aim is not bulk up at the same time, it's actually relatively simple - 
    1. Buy some scales, download myfitnesspal and track your calories (most people grossly underestimate how many calories they eat)
    2. Eat at a slight deficit (200-500 calories) - start to replace everything with 'low fat' options, you probably won't be eating cake or chocolate for a while!
    3. Set realistic goals - 1lb per week - aim to lose a stone. You can't consistently speed up losing weight. Don't set a target of 'lose 5 stone' because it'll take years and you'll become demotivated.

    Louie3166 said:
    Sport is necessary if you want to lose weight, especially you should do a lot of cardio. But for the belly and moobs, the strongest impact makes what you eat. For this reason, you should balance your diet for the best results.
    Sport/exercise is not necessary. Weight loss is solely based on energy in VS energy out. If you're eating less calories than you're using, you will lose weight. You can of course increase your energy usage but it is not necessary - a good amount of people lose significant amounts of weight without exercise.

    Your comment regarding exercise/diet effecting certain body regions is also complete fantasy.
    Know what you don't
  • Baxter100Baxter100 Forumite
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    Weight lifting is actually one of the most effective ways of reducing body fat. Increasing your lean muscle mass increases your body's energy requirements so you don't have to cut calories as much. Just ensure that you eat enough protein, around 0.8 grams per lb of body weight a day. So for example if you weigh 150 pounds aim for 120 grams of protein a day.
  • noclafnoclaf Forumite
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    Op - I don't know if you are male/female or your age but I would not stop the is a fact that weights/resistance training is one of the best ways to reduce body fat, look up 'compound exercises' on Google or YouTube to get an idea of the most effective exercises to reduce bodyfat. Getting 'bulky' is a myth IMO, it's typically those who do weights yet have a rubbish diet and high body fat that gives them a bulky appearance.
    I would continue the cardio too as that has is health benefits but combining weights/resistance training with cardio as you are already doing is the right way forward. The rest is diet..calories intake and quality of the food you are eating.
  • BlueMickeyBlueMickey Forumite
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    Agree with noclaf. A resistance training programme based around the 5 core compound exercise will replace the soft fat with muscle tissue. You won't get "bulky", but I guarantee you'll get addicted to seeing the changes in your body as you progress with the weights. I use a Muscle for Life fitness program I downloaded (you can check reviews on Amazon) which comes with a great 12 month workout plan and everything you need to understand about getting in shape. Good luck.
  • edited 15 January at 5:09PM
    lesta_jestalesta_jesta Forumite
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    edited 15 January at 5:09PM
    As we're in lock down again and gyms are closed you can find lots of free advice and links here  N.H.S. Getting active and living healthier

    I run because I like BEER..... ;)
  • Baxter100Baxter100 Forumite
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    Just looking at the nutrition advice on the NHS website linked to above -
    - Recommends around 70% of food comes from carbohydrates
    - Recommends using vegetable oils as a healthy option
    - Recommends using the low fat version of everything
  • HM2020HM2020 Forumite
    12 Posts
    First Post
    I would suggest adding some bodyweight exercises to expand your routine beyond the machines
    These can help improve your balance and muscle tone 
    If you're not sure where to start I'd suggest trialling some apps like Asics studio or Freeletics to find one that works for you
    This will also mean if you can't get to the gym you will still have the option of working out at home
    Overall though I would say it's more important for you to do something you enjoy and don't worry too much about the weight loss - it's more important at this stage to get into a good routine and focus on how you feel after every workout, you're doing a great job :smiley:
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