"What's the best workout for weight loss?"
It's a question I hear over and over again on the street and while I snooze. But every trainer has a method and favourite session, so I asked the best around the country what they prescribe their clients.
Fight Gone Bad
Michael Shaw is the owner of CrossFitFX (Sydney), 10 years of service – Australian Special Forces, and a CrossFit legend who loves a WOD called "Fight Gone Bad".
The session consists of three rounds of five exercises (one minute stations) with as many repetitions as possible, then rotate immediately to the next exercise, as the clock does not stop:
- 1 minute wall balls 9kg (men) / 7kg (women)
- 1 minute sumo deadlift high-pulls 35kg / 25kg
- 1 minute box jumps 24" / 20"
- 1 minute push press (35kg / 25kg)
- 1 minute row (1 calorie = 1 rep)
Total session: 17 minutes (three rounds, one minute of rest between rounds one and two).
"Fight Gone Bad has is great for its variety of compound movements that result in the entire body being stimulated...giving the client a true measure of fitness which is measurable and repeatable."
Jimmy Taylor from Fitness XO in Melbourne has trained Hollywood celebrities in LA after time with AFL Football Club St. Kilda. He takes his no-equipment, calorie burning session to the sun and sand.
Each exercise is 50 seconds of activity with 10 seconds rest. At circuit completion, rest for one minute, then repeat for three rounds.
- Skaters – lateral jumps, side to side;
- Mountain Climbers – focusing on the core, shoulders, chest and triceps. Hold plank position and bring one knee into the midsection and alternate.
- Shuttle runs –15 metre sprints;
- Crawl Outs – from standing position, crawl out to push-up position, perform push-up, then crawl-return to standing position;
- Plank Jacks – in plank position, jump the feet out past shoulder width and then back together; and
One minute rest, repeat.
"Barefoot sand sessions are a great way to burn additional calories. Although challenging, the sand has a lighter impact on the joints and also requires a greater engagement of feet muscles. Upon completion, jump in the water to cool down. You will feel amazing!"
Compound to burn
Fernwood Fitness put me in touch with their top trainer, Jodie Burke who trains out of their Ferntree Gully Gym. Her weight loss session is about 30 second workloads at a high intensity.
"When it comes to weight loss, compound exercises are the go – they recruit more muscles than isolation movements which gives more bang for your calorie burning buck. This session hits every muscle in the body with increased heart rate – that's how you lean up."
Turn up the tunes, then perform three stations of:
- 5kg Dumbbell squat jumps, 30 seconds
- 8kg Kettle bell overhead press, 30 seconds
- Rest for 30 seconds
- 9kg ball slams fast, 30 seconds
- 12kg Kettlebell swing, 30 seconds
- Rest for thirty seconds
- Alternate rope slams, 30 seconds
- Chest to ground burpees, 30 seconds
- Rest for 30 seconds
Repeat three times, aiming to add an extra rep to each exercise within each round.
Movement and coordination
Chris Barnes is F45 Athletics Director and owner / operator of F45 in Surry Hills, Sydney.
"For weight loss at F45, we like to create flow programs that include multi-directional movement exercises in the workouts. You not only get the stimulus required for increased muscle mass, but you also improve joint health, stability, coordination and you burn an incredible amount of fat!"
Complete as many rounds of exercises on to nine as you can, to allow for your fitness level or time available; work 35 sec / rest 25 sec / Repeat two sets at each station:
- Double kettle bell swing
- Dumbbell bent over rows
- Ice skaters
- Kettle rack squat
- Dumbbell incline chest press
- Powerband crab walks
- Lying leg raise
- Sandbag lateral lunge
Row, burpees, run...
Your author's two favourites are about simplicity and intensity:
Row for 400m then drop for 20 burpees. Jump straight onto the treadmill for a 400 metre sprint. Perform three rounds in total, for time (aiming to beat last session's time).
Travelling for business or need an apartment balcony session? 100 skipping ropes into 15 sit ups, 15 squats, 15 push ups, 15 situps, and five burpees for as many rounds in 20 minutes.
It's hard, it's sweaty, it might even hurt at the start. But this is all it takes takes for Australia to achieve a healthy weight and have a few laughs mixed in between.
Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his "Cut The BS" diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.
F45, CrossFit or just a good old run 'n' row – what's your favourite way to burn off the excess?