Losing a significant amount of weight can take time, and patience is golden. Your journey should be done at a safe and healthy pace that suits your body best. At the same time, you can give your weight loss process a jumpstart by establishing a goal that you can work toward and a clear method when it comes to how you want to reach that point. With that in mind, you’ll definitely want to check out the following one-month weight loss challenge from certified personal trainer Alicia Jones.
Jones tells Eat This, Not That!, “When trying to lose weight, the name of the game is to enhance as much lean mass as possible in order to rev up your metabolic rate. (And no, ladies, this won’t bulk you up, for women we don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up.) This is because lean mass is highly metabolically active. it needs more calories in order to maintain its tone and strength.”
Jones stresses the importance of enhancing your lean muscle mass by targeting as many muscles as you can with every exercise you perform. In order to make every move count, she suggests jumping on the following exercises for a one-month weight loss challenge that will lead to a slimmer and healthier you.
“Because these exercises are intense for full body lean muscle growth, which will help you lose weight and tone from head to toe, you only need to do these exercises two to three days a week,” Jones says, adding, “Remember, it’s actually during rest that the body repairs stronger, and you work the fat-burning potential! So less is more!”
Now, let’s get going. And next up, don’t miss Drop Inches off Your Waist With This Cardio & Resistance Workout.
The lunge with row targets every major muscle in your body. Jones recommends that you start your one-month weight loss challenge with this variation.
To perform this particular exercise, take a weight in your left hand while keeping your feet together. Now that you’re in the proper position, take a considerable step back with your left leg. At the same time, bend your right knee. This should put you into a lunge position. Next, move your torso forward as you straighten out your arm. Aim to have the weight you’re holding above the midpoint of your front foot, and be sure to keep your back straight. Continue by sliding your arm up along the side of your body as you squeeze your right shoulder blade. Keep yourself in a lunge as you bring your arm back into the position you started in.
Repeat the movement with your arm for a total of 15 reps. Once you’ve done so, straighten up and bring your feet back together. Then, switch to your other side, and perform both the lunge and rows over again until you’ve completed between one to three sets.
Next up is fast squats. “Another trick when using exercise for weight loss is adding a HIIT component (high-intensity interval training) into your weight training workout,” Jones explains. “That way, not only do you enhance lean muscle, and speed up your metabolic rate, but you burn more calories over the next 72 hours.” This happens from the temporary disruption of your homeostasis, which is the naturally balanced state of your body.
Jones adds, “In order to balance the body back out again, your metabolic system revs up, you burn more fat, and you expend more calories over a 72-hour period. This means that even after your workout is complete, when you’re sitting at your desk or driving your car, you’re still continuing to burn an elevated amount of fat!”
Your body begins using glucose more efficiently, which is your body’s carb reserve. This is good news because you can keep more carb sources on hand for more energy rather than holding onto excess energy as fat. An excellent exercise to perform to make this happen is fast squats.
This time, start with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Pretend you’re about to take a seat by letting your backside drop down as you bend your knees. As you do this, let your knees reach the midpoint above your foot, and keep your abs tight at the same time. Move into a standing position before coming back down. As you feel more comfortable, begin to do this faster, and continue for a full minute.
Next, rest for a minute and a half before performing the exercise again until you’ve done three to five sets. Jones also suggests adding an extra challenge by jumping every time you come up, but only do this if your knees can handle it.
Next, you’ll want to tackle a bridge with a chest press. As Jones points out, “Again, working the big muscles of the body is the best way to lose weight and burn more calories because you’re hitting more muscles.”
This exercise will have you getting down on the floor and lying on the ground while holding a dumbbell in both hands. Your feet should remain flat on the floor with your knees shoulder-width distance apart. When you’re in position, begin to lift up your hips by pushing down on your heels. Keep going until your body makes a bridge. Stay in this position as you lift the dumbbells up above you and then lower them back down. In order to do this properly, the back of your arms should touch the ground when you move them down and before you bring them back up. Aim to do three sets of 15 reps.
“This HIIT exercise tones the arms, and gets your abs and back involved in the exercise all at once,” according to Jones. “What I especially love about this exercise is that everyone can do it. It’s low impact and easy on the joints but it literally ‘packs a punch.’ Once again, you’re both engaging big muscles such as your back, abs, and legs, but you’re also getting the HIIT component for maximum fat burn.”
Starting in a standing position, get yourself into a boxing stance. Make fists with your hands, and keep them up in front of your face as if you’re protecting yourself from an invisible opponent. Now, it’s time for action. Twist both your torso and your hips to the left while taking a “punch” with your left hand. As you do this, keep your right hand by your face. Then, twist back and switch hands before you complete the same movement on the other side.
Jones says, “Once you’ve got the idea of form, do two full minutes of punching intensity followed by a one-minute rest. Do this twice.”
Finally, you’ll want to tackle burpees to wrap up this productive one-month weight loss challenge. When it comes to this part of the workout, Jones says, “This is another exercise that acts as both HIIT and full-body toning.”
Get yourself into a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart, and move back and down into a squat. Take your time as you put your hands down on the floor between your feet. Allow your weight to move onto your hands as you lunge back onto one leg and then the other. This should leave you in a plank. Next, use one leg to lunge forward until your feet are again shoulder-width apart before you move back up into a squat and eventually into a standing position. Jones suggests doing this for one to three sets of 15 reps.