Getting Back Into Exercise


Question- “I’m just getting back into exercise. I want to make fat loss my number one priority, so should I focus on cardio work to lose the fat, and then start my weight training program?”

Assuming you have no previous injuries and are in good health, you should begin your weight training program immediately. If you don’t have access to equipment or a gym, you can start with bodyweight exercise.

Restarting Exercise

When you restart your exercise routine, you want to make sure to include weight training. Not only will it assist you in losing body fat, but weight training will also insure that you will not lose muscle in the process. This is important because your metabolic rate is driven by your muscle mass (Should men and women exercise the same way?).

In order to lose body fat, your body must be in a catabolic state – you must be consuming (through diet) fewer calories than you expend through exercise and your daily activities.

Once in this state, your body is quite indiscriminate about the tissues it uses to supply energy, and will break down muscle tissue in addition to bodyfat.

Woman doing cardio to burn fat
Cardio is a great fat burner. But if you want to lose fat as quickly as possible, then I recommend that you prioritize weight training in your fitness regimen.

This is something to be avoided, as muscle contributes as much as 70% to your body’s metabolism.

Having less muscle means that your metabolism will be slower, causing you to burn fewer calories throughout the day. This will only hinder your fat loss efforts and make them harder to sustain in the long run.

The converse of that is true as well – by putting on more muscle, your metabolism will increase, causing you to burn more calories throughout the day, without any additional exercise.

Be sure to include weight training as an integral part of any fat loss program.

To get you started, here are 5 basic movements you can do at home right now, and without equipment.

4 Exercises To Get Back Into Exercise

Bodyweight Exercise Instruction:

The Bodyweight Squat Thrust

  • Squat down with your heels on the ground
  • Squat up while keeping your heels down and your abs braced
  • Don’t arch your lower back at the top

Burpee Exercise

  • Squat down with your feet straight forward, your heels on the ground and your knees tracking over your toes.
  • Jump back to a plank position, and land with your abs braced and without arching your back.
  • Drop into the pushup while keeping your tailbone tucked under and squeezing your shoulder blades together and down to your back pockets.
  • Finish the pushup and jump back to the squat position with your heels on the ground, knees straight forward and feet straight.
  • Jump upward and drop down to repeat.

Burpee Without Pushup

  • Squat down with your feet straight forward, your heels on the ground and your knees tracking over your toes.
  • Jump back to a plank position, and land with your abs braced and without arching your back.
  • Keep your ribs down and your tailbone tucked under while in the plank position to keep your lower back from arching.
  • Jump back to the squat position with your heels on the ground, knees straight forward and feet straight.
  • Jump upward and drop down to repeat.

Mountain Climbers

  • Brace your abs in order to pull your ribs down, and keep your tailbone tucked under.
  • Keep your shoulders “active.” Don’t let them relax during the movement.
  • Keep a rigid torso and move only from your hips, bringing one knee up at a time.
  • Don’t allow your lower back to arch or your hips to shoot up.

Eugene Thong CSCS