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I've been overweight most of my life. I'm 28, 5'7", and about 350 lbs. But it wasn't as bad until I was 21 or so. I have recently decided that I want and need to lose weight for better health. I have a full membership to 24hr Fitness. So far, most of the time I've been there I've done mostly cardio. I know I want to focus most on fat burning than anything else. I'm not too worried about building muscle yet until I get some of the weight off and can start doing some more intense stuff. But my problem now is finding a good routine I can stick to for working out. I have seen so many examples of starting workouts but they all seem to be for people who are just trying to get into working out and not that actually need to lose a lot of weight. So thats what I'm wondering is if anyone can help give some tips on something to work into. I don't mind going 6 or 7 days a week. I am familiar with working out as I did take weight training in school so I know a lot about form and what does what. But I know it's still basic. But still I can't seem to find a solid routine I can stick to. So if anyone could provide any tips it would be much appreciated.

Note: I know I have to have the proper nutrition as well. But I figured that would be a separate topic/question. So I left that stuff out.

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You've made a good decision to lose weight and improve health. The key to success will not be killing yourself for some crash diet and crazy workout plan, but to make lifestyle adjustments that you can incorporate painlessly for the long term.

At your request I won't go into nutritional advice here, but do be aware that nutrition is a huge, key component and probably more important than any exercise.

Regarding your workout plan, I would encourage you to rethink your complete emphasis on cardio over weight training. I believe weight training will be more helpful to you in the long run for a few reasons:

  • Extra muscle will increase your metabolism not only by burning more calories at rest, but also by providing larger glycogen stores so that extra blood sugar can be routed there instead of fat.
  • According to Body By Science (McGuff), high intensity weight training (even infrequently and in short workouts) releases a cascading hormonal reaction that helps burn fat.
  • Cardio exercise tends only to burn calories while you're doing that exercise without much of an afterburn - and it takes an awfully long time to burn off a relatively small number of calories.
  • Again according to McGuff, aerobic health is mostly localized at a cellular level meaning that traditional cardio (e.g. jogging, treadmill, elliptical) tends not to be as much of a full-body systemic workout as is popularly believed. The legs are getting cardio exercise; the rest of the body really isn't.

Finally, there is no reason you need to spend 6-7 days a week in the gym. This would probably be counterproductive (especially with any weight training component) as you aren't giving your body a chance to recover. If you'll pardon the metaphor, this is a marathon and you aren't going to get there overnight. 6-7 days a week is not likely to be sustainable, will not give your body the rest it needs, and could lead to injury.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, extra rest and sleep will be beneficial. Your body hangs onto weight because it thinks it's starving (calories in junk food that don't carry many nutrients contribute to fat, but aren't counted by your body when it tallies whether it's getting enough nourishment), and the extra caloric burden of frequent cardio sessions will just make this problem worse.

Good luck, and welcome to F&N!

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Yea i understant that nutrition is pretty important too. The main reason I wanted to keep the discussion seperate is because I already know a few people that are helping me out with it (not to say that i still dont have some questions). For now its just repetition to remember when and how much to eat of the different foods. Im also mostly doing cardio now because I know I can do that. And until I get a good routine down, its at least something im doing. I know the weight training is still important, and great to do, so im doing some basic stuff. I just dont know the best options yet. –  skift Jun 18 '11 at 23:44
    
also i know i need a day of rest. and i tend to get a full 8 hrs of sleep a night.The 7th day i agree is good to rest but the thing im thinking of for a 7th day excercise is maybe something like a quick 15 min jog. just enough to get the heart rate up for the day since ill tend to be working out in the mornings. But I can see how even that may be over doing it. As for injury yea i agree that too much could lead to it, i have some training it it, so i know some stuff to avoid it. But i agree, things 'can happen'. And yea right now im more trying to get used to the routine before hitting it hard –  skift Jun 18 '11 at 23:51
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Pick up Men's Health Best Weight-Free Workout. It contains 10 simple and short strength training routines that are excellent for beginners. Pick one like the 22-Minute Total-Body Plan and do it three times a week along with enough cardio to make it 45 minutes.

That routine won't bulk anyone up, but the light resistance training will put some muscles that will help with your goals and your heart rate should be in a good range for the entire time.

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Oh thanks, Ill definitely be checking out that book. Thanks. When i go to the gym i tend to be there for about an hour or so working out, mostly cardio. And then use the use the hot tub and steam room for a few to relax and sweat everything out. So the 45 min shouldn't be too bad. Thanks. –  skift Jun 18 '11 at 23:40
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