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Good day, my routine is as follows:

Routine:

10 minutes of warm up.

  • Monday: 200 crunches
  • Tuesday: Arms; 5 exercises of 4X20
  • Wednesday: Leg: 7 exercises of 4X20
  • Thursday: Chest: 5 exercises of 4X20
  • Friday: 200 crunches and 40 minutes of cardio.

At the end of each exercise I do 20 minutes on cardio machines.

  • Saturday: 1 hour walking

I have managed to lose 15 kilograms with this routine in 6 months, I feel very good, but I must still lose more weight. The point is that I already master this routine and now I am in a dilemma, should I increase the repetitions or should I increase the weight on the machines? I still have to lose approximately 10 kilograms, but now it's hard for me to keep losing weight..

Thanks.

  • Why do you feel that increasing the repetitions might be necessary? That would help us to better understand/answer your question. – JustSnilloc Mar 1 '19 at 16:09
  • The point is that after losing 15 kilograms, now it's hard for me to keep losing weight. – YemisiSCG Mar 1 '19 at 16:30
  • did you never increase the weights at all? – Christian Mar 1 '19 at 21:15
  • You say should you "increase the weight on the machines", is your routine completely machine based? Do you have access to free weights at all? – Dark Hippo Mar 4 '19 at 16:21
  • @Christian: Yes, I have increased it, although it has been very little. – YemisiSCG Mar 5 '19 at 15:46
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To paraphrase Dan John, efficiency is the enemy of fat loss.

When people start running for fat loss, they find that as time goes on, they're having to run farther and farther in order to get a training effect. The problem is the SAID principle (your body adapts, and becomes more efficient at what you ask of it; more efficiency = more conservation of energy = less calories burned).

The easiest way to combat this (and thus carry on burning calories and losing weight)? Do something you're not very efficient at!

Without knowing your exact routine, it's difficult to give exact prescriptions, but to answer your general question, should you increase the repetitions, I would say... maybe.

Increasing the reps will place a greater demand on your body to adapt (burning more calories), but as with the person running for fat loss, if all you're doing is increasing the reps, you'll have to keep increasing them, and there will be a point of diminishing returns (if you haven't already hit it), and you'll also run into a time issue where your gym sessions start taking up a lot of time.

One suggestion would be to increase the weight and decrease the repetitions per exercise, and although that is a good option, I would suggest instead changing the exercises you're doing as part of your training sessions, maybe completely changing up your routine.

For example, if you're doing a body part split routine (which it looks like you are), you could change to doing:

  • Monday: Full body training (do a hinge, a squat, a push and a pull movement)
  • Tuesday: 20 - 30 minutes cardio (make it something you don't normally do. If you're a runner, then row, if you're a rower, then use the bike.
  • Wednesday: Full body training (do a hinge, a squat, a push and a pull movement)
  • Thursday: 20 - 30 minutes cardio (as Tuesday, something you don't normally do)
  • Friday: As Monday and Wednesday
  • Saturday & Sunday: Go for a walk, get outside, enjoy the sun (if you don't live in the UK, we never get sun), go spend time in nature, paddle in the sea, whatever you fancy that isn't sitting on the sofa watching Netflix non-stop.

You've mentioned you do crunches on Monday and Friday, so instead of those, if you want, throw in a quick core routine a few days a week (I'd say Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday if you don't want to do it after your full body training days) and look at doing more support or bracing movements, anti-extension, anti-flexion and anti-rotation.

Speaking personally, my biggest change in body composition came when I switch from a 3 day a week powerlifting based routine to a 4 day a week calisthenic (bodyweight) routine. It took me a few weeks to settle into the routine (the warm up alone was leaving me a sweaty mess) but once I did, I really enjoyed the change of pace and different way of training.

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  • That´s true, I have been increasing the repetitions, until point that don´t get enoug time to end my routine. I´m going to try the routine that you sugges, and I´m goingto increase the weigth and the decrease the repetitions. – YemisiSCG Mar 7 '19 at 23:06
  • Did you keep on switching the routine from time to time ?I love calisthenics but the problem always been a general strength loss in core lifts when I leave the powerlifting routine. – sagnik das Mar 24 '19 at 12:37
  • @sagnikdas To be honest my priorities changed along with my routine. I became less focused on the core lifts and more interested in improving my rock climbing performance. I didn't really start training the core lifts again for a few years, and even then only because a shoulder injury took me out of climbing for a while, so I just concentrated on my deadlift. – Dark Hippo Mar 25 '19 at 8:30

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