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I do feel I can commit to my current low intensity workout for a prolonged period if not the rest of my life (my body willing). My previous attempts were to inconsistent, but only because I was doing more than my body could take at the time. To be honest, my current routine is quite "easy" for me compared to what I was trying to do back then. I have been doing the routine for the last 4 weeks (13 exercise days and 1 off day every 14 days). I am surprisingly pleased that I am not demotivated and can actually overcome the low bar I set for my self.

I don't really have any short term goals except maybe losing 10Kg or so over the next 6 months. Currently, I weigh 99Kg (My actual motivation to start working out was me tipping the scale at 101kg around a month ago). The optimum weight I would like to reach and maintain is anywhere between 85Kg and 90Kg which is where I was for years before letting myself go during the Covid lockdown.

I have changed my diet and am currently off poultry and beef. I have only been eating fish and of course veggies and the other so called healthy stuff. As I am lactose intolerant, my protein supplement is pure Rice protein which is around 80% protein.

I have to say, that even though I have lost only 2Kg the last month, I am feeling lighter on my feet.

Apart from trying to find out if I am wasting my time with my exercise routine, I also want to find out if I am being overly ambitious by hoping for a visible six pack (doesn't have to be toned) when I finally reach my desired weight. This is taking into consideration that the six pack was not visible at the desired weight, but I also was not excising during that period as well, so I am hoping that now that I am excersing, the excersising will not only net me my desired weight but also the added bonus of the visible abs.

My current routine is:

Sunday      Chris Heria's 7minute morning routine (10 minutes - 30 seconds instead of 45 seconds)
Monday      Weights, Pushups, Situps (10 minutes - 1 Set per minute)
Tuesday     TRX suspension exercises (10 minutes - 1 Set per minute)
Wednesday   Stationary Bike (20 minutes = around 5Km)
Thursday    Chris Heria's 7minute morning routine (10 minutes - 30 seconds instead of 45 seconds)
Friday      Weights, Pushups, Situps (10 minutes - 1 Set per minute)
Saturday    TRX suspension exercises (10 minutes - 1 Set per minute)
Sunday      Stationary Bike (20 minutes = around 5Km)
Monday      Chris Heria's 7minute morning routine (10 minutes - 30 seconds instead of 45 seconds)
Tuesday     Weights, Pushups, Situps (10 minutes - 1 Set per minute)
Wednesday   TRX suspension exercises (10 minutes - 1 Set per minute)
Thursday    Stationary Bike (20 minutes = around 5Km)
Friday      Chris Heria's 7minute morning routine (10 minutes - 30 seconds instead of 45 seconds)
Saturday    Rest
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  • Low intensity is more like walking, which burns 90% fat and 10% carbs. I'd consider this more like medium intensity cardio unless you are able to keep an extremely steady heartbeat, perhaps 60%max or below. Otherwise my advice would be that you can walk every day, but shouldnt do moderate to high cardio everyday. I'd do 1-3 high intensity or hiit cardio days whatever you prefer, and maybe 1-2 moderate, along with walking. , you can also weightlift or do a core workout at least 3 times a week. I think your body will adapt to this stimulus and youll plateau early on but thats my opinion – Ace Cabbie Nov 10 '20 at 21:41
  • @Ace Cabbie 7. Yes, the plateau to early on before reaching my target weight is the main concern. Thing is I like this routine based on that I have been consistent with it for over a month now, but do realize I might have to switch it up eventually if I no longer see progress. Not really looking to add any high intensity into the regiment as that was one of the reasons I failed hard during my previous exercise routines. – David Nov 11 '20 at 5:06
  • @Ace Cabbie 7. I am also trying to vary the TRX exercises weekly in the hopes that I avoid the plateua to eraly on. Not to say I wont add 1 or 2 of the high intensity exercises later on maybe on the weekends that would allow more rest, but for now I just want to see how far I can push this low/med intensity routine. Thank you for the feedback. – David Nov 11 '20 at 5:10
  • Your body will adapt to the stress you put on it. If you keep doing the same moves without increasing reps or weight, you won't improve past a certain point. Progressive overload is key for continued improvement – E.Aigle Feb 15 at 13:26
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If I'm reading this correctly, you have three questions:

  1. will exercise help you lose weight?
  2. is this exercise worthwhile?
  3. will you have visible abs at your desired weight, despite not having had them when you were at that weight before?

Question 1

will exercise help you lose weight?

Not much. Exercise gives you muscle, improves endurance, it has lots of benefits. But it doesn't do much for weight loss. 99% of weight is calories in vs calories out. Exercise does burn calories, just not many. It may be for you that doing the exercise helps you eat less / better, but it's not the exercise itself.

Per some random calculator I found online, if you were to do intense, can't-even-talk squats, you would burn 14 calories per minute in excess of what you do normally. This doesn't count the time spent checking your phone, catching your breath, drinking something,... Just the squats. For me, an intense workout might include as many as 5 minutes of intense squats, but probably won't. So that's about the calories in 1 slice of bread. No butter.

Also, you may have heard of "excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)". Yes, it's real, but it's also minuscule. We didn't even know about it until we started fitting people with modern oxygen testing equipment.

I want to be clear, exercise is good for you. It even helps in non-obvious ways like improving your immune system, making you less likely to be injured,... It just doesn't do a lot for weight loss.

Also, to be clear, exercise will change what it is that weighs. The more exercise you do, the more of you will be muscle as opposed to fat. But you'll weigh the same.

Question 2

is this exercise worthwhile?

Almost certainly. For the vast majority of people who have access to the internet, exercise is better than no exercise, and more exercise is better than less. You say that you feel lighter on your feet, that's a good thing, and it's not nothing. You are getting stronger, your endurance is improving. That matters. You may not become a professional athlete, but not many people do.

If you start feeling that this routine goes from "easy" to "laughably easy" you can always bump it up as needed. Try to resist the urge to bump it up quickly, that way lies injuries/burnout. Many runners have a rule of no more than 10% more than the week before, and no more than three bumps in a row. Powerlifters do something called periodization which is similar but harder to describe, which is why I went with runners. You're in this for the long haul. Increasing too slowly is better than increasing too quickly.

Question 3

will you have visible abs at your desired weight, despite not having had them when you were at that weight before?

If you were right on the razor edge of having visible abs, bigger abs might push you over the edge. But, for most people, abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

Conclusion

Again, keep exercising. It's good for you. If you want to lose weight, figure out a way to eat fewer calories, whether that's cutting junk food, eating smaller portions, staying out of your kitchen,... Exercise is good, but weight loss is a separate thing.

Good luck with whatever your goals may be.

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