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Gym Workout Plans for Weight Loss

written by: Angela Atkinson • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 5/26/2009

In this exclusive Bright Hub interview, personal trainer Clayton Webber offers expert advice on gym workout plans for weight loss. Learn what he says are the most important components of a gym workout plan and why you need to exercise every day.

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    Image Credit: Matt Williams
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    Gym Workout Plans for Weight Loss

    Bright Hub: Besides helping a person to look and feel better, what other health benefits can a gym workout plan aimed at weight loss offer?

    Clayton Webber: There are quite a few and some are more serious than others. Looking and feeling better and obvious catalysts and who wouldn't want to feel this way if they were or have been overweight.

    Some of the very important and potentially lifesaving benefits these can lead to are: increased energy levels, better mobility and fewer aches and joint pains, reduced blood pressure and chance of heart disease/attack, reduced chance of diabetes, and overall better quality of life which is so important to every single person.

    Bright Hub: As a general guideline, how long should gym workout sessions be to promote healthy weight loss?

    Clayton Webber: This would largely be determined by the level at which the person was starting, and at which they are able to perform whatever exercise they have been prescribed or are doing themselves.

    For example, someone how was quite overweight may need to exercise longer because they are unable to achieve a high level of intensity making it harder to expend energy/calories. A good general rule is between 30 minutes to 1 hour or slightly longer. If this was the case, or the person was only able to do 30 minutes, then two sessions per day might be an option.

    Bright Hub: How often should one exercise at the gym in order to lose weight effectively?

    Clayton Webber: Every day. No excuses. Even twice per day if necessary. It's unfortunate but a reality in that there are some people who are near life and death situations so there can be no compromises here.

    On the other end of the scale you have those who are very fit and healthy who exercise daily, because they know and reap the benefits of great health and well being and have made exercise a habitual part of daily life. There are 168 hours in a week, taking away 8 hours of sleep per day that still leaves 112 hours in which to exercise. I guess it's up to each person to assess their priorities.

    Bright Hub: Should an effective gym workout routine include aerobic exercise?

    Clayton Webber: All forms of exercise are important for weight loss. More importantly, fat loss occurs immediately when someone begins to exercise with the underlying component being movement. The exercise must involve all over body movement where possible so no while aerobic exercise is important is should definitely not be used exclusively.

    Bright Hub: What about strength training? Is it necessary for someone who isn’t trying to get that bodybuilder look? Why?

    Clayton Webber: Strength or resistance training is an absolute must in any exercise program regardless of weight, gender, size or age (heavy lifting is still not recommended for those still developing or up to approximately 15 years of age).

    Bright Hub: What kinds of tips can men take from bodybuilders when working out at the gym?

    Clayton Webber: Bodybuilding unfortunately has a bad name in many circles, but many of the compound exercises they use are an integral part of any exercise program. Strength training helps to promote and maintain lean body tissue, which is the active tissue responsible for burning calories in the body.

    Further benefits are increased resting metabolic rate, improved bone density and better functional strength for movement and performing functions in everyday life.

    Bright Hub: Which type of exercise is more important for effective weight loss, if you had to choose just one?

    Clayton Webber: I advise doing both, of course. However, if I had to choose between which exercise I could do and only do for the rest of my life between strength training and aerobic or cardio type exercise, I would choose strength training over and over again and I wouldn't be alone in that choice.

    Bright Hub: What other exercise tips would you offer one of your clients who wanted to lose weight through a gym workout plan?

    Clayton Webber: Do whatever it takes and don't stop until they find what works for them. It's easy to see someone else succeed and when you try and use a similar method it may not work the same for you. Everyone is different but the underlying fundamentals should be in place.

    A good example of fundamentals are that the majority of food in their diets should be made up of fresh foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, such as fruit and vegetables, lean meats and fish, nuts, healthy fats and oils, and plenty of water.Consistency is also a key element. Nothing is achieved in life without it.

    Bright Hub: Final thoughts or advice for Bright Hub readers looking to lose weight through a gym workout plan?

    Clayton Webber: There must be some goals or reasons why you want to achieve this weight loss. One of the best ways is to attach emotion and more importantly accountability to the decision to lose weight. There is an old saying that goes "If you don't know where you are going, you may never get there", and this is very appropriate here.

    There must be targets and dates involved and also some rewards along the way and an even bigger reward at the end, maybe a holiday to somewhere you have never been. Whatever it is, make it exciting and something you will do anything to achieve.If someone else can do it, so can you!

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    About the Expert: Clayton Webber

    Clayton Webber is a personal trainer who is affiliated with Australian based company The Fit Dimension. His company offers personal training services and boasts a fitness studio featuring a gym and kickboxing studio. He also writes a popular personal training and fitness blog, which offers sound and useful weight loss and exercise advice.