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Quick Program to Maximize Weight Loss

September 17, 2012 - By Mathieu Rousseau

Temps de lecture 4 minutes


A training program that combines high-intensity cardio and circuit muscular exercises is the optimal recipe to lose weight while shortening your exercise sessions.


Performing low-intensity cardio exercises or using the fat burn function of the cardio machines is not the best way to burn fat. Surprised? Performing high-intensity exercise on a machine that uses the whole body is much more beneficial. Use the elliptical, the treadmill, or the rowing machine to maximize energy expenditure. I recommend a 30 minutes session that includes at least 15 minutes of high intensity ((≥ 80% of your maximum heart rate or 75% of your VO2max). The remaining time will be used for warm-up and cool down. For those with more experience, another way of burning calories efficiently is interval training.

Circuit training

On a different session, I recommend circuit training. Circuit training solicits large muscle groups, and allows short rest periods to none at all, which shortens the length of your training session for an optimal caloric expenditure. You can also perform these two types of high-intensity training (cardio and muscular) in the same session. In that case, make sure you get enough rest, with at least 24 hours of rest after your double session. Aim for 3 to 4 sessions a week.

Circuit training description

A. Perform all exercises one after another, without any rest.

B. At the end of the circuit, take a 3 minute break or perform very low-intensity cardio (stationary bike with resistance, walking).

C. Repeat steps A and B 3 times.

Exercise 1: Leg extension
Target areas: Legs
Accessories: Keiser machine
How many: Perform one set of 12 to 15 repetitions, immediately followed by the next exercise.
Execution: Adjust the seat so that the knees are at an angle slightly wider than 90° (A). Perform a complete extension without locking the knees, and come back to a 90° angle at the knees (B).

Exercise 2: Dumbbell press (Swiss ball or bench)
Target areas: Pectorals, shoulders, and triceps
Accessories: A pair of dumbbells, a Swiss ball or a bench
How many: Perform 1 set of 12 to 15 repetitions, immediately followed by the next exercise.
Execution: Start with your shoulder blades resting on the ball or bench, and hands in pronation over your chest (A). Keeping the elbows wide, bend at the elbows until the dumbbells are 1 cm away from your chest (B). Perform a complete extension of the arms without locking the elbows.

Exercise 3: Front lunge (Swiss ball)
Target areas: Legs
Accessories: Swiss ball
How many: Perform one set of 10 to 15 repetitions, immediately followed by the next exercise.
Execution: Start with the top of your rear foot on the Swiss ball (A), bend your front knee without leaning your torso forward, and then perform a complete extension, without locking the knee. The knee should not come further than the tip of the toes during flexion (B).

Exercise 4: Seated row with hammer grip (Keiser)  
Target areas: Lats
Accessories: Keiser machine
How many: Perform one set of 12 to 15 repetitions, immediately followed by the next exercise.
Execution: Adjust the seat so that your arms are parallel to the ground when holding the handles. Adjust the chest pad in order to make the handles a little bit out of reach (at the tip of the fingers) (A). Grab the handles in half pronation and perform a horizontal pull, squeezing the shoulder blades at the end of the movement (B). Return to initial position.

Exercise 5: Wall squat with front raise
Target areas: Legs, shoulders
Accessories: Swiss ball and dumbbells
How many: Perform one set of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Execution: Start with your lower back against the Swiss ball on the wall, feet at shoulder’s width and a little forward, and dumbbells in hands with arms straight on each side of the body (A). Bend at the knee until you reach a 90° angle while lifting the arms in front of the body, up to shoulder’s height (B). Perform a complete leg extension without locking the knees, while lowering the arms back to initial position on both sides of the body. Repeat.

By Mathieu Rousseau



– Kelleher AR, Hackney KJ, Fairchild TJ, Keslacy S, Ploutz-Snyder LL. The metabolic costs of reciprocal supersets vs. traditional resistance exercise in young recreationally active adults. J Strength Cond Res. Apr;24(4):1043-51, 2010.

Quick Program to Maximize Weight Loss is a post from Nautilus Plus. The Nautilus Plus blog aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
Copyright © Nautilus Plus 2012

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