Have you been thinking about shedding a couple of extra pounds but are unsure of where to start? If so, then a 4-day workout routine for weight loss may be the answer that you’ve been looking for. Training for four days a week is an ideal option for people who are looking to achieve their fitness goal – be it building muscle or losing some weight.
An important factor to note before delving into a 4-day workout routine for weight loss and toning is that you need a workout routine. Many people, when they are looking to shed some weight, will dive into working out without first determining how and when to exercise. This is not the best plan.
Having a workout routine is important because (1):
Most people with to-do lists will more often than not end up sticking to them. If you have an appointment scheduled in your calendar you are most likely to keep it in spite of whatever happens. The same logic applies to a workout routine. Slotting some time every week to exercise will keep you in line not letting you fall off the wagon.
It is hard to either build muscle or effectively lose weight when working out just one day a week. No matter how hard you push yourself on this one day, you cannot beat the results or effects of someone who may have, say a 4-day workout routine for weight loss and muscle gain. Exercising for more days helps keep your metabolism up to burn calories and keeps your muscles active to help them tone up and grow.
When at the gym, or even when working out from home, many of us would be tempted to stick to the exercises that we love and enjoy. While it is great to enjoy exercising, choosing to work out one part of the body in favor of the other is not an efficient way to lose weight or gain muscle. What is the point of having killer abs and strong arms when your lower body has little to no muscle definition?
Overtraining is constant intense training that does not provide adequate time for recovery. Pushing yourself too much and too far which causes the body to further break down. A proper workout routine always includes different workouts for different muscle groups. You also need to allocate rest days to help you relax, giving your muscles some time to repair and build themselves.
Overtraining then leads to issues such as an altered resting heart rate, insomnia, increased injury, extended muscle soreness, plateaued progress, a loss of concentration, and an increased risk of injury, among others (2). Having a varied routine also prevents boredom, delays a performance plateau, and improves adherence (10).
Creating a workout is not as hard as some would consider it to be. If you are finding it hard to do, here are some tips on how to create a workout plan that works best for you and your goals (6):
At the end of a set time – for example in 3 months – what goal would you have liked to have achieved? Are you looking to have a smaller waistline? Do you want to be able to run for 30 minutes straight or would you like to have increased your weights in the gym by an extra 10 pounds? Determining your goals helps you set a routine that guides you to work effectively towards this goal.
Some people like to be at the gym first thing Monday morning, while others prefer to work out from the middle of the week heading into the weekend. Whichever days you choose, make sure that they are days that fit effectively with your schedule, which will make it less likely for you to skip out on exercising.
Having an effective 4-day weight loss workout for men or women does not mean only doing cardio, HIIT, or strength training all the 4 days of the week. This will most likely lead to overtraining. Instead of doing this, it is advisable to dedicate different days to different types of exercises, all targeting different muscle groups i.e.,
PS: It is important to remember that you should not train only one muscle group all week. While you can train a specific muscle group two days in a row (7), dedicating a 4-day workout routine for weight loss to the same type of exercises for the same muscles groups will most likely lead to overtraining and possible injury.
When setting up your 4-day workout routine for weight loss and toning, it is important to realize that different goals require different approaches. One size doesn’t fit all. For example, for fat loss, it is advisable to do more reps (i.e., 15 to 20 reps per set), while toning and muscle gain requires few reps per set – about 8 to 12 reps.
After about 12 to 14 weeks of doing the same workouts, our body adapts to these moves and intensity and thus we end up burning less calories and the muscles tear less thus we end up experiencing a performance or weight loss plateau. Always change your workout routine after about 3 months.
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, if you are looking to lose weight, you should aim to accumulate a weekly total of at least five hours of moderate cardio (300 minutes), or two-and-a-half hours of vigorous activity (150 minutes) (5).
In terms of strength training, it is recommended that you do both isolation and compound exercises two to three days a week (4). In a 4-day workout routine for weight loss, you could aim for one or two days of strength training, depending on your schedule.
Every effective exercise plan needs to include a few minutes for warming up and cooling down. Warm-ups rev up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles, which in turn helps reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury. Cool-downs after a session allows your heart rate and blood pressure to slowly go back down to the pace they were at before you started your workout session. Failure to cool down could lead to light-headedness, dizziness and/or fainting (8).
If you tend to let yourself off the hook, raise the white flag when things get tougher than you expected, send yourself on an unconscious binge-eating trip – BetterMe app is here to help you leave all of these sabotaging habits in the past!
All kinds of physical activities burn calories and thus can help you lose weight. Whether you are gardening, mowing the lawn, cleaning utensils, working on your computer, running, cycling, playing soccer, or lifting weight, you are going to burn some calories.
What matters the most in all these activities is the intensity at which you do each activity. i.e., slow ballroom dancing for about 30 minutes can help a 155-pound person lose 112 calories while disco dancing could lead to losing 205 calories and ballet which uses a lot of muscle can burn 223 cals.
A 185-pound person running at 5 mph can burn 355 calories, while the same person running at 6.2 mph will burn 444 calories in 30 minutes (3).
Also known as an upper/lower split, this is a training style that breaks your workout sessions down into two categories: upper body workout days and lower body workout days. A 4-day upper lower workout routine for weight loss helps you stimulate each muscle group more frequently, which can help with weight loss and building muscle. It also allows you enough time between each workout to rest your muscles (8).
Such a split would be as follows:
The Best 4-Day Workout Routine For Weight Loss
This 4-day weight loss workout routine for men can also be done by women and is perfect for beginners and advanced gym-goers. Please note that this 4-day workout routine for weight loss and toning incorporates cardio, as well as isolation and compound exercises.
This can be done with a barbell, kettlebells, dumbbells, water bottles, or soup cans if you do not have any gym equipment at home.
Finish with a simple cool down.
This is a rest day. Take some time to relax and give your muscles some time to repair and recover.
Do a 30-minute HIIT workout and 3 sets of two lower and upper body workouts each.
Do a combination of lower and upper body workouts.
A 4-day workout routine for weight loss is a good idea for anyone who wishes to shed some extra pounds. Diving these exercises into two day intervals goes to further give you some time to rest and recover, preventing overtraining.
If you choose to attempt the above-outlined 4-day workout routine for weight loss and toning, please remember to first consult your doctor, especially if you have any underlying chronic illness.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!