I'm trying to lose weight right now, but I would like to simultaneously keep lean muscle and build muscle/burn body fat. I know I've read the BEST thing to do is HIIT once a week, and alternate weight lifting/cardio during the week. I really don't know how to go about this though.... what do I do for weight lifting? Does that just mean dumbbells? I'm trying to build a strong core. And is 3mph inclined walking okay for cardio or should I run (I tend to get shin splints)? Also for HIIT is 1x a week enough?
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There is no ideal routine or workout or exercise combination to achieve any results. What gets the job done will vary from person to person, from month to month, from day to day.
The best thing to do is just do it. Whatever it is, just do it. However, typically some combination of HIIT, weights, and cardio is ideal to get a high performance and lean body. Now, you don't have to do all three of those every day, every week, or even every month...just generally most people have the greatest results when they incorporate all three of those things into their routine over the course of any given year and workout consistently. Flexibility training is also underrated, IMHO.
If you are new to working out, I would suggest doing something daily. Pick from HIIT, carido, weights, and flexibility training. A week for a beginner could like this: Monday is upper body weights, Tuesday is cardio, Wednesday is lowerbody plyometric workout, Thursday is yoga, Friday is upper body, Saturday is HIIT, Sunday is yoga. Now you don't have to work out 6-7 days per week, but I personally think you will have better results if you're working out daily. You're workouts don't have to be long, just effective.
As for the exercises, start with basic movements: dips, push ups, pull ups, rows, overhead presses, squats (all kinds), and lunges. If you want to add more accessory work that's fine, but make the afformentioned movements the basis for your routine. Accessory movements are isolation exercises like curls, extensions, lateral raises and rear delt flyes. Rep ranges depend on your goals, but good starting reps is anywhere between 8-12. dumbbells, barbells, and body weight is ideal.
Variety is the spice of life when it comes to getting a lean, athletic, and healthy body.
Primal Blueprint has a free Fitness eBook (if you sign up for the newsletter) that has some good exercises you can do at home.
Also, even if you are not into CrossFit, there are simple WODs you can do at home that are great; I love doing these with my kids: