With so many machines to choose from in the gym, it might be hard to decipher exactly which to use when the goal is busting belly fat.
Here are some machines to add to your routine before you start working out #absfordays.
Gym machines ideal for targeting belly fat:
- Focus on fat loss: Before you begin an intense weekly ab circuit, remember to focus on fat loss first. Outside of the gym, take steps to clean up your diet. It may make sense for you to download a fitness app to track your food intake and exercise goals.
That's not to say you can't benefit from the occasional ab circuit. Strength training is an excellent way to complement your weight loss regimen. Just be sure your primary focus is cardio. Whenever possible, aim to include 20-30 minutes of intense cardio per day.
- Treadmill: There's a reason most gyms are fully stocked with treadmill equpment; they are critical to meeting your weight loss goals. Don't limit yourself to walking while you watch your favorite shows. To meet your weight loss goals, you need to challenge yourself. Increase the incline to a hill while you walk to boost calories burned. You may also want to incorporate a HiiT circuit - start out walking for one minutes, then jog for one minute, then sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Repeat!
- Elliptical: The elliptical is a great alternative to the treadmill, espeically if the heavy impact of running and jogging causes pain in your knees, hips, or back. The elliptical enables you to get your heart racing just like a treadmill but with less impact. Don't just hop on the elliptical and start spinning. Challenge yourself. Alternate 5 minute sessions of high-resistance, like you're trudging through mud, and quick bursts at a low resistance.
- Stair Climber: Once you've built your strength and endurance on the treadmill, start incorporating sessions on the stair climber. Don't be intimidated by this machine! Just step up, and start off nice and slow. Once your comfortable with how the machine works, step up the pace (no pun intended.) Aim to challenge yourself at a steady pace for 15-20 minutes.
- Spin Bike: Whether you're just starting out, or looking to challenge yourself even further, you can benefit from attending a guided spin class. The instructor can show you how to adjust the spin bike to your necessary settings. Guided cardio is an ideal weight loss program for anyone that may struggle with truly challenging themself over time. From 45-60 minutes you will be seriously challenged. Plus, there's nothing like group motivation to push you to that extra mile.
What should your routine look like?
If you're serious about weight loss, you will need to make exercise part of your lifestyle. That's not just a cliche. It's true! Make a commitment to go to the gym or spend time outside every day. Allow yourself 1-2 days off to rest. But even rest days can be active rest days. Make small changes to your every day routine to get more steps in. Try taking a walk at lunch, taking the stairs, or doing a 10-minute ab circuit in the morning.
Variety is the spice of life! Here is an example workout program you can try:
- Day 1: Treadmill for 30 minutes - Alternate walking uphill and jogging at a moderate pace every five minutes. Try not to hold on to the top of the treadmill machine while walking uphill - you are severely limiting your calories burned when you hold on. Choose a pace that allows you to focus driving strength through your legs. Stay on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
- Day 2: Elliptical for 30 minutes - Alternate 5 minute sessions of super high-resistance, like you're trudging through mud, and quick bursts at a low resistance. Aim to increase your resistance and speed as time goes on.
- Day 3: Strength training - Lifting weights can be an excellent complement to building strength. Try some of these exercises for beginners:
- Day 4: Treadmill for 30 minutes - Incorporate HiiT training into this circuit. Here is where you'll really challenge yourself. Walk for two minutes. Then, jog for one minute. Then, sprint ALL OUT for 30 seconds. Then, turn it down and walk for two minutes. Repeat! The is one of the best ways to get your heart rate up sustainably. Burn, baby, burn!
- Day 5: Spin Class - Attend a guided cardio class. Spin class is a great option for advanced gym goers or beginners. You'll love the group atmosphere and motivation from your instructor.
- Day 6: Active Rest - Take a 20 minute walk outside, walk up and down several floors of stairs, or do a quick at-home workout.
- Day 7: Stair Climber 30 minutes - Choose a pace that allows you to challenge yourself for a full 30 minutes.
Are you ready to start your weight loss journey? Cindy lost 150 pounds (and counting!) by making regular exercise part of her lifestyle. At Jersey Strong, we know that everyone's path to fitness is unique. Give us a try for free for five days! Get started on your journey at absolutely no cost or commitment.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October of 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.