Published March 30, 2013

The Secret's Out: The Best Exercises For Fat Loss

by Helen M. Ryan
kid on a shocking face

I'm going to challenge the experts right now and state that PX90® and similar programs are not effective for weight loss. I'll 'splain myself in a minute, Lucy.

Flashback to a few weeks ago.

A friend of mine stopped by my house while out on a bicycle ride and we chatted about our lives and, most importantly, about exercise and fitness. He remembered an exercise class he went to once—and only once. My friend (who is an active guy and has been active for most of his 50+ years of life) said that the class was 'too hard,' and then shared this brilliant thought:  "I am at the point in my life where I won't exercise it if it's too hard and I don't enjoy it."

This makes perfect sense

With all the hype about PX90, Crossfit and Tabata training (all good workouts and training methods, by the way), the reason that they don't work is that they are too hard for most people to do...or to at least do consistently.

Who wants to work that hard for the length of time it would take to see serious results and lose serious weight? Not very many people. It's not because they are lazy. It's because the programs themselves are not enjoyable or even somewhat tolerable.

People have been talking smack lately about longer cardio sessions and the trend right now is to do shorter, very hard intervals (bleh). And while I agree that intervals are great for burning fat (yes, we do them in Spinning class, too, though I don't like them as much), longer, steadier bouts of cardio are also good for weight loss. (I lost 80 pounds, mostly because of Spinning and healthier eating). Let's not forget to mention the myriad of health benefits regular cardiovascular exercise offers.

Which brings me back to my friend, his nugget of wisdom and my bold statement (re-phrased here):

Spinning is more effective for fat loss and weight loss than, say, PX90.
For me. As an individual.

  • I will actually do Spinning...and I won't do jumping jacks.
  • I will get up early on a Saturday morning to teach a Spinning class...but I won't get up early on a Saturday morning to run in place.
  • I will be on that bike four days a week, pumping my way to better health and a most excellent mood...but I won't be rushing to do burpees and plyometrics those same number of days.

So the secret exercises for weight loss? Ones you will actually do

Walk, ride, dance, or run to your heart's content. As long as you challenge yourself (that's the real secret) and stay consistent, you will succeed. Forget the hype. Forget the trends. Listen to your body. And move.

What's your favorite exercise?