Fitness

How to train effectively so you can lose weight and tone up

All the workouts in the world won't make a dint on those scales if you're not training effectively.

If you find that you're doing everything you can to lose those last couple of kilos (exercising, eating well), but the weight won't budge, perhaps the way you're training is to blame.

This doesn't mean that your current workouts haven't had any effect (I think you'll find you're much stronger and fit - the scales just may not reflect this yet), but there may be a way to optimise your workouts so you are getting maximum results.

This is where fitness expert, former gymnast and Voome's Stabilise program instructor, Sarah Biordi, comes into it.

Biordi has been a fitness instructor for more than 25 years, so she knows what she's doing! We pick her brain about toning up and losing weight - and what obstacles may be getting in the way of that.

Fitness expert Sarah Biordi reveals how you can train effectively

It helps to have a plan... or three! First up, get the okay from your medical professionals before beginning. If you're keen to start lifting weights or partaking in group fitness classes then also seek guidance from a fitness professional.

Personal trainers, sports coaches, gym floor staff, and group fitness instructors are there to guide you towards a fitter, stronger and healthier YOU safely and effectively.

Start small and keep expectations real... changes won't happen overnight, but if you are consistent and persistent with your efforts then there will be a whole lot of good stuff going on within you that will soon become evident on the outside!

Typically, when you finally commit to losing excess weight and toning up everyone else is thinking the same (this is usually at the beginning of summer or every Monday night in any gym!)

Therefore it pays to be flexible and adaptable with your workouts so that you can easily slide into Plan B should your Plan A derail. Ask yourself what muscle groups, workout location and equipment you hope to hit up in your next workout, and research alternatives for each so that you're not sitting idling when someone else beats you to it.

Be time savvy and keep the heat on by filling in the gaps - if you need to wait your turn, mark your place in line then pump out some chin ups, rope slams or push ups until it's your go.

Remember: "Good things come to those who hustle"!

How to train effectively at the gym so you can lose weight and tone up

Plan ahead so that you can:

1. Arrive knowing what you want to achieve and can move purposefully towards those goals
2. Keep shocking the body (for better and quicker results)
3. Cover all body bits across the week and avoid overuse injuries
4. Ensure exercise remains varied and interesting
5. Work towards specific goals and come away feeling like you've achieved your objectives!

How often to train to see results

We're all different in how we respond to exercise, so how quickly we tone very much depends on the individual. It's also important to note that any amount of exercise you can manage is beneficial!

Try aiming for a minimum of three to four sessions a week, then four to six once you become better conditioned.

A varied mix of exercise types, e.g. cardio, strength and mobility, and exercise modes, e.g. heavy loads/low reps vs. lighter loads/high reps, HIIT vs. steady state, etc. can not only do a good job in toning you up, they can slim you down, promote good heart and bone health, and have you mobilising with ease!

Sarah (Chooky) Biordi is a Fitness Expert for Voome.com.au. She has been a training instructor for 25 years, originally trained as a Les Mills instructor. Fitness has been in Sarah's blood from early on, successfully starting her career as an international gymnastics representative, who then went on to become a competitive gymnastics coach. She is now a mum of two little elite-level gymnasts and one non-gymnast bulldog puppy!