How To Start Working Out For Fat Loss / Weight Loss?

Today’s Ask Lee question comes from John Schakley of New York:

QUESTION: “Lee I am 60 pounds overweight and just don’t know how to start getting in shape. I’ve recently started doing cardio, but I’ve yet to try resistance exercises. I was hoping you could help me start off on the right foot.”

Watch The Video To See Lee’s Answer


ANSWER: John congratulations on getting motivated enough to write in and having the desire to do something about your shape. As the old saying goes, the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step, and you are taking that first vital step by making up your mind to improve your shape.

Here’s the good news – you’re on the right track if you’re thinking about doing resistance training exercises. I’m a big believer that resistance training, or training with weights, has the most profound impact on body composition and metabolism of any form of exercise.

That’s because weight training stimulates muscle tissue, and the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn. It’s almost like a virtuous cycle, as you add more muscle you burn more fat. Cardio exercise is great for your heart, and also helps to burn fat, but I am convinced that the most dramatic effects to your body will come from weight training. With that being said, let’s look at some of the things that you can do to get started on a great fat loss program.

Before you start any exercise program, you should visit with your doctor to determine that you are in good enough health to start. Once your doctor has given you the okay, you should check around for a good local gym that you can join. Signing up for a gym isn’t 100% necessary. In fact you can work out at home, with a few pieces of exercise equipment like a barbell or a bench. But the advantage that I see in joining a gym is that you will be in an environment with other like-minded people, and that’s often a motivating factor. Don’t fall for the old misconception that “I’m going to join a gym as soon as I lose 20 pounds.” Most of the time that I hear this it tells me that people are embarrassed about the way that they look. But you’re going to the gym in order to change the way that you look, so it makes sense to do it right now.

Once you’re signed up for a gym, I would recommend that you ease into it with a simple circuit training routine. I’m going to provide you with a list of nine exercises, which you will perform in sequence, as your workout. Here are the exercises:

1) underhand pull down. This exercise works your back muscles.
2) standing barbell curl. This exercise works the biceps muscles of your arm.
3) ab crunches. This exercise works your abdominals.
4) bench presses. This exercise works your chest muscles.
5) seated barbell press. This exercise works your shoulder muscles.
6) lying triceps extension. This exercise works your triceps muscles.
7) squats. This exercise works your leg muscles
8) leg curls. This exercise works your hamstrings.
9) standing calf raises. This exercise works your calves.

A trainer at your gym can show you how to perform these exercises, or you can also find them detailed out for you in my book the Lean Body Promise, available at, and in my videos on my YouTube channel.

Coming back to the exercises…

All you have to do is to complete one set of 10-12 repetitions of each of these exercises. After each exercise, pause to catch your breath before going onto the next exercise. You want to rest long enough in between sets to catch your breath. Continue through the list of the nine exercises until you have finished each of them.

The day following your workout, skip these exercises and instead do 20 minutes of cardio exercise either on a treadmill or stationary bike.

To summarize, the program involves alternating one day of weight training, followed with one day of cardio. If you have to take a day off, just pick up where you left off. It’s that easy.

This exercise program is a basic program that you should follow for several weeks to help you get into shape for an intermediate program. You can find an intermediate weight training program in my book, the Lean Body Promise, available here.

I’m Lee Labrada, your lean body coach.

Yours for a Lean Body,

Your Lean Body Coach™
Houston, Texas

About the Author: One of the world’s most well-known and celebrated bodybuilding legends, Lee Labrada holds 22 professional bodybuilding titles, including the IFBB Mr. Universe. He is one of few pro bodybuilders in history to consistently place in the top four at the Mr. Olympia competition (the “Super Bowl” of bodybuilding) for seven consecutive years—a feat he shares with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He has appeared on the covers of more than 100 bodybuilding and fitness magazines and has been featured on CNBC, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and ESPN as a fitness and nutrition expert.

Lee was also inducted into the Bodybuilding Hall of Fame, is an Internationally known best selling fitness authos and holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. For more about Lee please visit his page here: Lee Labrada’s page.