The Best Exercise Types for Weight Loss

There are a number of training methods out there that you can utilise for weight loss, but which one is more suited to you and your training style? Let’s break it down and find out.

best exercises for weight loss

How does exercise aid weight loss? 

Exercise has a number of major benefits to weight loss.  The most significant is aiding a calorie deficit.  You can create a calorie deficit by eating less, exercising more, or both. A calorie deficit is the key to losing any weight or body fat. 

 Additional benefits include improving your overall fitness. Doing this will lead to a faster metabolism, better sleep, and more energy in your day-to-day life. 

 Exercising also naturally builds strength as you progress and build some muscle. This is not saying you will end up walking sideways through doors, but it can fill any loose skin left by fat reduction and provide a more toned, solid physique.

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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) may be more effective for weight loss than longer less intense workouts. One study suggested all the participants experienced 28.5% greater weight loss however, HIIT is not for everyone. 

Short blocks of high-intensity work with even shorter rest periods, will increase your energy output and burn more calories. 



Tabata is a form of HIIT and is a structured training mechanism.  Working for 20 seconds with a rest of 10 seconds but you work in 4-minute blocks equalling 8 rounds of work.  Trust me, this is a grind.  



‘LISS’ stands for “Low-Intensity Steady-State” training, rather than pushing yourself beyond your boundaries for short bursts, you aim for a low level of exertion for a longer period, continuous period of time. 

 This is a much friendlier version of your HIIT and Tabata but can take more time.  You will still hit them calorie goals though. 

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Cardio is one sure-fire way to improve your fitness and will burn calories too.  Cardio will improve your cardiovascular system which improves your overall fitness.  This can include the treadmill, rowing machine, cross-trainer, to name a few, and that is just in the gym. 

 Other forms of cardio however can include simply walking the dog, cleaning the house, doing a spot of gardening, an activity day with the kids or hitting the pool for some lengths. 

It has also shown that mixing your cardio with 2-3 resistance training sessions per week, will increase the rate you lose weight.

Strength Training 

Strength training will elicit fat loss due to the energy expenditure and increased weight you need to resist.  The increased muscle and strength will burn body fat and increase your metabolism. 

 If the numbers on the scales start to plateau though, don’t worry.  Muscle is denser and weighs more than fat so although your fat is being reduced, the muscle will replace this as it grows.

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Weight Training 

When people think of weight training, they see people walking sideways through doors or ripped to the core however, this is not always the case. 

 The way you shape your body when you train with weight and resistance is mainly down to your calorie intake.  A slight calorie deficit with the right rep and set range will reduce your body and in time, produce a more toned look and solid, stronger feel. 

Exercise, in general, will reduce body fat and when muscles are being worked, they become bigger and stronger and will burn more fat that is stored around the muscles. 



Cross Training is a growing trend and is exactly what it says on the tin. Combining cardio, weight resistance, and gymnastics, this is one form of exercise that will make you stronger, fitter, and more flexible. 

 The luxury is, you get to manage your own workload however, it is designed to really push your boundaries and get you sweating. 


Body Weight / Calisthenics 

Likely to be the most convenient form of training, using your bodyweight as resistance can make it easy if you have limited time, equipment, or space to train. 

 It is really important to progressively overload your training here though to ensure progress is being made and you can do that by adding reps, sets, or reducing rest time to make the workouts harder. 


Take home message 

Whether it’s high intensity or a gentle stroll, there’s a form of exercise that can benefit you and your experience, age or lifestyle.  Nothing can hold you back. 

 As long as your calories are right and your training is on point, you’ll melt the calories off.

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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Chris Appleton

Chris Appleton

Writer and expert

Chris is an editor and a level 3 qualified Personal Trainer, with a BA honours degree in Sports Coaching and Development, and a level 3 qualification in Sports Nutrition. He has experience providing fitness classes and programs for beginners and advanced levels of clients and sports athletes. Chris is also a qualified football coach, delivering high-level goalkeeping and fitness training at a semi-professional level, with nutritional advice to help maintain optimal performance. His experience in the sports and fitness industry spans 15 years and is continuously looking to improve. In his spare time, Chris likes to dedicate it to his family while training in the gym.

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