Back to the Basics

November 14, 2009

If you want to tone up, lose fat, or gain muscle, and you want to do it FAST, there are some key resistance exercises that can help you reach those goals.

Now, some of you may be thinking, “Hey!  Aren’t resistance exercises used just to build muscle?”  My answer to those thinking this thought is, “Yes, AND resistance training can be used to help to tone and lose fat as well”.

So, before getting into exactly what the exercises are, let’s talk a bit more about some of the different results resistance training can help you achieve.

When it comes to losing fat, many people feel that cutting back on food is all that is necessary to drop the fat pounds.  They are correct.  HOWEVER, dropping fat by diet alone leaves the dieter with a 95% chance of gaining the lost fat back.  Also, dropping fat by diet alone will cause a loss in muscle mass.  Losing muscle is completely undesirable for several reasons.

One, a loss in muscle mass will lead to a slow down in the rate at which your body burns calories, which will make it easier to pick up fat after the diet is finished.  Sad, but true.  Two, keeping our muscle mass up will help us avoid the slow-but-steady weight creep that most people experience as they age.  Three, muscle mass helps us to look better by giving us pleasing contours to our bodies.  This is true for men AND women (take note ladies!).

Resistance training helps in fat loss because it causes the body to attempt to hang on to its muscle mass while the fat loss is taking place.  Keeping your muscle mass will help keep your metabolism up, which will help you keep the pounds off once you’ve reached your fat loss goal.

If you’re looking simply to “tone” your body, that tone will be achieved with some fat loss along with either maintaining muscle mass or gaining some muscle mass.

If you’re goal is to gain muscle, you must provide your body sufficient calories so that it can add muscle, AND you must also train hard enough that your body responds to your training by putting on additional muscle.  The “training” in this instance is resistance training.  Nothing puts muscle on like resistance training can.

So, what are the exercises that can do all of this in the quickest way possible?  They are a group of exercises many call the “basic” weight exercises.

What are the basics?  Here are a few:

1. The squatsquats

2. The deadliftdeadlift

3. The overhead pressoverhead press

4. The bench pressbench press

5. Chin-upschin ups

Performing these five exercises will work the legs, back, shoulders, chest and arms.  Each exercise requires a strong core, and thus the core is worked as you perform the exercises.  When performed with free weights, each exercise involves large groups of your body’s muscles.

These exercises are not easy.  But they are effective.

Do you want overall body strength and muscle tone?  Do you want to lose fat while keeping your muscle mass?  Do you want to minimize the amount of time you need to exercise in order to get the results you want?  Then building a workout routine that includes these exercises as its foundation is the way to go.


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8 Responses to “Back to the Basics”

  1. I like your recommendations. This seems to be a compact and effective workout that will yield real results.

    Steve Chambers

  2. JJ Jalopy says:

    Great exercises Darryl!

    Simple is often best…

  3. Martin says:

    There are so many “complicated” ways of exercising nowadays. It’s refreshing to know that a few simple (but not necessarily easy!) regular resistance exercises can yield great all round results.

    Martin Wright
    Impact, Poise, Presenting

  4. Don Shepherd says:

    those are excellent exercises for healthy bodies.

    any suggestions for people with limitations like bad shoulders or backs? i would think lots of people with old injuries would like to get rid of some fat but don’t know what exercises to do to.

    Don Shepherd
    Central Oregon Expert

  5. John Ho says:


    What’re “basics” are not that basic after all as they get you the results as long as you keep the rountine.

    Persistence always pays off.

    John Ho

  6. I feel so bad for people who torture themselves with a rigid diet for months, they lose a ton of weight, then they gradually gain it all back. You definitely need to do some exercise as well.

    Lisa McLellan
    Babysitting Services – Babysitter in your area

  7. Lynn Lane says:

    Basics are always a great place to start and finish. Thanks for the great information as always.

    Lynn Lane

    Success Strategies For Life

  8. Hi Darryl,

    I’m reminded of my high school softball coach, “fundamentals, fundamentals,” was his refrain. These “back to basics” for fitness work outs are excellent reminders.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell



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