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Weight and interval training are effective for both men and women.
A workout plan for three days a week will be a moderate-intensity program. It should include a combination of resistance training, high-intensity cardio, and leisurely activity. This combination will allow you to develop or maintain your lean muscle mass, control your levels of body fat, and manage the amount of stress on your body.
Get The Upper Hand
Weight training, or resistance work, is a highly effective way to exercise. It will improve your strength, power and endurance for everyday activities, and will increase lean muscle mass while reducing body fat. Do one upper-body session and one lower-body session per week. Your upper body session should be three sets of the following exercises: Bench press, bent over row, overhead press, bicep curls and triceps kickbacks. Choose weights that will allow you to complete at least eight repetitions, but not more than 12. Be sure to warm up before your session to practice the movements and reduce the risk of injury.
Your lower-body workout for the week should be challenging. Lower body workouts burn more calories and recruit more muscle fibers than an upper body workout. The exercises also tend to be more draining on the central nervous system, so make sure you are rested and hydrated before your session. The workout should include three sets of deadlifts, squats, lunges, and calf raises. Again, warm up carefully beforehand, and choose weights that allow for eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise.
Bring The HIIT
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a particularly tough form of cardio. It is highly effective for burning body fat and for increasing your cardiovascular capacity. Include it once a week on a non-lifting day, as it's most effective when your body is not fatigued from other activity. To complete a HIIT session, work as hard as you can for a set period of time, then rest for a set period. For example, you could sprint for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds, and repeat this sequence eight to 10 times.
Complete With Cardio
Low-intensity steady-state cardio, also known as LISS, will round out each of your workouts. After both your weightlifting sessions and HIIT workout, walk for two to 30 minutes. This low-intensity activity will burn off fat released from cells instead of allowing it to return to storage. It will also reduce the amount of cortisol -- a fat-retaining stress hormone -- circulating in your bloodstream, and cool your muscles down to reduce the risk of injury and post-workout soreness.