Weight Loss Workout Plan For Men: Building a Routine

Craig Primack, MD, FACP, FAAP, MFOMA

Reviewed by Craig Primack, MD, FACP, FAAP, FOMA

Written by Vanessa Gibbs

Published 04/30/2024

You’ve got a lot of choice when it comes to weight loss workouts for men. Running, burpees, jump rope, the elliptical — it can get overwhelming just thinking about what to do. 

To help, we’ve created a weight loss workout plan for men. It combines aerobic activity with strength training exercises that slowly increase over six weeks.

Let’s dive in.

When it comes to workouts, there’s no single best male weight loss routine. The most important thing is that you’re incorporating more movement into your week — whatever that looks like for you. 

Ideally, you’d get a mix of aerobic exercise and strength training. 

Here are the guidelines

  • Aim for at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week. 

  • Aim for at least two strength training sessions a week that target all major muscle groups. 

And don’t worry, this doesn’t need to happen all at once. Phew! 

You can divide up your exercise across the week. For example, you could do an hour of aerobic activity three days a week or 30 minutes a day across five days.

And you don’t need to hit those numbers straight away. If you’re just starting out, ease yourself in and gradually increase how much movement you do each week with those recommended amounts in mind. 

Doing a mix of aerobic exercise and strength training is great for your overall health, but also for weight loss. 

Here’s how different types of exercise can help you lose weight: 

  • Aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is your classic cardio — think activities like running, swimming or cycling, or anything that gets your heart rate up. Research shows that aerobic exercise can help you lose weight, lose fat and reduce your body mass index (BMI). 

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is made up of bursts of high-intensity movement — hence the name — followed by recovery periods. This could be activities like sprints on the treadmill or a CrossFit class. HIIT is effective at reducing body weight, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, and it can improve your body composition, too. Along with steady aerobic exercise, HIIT can promote visceral fat loss — this is the fat that sits deep within the abdomen.

  • Strength training. Strength training — aka resistance training or weight training — can include training with dumbbells or kettlebells, machines in the gym or your body weight as part of a home workout. It can help you maintain and gain muscle mass. When you carry more muscle, your basal metabolic rate — the amount of calories your body burns at rest — is higher, so you naturally burn more calories day to day. Research suggests that combining aerobic exercise with strength training may be more effective for weight loss and fat loss than aerobic exercise or strength training alone. So, the best male fat loss workout plan will include both.

  • Rest days. That’s right, rest days are an integral part of any workout program. They give your body the chance to recover from all your hard work. Aim for one to three rest days a week, depending on how you structure the rest of your workouts. 

New to strength training? Start with a low weight and work your way up. 

“When strength training, people should generally shoot for three to six sets of six to 12 reps,” says Dr. Mike Bohl, Medical Advisor at Hims & Hers, licensed physician and certified personal trainer.

“The ideal number of reps and sets depends on your goals, though. Lower reps and sets — at a heavier weight — is better for building muscle strength. While higher reps and sets — at a lower weight — is better for building muscle endurance.” 

For example, if you’re looking to build strength, you would do six repetitions of an exercise before taking a short break and repeating that three times. 

Now you know what goes into the ideal workout plan, it’s time to get started. Read on for what six weeks of workouts could look like incorporating both cardio and weight training for weight loss.

“Push” day. This will target your chest, triceps and shoulders. 

Do some dynamic stretching to warm up. This includes stretches with movement to warm up your muscles, like arm circles, leg swings and walking lunges. 

Strength exercises include: 

  • Chest press

  • Incline press

  • Pec fly 

  • Overheard press

  • Delt fly 

  • Triceps extension 

  • Triceps dips 

Aim for three to six sets of six to 12 reps for each exercise. 

Add in 30 minutes of your favorite aerobic exercise, such as: 

  • Running 

  • Cycling 

  • Swimming

  • Brisk walking

  • Sports like tennis, basketball or volleyball 

Do some static stretches to cool down. This is when you hold a stretch for about 15 to 30 seconds. 

“Pull” day. This will target your upper back, biceps and lats. 

Do some dynamic stretching to warm up.

Strength exercises include: 

  • Pull-ups 

  • Chin-ups 

  • Rear delt fly 

  • Lat pull-down

  • Seated row 

  • Hammer curls 

  • Bicep curls 

Aim for three to six sets of six to 12 reps for each exercise. 

Add in 30 minutes of your favorite aerobic exercise.

Do some static stretches to cool down.

Lower body day. This will target your lower back, legs and abs. 

Do some dynamic stretching to warm up.

Strength exercises include: 

  • Leg extension 

  • Leg flexion 

  • Leg press

  • Calf raises 

  • Squats 

  • Lower back extension 

  • Sit-ups 

  • Crunches

Aim for three to six sets of six to 12 reps for each exercise. 

Add in 30 minutes of your favorite aerobic exercise.

Do some static stretches to cool down.

Rest day. 

Consider doing some active recovery like walking or gentle stretching. 

Repeat this four-day routine for six weeks. 

Every two to four rotations, increase the weight you’re using in your strength training exercises. Don’t force this, though. 

“When you feel like your workout is getting too easy, it’s time to increase the weight,” says Dr. Bohl. “A general rule of thumb is not to increase weight by more than 10 percent at a time. If you’re increasing it more frequently, though — such as every week — you might want to go by smaller increments, like 2.5 percent at a time.” 

Don’t be afraid to mix up the types of aerobic activity you do too. Need inspiration? Check out our guide to the best sport to lose weight

You can also slowly increase how much aerobic exercise you do until you reach — or exceed — the recommended 150 to 300 minutes a week.

To maintain weight loss, aim for 200 to 300 minutes of physical activity a week. 

With all that in mind, here’s what a six-week male workout plan for weight loss and muscle gain could look like. 

Week

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

1
Push day + 30 minutes cardio
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio
Lower body + 30 minutes cardio
Rest day
Push day + 30 minutes cardio Consider increasing the weight by five to 10 percent.
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio
Lower body + 30 minutes cardio
2
Rest Day
Push day + 30 minutes cardio
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio
Lower body + 30 minutes cardio
Rest day
Push day + 30 minutes cardio Consider increasing the weight by five to 10 percent.
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio
3
Lower body + 30 minutes cardio
Rest day
Push day + 30 minutes cardio
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio
Lower body + 30 minutes cardio
Rest day
Push day + 30 minutes cardio Consider increasing the weight by five to 10 percent.
4
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio
Lower body + 30 minutes cardio
Rest day
Push day + 30 minutes cardio
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio
Lower body + 30 minutes cardio
Rest day
5
Push day + 30 minutes cardio Consider increasing the weight by five to 10 percent.
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio
Lower body + 30 minutes cardio
Rest day
Push day + 30 minutes cardio
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio
Lower body + 30 minutes cardio
6
Rest Day
Push day + 30 minutes cardio Consider increasing the weight by five to 10 percent.
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio
Lower body + 30 minutes cardio
Rest day
Push day + 30 minutes cardio
Pull day + 30 minutes cardio

Incorporating more movement into your day is an important part of weight loss, but that movement doesn’t have to be all gym sessions and cardio classes. 

You can do more movement through everyday activities like:

  • Taking the stairs over the elevator 

  • Parking your car further away from the office and walking for a little longer 

  • Playing catch with your kids or fetch with your pet 

  • Doing physical chores like gardening 

  • Standing during phone calls 

  • Going for a walk on your lunch break or after dinner 

It all adds up to help you reach your weekly movement goals. 

If you’re looking to lose weight, following a workout routine is a great place to start. 

Here’s what else to keep in mind to promote weight loss: 

  • Eat nutritious foods. Opt for fruits, vegetables, whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal and lean protein like chicken, fish and tofu. Healthy whole foods will keep you fueled and feeling your best during your workouts and boost weight loss. 

  • Drink more water. Water can keep you hydrated, but it’s also linked to weight loss. It can suppress your appetite and promote lipolysis, the breakdown of fat for energy. 

  • Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can mess with your hunger hormones, increasing your appetite and caloric intake. Getting enough shut-eye also helps you recover from your workouts.

Weight loss medication can also play a role in your weight loss journey. Medications like Ozempic and metformin can lead to weight loss as they can suppress your appetite, helping you eat fewer calories. 

Curious how they stack up? We’ve compared Ozempic vs. metformin

A weekly workout plan for men to lose weight takes the guesswork out of exercise and helps you hit the recommended physical activity guidelines. Plus, who doesn’t love the feeling of ticking off workout after workout? 

Here are the key things to keep in mind when starting a workout plan: 

  • Aim for both aerobic exercise and strength training. Both types of exercise are useful for weight loss. You can follow a structured plan, like the one above, or simply try to incorporate a mixture of both into your week. Don’t forget to ease yourself in slowly if you’re new to working out and increase the weight when your strength training sessions start feeling too easy. 

  • Consider daily movement beyond your workout plan. Taking the stairs, walking the dog, doing yard work. It all counts. Look for opportunities to get a little more movement into each day. 

  • Don’t forget nutrition, hydration and sleep. Stock up on nutritious foods, drink plenty of water and aim for at least seven hours of shut-eye a night. These key steps will help you lose weight and feel your best while doing it. 

Weight loss medication can also be a useful tool to help with weight loss. 

If you’re looking into your options, you can explore weight loss treatments from Hims.

8 Sources

  1. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. (2018). https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf
  2. Wang, H., Cheng, R., Xie, L., & Hu, F. (2024). Comparative efficacy of exercise training modes on systemic metabolic health in adults with overweight and obesity: a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Frontiers in endocrinology, 14, 1294362. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10823366/
  3. Chiu, C. H., Ko, M. C., Wu, L. S., Yeh, D. P., Kan, N. W., Lee, P. F., Hsieh, J. W., Tseng, C. Y., & Ho, C. C. (2017). Benefits of different intensity of aerobic exercise in modulating body composition among obese young adults: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Health and quality of life outcomes, 15(1), 168. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5571495/
  4. Kramer, A. M., Martins, J. B., de Oliveira, P. C., Lehnen, A. M., & Waclawovsky, G. (2023). High-intensity interval training is not superior to continuous aerobic training in reducing body fat: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Journal of exercise science and fitness, 21(4), 385–394. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1728869X23000461
  5. Ho, S. S., Dhaliwal, S. S., Hills, A. P., & Pal, S. (2012). The effect of 12 weeks of aerobic, resistance or combination exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors in the overweight and obese in a randomized trial. BMC public health, 12,704. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-12-704
  6. Jensen, M. D., Ryan, D. H., Apovian, C. M., Ard, J. D., Comuzzie, A. G., Donato, K. A., Hu, F. B., Hubbard, V. S., Jakicic, J. M., Kushner, R. F., Loria, C. M., Millen, B. E., Nonas, C. A., Pi-Sunyer, F. X., Stevens, J., Stevens, V. J., Wadden, T. A., Wolfe, B. M., Yanovski, S. Z., Jordan, H. S., … Obesity Society (2014). 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Circulation, 129(25 Suppl 2), S102–S138. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5819889/
  7. Thornton S. N. (2016). Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss. Frontiers in nutrition, 3, 18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4901052/
  8. Papatriantafyllou, E., Efthymiou, D., Zoumbaneas, E., Popescu, C. A., & Vassilopoulou, E. (2022). Sleep Deprivation: Effects on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance. Nutrients, 14(8), 1549. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/8/1549
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Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Craig Primack, MD, FACP, FAAP, FOMA

Dr. Craig Primack MD, FACP, FAAP, FOMA is a physician specializing in obesity medicine.

He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois and subsequently attended medical school at Loyola University — The Stritch School of Medicine. 

He completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and in Pediatrics at Banner University- Phoenix, and Phoenix Children's Hospital. He received post-residency training in Obesity Medicine and is one of about 7,000 physicians in the U.S. certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

In 2006, Dr. Primack co-founded Scottdale Weight Loss Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he began practicing full-time obesity medicine. Scottsdale Weight Loss Center has grown since then to six obesity medicine clinicians in four locations around the greater Phoenix Metropolitan area.

From 2019–2021, he served as president of the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA), a society of over 5,000 clinicians dedicated to clinical obesity medicine. He has been on the OMA board since 2010, currently serving as ex-officio trustee.

Dr. Primack routinely does media interviews regarding weight loss and regularly speaks around the country educating medical professionals about weight loss and obesity care. He is co-author of the book, “Chasing Diets.”

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