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15 Best Gym Workouts for Weight Loss and Toning

15 Best Gym Workouts for Weight Loss and Toning

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Expert Review By: Steven Cleark&

This Article Will Guide On:

  • Gym workouts for weight loss 
  • Gym workouts for toning 
  • 15 best gym workouts for weight loss and toning

Weight loss comes about when you burn more calories than you consume. Gym workouts aid in weight loss by increasing the number of calories that you burn. You may want to lose weight and go a step further by toning your body to have a perfect physique. Toning refers to the reduction of body fat appearance by tightening up your muscles and shaping them. You must indulge in strength and resistance training gym workouts to tone up. This article provides the 15 best gym workouts to help you in weight loss and toning. These workouts will help you burn fat and strengthen, tighten, and shape your muscles. 

15 Best Workouts For Weight Loss and Toning in 2023

#1 High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 

    High-intensity interval training (HIIT) consists of vigorous exercises alternated with little rest or recovery periods. Typically, HIIT workouts take about 10-30 minutes but are highly beneficial. These workouts are suitable for weight loss since they help burn many calories and fat quickly, increase your metabolic rate, improve your oxygen intake and aerobic and anaerobic performance, and may increase muscle mass. 

    In the gym, you can create your own HIIT workout plan. For example, you can perform squats as fast as possible for 30-90 seconds, then walk or stand for 30-90 seconds before repeating the pattern for 10-30 minutes. 

    #2 Treadmill Intervals 

      The treadmill can improve heart health, encourage fat and weight loss, and strengthen muscles. During treadmill intervals, you vary the speed and inclination of the treadmill as you gradually increase your time on the treadmill. The training enables your muscles to change between aerobic and anaerobic exercise and increases the number of calories and fat that you burn. 

      #3 Cycling 

        Cycling in the gym offers many benefits, including burning fat, losing weight, increasing endurance, strengthening your legs, improving balance, posture, and coordination, and preventing cardiovascular diseases. 

        With the help of your trainer, you can create your cycling workout for effective weight loss and toning. For instance, you can start with a 15-minute warm-up, then sprint all out for 20 seconds, rest for as long as you can to regain your breath, repeat this about 8 times, and cool down for 10 minutes. 

        #4 Stair Climbing


          Using stair climbing machines in the gym helps to work up your cardio and strengthen your muscles more. These machines are more effective since they provide more challenging workouts. They do not allow relative rest between flights you typically get when you climb up or run down physical stairs. 

          #5 Weightlifting


             Weightlifting is carrying weights to increase muscle strength, size, and power. It is highly beneficial for toning since it strengthens and helps shape the muscles. It also aids in fat loss, which is essential for toning. 

            #6 Bodyweight Exercises


              Bodyweight exercises involve using your body weight as resistance. They improve cardiovascular endurance and help to strengthen and shape muscles. Examples include push-ups, lunges, squats, and planks. 

              #7 Resistance Band Workouts


                Resistance bands are elastic, and large bands are used to exercise the body. Incorporating resistance bands in your workout can help you improve your muscle strength and flexibility. You can use these bands while seated or standing, making them suitable for nearly all bodyweight workouts. 

                #8 Core Workouts


                  Your core refers to the central part of your body, including your stomach, pelvis, hips, and lower back. Core workouts train your core muscles to create stability. Gym core workouts bring your toning goals quicker since they can incorporate equipment unavailable at home. The best core exercises are bird dogs, planks, glute bridges, and leg raises. 

                  #9 Compound Exercises 


                    Compound exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. They may involve a single exercise, such as mountain climbers, which targets your shoulders, hamstrings, core, triceps, and quads, or a combination of two or more exercises that target different muscles. These exercises aid in weight loss and help tone your body. 

                    #10 Yoga Workouts 


                      If you aim to tone up, yoga may be beneficial in improving your strength, balance, and flexibility and reducing your recovery period.

                      You can incorporate yoga into your workout plan by having it as a warm-up, setting aside days specifically for yoga, or doing it every morning to complement your evening workout.

                      #11 Pilates


                        Pilates is a whole-body exercise aimed at improving your athletic performance. Although it emphasizes core strength, it also develops functional and sustainable movement patterns by working your stabilizing muscles, thereby aligning your whole body’s structure. They increase core strength, improve posture, prevent injuries, improve flexibility and mobility, and increase your energy levels. 

                        #12 Boot Camp Classes


                          Boot camp workouts include a variety of cardio, strength training, and speed workouts, all done in a single session, making them suitable for weight loss and toning. Typically, they involve 2-5 rounds of 5-10 workouts. They may also be divided into a few circuits, which consist of 2-3 exercises depending on the type of workouts involved, your fitness level, and your workout length. 

                          #13 Circuit Training 


                            Circuit training is a form of full-body training involving alternating between different exercises with minimal to no rest between the exercises. It combines cardio and strength training to improve muscular endurance and strength, support weight loss, and promote heart health. 

                            #14 Crossfit 


                              This form of high-intensity power fitness includes dynamic exercises such as Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, kettlebells, and explosive bodyweight movements. It may burn calories, help manage weight, and improve physical strength, aerobic fitness, agility, balance, and flexibility. 

                              Before beginning CrossFit, consult your physician to assess your fitness levels and ensure that you always have your instructor help you with the workouts. 

                              #15 Boxing


                                Boxing is known for promoting heart health, aiding weight loss, improving balance, boosting whole-body strength, and reducing stress. These benefits make it very suitable for your weight loss and toning journey. 

                                Designing a Workout Plan for Weight Loss and Toning

                                When designing your workout plan for effective weight loss and toning, you must abide by the following fundamental principles; 

                                • Include time for warm-ups and cool-downs in your workout sessions. 
                                • Ensure you include cardio, strength and resistance workouts, and stretches. 
                                • Start with exercises you can handle and gradually graduate to more challenging exercises to avoid injuries. 
                                • Vary your workout sessions to avoid plateauing.
                                • Include rest and recovery periods in your plan. 
                                • Ensure that you include a healthy diet high in proteins in your plan. 

                                Common Workout Mistakes to Avoid 

                                You must avoid several workout mistakes when you are doing your workouts. These include the following; 

                                • Forgetting to warm up efficiently - Warms-ups prepare your muscles and body for the workouts you are to perform. They also help to avoid injuries. 
                                • Assuming cool-downs - Cool-downs, especially stretching after a workout, improves your flexibility and help to prevent muscle soreness and injuries. 
                                • Overtraining - Know your limits. Regular exercises at an intensity and rate you can handle are more effective than pushing yourself too much in one session, which may cause injuries. 
                                • Not resting enough - Rest is necessary for recovery. As you rest, your body is able to repair torn and damaged muscles and replenish your energy stores. 
                                • Using improper form and technique in performing your exercises - Proper form and technique ensure that your exercises are effective and reduce the risk of injuries. 

                                Common Misconceptions About Weight Loss and Toning 

                                There are several misconceptions about weight loss and toning, including the following; 

                                • Fasting is the best weight loss technique - Although fasting may lead to short-term weight loss, fasting is unsuitable for long-term weight loss because your body consistently needs food to function properly. 
                                • A radical workout plan helps to lose weight faster - Pushing yourself past your limit and training without rest and recovery periods may lead to fatigue and injuries, hindering your progress. 
                                • Weightlifting makes women bulky - Women, just like men, can tone their bodies through weightlifting. 
                                • You need special classes for weight loss and toning - You do not necessarily need specialized classes to lose weight or tone up. 

                                Importance of a Healthy Diet to Weight Loss and Toning 

                                A healthy diet is essential for your weight loss and toning goals. Your diet may determine the amount of weight you lose and the rate at which you tone your body. A healthy diet is vital for weight loss and toning in the following ways; 

                                • Regulating your calorie intake - To lose weight, the number of calories you burn has to be higher than the ones you consume. For effective weight loss, your diet must be low in carbs to reduce calorie intake. 
                                • Avoiding weight regain - During weight loss and toning, you have to lower your consumption of foods that may cause weight regain. Such foods include foods rich in carbs and fats. 
                                • Providing energy for your workouts - Weight loss and toning exercises require a lot of energy from your food. 
                                • Building and repairing muscles - A healthy diet incorporating many proteins is crucial for muscle building and recovery. Proteins are known to aid in muscle building and repair. 
                                • Recovery - A healthy diet aids in quick recovery. Proteins aid in the repairing of damaged muscles and reducing muscle soreness. 
                                • Proper body functioning - A healthy diet should provide you with numerous nutrients that aid your body in functioning properly. 


                                Losing weight and toning may take time. You must consistently go to the gym and do the correct exercises to lose weight and tone up effectively. Usually, a combination of the right cardiovascular and strength training workouts should lead you to your destination.

                                Frequently Asked Questions

                                • Should I do cardio or strength training first?

                                  Do cardio before strength training if you intend to improve your workout endurance. If you intend to burn fat, lose weight, get stronger, and strengthen your lower body, start with strength training followed by cardio. For upper body strength and general fitness, the order of your workouts does not matter. 

                                • How do I choose the right gym for me?

                                  Factors to consider before choosing a gym include the gym’s operating hours, its training options, the quality of its equipment, its location, and its overall value. A suitable gym should have favorable functional hours, high-quality equipment, and varied training options that boost your workouts, be easily accessible and in a safer location, and have guest privileges. 

                                • How much weight should I use for strength training?

                                  The amount of weight you use for your training is determined by your fitness levels. Start with weights you can comfortably carry as you gradually increase them with time. Never force yourself to lift weights that are too heavy at once. 

                                • How can I track my progress?

                                  You can use a fitness tracker or app, continuously measure your weight, take workout progress pictures, keep a workout journal, feel how your clothes fit, or challenge your body against exercises you previously could not do. 

                                • Can I do gym workouts if I'm a beginner?

                                  Yes. Various beginner workout plans can get you started. Start small and slow as you gradually add to your workout routine for better long-term goals. 

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