"Lose" isn't a positive word in most contexts, but losing fat is an exception. Yet you can't just leave it somewhere like a lost wallet or pair of sunglasses; it clings to you 24/7. Until, finally, you take action.
The trigger for taking action about weight loss can be anything. Often, it's highly personal. It could be a wake-up call at the doctor when your blood pressure and cholesterol register in the danger zone. Or it's the embarrassing moment when a kid in line at the supermarket—or a kid at home—innocently points to your belly. It can even be when you're looking at a photo and thinking, "Is that really me?" Whenever it occurs, the trigger is that moment when you say, "Enough. I need to change."
Once you decide to take action, what's next? You need to find a plan—a roadmap for losing weight over some period of time. Fortunately, you've come to the right place. BodyFit Elite by Bodybuilding.com has more than 90 workout plans to choose from, and that includes a number of time-tested programs ideally suited for men looking to lose weight. Here are four of our favorites, which, not coincidentally, happen to be four of our most popular plans.
1. Jim Stoppani's 6-Week Shortcut to Shred
This is one of the most beloved plans in BodyFit, and with good reason. Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., crafted this evidence-based exercise approach to make the weight-loss process a little more efficient than usual. But make no mistake, you'll still have to work for it.
What makes this a "shortcut?" A technique called cardio acceleration. Instead of resting between your lifts, you do short-duration conditioning work after every single set. Basically, you're knocking out your lifting and cardio in the same 45-60-minute workout.
The sessions aren't easy, but they are mercilessly efficient at melting fat. What's more, Stoppani provides everything you need to succeed over six weeks, including a three-phase nutrition plan, a sample meal plan, a food list, eight of his go-to recipes, and a trove of his own personal training tips, honed from years of putting exercise theory into gym practice.
The rest, as they say, is up to you.
2. Lee Labrada's Lean Body 12-Week Trainer
This plan was created for Bodybuilding.com by a bodybuilding legend, Lee Labrada. It's one of the older offerings in BodyFit, but the fact that Lean Body has stood the test of time and continues to be immensely popular demonstrates how well constructed it is.
Labrada brings to bear in this plan all the weight-loss knowledge that helped him become Mr. Universe and beyond, but you definitely don't have to be anything close to a competitive bodybuilder to follow Lean Body. On the contrary, it is designed with everyday people in mind. You'll be doing either weights or cardio every day, in the following sequence: two days of weights followed by one day of cardio, repeating for 12 weeks.
Boosting your caloric expenditure with cardio, building new muscle with weights, and revving your metabolism with Labrada's clean-eating diet will put you in the sweet spot for accelerating fat loss—and getting closer to the body of your dreams.
3. Tailored: 6 Weeks to Living Lean
"Tailored" refers to sculpting your body in the same way a nice suit is trimmed down to fit perfectly. Of course, having a leaner body makes that suit look even better. Created by YouTube sensation, style authority, and former pro natural bodybuilder Aaron Marino—better known as Alpha M—Tailored is a six-week, gym-based plan composed of four workouts per week.
The workouts morph throughout the six weeks, forcing your body to adapt and shed fat. Just when you think you're adjusting nicely to the demands of the plan, boom, a new crop of supersets will leave you sucking wind, or high-rep sets of bodyweight squats will make your quads feel like they're filled with napalm. That's how intense the burn is.
The plan also includes guidance on cardio, nutrition, supplements—basically, everything you need to lean out the right way.
4. MetaBurn90 with Scott Herman
MetaBurn90 is ideal for those who like follow-along video workouts, a feature that distinguishes it from the plans listed above. Your instructor is Scott Herman, a fiery force of nature with more energy than a Saudi oilfield. He's been a fitness mainstay on YouTube for many years, with a reputation for teaching top-notch technique on a wide range of exercises and workouts.
Over the course of 13 weeks, you'll do six workouts per week. The only equipment required is a pair of dumbbells. The workouts last 20-45 minutes, but the follow-along style will push you to your limits, especially at first. That same approach means the results should come fast. By the end of MetaBurn90, you'll have less body fat but more of everything else you desire: muscle, strength, stamina, and self-confidence.