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The Best Gym Exercises to Lose 40-Plus Pounds

Gym exercises help increase metabolism, allowing your body to burn more calories, which means losing more weight. Losing 40-plus pounds takes time and discipline, and adding the best gym exercises can help in the process. Along with eating a well-balanced diet, a combination of aerobic exercises to burn fat, strength training to build lean muscle, and flexibility workouts to increase range of motion can help you reach your weight-loss goals.

Increasing your heart rate through cardiovascular workout machines is an important part of your plan to lose more than 40 pounds at the gym. Among some of the best gym exercises are treadmills, elliptical machines, stair steppers and recumbent bicycles -- and each of these machines can be programmed for a weight-loss workout that gradually increases your heart rate. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio training each week for adults. This can be divided into 30 to 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days per week or 20 to 60 minutes of vigorous exercise three days each week.

Be Stronger Longer

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Strength training with weight-lifting gym equipment raises body metabolism and helps you burn fat longer. According to the, weight training raises your metabolism and keeps it there long after you exercise. This happens because your body needs time to recover from the strain and impact of lifting weights. "Fitness" magazine recommends the cable tower because it has several weight stacks to choose from, multiple settings and many attachments so you can do a variety of exercises with just one machine. And the leg press is recommended for targeted toning and weight loss in the thighs and buttocks -- while the Smith machine is effective for a total upper-body workout.

Home on the Range of Motion

Along with cardiovascular exercise and weight lifting, flexibility training completes the total-body workout for weight loss. Flexibility training increases range of motion which can improve your form while weight lifting and give you a better stretch while walking or doing other cardiovascular exercise. Do flexibility training at your gym with resistance bands, balls and through yoga and water exercise classes. The American Academy of Sports Medicine suggests doing some light cardiovascular exercise before flexibility training as the exercises are most effective when the muscles are warm. The Academy of Sports Medicine recommends adults do flexibility exercises at least two or three days each week.

Short Bursts for Big Results

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Most health and fitness centers and gymnasiums offer circuit training classes for weight loss. Interval training is a body workout with short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by active recovery. reports interval workouts to be some of the best calorie-burning gym workouts because they raise your metabolic rate for up to four hours after training. And the more calories you burn the faster you will get to that 40-pound weight-loss goal.