4-Week Power Walking Plan to Help You Lose Weight
We all know that walking is healthy for us. Our bodies are meant to be in motion, so a sedentary lifestyle wrecks our health.
Whether you are just starting out, returning from a long hiatus, or already walking, this four-week plan will combine a steady-state and faster-paced walking to help you maximize results.
Lifting some weights and doing mobility work are also two things that we focus on in this four-week plan.
Related - Calories Burned Walking
Walking is by far one of the best things you can start doing to lose weight, but coupling that with power walking and lifting weights will propel you further towards your goals. Start logging your food and being mindful of what you eat — adding this step along with walking and weight lifting and you have yourself the recipe for success.
So here is a four-week plan that you will perform five days a week. It is designed to help you burn around 300 calories a day through exercise. The calorie burn is a general estimate — your fitness levels, body composition, and effort levels all play a huge part in how many calories you burn. For example, someone who is sedentary and weighs 300 pounds will burn more calories than someone who weighs 180 and walks daily.
I invite you to find a fitness tracker you like. This helps you get a more accurate measurement of how many calories you burn and if you've maintained an elevated heart rate.
4-Week Power Walking Plan
Walking, when coupled with strength training and eating better, gives you a stoked metabolism and more athletic physique.
There are two to three days of strength training — the third being an optional bonus session. I recommend opting to strength train three times per week.
- Day 1 - Faster-Paced Walk with Stretching
- Day 2 - Strength Training
- Day 3 - Steady Pace Walk with Stretching
- Day 4 - Strength Training
- Day 5 - Faster-Paced Walk with Stretching and Active Mobility
- Day 6 - Bonus Strength Training Session
- Day 7 - Active Rest Day*
*Active rest days include doing physical activities like playing with your kids, enjoying a physical sport, gardening, swimming, or anything that gets your body moving. Choose what interests you and go at it.
The goal with this plan is to burn an average of 300 calories per day, combining walking, strength training, and stretching.
I recommend walking at least three days per week, strength training for two to three days per week, and getting some active mobility and stretching in at least 2 days per week. Of course, adjust this program to meet your fitness levels and aim to improve each week.
Your goal for each week is to measure your progress, try to put some more weight on the bar, and to enjoy the process.
Faster-Paced Walk (30 to 40 minutes)
Start out with a 5-minute stroll to warm up and get your body ready for some intense walking. We will utilize a 2-2-1 interval for our faster-paced walking days.
The 2-2-1 Interval
We will spend 2 minutes walking at a brisk, yet steady pace. Your intensity levels should be about a 5/10, which means you can still talk but you will be breathing fast.
The next 2 minutes will be spent walking at a faster, steady pace. Your intensity levels should be around a 7/10, meaning you can answer questions but not carry on a conversation.
The last minute you go all-out as fast as you can and getting those arms pumping. You should aim for an 8/10 intensity, meaning you will have to really push yourself for 60 seconds.
Repeat this 5-minute interval set for 4 times if you are walking 30 minutes, or 6 times for a 40-minute walk. This leaves a 5-minute warm up and cool down.
Adding bursts of speed in your workouts helps burn more fat in a shorter amount of time without having to tear your joints up jogging.
End your walks with some simple stretches and a be sure to cool down.
Steady Pace Walk (40 to 50 minutes)
After you get a nice 5-minute warm up, maintain a brisk but steady walking pace.
This time you're going to shoot for a five to size out of ten on the intensity scale. Maintain this pace for 30 to 40 minutes. Take 5 minutes for a cool down and allow your body to slow down and recover.
Add in some light stretching and active mobility to speed up recovery.
Strength Training (30 to 60 minutes)
Find a solid workout to complete at the gym or at home. These can include bodyweight exercises, dumbbells, resistance bands, or go to the gym and lift with free weights.
The goal here is to improve strength and keep your metabolism stoked.
Aim to improve each lift by adding more weight each week — this ensures you are progressing and pushing your body further and further along.
Stretching (3 to 15 minutes)
Stretching can be done every day, as well as light stretching and mobility work after your strength training.
Focus on stretching your entire body and spend a little bit more time on areas that are tight or stiff. This will allow blood to flow to those muscles and help you recover faster.
Active Rest Day
On your active rest day, this is a great time to stretch, do active housework, garden, ride a bicycle, or go play basketball.
The goal here is to not spend all day on the couch. This allows your body to rest and recover while staying active and burning calories.
Wrapping It Up
We all have to start somewhere, so if this workout seems a bit more than you can handle, start at whatever pace you can.
As the weeks pass, you'll notice a significant change in your conditioning levels, strength levels, and overall energy levels.
Tailor this workout to fit your needs and preferences — this makes sure you are consistent and stick with it. Consistency is the key to progress.
The goal here is to simply start. Once you start, strive to improve. You don't have to set world records, you don't have to lift the most weight in the gym, and you don't have to starve yourself to make progress.