Revealed: The top 20 gym workouts for losing weight fast

Your handy visual guide to the best exercises that will help you shed unwanted weight in less time - and the ones that won't

Woman running on treadmill at fitness center
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The global pandemic has made more people acutely aware of the importance of regular workouts and ensuring they maintain a healthy weight.

Similarly, living through lockdown has made the gym even more of a holy place for many - somewhere they can escape to clear their head, blitz their body and forget what's going on in the outside world for a few precious, sweaty hours.

If you're one of those people, the results a new study examining the relationship between a range of workouts and weight loss will make for interesting reading.

The study by personal finance company Ocean Finance identifying the top 20 best exercises for fast weight loss.

Top of the tree when it comes to time-efficient weight loss is an age-old classic gym equipment workout: running on the treadmill. The researchers calculated that running 10 miles per hour for 2.5 hours would burn 1lb. Meanwhile, running at a more realistic pace of 7.5mph only added an hour to the time needed to drop 1lb of weight (3.5 hours). 

The results were calculated on the basis that in order to lose a 1lb you’d need to burn 3,500 calories. They also pulled in data from a Harvard University study that outlines the number of calories burned during exercise.

So if you want to burn cals and torch fat, make sure you schedule some time on the treadmill on your next gym visit. Or, if your local workout spot is in lockdown, consider investing in one of the choices on our list of best treadmills so you can work out at home.

Meanwhile, a far less effective way to shed the pounds - in terms of time, at least - was found to be lifting weights. The analysis found that to lose 1lb via moderate weightlifting you’d have to spend 15.5 hours pumping iron. 

However, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can give the gym weights station (or that set of shiny best adjustable dumbbells you invested in at the start of lockdown) a wide swerve - sorry! Strength training is an important element to build into your workout routine, but those looking to shift weight rapidly might want to up their cardio as they work towards their goal weight.

So, if you find yourself pushed for time on your next visit to the local gym (which, given that social distancing rules has led to many machines being out of action, is more than likely), keep these stats in mind and choose your exercises accordingly.

Gym Exercises

(Image credit: Ocean Finance)
Rob Clymo

Tech expert Rob Clymo covers multiple bases when it comes to both reviewing and staying in shape, tackling everything from cars and bikes to coffee machines, as well as the latest fitness kit. Keen cyclist Rob can often be found working out, usually by manhandling very large kitchen appliances in and out of the house for testing purposes – one notorious incident saw his plasterwork damaged by LG's weighty and steam-powered 'smart wardrobe', the Styler.