My goal is fat loss (though I'd like to build some muscle in the process). I am female, 5'4 and though I do not know my exact weight it is somewhere around 180 I guess? It's hard to say because my weight has always been much higher than it appears, so I never placed much stock in the numbers. I go by how I look and feel, and how my clothes fit.
Anyway, this is the routine I plan on following Tuesdays and Thursdays. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I will focus more on arms/back with push-ups, dumbbell rows, and tricep kickbacks in place of the leg extensions, mountain climbers and lunges.
Elliptical: warm up for 5 minutes
Squats: 2-3 sets 12-16 reps
Prone Kneeling Leg Extensions: 2-3 sets per leg, 12-16 reps
If your goal is fat loss, you need cardio for that. Lifting weights alone will not lose fat. Also, that's a pretty ambitious workout schedule if you are just starting. Why not try incorporating some of the arms into the legs - squat with a bicep curl - donkey kicks - anything with a ball and doing a bridge while using weights for your arms, etc. That way you could do an hour full body workout two days a week and three days go for a brisk half hour to an hour walk. Build up to more days a week weights and walking with higher intensity as you go. Don't start off super charged only to burn yourself out.
Of course, this is if you haven't been working out before now. If you have, great! Ignore my post. The way to long term fitness is consistency and if you blow out at the beginning, then it seems too hard and you won't continue. Do what you can, push yourself and you'll see benefits soon enough. But give it time. It takes a good 4-6 weeks of consistent working out to see changes in your body.
I agree with SoCalGal...you need to incorporate more cardio work into your routine. 20 minutes on the elliptical 2x a week just isn't going to cut it for fat loss. I would aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio, 3-4x a week. And mix it up...no need to just stick with the elliptical. Elliptical is great, but I would personally get bored doing the same cardio day after day. Try the treadmill or stair machine, or stationary bike, or a group cardio class, or spin class, or go for a nice long walk. Any of those activites would count as cardio if you get your heart rate into a fat-burning zone.
No, I didn't misunderstand. I get that you're doing 10 - 15 mins of high intensity interval training 5 times a week. That's great, but you still need prolonged cardio, more than 20 minutes for fat loss. Anything shorter than that and you're pulling from energy stores, not fat stores.
Also, if you don't mix up your workout, then your muscles will 'set' and you'll get less bang for your workout buck. You need to change things up to keep your muscles and your mind working hard.
But the reality is, you're doing it! So that's great for you. And you know what, if this routine is working for you and you're losing the fat, that's awesome. Don't forget food - weight loss is 80% food, 10% exercise, and 10% genetics. Food plays a major role in your weight, so incorporate some great clean foods and you'll see the fat melt away.
You should add more cardio. Have days that focus specifically on cardio, alternating with days where the focus is on lifting, with 1/2 cardio on those days.
You could see if there is a gym or doctor nearby that conducts vo2 max test. This determines the zones of your heart rate at which you are burning stored fat calories as opposed to your body just taking energy from the sugar in your muscles. Anyways, this can tell you where you should get your heart rate for fat burning. Higher is not always better as it is possible to overwork and therefore not see any results. Work out smarter, not harder.