If you want to [lose weight]; gain muscle first. Your body will need some time to adjust to you new workout routine. Every time you work out the exercises seem to get a little easier, know why? Because you are building muscle. Right at first you may not see any change in the numbers on the scale even though you may notice some changes in the way your clothes fit.
The numbers on the scale are misleading, especially if you are a woman, and can really bring you down if you do not see a change. A woman's weight is affected from day to day by so many things it is hard to get an accurate reading. Hormones cause you to retain fluid and that amount may change on a daily basis. You could gain or lose 5 pounds in a day.
Muscle weighs more than fat does but muscle is also leaner. You just look better when you have more muscle tone. Did you know that the more muscle you have the more fat you burn throughout your day? Even when you are sleeping you will be burning fat.
So if you do not see the changes in the numbers on the scale this is why. You may actually see the numbers on the scale rise right in the beginning while you are building muscle. That's because right at the beginning the muscle you are gaining will outweigh the fat you are losing. Don't worry, this is only temporary and though it may seem weird it's actually a good sign. Your muscles have to get in shape first before they can start doing you some good. So, to [lose weight] gain muscle.
When it comes to gaining muscle it's definitely a matter of working smarter not harder. The old school technique was to go to the gym, do 20 - 30 minutes of a cardio warm up than follow up by doing three sets each of weight lifting exercises.
There are a few problems with this type of routine. For one, it takes a long time. To really do it right you'd have to be in the gym for a minimum of 1 hour each time you work out. That time will even be longer if you are doing weights for both the upper and lower body.
Another problem with this exercise routine is that it's not realistic. What I mean by that is the fact that to get the maximum effect you will need to work each set to the maximum so you fatigue the muscle. But if you think about it, that's impossible, you can't work a muscle to fatigue and then turn right around and do one or two more sets. If your muscle is fatigued, you won't be able to do more!
It's often best to do only one set per muscle group. Make sure you do each set very, very slowly and use perfect form. This may sound easy but it's not. When was the last time you went so slowly on one repetition that the complete move took around 7 seconds? More than likely, you've never done that. That's a lot of work and will do so much more for your muscles than if you do the high speed rep that most people do. I know you have seen these guys at the gym just pumping like crazy, right? Not good, they are only going to create injuries.