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A busy cardiologist lost 30 pounds with this 3-day strength training routine

Dr Amar Shere lifting a kettlebell weight in the gym
Consistent exercise helped Dr. Amar Shere transform his fitness. Courtesy of Amar Shere/Photo by Shivani Patel (@shivaniphotography)
  • A cardiologist who lost weight and gained muscle said he only worked out three days a week.

  • His trainer shared the exercises and tips that helped him make a lasting fitness transformation.

  • Consistency and building up small but meaningful changes over time were key to his success.

When cardiologist Dr. Amar Shere wanted to take control of his health last year to be a better role model for his patients, he knew his busy schedule meant he didn't have time to spend hours in the gym.

But with the right workout plan and diet, he was able to lose 30 pounds and pack on muscle while only hitting the gym three days a week.

Shere told Insider that the most important part of building muscle and burning fat was consistency, and finding exercises he could stick to over time.

"The biggest thing was staying consistent with it. It wasn't anything fancy. Basic exercises and progressive overload really helped me lose the weight and gain strength and muscle mass," he said. "Sticking to a plan for weeks on end, that's when I was seeing the results."

For help, Shere reached out to Kunal Makwana, trainer and director at KMAK Fitness.

Based out of London, but often coaching remotely (as he did with Shere), Makwana told Insider he specializes in fitness transformations, especially for people with South Asian heritage, and loves working with busy professionals like doctors and lawyers.

"The goal isn't just to get them in shape, we want them to maintain it as well," Makwana said.

He said Shere's workout plan was simple and designed to build full-body muscle and strength with just 45 minutes of gym time, three days a week. He also worked with Shere to add in quick and easy daily habits to help him get healthier and maintain his results long-term.

Fitness transformation starts with building habits

Makwana said the first thing he does with any client is to assess what they're already doing. For the first two weeks of training, he makes small adjustments toward healthier habits.

"Initially we don't change too much. Our philosophy is less is more, to avoid overwhelming people," Makwana said. "We want to create sustainability from day one so when they get to the next phases, it's actually easier for them."

He said that the first few steps toward a healthier routine are so simple and easy, he often has clients who want to move faster, or ask "Is this it?" But sticking to a steady pace, even if it feels slow at first, pays off long-term, according to Makwana.

For Shere, that meant adding more walking to his day, and encouraging him to keep up with his hobby of teaching Bollywood-inspired dance fitness classes.

"He didn't have a structured training plan. We got him moving. The dancing was great from an activity perspective, but he wasn't moving throughout the day," Makwana said.

Before and after pictures show Dr. Amar Shere's 30 pound weight loss
Amar Shere credits consistency, patience, and some delicious healthy foods for his fitness transformation.Courtesy of Amar Shere/Photo by Shivani Patel (@shivaniphotography)

Three workouts a week is enough to build muscle and lose fat

After the initial habit-building phase, Makwana started focusing on fat loss and building muscle by making Shere's sporadic gym sessions a more regular habit.

As a doctor, he worked long hours, so a realistic goal was three sessions a week of about 45 minutes each.

The program Makwana designed followed a workout split, meaning that each session had a different focus. For Shere, one day a week was dedicated to upper body exercise, one day for lower body, and one day with a mix of the two.

A typical workout involved four sets of 12 to 15 reps, with about a minute of rest between sets.

After the initial habit-building phase, Makwana started focusing on fat loss and building muscle by making Shere's sporadic gym sessions a more regular habit.

As a doctor, he worked long hours, so a realistic goal was three sessions a week of about 45 minutes each.

The program Makwana designed followed a workout split, meaning that each session had a different focus. For Shere, one day a week was dedicated to upper body exercise, one day for lower body, and one day with a mix of the two.

A typical workout involved four sets of 12 to 15 reps, with about a minute of rest between sets.

Shere's upper body workouts included exercises for the shoulders, chest, arms, and back:

His lower body workouts included exercises to target the glutes, quads, and hamstrings such as:

Makwana said Shere stuck to the same exercises from week to week to make it easier to track his progress and see that he was getting stronger, as he was able to increase the weight over time.

"We didn't change up exercises for no reason because we wanted him to get stronger," he said.

To build strength and muscle, it's crucial to continue challenging your muscles to prompt them to grow back bigger and stronger, a principle known as progressive overload.

What did change over time was the reps — as Shere gained strength, his workouts shifted to sets of 6 to 10 reps, but with heavier weight, and longer rest periods to improve his recovery.

He saved time in the gym with a functional warm-up

Since Shere had less than an hour to spend in the gym, there was no time to waste. However, a warm-up helps to prevent injury and makes exercise more effective. But instead of starting with 20 minutes on the treadmill, Makwana made the warm-up more efficient by using the exercises he'd be doing, but with much lower weight.

"We didn't do a traditional cardio warm-up. We started with a lighter version of the same movements for the first few sets," he said.

Warming up with the same movement patterns as you're working sets can help activate and cue the right muscle groups for an even better workout.

To lose weight and keep it off, you need a sustainable routine

Previously, Shere had tried to get healthy, and would get motivated and start going to the gym, but drop off as his schedule got busy or other distractions took over.

The biggest difference for Shere in working with a trainer and following a fitness program was that he was able to stay on track for months, according to Makwana.

By gradually ramping up the intensity of his workout and adding more and more healthy habits, instead of trying to overhaul everything at once, it became a natural part of his routine and easy to stick to after the initial transformation was over.

"Those little things added up over time," Makwana said. "It's about playing fitness as an infinite game rather than a few weeks transformation."

Read the original article on Insider