Workout Plans & Best Ways to Lose Weight

Weight Loss Programs, Men's & Women's Weight Loss Workouts

With so many “how to lose weight” websites in existence it is hard to figure out what diet and fitness plans actually work. Experiment with workout plans at Gold’s fitness center near you, focus on clean eating like these Gold’s Gym Challenge winners and then get the weight loss results you desire without messing around with fad diets. These winners discovered the best way to lose weight was to join the Challenge because it provided them with extra motivation to exercise and eat healthy. And part of their weight loss programs included tracking their food intake and exercise in a journal, which has been shown to improve weight loss according to a study recorded by the National Center for Biotechnology .

Transformation in Just 12 Weeks

Six Gold’s Gym Members, six amazing transformations—we’ve got the skinny on their diet secrets and top health tips.


More than 15,000 people competed in this year’s Gold’s Gym Challenge and lost a combined 188,288 pounds and 122,899 inches. Here are four of their amazing stories.

Nailea Esqueda

AGE: 24 LOST 31 POUNDS! Before weight: 158 pounds After weight: 127 pounds Pounds lost: 31 % Body Fat lost: 9.5% Waist inches lost: 9

Why you joined the Challenge: My boyfriend had done the Challenge in 2012 and I saw his transformation. As the year went by, I was gaining weight rapidly. I wasn’t happy with myself, but I kept telling myself that next week I would get started. That next week became the next week, and so on.

What was your game plan? My routine completely changed. I was no longer hanging out with my friends for happy hour—I went to the gym. I gave up my Friday night partying, an early hike replaced my morning hangover, and I went from drinking sake on girls’ night to having a protein shake. What’s your life like now? I’m more confident, happy and positive. Not only do I feel great with my body, but life seems much easier and lighter. Her 12-week transformation pro-tip: I used fruit as my treat food. I would reward myself with a big cup of strawberries at the end of each week.

Paula Castano

AGE: 40 LOST 41 POUNDS! Before weight: 184 pounds After weight: 143 pounds Pounds lost: 41 % Body Fat lost: 10.5% Waist inches lost: 9.5

Why you joined the Challenge: I lost my mom, and my husband’s job moved us to Missouri, which took me away from all of our friends and family. I started eating junk food. I love Big Macs—on Christmas Eve, my husband and I got Big Macs before we ate our big holiday dinner. I turned 40 extremely overweight and depressed. My neighbor did the Challenge last year and said he’d support me.

What was your game plan? The day I signed up, I started eating clean. I went to the gym seven days a week and switched up my training methods to keep my body on its toes.

What’s your life like now? When people ask, “Were you working out all the time?” I say no, I was only at the gym for an hour or so a day. It just comes down to commitment, clean eating and consistent exercise. My neighbor and my trainer, Lindsay, who helped with my diet—I think of them as angels sent from God because they transformed my life.

Her 12-week transformation pro-tip: Nighttime was when I really liked to binge, so instead of eating I drank flavored teas like peach or wild berry.

Michael Blaue

AGE: 30 LOST 62 POUNDS! Before weight: 241 pounds After weight: 179 pounds Pounds lost: 62 % Body Fat lost: 18% Waist inches lost: 13

Why you joined the Challenge: I realized last April that I had the health of a 40-year-old…at age 30. Then one day, my son stood up and said, “When I grow up, I’m going to be big and fat like you.” My children are my pride and joy. They imitate everything I do and say—and if they’d imitated the old me, they would lose precious years off their lives.

What was your game plan? I began the Challenge by dedicating six days a week to the gym and worked with my trainer three times throughout the week. I typically never stayed more than 90 minutes. I ate a low-carb diet, high in protein and low in fat, and I tried to drink more than 100 ounces [about 3 liters] of water a day.

What’s your life like now? Since the Challenge has ended, the boys enjoy playing with me more and I’m able to keep up with them much better. They always want to show me that they can do push-ups or burpees. I believe our family as a whole has grown closer through fitness.

His 12-week transformation pro-tip: I shied away from “cheat days” because I found that they allowed me to “miss” the foods that I needed to avoid.

Steve Bingham

AGE: 66 LOST 60 POUNDS! Before weight: 227 pounds After weight: 167 pounds Pounds lost: 60 % Body Fat lost: 12.5% Waist inches lost: 8.5

Why you joined the Challenge: I wanted to weigh less than 200 pounds when I turned 70. I needed something to Challenge me. I don’t think I would have done it on my own; it would have taken me three years instead of three months.

What was your game plan? I did five or six hours of classes a day, and three times a week I did body training. All of the classes—from Body Pump to spinning—helped me strengthen and stretch, which was important. The best thing that happened to me was yoga, because it got me standing on one foot and stretching my lower back.

What’s your life like now? Making this choice is a personal thing, and you have to want it deep down. I wanted to enjoy my 24 grandkids, and by getting healthy I can go skiing, swimming, boating, camping, biking or just about anything. I want to enjoy the rest of my life, and I really want to climb Mt. Everest.

His 12-week transformation pro-tip: I used a fitness website to track my exercise and calculate how many calories I could eat and still achieve my goal.

Brandee Forster


In addition to our Gold’s Gym Challenge winners, we’d like to introduce you to two nominees for our Most Inspirational Member of the Year starting with Brandee Foster. Both of them have completely transformed their bodies and lives through exercise and eating right, and prove that anyone can get in shape!

AGE: 32 LOST 133 POUNDS! Before weight: 328 pounds After weight: 195 pounds Pounds lost: 133

What was your motivation? In March 2011, I was accepted into a nursing program and I went in for a required physical. I stepped on the scale…347 pounds. Two weeks later I joined Gold’s Gym and, a few days later, met with Bo Stohler for a trainer consult. I told him that I didn’t want to be the fat unhealthy nurse and that to take care of people I needed to take care of myself.

How did you do it? I began training with Bo once a week and coming to the gym three or four times a week. At first I struggled to get on the treadmill and just walk. In seven months, I lost 60 pounds. In 2012, I joined the Gold’s Gym Challenge and lost another 33.5 pounds. My husband has cheered me on and changed his eating habits to support me by eliminating chips, soda and candy.

Steve Garcia

AGE: 32 LOST 81 POUNDS! Before weight: 255 pounds After weight: 174 pounds Pounds lost: 81

What was your motivation? I didn’t want to be that person who sits around talking about how he ultimately wants to look, but then does nothing about it. My biggest hurdle was coping with myself at 255 pounds, and getting past the initial embarrassment of working out alongside physically fit people.

How did you do it? When I first got back into the gym, I changed my diet because I wanted to accelerate my weight loss and not sabotage the hard work I had put in at the gym. When I lost a total of 80 pounds, I mostly focused on calories.

What’s your life like now? I have a lot of energy and a more positive attitude. My hard work in the gym combined with my patience is something others can’t take away from me because I earned it. That feeling of accomplishment carries over to my professional career and pushes me to do more and aspire to achieve greater results.

His 12-week transformation pro-tip: All my life, I’ve been addicted to soda. Four months ago, I stopped drinking it—within two months I had abs.

How to lose weight began with the Gold’s Gym Challenge for these six Gold’s Gym members. Let their workout plans and tips inspire your weight loss journey. One of the best ways to lose weight that these members used was to incorporate process goals like drinking more water or eliminating junk food in their healthy eating plans. Process goals combined with weight loss programs “may be particularly helpful for weight loss because you focus on changing behaviors and habits that are necessary for losing weight,” suggests the fitness staff at Mayo Clinic.

When figuring out how to lose weight, the American Medical Association recommends that you track your food intake and exercise, and focus on dietary substitutions, portion sizes and increased activity to create a calorie deficit. For workout plans, commit to exercising at your local Gold’s Gym three or more times per week like these Challenge winners did. The best way to lose weight is to take the time to discover gym classes and workouts that light your fitness fire, so that exercise doesn’t feel like a chore. And if you desire weight loss programs designed specifically for you, consult a Gold’s personal fitness trainer for a fitness plan tailored to your goals, interests and fitness level.