Lift three times a week.
Two will offer some benefits, and one is better than nothing but isn’t going to do much good. By contrast, more than three is not likely to give you enough time to recover in between workouts, which is when the strengthening of your muscles is happening. (Government recommendations for heart health include 30 minutes of the equivalent of brisk walking most days, so you might want to add a few days of that to this routine—it’s not going to interfere with recovery from the weights.)

Focus your attention on the body as a whole.

Alwyn Cosgrove, a coach, gym owner, and writer says machines that isolate the calf, biceps, and tricepts aren’t going to do much good. “Muscles are like a web and work as a system,” he says. “They’re designed to work together.” Doing exercises like presses, rows, and pulldowns lets those little muscles work the way they’re supposed to: in concert with the bigger ones. In addition, make sure you’re taking care of your body as a whole by stretching, maintaining a proper diet, getting enough sleep, and keeping hydrated.

Use a weights and intervals program.

Cosgrove says a weightlifting program coupled with intervals—alternating high-intensity bursts of riding a stationary bike or running with a recovery period—is preferable to plodding along at the same slow pace. “When it comes to fat loss and enhancing the way you look, time is the limiting factor,” he says. Change up your routine to the get best results possible. Alternate using a Dip Machine with jogging, or focus on various muscle groups in exercises in different speeds and intensities.