Yoga sculpt is a popular form of yoga that combines traditional yoga poses with strength training moves using light weights. It provides an intense full-body workout that can help build lean muscle mass and boost metabolism, both of which can aid in weight loss. But can you really lose weight just by doing yoga sculpt?
What is yoga sculpt?
Yoga sculpt was created in the early 2000s by instructors who wanted to add a strength training component to yoga. Classes involve doing a series of flowing yoga poses while incorporating moves like lunges, squats, and bicep curls using light hand weights, resistance bands, or your own body weight.
A typical yoga sculpt class is 60-75 minutes and follows a format like this:
- 5-10 minute warm-up and light cardio
- 30-45 minutes of yoga poses mixed with strength moves
- 5-10 minute cooldown and stretching
Some of the yoga postures used in sculpt classes include warrior poses, downward dog, planks, and lunges. The strength training moves target all the major muscle groups like the arms, shoulders, back, chest, core, glutes, and legs.
The weights used are usually light, between 1-3 pounds, so the focus is more on high repetitions versus heavy lifting. Props like resistance bands, exercise balls, and gliders may also be incorporated to add challenge.
Yoga sculpt provides a full-body workout that builds strength while also improving flexibility, balance, and endurance. And the mixture of aerobic activity and resistance training can be effective for weight loss.
Can yoga sculpt help you lose weight?
Yoga sculpt can definitely support weight loss efforts. Here’s how it helps:
Builds lean muscle mass
The strength training component of yoga sculpt helps build lean muscle, especially in the arms, shoulders, back, chest, and legs. Having more lean muscle mass increases resting metabolism, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day even at rest.
Boosts calories burned
Yoga sculpt is considered an energetic form of yoga. During a vigorous flowing class focused on strength training, a 150-lb person can burn around 400 calories per hour. The more muscle built from the training, the more calories are burned during each workout.
Increases aerobic capacity
With the cardio intervals and heart-pumping flow between poses, yoga sculpt improves aerobic endurance. This allows you to work out harder and longer, burning more calories and fat.
Provides resistance training
Lifting weights, even lighter ones, signals your body to keep and build calorie-burning lean muscle rather than lose it. Maintaining muscle mass revs metabolism to aid fat loss.
Stresses full-body movement
Yoga sculpt involves large compound exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups that use all the major muscle groups together. Total body moves burn more calories per exercise than isolation moves.
Tips for losing weight with yoga sculpt
To lose weight doing yoga sculpt, here are some helpful tips:
Take more frequent classes
Aim for yoga sculpt workouts 4-5 days per week to see significant weight loss. The more often you strength train, the faster you’ll slim down.
Go for high-intensity classes
Choose vigorous sculpt classes labeled power, sweat, or strength focused. These will spike your heart rate more and burn maximum calories.
Use heavier weights
Once comfortable, increase the weight size by 1-2 lbs to add resistance and build more calorie-burning muscle.
Hold poses longer
Lengthening the time spent in each strengthening pose increases time under tension to build more muscle.
Minimize rest between moves
You want to keep your heart rate up, so take shorter rest periods of 30-60 seconds between strength moves.
Modify if needed
Scale back moves to lower intensity if form falters, then build back up so you can keep burning calories.
Combine with a healthy diet
Support your workouts with a calorie deficit, eating healthy foods focused on lean protein, vegetables, whole grains, and some fruits.
What results can you expect?
If done consistently alongside a healthy diet, here are the weight loss results you can expect with yoga sculpt:
1 pound per week
It’s a sustainable goal to lose around 1 pound per week with yoga sculpt through a combination of fat loss and muscle gain.
3-4 pounds per month
Over a month, that equates to about 3-4 pounds of weight loss. Of course monthly results vary based on factors like your nutrition, intensity, and genetics.
10% body fat loss
You may see about a 10% reduction in overall body fat, going from 30% to 20% body fat for example. The strength training tones trouble spots.
Many report a trimmer and more defined waist area as visceral belly fat is reduced. Core moves in sculpt burn abdominal fat.
Increased muscle definition
Muscle gains from weight training will boost tone and muscularity, helping you look tighter and more fit.
Does yoga sculpt work for everybody?
Yoga sculpt is suitable for most people looking to lose weight. However, results can vary based on factors like:
Older adults may find it more challenging to build muscle mass compared to younger people due to declining hormones.
Women tend to have a harder time building large amounts of muscle due to lower testosterone levels.
Some people are genetically prone to putting on muscle more easily while others struggle.
People who have more weight to lose tend to shed pounds faster with exercise than those nearer their goal weight.
You’ll slim down faster eating a nutritious reduced-calorie diet versus eating highly processed foods.
Sporadic yoga sculpt sessions won’t produce the same results as training regularly 4-5 days per week.
Sample yoga sculpt weight loss schedule
Here is a sample one week schedule for yoga sculpt workouts to promote fat loss:
|45 min vigorous vinyasa yoga sculpt class
|Rest day – try light walking or stretching
|60 min power yoga sculpt class
|45 min beginner yoga sculpt class
|60 min advanced sweaty yoga sculpt class
|75 min yoga sculpt “legs, buns, and guns” class
This schedule has 4 days of sculpt classes ranging from 45-75 minutes to provide a strong calorie burn. The lower intensity beginner class allows for muscle recovery while still being active. Two rest days are ideal for proper recovery and muscle repair between strength training sessions.
Sample yoga sculpt fat loss workout
Here is an example of what a 60 minute fat blasting yoga sculpt workout may look like:
Warm-up: 5 minutes
- Walking lunges
- Arm circles
- Bodyweight squats
- Jumping jacks
Sun Salutations: 5 minutes
Move through 5 rounds of sun salutation A and 5 rounds of sun salutation B.
Strength Flow: 25 minutes
Flow continuously between the following yoga poses, holding each for 30-60 seconds. Do 8-10 reps of the strength moves in between.
- Downward facing dog – 10 push-ups
- Plank – 10 shoulder taps
- Chaturanga – 8 tricep dips
- Upward facing dog – 8 bicep curls
- Warrior I – 8 overhead presses
- Warrior II – 8 lateral raises
- Side angle – 8 front raises
Core Work: 10 minutes
- 30 bicycles
- 15 crunches
- 10 V-ups
- 30 Russian twists
- 30 seconds plank hold
Repeat circuit 2-3 times through.
Deep Stretches: 10 minutes
- Seated forward fold – 30 seconds
- Reclining spinal twist – 30 seconds each side
- Bound angle pose – 30 seconds
- Bridge pose – 30 seconds
- Supine spinal twist – 30 seconds each side
Hold each stretch for 30 seconds, breathing deeply. Stretching increases flexibility, aids recovery, and feels great after an intense workout.
Savasana: 5 minutes
Finish with corpse pose, relaxing completely for 5 minutes. Clear your mind and enjoy the peaceful feeling that comes after a good workout.
Sample 1 day yoga sculpt meal plan
Fuel your yoga sculpt workouts properly with a diet focused on lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, and quality carbs. Here is a sample one day meal plan:
- Omelette with spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions
- Sliced avocado
- Sprouted whole grain toast
- Green tea
- Quinoa veggie salad with chickpeas, cucumber, tomato
- Grilled chicken breast
- Low-fat Greek yogurt with blueberries
- Water with lemon
- Broiled salmon
- Roasted Brussels sprouts
- Brown rice
- Glass of red wine (optional)
- Apple with peanut butter
- Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
- Carrots and hummus
- Low-fat string cheese
This provides balanced nutrition all day long to power through yoga sculpt classes and promote lean muscle development.
The bottom line
Yoga sculpt can definitely help you lose weight due to the combination of calorie burning from cardio intervals, resistance training, and building lean muscle mass. For best fat loss results, practice yoga sculpt 4-5 days per week consistently, choose high intensity classes, use heavier weights, hold poses longer, minimize rest between moves, and follow a healthy reduced-calorie diet. With dedication to regular yoga sculpt workouts and clean eating, you can lose around 1 pound per week or 3-4 pounds per month.