My two goals are to lose weight and look fit. Or as a t-shirt of a master swimmers club put it, “Be all you used to be.”
Since I was an obesed and notliked little punk few years back I prefer the sentence "Be all that you want to become"
I was just answering lines from your post, but then I'd figure I just gather one long answer to get the information I want to say.
Okay, first off, that's a lot of working for a week. 6 to 7 times a week is a lot for any kind of athlete. I think you should change it to four or five days a week. Rest is an important factor also, so is recovery. Like working out three days a week and cycling twice or once a week. Or maybe even hitting some High Intensity Interval training before or after a workout. That means you do something like sprints (works with bike aswell) for 10-30 seconds and take half to a one minute rest in between. The rest can be just slower pace. Whatever makes your heart rate drop. Then you take another sprint, and raise the heart rate to great numbers again. One possbile solution is also to hit circuit training before the workout, stuff like Fat loss 4
I'll just go from the basics. The best four tips for losing fat are diet, metabolic resistance training, high intensity interval training and time. The real results come from long strech of training and hard effort. You need to construct your week and month around those basic things. So you like cycling? That's good, like I mentioned before, that's a good way to train the anaerobic and aerobic intervals. The most important of these all is you diet however.
I know this question could probably be answered in two words: eat less. I eat well, minimizing the bad stuff. But I don’t do hunger well.
No, you don't necessarily have to eat less. Just well. How is your diet? Improving what you're eating can make heaps of different. One of your issues might just be the hunger dealing.
Cycling and working your leg in the gym are two totally different things, and you should train your legs aswell. Training only upper body and letting the cycling work the legs can lead to several muscle imbalances. That' and some leg workout are great for metabolic disturbance, like squats, lunges or deadlifts. I just wanted to emphasize that before I get to details. Now, the best rep range to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time (get more lean!) falls between 6 to 12. With several (3-5) sets. It works better than 12 to 15 reps, but that's not bad either. I just think you should go heavier and make the reps between 12 and 8, rather than 15 and 8. But like I said, you're on the right tracks. Rest time is good 30s-120s also. Depends on how you feel. And 6 to 12 reps is good for the "muscle endurance" you're going after also. Some exercises can and probably should be higher reps (like 15-20), but not all.
You asked if the heavier set is harming your fat loss. The answer is no. On the contrary, it just might be the best thing you're doing for fat loss. The main point in resistance training for fat loss is metabolic disturbance. This is the after workout time we are talking about. The topic has been research somewhat alot, and the conclusion is that heavy resistance training elevate your metabolic rates for many many hours (even up to 40 hours) after your workout. Simply put, when your metabolic rate is high your body produces more energy. And the energy comes from the fats. You burn the most fat after the workout, not during it. And like I said, the best rep range lies somewhere between 6 to 12 reps. Both extremes work also (3 to 5 or 12 to 20). Why it works best is because of the training type. the 8 to 12 rep sets usually generate energy anaerobicly and produce lactic acid as a side product.
Now, I would maybe include some free weights to the programs if just possible. Stuff like rows, chins/pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, even bench pressing. Machine work has it's places, but I'm aiming for more of a total body resistance training than isolation work. The reason I'm not with machines on this one is that there is no stabilizing work at all, and less and less of work and disturbance is happening. It makes sense if you think about it: If more muscles are working at the same time, more energy is needed. You could take some full body workout that consists of four main moves: Upper body pulling, upper body pressing, lower body pulling and lower body pressing. Or you could do an upper/lower split, or press/pull/legs split. We'll come back to that for sure, and many users have great views and tips around the workout routines.
Feel free to ask any questions, that's just the stuff that came to mind a first.