There are lots of great ways to get moving and burn calories, but some are more effective than others. It’s not surprising that jogging on the treadmill for two hours is not the most efficient workout; there are lots of workouts that take less time, and burn more calories. If fat loss is part of your fitness goals, getting your heart rate up with intensity and resistance is the best path to success. Think of your body like a car: when you drive on the highway, fuel economy is good because your vehicle doesn’t have to work hard, but if you’re stopping and starting frequently, with bursts of speed, your car is working hard and burning fuel at a higher rate. Your body is the same.
A high intensity workout of 45 minutes can help build muscle, and sets your body up to continue burning calories long after the workout is done. Aim for a workout that repeats 30-60 seconds of hard work, followed by 10-20 seconds of recovery, for maximum efficiency. By incorporating resistance training with cardio, you’ll be well on your way to shedding fat, so here’s five workouts to build into your fitness routine.
Rowing - The rowing machine is a great full-body workout that gets your heart rate up quickly. This machine works your core, legs, arms and back in addition to its cardio benefits. Try incorporating it into a high-octane, three-part circuit that involves two resistance exercises like weighted squats and shoulder-press, followed by 300 meters on the rower. Push yourself to reach 300 meters in under 90 seconds to achieve an anaerobic state. Companies have built international franchises off of this model because it works, but you can do it at the gym. Just remember to move quickly between sets and try not to slow your pace, keeping intensity high to burn the maximum amount of calories.
Run Stairs - A great way to burn calories is by running stairs, plus they're easy to find! Adding stairs to your workout is a great way to add some fast-paced, short burst cardio. In the summer find some near-by bleachers and break up your run with 5-10 sets of sprints or hops up a flight. While you’re there try step-ups and push-ups to add strength exercises for a full-body workout. In the winter, stay warm inside by running multiple sets to get your heart rate up.
Burpees - Burpess get a bad rap, but people hate them because they’re challenging, and that challenge can mean 10 calories burned per minute. Any exercise that has you jumping up and down, and doing a lot of movement in a confined space is going to be effective. Burpees use strength and endurance to get your heart rate up, but are most effective when done quickly. Aim to complete 15+ burpees in a minute to keep your intensity and calorie burn high.
Jumping Rope - This classic exercise has been around for decades because it works. It challenges your balance, coordination and endurance. By keeping your pace high, and rest time short, you’ll burn calories quickly and efficiently. Work it into your routine with sets of deadlifts or bent-over rows for a HIIT circuit like the one mentioned above with rowing.
Kettlebell Swings - This exercise combines strength and cardio to ramp up intensity and burn more calories over a shorter period. The motion of the kettlebell swing is foreign to your body, and therefore makes you work harder on your balance, flexibility, endurance and strength. This results in a workout that will leave you breathing heavily and sweaty, therefore effectively burning calories.
These fast-paced workouts will have your heart pumping in no time. By incorporating explosive cardio exercises with resistance training, you will set yourself up for success.
Keep your intensity high and rest time low to encourage muscle building and fat-loss, for the most effective workout possible.
Written by Katie Tatham. Follow Katie at https://medium.com/@katietatham