Spend your workout doing one of these four exercises regimens and you won’t be wasting your time, that’s for certain.
Between work, household chores, eating, and sleeping, it can be hard to find the time for exercise. This means when you do make the time to work out, you want it to be effective and worth the effort. There’s no use changing into workout clothes, heading to the gym, and putting in your time if you won’t see results. Like everyone else, you want to burn the most calories and see the most progress in the shortest amount of time.
Let’s just focus on calorie burn for today. To do this, you need to be picky about which type of workout you choose. For example, while walking is an ideal exercise for many people, it’s not going to torch calories by any means.
If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your calorie burn workout buck, try one of these four exercise regimens.
1. Interval training – most fitness experts agree that interval training is one of the best ways to get fit and lose weight. You can use interval training for most types of cardio exercises. The idea is to alternate between high and low intensity exercise during your workout. This may mean running at a fast pace for two minutes, jogging at a slower pace for one minute, and repeating this pattern for the duration of your exercise session. Training this way allows you to exercise at a more intense pace for a longer period of time overall so you end up burning more calories. Try interval training with running, walking, cycling, or swimming. If you are an experienced weight lifter, you can even do this with a barbell or Olympic movements with lighter load.
2. Plyometrics – if you push yourself, you can burn up to 10+ calories a minute with plyometrics. That’s 200 calories in 20 minutes, 300 in 30. Plyometrics is a form of exercise that revolves around explosive jumps and hops that engage leg and core muscles. You’ll increase your strength, power, agility, balance, and athletic performance with a plyometric workout. Because of the high intensity of the workout, it’s not meant to be done everyday. You can try box jumps, distance jumps, burpees with jumps and the like. These can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing so put in some homework – the benefits are worth it.
3. Supersets – don’t spend your time at the gym doing measly bicep curls and weight machines. Weight training is a highly effective way to get in shape, burn calories, and increase your metabolism, but like other workouts, there are right and wrong ways of going about it. A form of high intensity interval training in the world of weight lifting is called supersets. They’re done by performing two different exercises back to back without resting in between. This could be an exercise that focuses on your upper body and one that mainly works your lower body. Skipping a rest period means you spend more time building muscle and burning calories. This also helps keep you focused, off your phone and away from chatty fellow gym go-ers.
4. Tabata – get maximum calorie burning potential in a short amount of time with Tabata. A mixture of cardio and circuit training, Tabata is a type of high intensity interval training that can burn more than 13 calories a minute. That’s 54 calories in four minutes. Don’t expect it to be easy, however. With Tabata you’ll begin with a warm-up, rotate through a series of intense exercises with short rest periods in between, and then end with a cool down. Tabata can be considered a super specific and targeted interval training style. Typically, you would go 20 seconds very hard and 10 rests of active rest. The short work time means you can actually lift weights and create some power. Be safe here.
Bonus tip – no spots!
Remember, there’s no such thing as spot reduction. You can’t lose weight in your calves just by doing these exercises. Weight loss is achieved through dietary changes and regular exercise, while exercises that target specific muscles will strengthen and tone those muscles. Think big picture and stick the plan and you’ll come out on top.
Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and the owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.