Most of us don’t have the time (or patience) to log hours on the treadmill or elliptical each day. Fortunately, short bursts of high-intensity work followed by brief periods of recovery can burn just as many calories as steady-state cardio, but in less time. It’s called high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The best part is that these workouts can usually be completed in 30 minutes or less!
HIIT not only burns a large amount of calories in a short period of time, but it can also result in EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This means that you’re still burning calories after you’ve finished training.
In fact, you’re burning approximately six to 15 percent more calories than during steady-state cardio. Imagine: Working out, and then still burning calories while you’re stuck at the office, watching your kid’s soccer game or even sitting on the couch.
But since HIIT training is physically intense, it’s recommended that you only do these kinds of workouts a few times a week. For each workout, make sure you warm up beforehand and cool down afterward. Get ready to burn, baby, burn with these five calorie-burning, fat-busting workouts.
1. Tabata Trimmer
Tabata training involves eight rounds of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. That means you’re only actually “working” just over 2.5 total minutes for each exercise, but you’re still burning a ton of calories. The trick is to give it everything you’ve got for each 20-second bout of work.
Do each exercise for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, and then move to the next exercise. Perform eight rounds.
2. Plyo Power
This workout is all about power! Plyometrics, or jump training, will increase your heart rate and push your anaerobic threshold. Just make sure your joints are free of injury (especially your knees) and that you’re in fairly good shape before attempting.
Do each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and then move to the next exercise. Do this five times total.
3. Booty Burner
For buns of steel, follow this EMOM — a workout that involves working every minute on the minute. Once you’ve finished the prescribed reps, rest for the remainder of that minute.
At the start of each minute, do the listed number of reps for each exercise. For example, to start, do 20 speed skaters, and then rest until the next minute starts. Then move to 16 walking lunges. Go through the list of exercises five times.
4. Cardio Crush
For all the cardio lovers out there, rejoice in the fact that you can get your heart pumping and burn calories without spending hours on the cardio machine.
Do each exercise for 45 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and then move to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit four times total.
5. Push It Real Good
This workout involves push training, or exercises that require a push motion. With strength and cardio exercises wrapped into one workout, you’ll get a full-body cardio workout without ever having to step on a machine.
Do one minute of each exercise, and then rest for one minute. Repeat for a total of five rounds.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you prefer steady-state or HIIT workouts? Will you try any of these workouts? If you have tried them, what did you think? What are some of your other favorite HIIT workouts? Share your thoughts, suggestions and questions in the comments below!
- McCall, Pete. Steady State vs. Interval Training: Which one is Best For Your Clients? American Council on Exercise. July 30 2015.
- Tabata, I and Nishimura, K. et al. Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. Medical Science Sports Exercise. Oct 28 1996.
- Emberts, Talisa et al. Exercise Intensity and Energy Expenditure of a Tabata Workout. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. Sep 1 2013.