Running for hours is time consuming. Racing through a workout just to get done sooner can be unsafe. There are different training methods that will save you time AND increase your calorie burn.
Everyone has different fitness goals, but a very common one is to shed pounds and/or fat. Many people have this mindset that in order to lose weight and burn fat they need to do cardio for hours and hours. That is not the only solution. Increasing intensity and minimizing recovery time is key when creating a fat burning workout. This means working out a bit harder for a shorter amount of time. These types of workouts also help speed up your metabolism, which helps you burn fat as you continue on throughout your day after a workout.
In addition to burning fat and saving time, these workouts can also help you build strength, and get more toned. The following workouts will really help whip your body into shape. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Pyramid | Pyramid training is a huge fat burner. A pyramid can either be set up with a certain amount of reps or a certain amount of time. Whichever way you choose to do your pyramid, you will always start off with the lowest number (so either one rep or 10 seconds). You then add a rep or 10 seconds each time you do the exercise. You are working your way up to the top of the pyramid, and once you get to the top, you go back down! I like to do a pyramid workout with kettle bell swings and squat jumps. I do one-rep of each of those exercises, and then two, all the way up to 15. From there I go all the way back down to one-rep. And let me tell you – it’s much more rewarding going down the pyramid than it is going up!
Ladder | A ladder workout is similar to a pyramid, but this type of training only requires you to go down, decreasing reps and time (like you are traveling down a ladder). Again, you can either plan your workout around reps or timed intervals. Always starting out with the highest number of reps or the highest amount of time. I like to do this type of workout with 3 or 4 exercises and a timer. I will do each exercise for a minute during the first round, the next round I drop 10 seconds and perform each exercise for 50 seconds, and so on.
Tabata | I talked about Tabata in my HIIT blog post. But I will re-explain for those of you who haven’t read that post. A Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT). In a Tabata, you perform one exercise (or more than one if you want) for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat that pattern 8 times. This is only a 4-minute workout but it will leave you feeling exhausted if you are truly pushing yourself!
Interval Training | I just talked about a type of interval training, but interval training comes in many different forms. Interval training is really just working out for timed intervals and keeping your rest times a short as possible. It saves time; instead of running for an hour try doing sprints for different timed intervals. Play with the times – maybe you will start off doing sprints for 30-seconds and walking for one-minute. Eventually you will build up the strength to do one-minute sprints and 30-second recovery walks. The stronger you get the shorter your rests will need to be.
Mixing Cardio with Strength | I love training my clients this way. When you are in a time crunch and don’t have time to have separate cardio and strength sessions, do them together! Set up a circuit of one lower body move, one upper body move, and a cardio exercise. For example – 10 squats, 10 pushups, 30 seconds of jump rope. This is a great way to tone and burn fat at the same time.
Adding Plyometrics | Adding explosive movements to your workout will really amp up the calorie burn. Only add plyometrics to your workout once you have built up the strength to do so. These exercises are tough, which is why they burn so much fat. Tuck jumps, star jumps, and plyo pushups are all examples of plyometric exercises you could add to your workout.
Supersets | Supersets are also a big time saver and a great way to burn fat while strength training. Supersets are taking one exercise and following it up with an exercise that works out an opposing muscle group. For example, pairing a chest press with a row. Because you are working opposite muscle groups, you don’t need as much rest time. Your chest muscles don’t need to recover to perform a row since that exercise does not work your chest. Less rest = out of the gym faster and more fat burned.
Combining two moves together | What could be a better time saver than putting two exercises into one? Some examples of this would be – pushup to row, squat to press, or my current favorite jumping jacks holding a weight (I call it the jack press). You activate more muscles this way, which helps you burn fat!