5 Awesome Fat Loss Workouts
With the warm weather finally revving up here in Michigan it’s time to talk about one thing: beach season. Everyone has their checklist ready:
Vacation spot? Check
New swimsuit? Check (this might be a triple check for those who can’t decide on one suit and end up buying three new ones)
Workouts to get in shape? Er….not so fast!
With our studio located in Novi, Michigan, the personal training clients have plenty of trails to get a long distance run in. But our priority is not to necessarily improve endurance but to flip the switch on your natural fat burner. In this case we want to turn our attention to different forms of interval training. This can include kettlebell swings, short sprints, hitting the track, or even doing some hills.
The concept behind interval training is to look beyond the workout: we’re not necessarily concerned with how many calories we burn during a training session, but how many fat calories we devour during the entire day. Studies have shown that doing short intense bouts of hard work (i.e. interval training) forces the body to burn more fat throughout the day. In fact, just 7 interval training sessions performed over two weeks changed the metabolic profile of subjects – or in short, their bodies made the switch to burning more fat at rest (1). But don’t just concern yourself with weight loss: interval training has been show to improve blood pressure, endurance, and insulin signaling (insulin is a hormone that helps shuttle food where it should go) (1). A study done with young males found that running 800 meter intervals improved HDL cholesterol (your “good” cholesterol) by 18% (2).
Okay, so I’ve convinced you that interval training may be superior form of training if you don’t want to be a marathon runner. So let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this article. Here are five awesome fat loss workouts.
- The beginner’s interval workout program
If you’ve never interval trained before, this would be a good spot to start off. Remember, you want to gradually increase the amount of stress you put on your body. Your workout would look like this:
20-30 seconds of hard running/2 minutes of walking. Start at 20 minutes total.
This workout plan could last about 10 weeks: you would first slowly increase the total workout time and then start chipping away at the 2 minutes of rest.
- Getting off your feet
For those who can’t run, or simply hate it, you can perform intervals on an exercise cycle. A workout will look like this:
8 seconds of hard pedaling/12 seconds of light pedaling. 25 minutes total.
A similar study had subjects lose 8 pounds and shed 2.5% bodyfat (3).
- The 60/60 workout.
This is a classic that we use with a lot of our clients. It’s pretty straight forward but don’t be fooled: it’s not easy.
60 seconds of hard running/60 seconds of walking. 8 rounds total
- 30 second sprints
30 second sprints have been shown to torch body fat off the body. In a classic study from 1994 that still stands the test of time, subjects who sprinted for 30 seconds (15 sprints total) lost significantly more body fat than a group that did long distance aerobic work (4). What’s crazy about this study is that the long distance group had 5 more weeks to exercise yet couldn’t lose more bodyfat.
- The Big Kahuna- 400 meter dashes
One of the most effective weight loss tools would be 400 meter intervals. A typical 400 meter run would take 60-80 seconds for the general population- that’s a minute of all out work. Here’s a workout:
400 meter dash/ 2:30 rest x 5
So what are you waiting for? You now have five killer fat loss workouts to get you in tip top shape for you vacation. Get to work and enjoy the rays in that new swimsuit!
1. Schoenfeld, B. Dawes, J. “High Intensity Interval Training: Applications for General Fitness Training.” (2009) Strength and Conditioning Journal 31;6. 44-46
2. Musa, D.I., Adeniran, S.A., Dikko, A.U., Sayers, S.P. “The Effect of a High-Intensity Interval Training Program on High-Denisty Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Young Men.”(2009) Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 23:2:.587-592
3. Irvin, BA., Davis, CK., et al. “Effect of Exercise Training Intensity on Abdominal Visceral Fat and Body Composition.”(2008) Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.40:11.1863-1872
4. Tremblay, A., Simoneau, JA., Bouchard, C. “Impact of Exercise Intensity on Body Fatness and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism.”(1994) Metabolism 7: 814-818