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Use this Fitness Concept to Burn More Calories

Published on May 29, 2013 by in Fitness

So, you want to burn a bunch of calories with your workouts, right? I am guessing “Yes”! I have yet to hear anyone say “I like doing all this exercise, if only I could burn less calories.” So, how can you burn more calories with your fitness routine?


Option 1: Double your workout time. Two times the time investment, two times the calories burned.


Option 2: Keep your same workout time, and burn way more calories. Use a simple concept to maximize your fat burning efforts.


Option 3: Cut your workout time in half, and still burn more calories than most workouts.


Personally I would opt for Options 2 or 3. If Option 1, doubling your workout time, sounds good then read no further. Otherwise read on and found out how Interval Training can bring you added benefits such as burning more calories, working different muscle fibers, and shedding more fat.


What is Interval Training?


Interval Training simply involves bursts of intensity in your workout followed by active rest or less-intense activity. Certain activity such as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is said to burn more fat compared to steady-pace activity such as running at the same speed on a treadmill for 30 minutes.


Interval Training can be applied to just about any traditional cardio workout: running, cycling, swimming, rowing, or even playing a sport such as basketball. Just take what you normally do and add a bit (or a lot) of intensity at certain intervals.


How to Do It


There are no real laws or rules to Interval Training, but here are a few ways to incorporate the interval concept.


1 minute of moderately intense effort followed by 3 minutes of less intense effort. For example: A fast-paced jog followed by a slow-paced jog on a trail or treadmill. Try it next time you are at the gym or on the trail and watch how much sweat flies.


An all-out sprint followed by active rest. For example: Sprint the length of a soccer field as fast as you can, jog slowly or walk back to your starting point, keep moving (don’t sit down), sprint again, and repeat the process.


Untimed and unmeasured bursts of intensity. For example: Start with your normal 30 minute jog at your normal pace, then step it up and run faster for as long as you can, return to a slower speed until you catch your breath, then pick up the pace again. Keep this going for the duration of your run. Another Example: “Shoot around” with a basketball for a few minutes, do two sets of “suicide sprints”, continue to shoot around, do more suicide sprints, and so on.


Get creative. Maybe in reading this you are thinking about your favorite activity and thinking, “I can do that during (the elliptical machine, my bike ride, playtime at the park, the Stairmaster, my heavy bag session, [insert your sport/activity here]).”


Why It Works


Interval training essentially causes your body to work in a different way than doing a steady pace of any activity. The bursts of intensity cause your body to call on different muscles with anaerobic activity (sprinting) and aerobic activity (jogging). You are also working your cardiorespiratory system and oxygen consumption in different levels with the anaerobic/aerobic combination resulting in a longer lasting elevated heart rate. These methods are said to burn more calories during the activity and after the activity as well.


A Small Investment


Hopefully I didn’t lose you with the words “intense” or “high-intensity”. Interval training does not necessarily involve a brutal cardio session. Take this example of a 30 minute workout with running.


Warm Up and Stretch – 5 minutes

Slow-pace Jog – 3 minutes

Faster-pace Run – 1 minute

Slow-pace Jog – 3 minutes

Faster-pace Run – 1 minute

Slow-pace Jog – 3 minutes

Faster-pace Run – 1 minute

Slow-pace Jog – 3 minutes

Faster-pace Run – 1 minute

Slow-pace Jog – 3 minutes

Faster-pace Run – 1 minute

Cool Down and Stretch – 5 minutes


So, we are looking at taking 5 minutes of a 30 minute session and kicking it up a notch in just a series of short intervals. A 5 minute investment. Nothing too crazy, right? This can tailored to your fitness level too. You may want to start with just 20 or 30 second bursts of intensity and work your way up. No big deal.


Give It a Try

Next time you head into your cardio routine, try the Interval Training concept. Watch how much you sweat and see how you feel compared to the last time you went for a run, walk, bike ride, etc. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

 
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