My favorite type of exercise for overall fitness and fat-burning goes by several names: surge training, burst training, high intensity interval training, or Tabata training.
These are all variations of a common theme that I discuss below, but before I do, let me ask you a question:
“If you could burn fat for 25 minutes straight, or 25 hours straight, which would you prefer?”
Do you enjoy spending hours on end on the treadmill, eliptical, or stair-stepper?
Here’s what you need to know about exercise and fat-burning: When you exercise at a moderate pace for 45 minutes, you burn stored sugar for the first 20-minutes, and then fat for the remainder of the workout. So, you would burn fat for approximately 25-minutes.
An alternative to that sort of workout is to perform short bursts or periods of intense exercise for a matter of seconds (10-60) followed by a period rest. For example, sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds; sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds; sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 2 minutes. That’s one cycle. Do 3 or 4 cycles.
The key is to achieve close to your maximum heart rate during the burst of exercise, then to allow your heart rate to drop.
If you do the math, your workout will only take about 12 minutes. Of course you should always start with a few minutes of warm-up and end with a few minutes of cool-down….so let’s say 15 or 20 minutes.
If you truly go hell bent for leather during your surges, you will literally be burning calories or fat for the next 24-48 hours. Again I ask, would you prefer to burn fat for 25 minutes, or 25 hours?
This type of training goes by several names, but the common theme is high intensity, followed by rest. Times vary from 10 seconds to a minute.
Patients and clients love this type of workout provided they are medically capable of performing high intensity exercise. The benefits are several:
- Time: Really. Workout is done in 15 minutes. You’re outa here!
- Results are seen and felt quickly. It may or may not take a few weeks to see an actual weight loss, but typically clients report that their clothes fit better and they see a change in their face within a couple of weeks.
- Variety: I mentioned sprints above, but any activity that raises the heart rate to about 80% of it’s maximum will work. So, push-ups, burpees, kettlebell swings, ropes, beating a tire, pull-ups, plyometrics…..the list is endless. Variety is the spice of life!
As with any exercise program, one must be healthy enough to participate. Sometimes one’s fitness level requires us to work up to this level of intensity. Other’s just can’t do it, but for those who can, and that’s most people, the benefits are huge.
For more information about the benefits of Surge, Burst, Hiit, or Tabata exercise, give me a call at 812-333-2501, and we can help you to turn your body into a fat-burning forge!