When you think of workouts that burn the most calories, the go-to answer is usually a “cardio workout”.
But – let’s be clear on something: I’m not (nor was I ever) a big fan of cardio.
In fact, I used to dread going to the gym on cardio days. I’d procrastinate by creating playlists on my iPod to hype me up, but in the end I always felt like I was going to prison for an hour.
That has changed, and in this post I’ll explain why, as well as how I’m getting more results simply by changing things up.
Do what you like to do (but make sure it gets the job done)
Listen, cardio doesn’t have to be a hassle and a death sentence. It’s not like a job. That’s different; you still have to wake up and go to work whether you like it or not simply because it’s your job. Cardio workouts aren’t like that.
In fact, they’re almost liberating because you get to decide what you do and how you burn your calories. If you don’t like to run or spend hours on an elliptical machine, then don’t. Find another exercise that burns calories.
One of the most important things to do for cardio (in my opinion) is to find something you enjoy doing.
I play racquetball religiously, and have found that not only does it get me burning more calories than treadmill running, but I like playing racquetball.
I get excited to go to the gym and play, so it’s not a chore for me. I’m also extremely competitive, and it helps having cardio exercises that enable you to “compete”, as it tends to make you work harder.
If you’re going to try to work calories off, start outside the gym
What do I mean by this? Simple: watch your damn diet.
I see so many people workout day after day with minimal (if any) results to show for it. Why it this? It’s because they’re not eating right.
Listen, at some point in your life if you want to get into shape, you need to do 2 things: exercise and eat right.
Exercising without dieting is essentially spinning your tires in the mud; it won’t get you anywhere. But, dieting (think “eating right”) withoutexercising WILL get you results.
Now imagine if you combine the two… Fascinating, right? That’s the key: if you consume less calories and stick to a healthy meal plan, AND integrate workouts that burn the most calories, do you think you’ll see positive results? (Yes, youwill.)
Moving forward: the actual workouts that burn the most calories
Like I said before, I used to hate doing traditional cardio, mainly because in the past I thought cardio meant I was locked into running on a treadmill for an hour at a time. Well, what if you could get aneven better workout in more than half the time?
Possible? Absolutely: if you want to know the “insider” workouts that burn the most calories, look no further than high intensity interval training (“HIIT” for short).
HIIT to the rescue
HIIT consists of short bursts of high-intensity exercises followed by lower-intensity recovery periods. These intense bursts can be as short as 30-40 seconds, with the lower-intensity periods ranging from 60-120 seconds.
This is the one exercise that burns calories that fastest: it strategically combines intensity with duration, which consequently are inverses of each other.
(After all, you can’t sprint a marathon, can you?) But, HIIT allows for your body to burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time.
One of the best things about HIIT is that you can knock out a fat-burning workout in 25 minutes or less.
Additionally, because you’re mixing up the actual exercise very frequently, you likely won’t get burned out with boredom (like I tend to do running on a treadmill).
Keeping it up (seeing results)
If you eat right (via consuming less calories) and workout with HIIT routines, you will see results.
This, beyond anything else, is essential for beginners: if they don’t see results, they get discouraged and end up quitting. HIIT will blast fat off like crazy, but you’ll only see results if you watch your diet.
Yes I’ll say it: in the beginning you’ll need to work your ass off. There’s no other way: you need to push yourself until you see results. But, once you do start seeing results, you’ll be so much more focused and determined to keep it up.
After you see results of any kind, it gives you that first push and helps you build momentum.
“But aren’t you going to give me some kind of plans for working out?”
Actually, no- not exactly. In another blog post I’m going to lay out the “ins and outs” of a HIIT routine, but in this article I wanted to give you the overall run-down of the strategy that works for burning fat. That strategy is:
Low-calorie diet + HIIT = results
That’s the game. And if you’re a beginner or just starting to exercise, that’s one of the best things you can do to jump-start your fat loss.