Calories are almost a taboo in gym culture. We need them to survive and gain muscle, but we want any unnecessary calories gone ASAP.
How do I get rid of unwanted fat? Torch those calories.
How do I stay healthy? Light those calories up.
How about that beach physique I’ve always wanted? The calories. Burn them.
So, the question isn’t “to burn calories or not to burn calories.” Instead, it’s “how do I burn more?”
Here are five ways to boost your burn:
1. This HIIT Is Intense
I bet you’ve heard about High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Maybe you’ve even feared it, but fear no more; a proper HIIT routine will get you burning calories more efficiently. The beauty is you can do them anywhere — with minimal to no equipment — and knock out your daily workout in a flash. Who wants to work out for an hour anymore?
Basically, for less than 30 minutes, you alternate between giving an exercise 100% of your effort — for a certain length of time or number of reps — and taking short rests in between each exercise. Most efficiently, a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio.
Here’s a basic HIIT routine courtesy of DailyBurn.com:
Three rounds, 45 secs work, 15 seconds rest:
- Tricep Dips
- Side Lunges
It’s simple, but it’s not easy, and that’s the point. The intensity is what matters, not the duration.
Around and Around You Go
Where HIIT pushes you to your limit in short, sprint-like bursts, circuit training practices endurance by switching up muscle groups with no rest in between. Once you start, you do as many of each exercise as you can in the allotted time, then move on.
A basic 20-minute circuit training routine from Military.com:
- Bench press or pushups (1 minute)
- Squats (1 minute)
- Pullups or pulldowns (1 minute)
- Treadmill (3 minutes)
- Military press – (1 minute)
- Lunges – (1 minute each leg)
- Bicep curls – (1 minute)
- Bike or jog (3 minutes)
- Tricep extensions.(1 minute)
- Leg ext or weighted squats (1 minute)
- Leg curls or weighted lunges (1 minute)
- Situps (2 minutes)
- Crunches (2 minutes)
You can tailor circuit training routines to your own style, exercises and needs. The key is you just keep going.