The 30 Minute Fat Burning Workout
If you are one of those people that say “I just don’t have time to work out,” then you are probably going to hate me after reading this.
I’m ok with that- I have plenty of friends.
30 minutes is all you need to get in a great workout. For some of you that’s a lunch break, for a lucky few, half a lunch break, and if you are like me, its about a quarter of the time you spend perusing www.perezhilton.com every day. It’s my guilty pleasure, I make no apologies for it.
The secret to an effective, calorie scorching, muscle building 30 minute workout? Interval training. Interval training is mixing short bursts of heart rate raising cardio spurts with strength training exercises to simultaneously burn calories and build muscle. Here are all the components to a great interval workout.
Cardio: Calorie Burn
Cardio spurts are what is going to shorten your workout considerably. Very few people have time to block out 30 or 40 minutes for straight cardio- but the truth is, you don’t have to. The purpose of cardio is elevate the heart rate, and keep it elevated for an extended period of time to burn maximum calories.
As long as your heart rate is elevated, you are getting the calorie burn, so to cut time, add mini cardio intervals in between your exercises to raise the heart rate, and move quickly enough through the rest of your workout to keep it up. Try doing two or three of your exercises, then do 2-3 minutes of cardio to up your heart rate. You can try jumping jacks, jumping rope, or depending on where you are, hop onto a treadmill or elliptical to raise your heart rate. Hop off, and repeat.
Strength Training: Full Body Blast
Chances are, if you are reading the article with interest, you are short on time and can’t work out every day. Can’t, or won’t, either one. If this is the case, the strength training part of your routine must include all major muscle groups of your body: arms, back, chest, abs, core, quads and hamstrings. You want to choose exercises that are easy to perform, and alternate muscle groups. For example: if you do lunges, make sure your next exercise is an ab or upper body exercise, so you can keep moving while your legs rest. For better results, combine exercise, like lunges and shoulder presses to use more muscles at once.
Frequency: How Often and Why
It is recommended that everyone strength train 2-3 times a week, and get 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week. This means you are going to need to do cardio by itself at least 2 more times a week to meet these requirements.
When you strength train, your muscles need a day in between to rest and rebuild stronger. That’s why it is recommended not to work muscle groups two consecutive days in a row. You can still workout every day, however, by splitting your workouts. You can do 30 minutes of upper body and abs one day, and do 30 minutes of lower body the next. This is a good way to meet those cardio requirements and get faster results, as you are spending more time on each muscle group.
Equipment: Anything and Nothing
You can do an interval workout anywhere- the gym, your home, or even your office. Choose exercises based on what you have around. Of course if you are at the gym you have access to cardio machines, weights and weight machines, and use them to your advantage. But, if you are stuck without any equipment, use what you can. Anything with weight can be used as a weight, or if you have nothing at all, choose exercises that use your body weight as resistance, like push ups, crunches, squats and lunges. No equipment is not an excuse.
Intensity: Turn it Up
As with anything, you get out of exercise what you put into it. Make sure you are pushing yourself for the full 30 minutes. If you are unsure if you are working hard enough, you can wear a heart rate monitor. Your want your heart rate to be about 60%-80% of your maximum heart rate (220-your age) for a majority of the time. If you aren’t hitting that intensity, you either need to move faster or push yourself harder on the cardio intervals.
Always go into your workouts with a plan. Write down your routine so you can move seamlessly from one exercise to another without having to think of something to do next. You can even go online and find lots of great interval workouts already made for you. No matter what you do, just get moving!