The 20 Minute Fat Burning Workout

By Harley Grosser

So you know you need to exercise but you don’t have enough time to drive to the gym, do your workout and drive home. In fact you only have 20 minutes. Can you get in an effective workout to burn fat in such a short time? Yes you can. Is it easy? No it’s not. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

What Is It?

The workout I am going to describe a bit later on is not unique. I am not trying to show you a new breakthrough workout that only I am aware of (although this seems to happen far too often on the internet). Instead, the workout is just one example of a form of exercise that has been rapidly increasing in popularity, simply because it works.

The workout falls under a category of exercise that is collectively term High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). As the name suggests it involves efforts of high intensity followed by rest periods or reduced intensity periods. Before going any further I must point out that this workout needs to be worked up to – you should have a decent fitness base before attempting the workout in its entirety.

How It Works?

There have been a number of studies in recent times that have shown the fat burning effects of HIIT. The main reason (as simple as it is) that it is so effective in such a short time is that the intensity is just so much higher than other forms of exercise. This has a number of effects:

  • It burns large amounts of calories during the session
  • It causes the body to release hormones that help to increase fat loss (eg Growth Hormone)
  • It causes a post exercise increase in energy utilisation. In simple terms this means your body continues to burn fat at an increased rate after completion of the exercise. This is perhaps the greatest benefit of HIIT when compared to lower intensity forms of cardio.
  • It can increase muscle mass, leading to an increase in BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate – meaning you burn more calories at rest)

Other Advantages

Besides the obvious advantage of HIIT being great for burning fat there are indeed other advantages. One is simply the time advantage. You can accomplish in 20 minutes with HIIT what you accomplish in 45 or even 60 minutes compared to exercises like walking or jogging.

Then there is the fun factor. Yes it is hard, but it can be great fun, particularly if you choose exercises you enjoy and/or do it with a friend. You can set personal records, write them down and then try to beat them in your next workout. Before you know it you’ll be at your weight loss goal!

And finally, with HIIT the benefits to your health are fantastic. While your main goal may be weight loss, it is important to take care of your health. HIIT (provided you are eating a well balanced, healthy diet) will greatly improve your cardiovascular health, not to mention being a great stress reliever.

Points To Consider

Before you jump into the workout there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you are going to perform HIIT:

  1. As mentioned, only perform HIIT when you have built up a moderate fitness level. A good way to do this if you currently perform no exercise is to begin with four 30 minute walks/week. Gradually increase the number of walks and the length of each walk. Then try jogging, cycling or swimming. Once you feel reasonably fit, give HIIT a go.
  2. Make sure to include the warm up and cool down. These are essential to preventing injury as well as burning extra calories.
  3. Be careful of injuries, particularly to ankles, feet and knees. The impact of high intensity running, sprinting or jumping is quite significant so make sure to warm up and gradually work up to the workout as it is described below.
  4. Don’t overcompensate with your diet. Just because you performed HIIT doesn’t mean you can eat extra food. If you want to lose weight with HIIT you have to keep your energy intake in check (as with any weight loss attempt).
  5. As you become fitter you can increase the number of intervals you perform.

The Workout

Warm Up: 5 minute fast walk or jog

Workout: You are going to perform 10-one minute intervals. Each interval is split into 15 seconds of all out effort and 45 seconds of moderate effort (in which you get your breath back). The choice of exercise is up to you – this is what makes HIIT so flexible. Some examples include sprinting for 15 seconds and jogging for 45 seconds; cycling all out for 15 seconds and cycling slower for 45 seconds; or performing power punches for 15 seconds followed by 45 seconds of jabs and hooks.

If for example you chose sprinting/jogging then you workout would look like this:

Sprint 15 seconds – Jog 45 seconds – Sprint 15 seconds – Jog 45 seconds – and so on until 10 intervals are completed.

Cool Down: 5 minute fast walk/stretching

Get To It

The above workout is a basic template for a workout that primes your body to burn fat. If you have been wrongly thinking that jogging for endless hours is the best way to burn fat, think again. With HIIT you can burn more fat in less time – so no matter how busy you are you can achieve your weight loss goals!



Source by Harley Grosser

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