I have been spending a ton of time trying to convince you that long, slow cardio is not the way to go if fat loss is your goal.
Rather, we need to work at a higher intensity, doing short burst cardio, to get the fat burning hormones raging within us and to stimulate an “after-burn” (continuing to burn fat post exercise) that can last 24-48 hours even after you stop exercising.
Burn fat even when you aren’t exercising? Are you hearing this?
Well that just sounds freakin’ fantastic, doesn’t it?
So, anyway, I have been stuck inside (thank goodness, it is too damn cold for me outside these days in upstate NY) for the last week desparately trying to finish a major project I am working on.
As you may know, a few times each week, I try to get out of the office away from my computer and go to the gym where I can use the weights, the track for some sprints, the recumbent bike for another short burst cardio option, and the pool, well because I just love that.
These days, however, there is not enough time in my day to do everything I need to do, let alone try to fit in the things I want to do. Sound familiar?
Therefore, I have been spending a little more time lately doing my interval training at home with nothing more than my own bodyweight and my good old short burst cardio workouts.
Don’t think you can get a great fat burning workout at home? Think again.
I was russeling up some grub for lunch this afternoon and I realized I had a few minutes until it was ready. So, I thought I would amuse myself by setting the timer and seeing how long it would take me to do 100 burpees.
I was ok for the first 50 and even the next 25 but when I stopped to take a few seconds breather at 75, I started to sort of feel a little sick to my stomach.
I waited about another minute or so and was able to squeak out another 10, and then another break, and then then the final 15.
Final time to finish 100 burpees? 10:45 seconds.
Not too shabby for my first attempt, but that was without the push up or the jump. I had to start somewhere!
But now I have a time that I can try to beat when I have a few minutes to spare and want to throw down a few burpees.
Who’s up for challenging me?
Not into the burpees?
Here are a few more cardio intervals to try in between all the husseling you are doing:
1. Bodyweight squats: That’s right, it can be as simple and as basic as a bodyweight squat. No equipment needed, no long, slow cardio to do, and all you need it enough space for you to stand in.
Try doing as many bodyweight squats as you can in 10 minutes. Take breaks as needed, record your number, and then give it another shot down the road and see how you are improving.
2. Shuttle runs: Yes, I did just say that. You will probably have to head outside to the yard or local park to get these in but all you need is 40 yards of space. Place a marker at 0, 20, and 40 yards. Start at the 20 yard mark and sprint to the 40 yard mark, turn around, and sprint all the way to the 0 yard mark, then turn around and sprint back to the 20.
Recent research shows that shuttle running, where you stop, change directions, and start sprinting again, resulted in a higher heart rate response, blood lactate levels, and rating of perceived exertion than did regular old sprints in a straight line.
3. Kettlebell swings: Have I mentioned how much I love swinging the bell? Swings are just one kettlebell exercise you can do as short burst cardio and you can do them with both arms, one arm, and/or alternating arms.
Perhaps I will make another blog post to teach you exactly how to do the swing. For now, just know it is a superior option, and if you don’t have a kettlebell yet, it should definitely be on your holiday wish list this year.
Give these short burst cardio intervals a shot and let me know what you think!