Creating a workout that burns a lot of calories is not as difficult as you’d think, in fact it can be incredibly easy. However, such workouts are rarely all that good! What you want is a workout that burns a lot of calories but is also well thought out and safe. That’s what we’ve got for you today.
In fact, we’re going to offer you two workouts! One that you can perform at home, and one you can perform in the gym.
Both workouts are based around HIIT circuits, the reason for this is that HIIT circuits burn a lot of calories both during and after a workout (known as the afterburn effect). While this afterburn effect is often exaggerated by fitness professionals, it certainly exists to some extent.
As this workout is going to be very intense, it will require you to already be in good shape. If you are new to training, then this is NOT the workout for you.
The reason being, that you wouldn’t be able to work at a hard enough rate to burn as many calories. Luckily for you, a regular workout will work just fine.
As this is a home workout, we won’t be using any equipment, other than a bench/chair for you to hold on to while performing mountain climbers. You will also want to download a HIIT timer app onto your phone.
The workout we will be using is a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) protocol known as Tabata. It works like this:
Pick one exercise. Perform it at high intensity for 20 seconds, nonstop. Then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes, then move on to the next exercise on the list.
Do this for 30-40 minutes or so. This should be about 3-4 exercises. We have provided you with a list of exercises that you can perform, pick and mix them to create your own workout. Ideally, you want a mix of upper body exercises (push ups, burpees) and lower body exercises (squat jumps, lunges).
Here is an example of a Tabata workout you can follow at home:
If you have access to a gym, then this workout is perfect for you. It is still going to be circuit-based but not HIIT. This means that it will not use resistance machines or cardio machines. But kettlebells, dumbbells, plyo boxes etc are fine.
Unlike the at-home workout, this circuit will not use Tabata. The circuits will be 90 seconds of work, followed by 30 seconds of rest. It is not HIIT as you can’t sustain maximum effort for 90 seconds, but it is medium-intensity.
This workout will also last for 30-40 minutes. It will include 6-7 different exercises and can be repeated 2-4 times (depending on your fitness). Here are some exercises you could use:
You can also add the bodyweight exercises that we mentioned earlier:
And, as this is not HIIT, you can add some abdominal exercises (though please bear in mind that these exercises don’t burn as many calories):
Here is an example of a gym workout that you can follow next time you’re in a gym:
12 minutes in total. Repeat x 3-4 times
These two workouts have been designed to burn as many calories as possible and are therefore aimed at very fit individuals. If you are new to training, then this type of workout is not for you. It will be too difficult, you may not have the coordination or ability to perform the exercises correctly yet, and you are more likely to be injured.
If you are new, a simple resistance workout with some low-intensity cardio will provide you with superb results.
Even if you are in superb shape, this type of workout should be used sparingly. They are great as a once or twice per week fat burning session, but you would want a properly programmed weight training program to complement it.