Quick Killer Cardio – Got 20 Minutes?

This is going to be one of those love-hate stories today. What if I told you that you do not have to spend 40-minutes doing cardio training to burn fat? What if I told you that research has shown that you can train for 20-minutes and burn more belly fat than those who train for 40 or 50 minutes? You would love me right?

Well, everything I said above is true! Now for the hate. What if I told you that you can not read your favorite magazine or watch Oprah while you are completing this cardio training? Hatred and questioning, "Why, Maria? Why do not you want me to multi-task?" Pure and simple you will be working way too hard to be able to focus your eyes on Oprah, that magazine you are reading will disintegrate because you are sweating so much. I said your workout could be worse, I did not say easier!

The workouts I am going to cover here are not for beginners, they are for those who already have a good solid aerobic base.

Workout # 1 – But I love the Stepper! You can do this one on any indoor cardio equipment or throw these intervals in to your regular run.

  • Warm Up for 5-minutes with light stepping.
  • Go as hard as you can (yes I really mean as hard as you can) for 30-seconds. Make sure you are taking big steps and do not use your hands. Please do not take those little baby steps made me crazy and drve me to quit working at a gym.
  • Now go very easy for 90 seconds. And by very easy I mean just that – a walking pace.
  • Repeat this sequence 10 times.
  • Cool down for 3-5 minutes.
  • Finish with a good stretch for your quads, glutes and hamstrings.

Workout # 2 – Got Glutes? Scour your home town for a hill that takes about 15-30 seconds to run up to build some great glutes.

  • Begin with a 5-10 minute warm-up run including 1-2 light runs up the hill.
  • Sprint up the hill as fast as you can. Remember to drive your arms forward and back rather than side-to-side across your body.
  • Walk back down.
  • Repeat for 8-10 repetitions.
  • Cool down for 3-5 minutes.
  • Finish with a good stretch for your quads, glutes and hamstrings.

Workout # 3 – No Time for Cardio: No Trouble – meet Dr. Tabata This one hurts, but it is very effective. You need to be in great shape to even attempt this one. Best to do this with jump rope, spin bike, field sprinting or box stepping.

  • Warm Up for 3-5 minutes including light cardio and dynamic stretching.
  • Complete as many reps as you can in 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat this 20s on: 10s off pattern eight times in total. That is only four minutes of work, but it is brutal.
  • Once you can pick yourself up off the floor, go eat something.

Workout # 4 – Tabata Targets Muscle Too. This one hurts too. You need to be in great shape to even attempt this. Also make sure you have perfect strength training technique for the exercises you chose.

  • You may pick one upper body and one lower body exercise that uses large muscles – read: no biceps curls – like squats, squat to press, push ups w knee drive, chin-ups or lunges.
  • Then alternate between the two exercises performing 20 seconds of one exercise for as many reps as you can get done.
  • Use your 10 seconds of rest to get ready to perform the next exercise.
  • Perform the next exercise for 20 seconds.
  • Continue until you have completed a total of eight sets (four sets of each exercise) or four minutes of work.

Q & A:

These workouts are so short. I was told that I had to train for at least 30-minutes to burn fat.

To be honest I do not care about burning fat. I would like to get my hands on the people who created the fat burning zone. True that it is easier for your body to metabolize fat as an energy substrate at lower intensities, but what if I burn more total calories by exercising at a higher intensity?

When you exercise at a high intensity, you take your body farther out of its resting zone. It actually takes time and calories to bring it back to its resting state. So if I crank off some high intensity interval training for 20-minutes, my body may still be burning excess calories for hours after I stop? Read that again – you may burn fewer calories during the exercise bout, but in total burn more calories as a result of what is called the EPOC or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or the energy required to bring the body back to its resting state. Great deal!

This sounds great! Should I do it every day?

It is great, but cool your jets. Training like this on a daily basis could contribute to a sports injury. So I suggest that you start with 1-2 of these sessions per week and build up to a maximum of three. Pace yourself; it is harder than it sounds.

Hope you enjoy these workouts, remember though, they are not designed for the beginner. You should have a strong cardio foundation, be injury free and in excellent general health. It is always a good idea to consult with your preferred health care provider prior to beginning a new exercise regime.

Source by Maria Mountain