From the 7-minute workout to Quick HIIT, Metafit to Tabata, just minutes of tough interval training can show improvements in fitness levels, and burn a lot more calories than a standard cardio workout.
Studies have shown that interval workouts can burn upwards from 12-20 calories per minute; and burn up to 3 times more fat than cardio workouts do in the same amount of time.
But this also doesn’t take into consideration the main advantage of interval training – the ‘afterburn effect’, or Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This refers to the extra calories your body continues to burn for up to 48 hours after you’ve finished exercising.
Which means you can be catching up on Netflix while your body still burns calories.
The great thing about cardio is that it feels like you can carry on for hours. Because it’s low impact, it doesn’t give you that exhausted feeling you get with the intense exertions of interval training. So in theory, you could burn calories all day.
But in reality, most of us would only do 30 – 45 minutes of cardio. With a typical workout such as running burning 10 calories a minute, you can expect to burn 300 - 400 calories in a typical half-hour session.
However, with cardio, there’s not much EPOC. So once you stop exercising, that’s the end of the fat burning.
Contrary to what many people believe, weight training isn’t just for strength. It also helps to blast fat from your body.
While weight training may not burn so many calories as cardio minute per minute during the workout, it can generate a high calorie burn from fat up to 36 hours after the workout is finished.
The second bonus of weights is that you build up more lean muscle mass, which then serves as a calorie-torching powerhouse. So when you are sitting around on your butt, your toned muscles will burn calories at a higher rate.
The conclusion? Combining weights with cardio and interval training will help you blast that fat much faster, as well as build muscle.
Add in a healthy diet and you’ll be on track for your best summer body ever.
I definitely feel I've had a better workout when I do weights with cardio. I use my partner's weights so don't know how heavy they are, but just a few lifts on each arms works me very hard so I like to think it's burning calories faster..
interesting - so it is definitely worth adding some weights. Do they have to be heavy ones?
I like to do a lot of HIIT (intervals, circuits) and have read lots recently that it's the best exercise overall. Add in some weights and I don't think you can get a better fat burning combo than that.
Personally, I noticed my fat burning faster when I added in weights. I did cardio for years and was just the same shape,. but weights made me keep more trim.