Sunday, August 5, 2012

Short, Fat-Burning Workout

One complaint I hear from people who want to lose weight or get fit but don't is, "I don't have the time."  You're probably flashing back to the time(s) you've said that same excuse.  I know I am.  I've really gotten into running in the last few years but I don't always have the time to go for the length of runs that will get me in a good, fat-burning zone.  I'm not a fast runner so that makes it even worse. What if I told you that you can work up a sweat, build muscles, and burn fat all in only around 12 minutes a day?  AND I'm not even kidding!!!

There's this new exercise buzz word "HIIT".  It stands for high intensity interval training.  As appealing as only several minutes a day of exercise sounds, it is not for the faint of heart.  If you have not discovered yet, YOU SHOULD!!!  This is a prime example of interval training and the girl that takes you through the workout has the most jaw-dropping body that it motivates you to look that good.  Or at least it does me.  BodyRock is a website that has FREE workout videos.  They usually offer different levels of each workout and show how to do some of them with out the equipment they use.  I'm going to tell you how you can make up your own HIIT workout at home to do when you have a few minutes.

Get a timer or a watch that you can set to go off at 50 seconds and then again at 10 seconds and then starts back over to going for 50 and so on.  I use an app on my iPhone called Interval Timer that was free to download.  When you do an exercise, do as many repetitions of it as you can in the fifty seconds and then rest for the ten seconds before moving on to the next exercise.  If you absolutely can't get anything to track your interval times, choose a repetition amount for each exercise (Ex. 25 squats).

Now, think of four exercises to do.  I try to do one of cardio like jumping jacks, burpees, air jump rope, etc.  Do another of a leg exercise like squats or lunges.  Do an upper body exercise like push ups or shoulder presses. The last exercise you can choose and abdominal workout like regular crunches, bicycle crunch and so on.  Once you have your four exercises picked out, you're going to do this circuit three times.  For example:

Round 1:  jumping jacks, squats, push ups, crunches
Round 2:  jumping jacks, squats, push ups, crunches
Round 3:  jumping jacks, squats, push ups, crunches

That is twelve minutes of work and then you're finished.  As with any exercise, you go at your pace and level.  If you can only do five squats in 50 seconds, that's a fine start but just make sure you're pushing yourself and not cheating because you're really only cheating yourself.

Below I will provide a list of workouts that you could use for each section.  That way if you can't think of anything to do, you can just pick one exercise from each group to do.  If you don't know what an exercise is, you can Google it or send me a message.  At some point I'd like to set up pictures or videos doing each move for those of you who are truly starting out.

jumping jacks
jump rope (you don't have to actually have a jump rope for this, just pretend)
mountain climbers
prone jacks
high knees
butt kickers
front kicks
side kicks
back kicks
upper cuts
march in place
jog in place

regular squats
pulse squats
sumo squat (or plies)
squat jumps
front lunges
side lunges
back lunges
step ups (use a wood box, step, or stool)

push ups
shoulder presses
bent over rows
should raises (front or side)
weighted punches
bicep curls
tricep dips
tricep kickbacks
tricep extensions

bicycle crunches
leg lifts
side bends
side plank
crunches on an exercise ball

This is a good starter list.  Again, if you don't know what an exercise is, don't be scared of it.  Look it up and see if it's something you would like to try.  You don't have to do the four exercise for three rounds either.  The nice thing about interval training is that you can modify it to suit your needs.  As I said before, this is not really for someone that's done nothing but sat on a couch for the last few years.  Start out small with a walk around the block and build up.  I don't want you to try these exercises and not be able to move the next day and decide that it's too hard and give up.  That's what you've always done in the past and how has that worked out for you?  Baby steps.  You will be sore.  Being sore is a good thing. Don't be afraid of it.  The best thing to do when you're sore is to get up and move around.  Keep working out.  You'll get past the soreness.

***Disclaimer:  I am not a certified health professional.  If you hurt yourself, please don't sue me. :)

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