Over the years, Men’s Health has sifted through dozens of studies about how many 'joules you’ll burn with various workouts. But the routine detailed in new research from North Dakota State University is one of the most efficient kilojoule cookers we’ve ever seen.
In just 13 minutes, the study participants fried 1500 kilojoules, according to the recent research.
Compare that to running at a 6-minute kilometre pace for the same amount of time, which burns 600 kilojoules, according to California State University research. Or CrossFit’s notorious Cindy workout, which burns 1090 kilojoules but takes 20 minutes, scientists at Kennesaw State University found.
For the study, men did as many reps of a resistance exercise at 50 per cent of their one-rep max as they could bang out in 30 seconds, then rested for 15 seconds.
They followed that protocol for three sets of six different weight-lifting exercises, like bench presses and bent-over rows.
The researchers tracked both aerobic and anaerobic energy expenditure during the 13-minute routine, and the average total tallied up to 1500 kilojoules.
That’s 215 more than the guys burned while doing a similar workout that used the same exercises, but with longer rests and heavier weights.
Those results suggest that there’s something about the super-short 15-second rests that leads to an astronomical kilojoule burn, says study author Jake Erickson. You use up more energy - ie kilojoules - when you give your body less time to recover between bouts of intense effort.
Want to try the exact workout used in the study?
Perform as many reps as you can of the first exercise in 30 seconds, using a weight that is 50 per cent of your one-rep max. Rest 15 seconds.
That’s 1 set. Do 3. Repeat with exercises 2 through 6.
- 1. Bench press
- 2. Bent-over row
- 3. Bicep curl
- 4. Lying triceps extension
- 5. Leg extension
- 6. Lying leg curl