The researchers think interval training—which alternates high-intensity levels of work with lower-intensity work—contributes to your body’s afterburn effect.
When you go all-out for short intervals, you quickly deplete your body’s oxygen stores. This forces your body to work harder afterward to reestablish its oxygen bank. So while you might burn as many calories during a jog, your body continues to burn more after the intervals.
And the harder and longer you go, the more calories you’ll burn later, says strength and conditioning expert Craig Ballantyne.
That’s why Ballantyne designs intervals to alternate between exercises that work different muscle groups. This allows certain muscles to recover while you hammer other ones, so you can dial up the intensity and minimise rest without getting fatigued too quickly, he says.
Do this, and you’ll turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
Want to give it a try? Check out Ballantyne’s 20-minute gut-busting interval workout.
You’ll do as many reps as possible of an exercise in 30 seconds, rest 15 seconds, and then move on to the next exercise. Once you’ve completed the fifth exercise, rest for 30 seconds. That’s 1 round. Repeat 3 more times.
1. GOBLET SQUAT
Cup a dumbbell or kettlebell at your chin and push your hips back until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Keep your elbows tight and pause at the bottom of the movement.
3. KETTLEBELL SWING
Push your hips back to swing the 'bell between your legs, then thrust your hips forward to swing the 'bell to chin height.
4. BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
Holding two dumbbells at your sides, step forward with your right foot and place your left foot on a bench or box. Lower until your front knee is bent 45 degrees.
5. SINGLE-ARM ROW
Bend forward at the waist - keeping your back flat – and row a dumbbell or kettlebell to your ribs