Interval Training...The Best Weight Loss Workouts!

Everyone wants to know what the best weight loss workouts are. I am definitely guilty of loving those long runs…I know, I know, I’m a rare breed. Not only is this not the best weight loss workout, but, for most, long, low-intensity cardio sessions can be incredibly monotonous and boring. However, like most of you moms, I am always trying to find the workout that delivers the best results with the least amount of time commitment. I have been guilty of rushing my workouts so I can get home to lil’ Grif.

Rush no more…research proves that only twenty minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) not only burns more fat calories than long, low–intensity cardio sessions (30-45min), but it also creates an “after-burn” (boosts your metabolism before and after), drastically increases your VO2max (aerobic capacity), and maintains lean muscle mass.

A study conducted by WSU concluded that participants who performed 90 sessions of long, moderate-intensity cardio over 20 weeks only lost 1% body fat. However, participants who performed 25 sessions of moderate intensity cardio mixed with 35 sessions of high intensity cardio over only 15 weeks lost an incredible 3% body fat!

EPOC...The After Burn

Need more convincing? This "after burn", better know as the post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) in the scientific world, has long been studied by exercise physiologists. The "after burn" results after a bout of exercise as your body works to deliver oxygen to the previously worked muscles and return your body back to it's pre-workout state.

In an effort to restore itself, your body burns more energy (ie. calories). However, research shows that your body requires far more energy for a longer period of time (burns more calories) to repair itself after high intensity interval training than a steady pace workout. Your metabolism can work in your favor for up to 2 days after an interval cardio session, while your body can recover metabolically from a steady pace workout within 30 minutes.

Protect Your Muscle

As odd as this might sound, the long distance runs that I love so much can actually be counterproductive. Long, low intensity cardio can actually eat up hard earned muscle for those that are more fit. Remember, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn.

Bottom Line

While a 60 minute run might burn more calories than a 20 minute interval session during that time period, your 20 minute workout will end up blasting far more calorie throughout the day than your 60 minute workout making it one of the best weight loss workouts. Remember, fat loss is a numbers game...calories in versus calories out. The bigger the deficiet, the more weight you will lose.

Now,to really benefit from this, you are going to have to get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself and kick your butt. On the bright side, you'll spend less time on the treadmill, more time with your family and get results much faster.

Here's what you do

Replace 1-2 of our long, low-moderate intensity workouts with a 20 minute kick butt interval workouts. Over time, if you are feeling extra motivated, work your way up to 3 high intensity interval cardio sessions. However, never ever do them back to back. Our bodies need time to recover, repair and build.

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