Are you pumped, excited, and downright jumping out of your skin to saddle up to the treadmill for another 45-minute walk?
I didn’t think so.
Mundane, mind-numbing, and boring are just some of the words that come to mind. But you’ve read all of the mainstream noise about how you need to slog away on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical for hours every week if you want to burn body fat and finally get lean, right?
There has to be a better way. A more effective and efficient way to scorch the fat and let your physique show. And there is.
You may have run across the term HIIT before (or high-intensity interval training). What is it?
It is a form of cardiovascular exercise that has you performing high levels of intensity for short durations coupled with rest periods. Each of these intervals is repeated for predetermined amounts of times in specified workouts. They are designed to be short to moderate in total workout duration increasing excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC for short) enabling you to burn calories long after your session is over.
So, you get the benefits of:
- More intense workouts
- A workout that actually holds your interest
- Shorter cardio sessions
- An increased post-exercise calorie burn
Here are 5 unique and different 20-minute HIIT cardio workouts for rapid fat-loss. You'll crank up the intensity and finish in record time!
1. The Kettlebell Conditioner
Use this circuit utilizing only one kettlebell. Both the imbalance of the kettlebell and the fact that you will be fighting the weight on one side of the body will have your stabilizers, core, and other dormant muscles working in overdrive. This, in turn, will crank up your cardiovascular system all the while conditioning your muscles.
Perform 4 to 5 rounds of 10 to 15 reps each resting 1 minute after each round.
|Double Arm Front Swing||10-15|
|One-Arm Overhead Press||10-15|
Notes: For each single-limbed exercise, perform 10 to 15 reps for each limb. For the reverse lunge carry the kettlebell in the opposite arm as your stepping leg. The floor crunch can be performed with the kettlebell on your chest or as a standard non-weighted crunch.
2. The Outdoor Blazer
Nothing beats training outside. Fresh air, no waiting on equipment, and the ability to perform cardio anywhere. Enter sprint interval training. Saying no to the treadmill and its other boring and confining friends will enable you to take advantage of real running drills with no push of a button required.
Perform one of the following sprint interval workouts each workout alternating if needed:
- Sprint 10 yards walk back to start, then sprint 20 yards and walk back to start. Sprint to each 10 yard marker up to 50. Shoot for 5 rounds.
- Perform ten 30-yard sprints alternating going back to start with backwards running and side shuffles.
- 10 rounds of a predetermined bleacher run, walking down to start each interval.
3. The Nontraditional Burner
Fat-burning cardio doesn’t have to be relegated to running, biking or rowing. Some nontraditional ways to get leaner are becoming the norm. Sled pulls/pushes, kettlebell circuits, and plyometric work not only are effective but can break the boredom that usually accompanies the traditional modes of cardio.
Perform 3 to 4 rounds of the following circuit. Rest 2 minutes between each round.
|Kettlebell Front Swing||10-15|
|Hanging Leg Raise||10-15|
Notes: If your gym doesn’t have a sled, substitute with farmer’s walks and/or suitcase carries. If you are unable to perform box jumps substitute with jump squats and/or jump lunges.
4. The At-Home Fat Scorcher
If equipment is a factor or you don’t belong to a gym, then an at-home circuit may be your best bet for a fat-loss workout. The fact is you don’t really need anything fancy to get in a great workout – your bodyweight is more than enough.
Additionally, bodyweight training builds real-world strength and muscle allowing you to manipulate your body in such a way that weights and machines can’t.
Perform 3 to 5 rounds of 10 to 15 reps of the following circuit. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
|Reverse or Walking Lunge||10-15|
|Short Distance Sprint||20yds|
Notes: For bicycle crunches, mountain climbers, and lunges, reps are counted per limb. For sprints choose a predetermined distance such as 20 yards. If you don’t have access to an area for sprinting (due to space or weather) perform jumping jacks for 10 to 15 reps.
5. The Dueling Partner Punisher
Training with another similar goal-oriented person has so many advantages. It obligates you to adhere to a program, you have to show up for accountability reasons, you are more inclined to be pushed during the workout, and you instill a little fun and competition between each other. If you have a dedicated training partner then you are that much better-suited for success.
Perform the following workout as a pair. You will start with the first exercise while your partner will perform the second exercise. Each of you will alternate between the two exercises without rest for 3 to 5 rounds before moving on to the next pair. Either take no break between pairs or take 30 seconds – depending on your level of experience. Shoot for 10 to 15 reps for each exercise.
|1a. Burpee with Jump||10-15|
|1b. Bicycle Crunch||10-15|
|2a. Box Jump||10-15|
|2b. Push Up||10-15|
|3a. One-Arm Kettlebell Clean & Press||10-15|
|3b. Sled Push or Pull||10-15|
|4b. Kettlebell Front Swing||10-15|
Notes: Box jumps can be substituted with jump squats, any kettlebell exercise can be substituted with dumbbells, sled pushes and pulls can be substituted with farmer’s walks or suitcase carries, and sprints can be substituted with jumping jacks.