You see these folks at your gym, huffing away on elliptical machines and waiting impatiently for aerobics classes. What if I told you the right exercise could give you better fat-burning, muscle-building, metabolism-boosting benefits than the hours treadmills and aerobics classes require, in just minutes a day?
I know: it sounds like an infomercial, but I’ve got the science and experience to back it.
What Is Burst Training?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called burst training, involves short bursts of high-intensity-style exercise for 30 to 60 seconds followed by one-to-two-minute recovery periods.
You don’t need special equipment to do burst training. If I’m attending a medical conference and don’t have time for the hotel gym, I’ll find the nearest stairs. You can get those same benefits at your mall stairs. (Sure, you might garner a few stares from curious passersby, but so what?)
See those guys running up the giant hill at your local park? That’s burst training.
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How Burst Training Blasts Fat
When you burst, your body creates what scientists call oxygen debt, which it must then work to repay. This recovery requires energy, which your body utilizes via fat oxidation. Literally, you’re burning fat to meet this increased demand.
Sure, you also burn fat while you ride that treadmill, but the lower intensity doesn’t require any metabolic post-exercise repair, so you get limited overall metabolic benefits.
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Put another way: the more intense your exercise, the bigger metabolic cost you create and more fat calories you burn when you’re done.
Trust me, burst training is intense.
Studies Show Burst Training Superior for Fat Loss
Studies prove burst training is superior to cardio for fat loss. One study in the journal Metabolism, for instance, compared a 20-week endurance-training (ET) program to a 15-week burst-training program. The HIIT group showed a nine-fold greater fat loss than the ET group.
Numerous other studies confirm those benefits. A study in the Journal of Obesity, for instance, found that burst training forces your muscle to utilize more fat both during and after exercise.
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And another study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that moderately active women ...