Recently I helped Men’s Health magazine on a piece about getting workouts done fast. Personally, I think you can get a great body-changing workout done in minutes.
I’m talking 10-minutes.
By now, I’m sure you’re asking…
How do you lose fat in only ten minutes?
What about the rule that it takes 20 minutes of cardio before you start burning fat?
Well, first of all, as I have said before, the whole idea of a fat-burning zone or a magical fat-burning time period just doesn’t fit with the common sense approach to fat loss.
People can lose fat without doing any cardio at all – so its clear that you don’t have to workout for at least 20-minutes with your heart rate at 60% of your maximum heart rate. Fat loss is far simpler than that – and I’ll show you some basic workouts below that crank your metabolism and help you burn calories when you are not exercising.
Second, the results of your training occur outside of the gym rather than during the workout. That’s why the before-mentioned “increased metabolism” is so important. If you put the right “turbulence” on your muscles in 10-minutes, you can change your body – without even thinking about doing cardio.
So let’s look at the first fat loss in a hurry workout – a 10-minute get shredded workout. Let’s say you only have 10 minutes to do your workout today – what should you do?
In this case, you need to combine a warm-up, strength training, and interval training all into one. So our efforts are best put forward on bodyweight training.
And you don’t have time for isolation work. Instead, you need to hit three “hot zones” on the body for maximum metabolism boosting: push muscles, pull muscles, and legs.
By doing so, you’ll hit all the other muscle groups at the same time. So you’ll do a circuit of something like:
1A) Prisoner Squats (advanced option: 1-Leg Squats)
1B) Pushups (advanced option: Spiderman Pushups)
1C) Inverted Rows (advanced option: Pull-ups; easy option: Stick-ups)
In the first round of this circuit, you’ll go through it easy. Perform 25% of the maximum number of reps you can do for each exercise. So if you can do 20 pushups, do only 5 in the first warm-up circuit. That’s a warm-up circuit.
Then you’ll do as many circuits as you can in the remainder of the 10 minutes. Just go back-to-back-to-back on these 3 exercises. You can rest after the rows/pull-ups for 30 seconds if necessary, but that’s it.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how you feel at the end of the 10-minutes. And your metabolism will be elevated for a much longer period than if you trained in the fat-burn zone for 10-minutes.
Okay, now here’s another option, moving into some dumbbell work. The following superset trains the entire body, and focuses on the 3 hot zones.
1A) DB Squat (8 reps per set)
1B) DB Chest Press (8 reps per set)
Use light weights for one warm-up set, and then do as many sets as possible in 10 minutes for the rest of the workout.
In any case, if you find yourself with another 10 minutes, you can up the fat-burning ante by doing 10 minutes of intervals. This too is far more effective for fat loss and fitness than 10 more minutes in the “so-called” fat-burning zone.
Do 3-5 minutes of exercise-specific warm-up.
Then do your intervals for 30 seconds followed by 30-60 seconds of rest. Repeat 3-6 times. Then cooldown.
Okay, now let’s get greedy and assume we have 30 minutes for our workout. We’ll be close to getting maximum results with this “marathon” duration workout.
First, hit up the bodyweight circuit mentioned above. Do this twice, nice and easy. That will take 5 minutes off the clock.
Then move into your strength supersets. Following the lead above, you’ll look to train the entire body with only 2 moves. It’s not always easy, but fortunately you can do 2 supersets in this workout. The strength training will take about 15 minutes as you’ll do 3 sets of 8 per exercise with no extra rest between sets – just long enough to switch exercises.
1A) DB Split Squat (If you have a barbell, use it instead of DB’s)
1B) DB Row
2A) DB Romanian Deadlift
2B) DB Incline Press
Then finish with intervals. For this workout, try another program. Start with a warm-up, then do each “work” interval for 45 seconds, and rest 60 seconds between each interval. Do 4-6 rounds and finish with a cool-down, of course.
I could go on and on with these fast fat loss workouts…and of course I do, in the Turbulence Training manuals.
I’ll follow up on this article in the future, passing along some of the exact Turbulence Training workouts that I use with my clients to get the most results in the least amount of time.
Until then, train hard, train safe, and train better than everyone else in the gym.
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Men’s Health Training Expert
Author, Turbulence Training
Discover the top 5 fat loss myths at www.TurbulenceTraining.com