Top 3 Most Effective Workouts
I can't say it enough: Exercise is essential to losing weight -- and keeping it off. Sure, there are tons of ways to get your heart pumping, but here are three types of workouts that will optimize fat loss and accelerate your results aesthetically and athletically.
HIIT -- If you want to be a calorie-burning machine, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the key. This means pushing yourself during short bursts of your workout session so you're exercising at close to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR) and then recovering at a lower intensity of roughly 70 percent of your MHR. These intervals can range anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes, depending on your level of fitness. Figuring out your MHR is simple -- just subtract your age from 220. So if you're 35, your MHR is 185 beats a minute.
HIIT training is one of the best ways to enhance your afterburn, which means you will not only burn calories during the workout, but long after the workout is over (this is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC). And you don't have to be on a treadmill to engage in HIIT training; you can perform intervals on any piece of cardio equipment (such as a bike, stepmill, rower, etc.) or incorporate intense exercises like jumping jacks, mountain climbers and butt kicks into a 30-minute strength-training routine.
Resistance training -- Whether you're using your own body weight or free weights, strength training (aka resistance training) rocks because, like HIIT training, it's one of the fitness techniques that accelerates afterburn. That's because after a tough resistance-training workout, your muscles are hard at work rebuilding themselves, burning up to 100 calories a day in the process. In fact, a single strength-training workout a week can help you torch up to 36,000 extra calories -- equivalent to about 10 pounds of fat -- in a year! Just be sure to do reps of those push-ups, triceps dips or dumbbell presses until the point of true fatigue.
Plyometrics -- An advanced fitness technique best described as jump training, plyometrics consists of explosive movements that can significantly increase your strength, speed and endurance. Athletes have used this type of training for years to maximize their performance, but anyone can reap the benefits of this high-intensity exercise, which increases your metabolic rate for hours afterward. Here are two examples of plyometrics: A jump lunge in which you jump as you straighten your legs; and a squat jump in which you squat down and spring upward out of the squat so your entire body leaves the ground.