With summer just around the corner and beach season equally as close, many of us are trying to get in that final push to get beach-body ready.

We all know that crash diets, food restrictions and even excessive exercise are not only bad for us, but they also create unsustainable weight loss on top of doing incredible damage to our body and metabolism.  However, exercise IS extremely effective and important when it comes to losing weight and just changing up your routine, working out properly or doing the RIGHT kind of workout can have a dramatic impact on your weight loss goals.

At the end of the day, a calorie is a calorie and burning the maximal amount of calories is what contributes to weight loss. However, there are certain types of exercises that will enhance weight loss, improve muscle tone and have you burning calories even while you’re not working out.  Let go of the notion that keeping your heart rate at a certain level will put you into a “fat-burning” zone, therefore causing you to lose more fat. Your goal should be to effectively burn the highest amounts of calories you can in your workout.

Most people love cardio for weight loss. Cardiovascular activity is fantastic and absolutely necessary for heart health, circulation, general mobility and a host of other things. However, performing pure cardiovascular activities too often can actually prevent you from building muscle, which we definitely DO NOT want to happen. Studies show over and over again that if you have a higher muscle to fat ratio, your body burns more energy at rest and therefore, more fat. Essentially, you’re boosting your metabolism for longer periods of time.  Obviously, we want to maintain our cardiovascular activity, but we want to keep that muscle as well.

Solution?  Do cardio that ENHACNES muscle building and maximizes caloric output mixed in with some great weight training so you burn calories AND build muscle.  One of the best options: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

HIIT alternates between short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by a brief period of rest.  This is one of the best ways to turn on “afterburn,” where your body burns fat for a period of time AFTER your workout. Interval training can turn on this afterburn (increased metabolic rate) for a good 4 hours post-workout, meaning you’re still burning calories and breaking down fat.

HIIT workouts tend to be shorter in duration, with outputs of high intensity exercise, yet studies are finding that despite the shorter duration of these workouts, they tend to be superior when it comes to fat loss, with an increase in fat burning muscle fibers. An Australian study found that HIIT training, when compared to a typical 40-minute cardio program at 60% maximal heart rate, showed a 6x greater increase in fat loss. The American College of Sports Medicine found that HIIT workouts showed a 10% increase in calories burned in the 24-hour post-workout period.

For all the bodybuilders out there, don’t be afraid!  HIIT workouts can actually build muscle mass and were found to increase testosterone in men by 100%, when compared to their non-HIIT performers. They’re definitely worth a try!

Sample Workout

Warm up:  15 min.

Workout:  Choose your cardio (running, biking, rowing, hill/stair climbing) for 30 to 60 seconds at your maximal intensity, then take a 2 to 3 min. active recovery (walking, slow cycling or slow rowing, slow climbing). Repeat this 30 on/3 off pattern 5 or 6 more cycles.

Finish with a 10-minute cool down.

For the more experienced, try the pyramid  interval cycle. This is a major calorie-burning exercise at a much higher intensity. In this interval, your rest phase is only as long as your sprint phase.

Warm up: 15 min. (with some small 20 sec. bursts towards the end of the workout to prepare yourself for the workout).


Choose your cardio (running, biking, rowing, hill climbing, stair climbing).

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  • 30 seconds sprint/30 seconds recover
  • 1 minute sprint/1 minute recover
  • 2 minutes sprint/2 minutes recover
  • 4 minutes sprint/4 minutes recover
  • 2 minutes sprint/2 minutes recover
  • 1 minute sprint/1 minute recover
  • 30 seconds sprint/30 seconds recover


Cool down: 10 to 20 min (don’t forget this phase!)

These workouts can be pretty intense, so you definitely don’t want to overdo it. Try incorporating these intervals 2 to3 times per week, and on alternate days, continue with your weight training followed by lower intensity cardio. Or, join fitness classes, such as a spin class.

Don’t forget that your weight training should involve compound exercises, meaning instead of sitting on a machine that works 1 simple muscle, you use free weights, cables, pulleys and even your own body weight (in the form of push-ups/chin-ups), that will use multiple muscles at one time, enhancing the benefit of your workout. You can also increase the difficulty by standing on BOSU balls or using stability balls as your workout bench.

Don’t forget to fuel and recover effectively for these intense workouts, so giveTrueSTRENGTH/TruePOWER a try and recover with TrueRENEW andTrueREPAIR.

Get creative with your workouts and keep challenging yourself!

Originally Posted Here.