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If you think the only way to burn calories is to spend monotonous hours on the treadmill or elliptical, you’re in for some very good news – there are far more effective (and fun) ways to turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
For effective weight loss (along with healthy eating), you’ll have to practice cardio-based exercise. In short, cardio is any exercise that gets your heart rate up. And along with burning calories, cardio helps strengthen your heart and lungs, and increases oxygen supply, allowing your muscles to work harder.
But that’s not the best part; cardio can be so effective that you only need to do it for 30 minutes. In fact, if you’re not familiar with my TIFFXO workouts, they’re never longer than 20 minutes – quality over my quantity my friends.
If you want to sweat and shred and burn more calories, here are my favourite workouts:
This supercharged sweat sesh is currently one of the most popular ways to burn calories and improve fitness.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is made up of short bursts of activity with short recovery periods. For example, you work for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. This type of training gets your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.
HIIT also has a higher afterburn effect, meaning your body continues to burn calories up to 48 hours after your workout – how good is that?
It may sound painful, but HIRT (not hurt!) actually stands for High-Intensity Resistance Training.
During a HIRT workout, you’ll perform a series of strength training exercises (such as push-ups, deadlifts and bicep curls) for a set number of reps, for a set number of minutes, without rest. This keeps your heart rate high and gives your muscles only a small recovery before they’re needed again.
HIRT also has the afterburn effect, as well as improving muscle density and muscle growth.
3. Boxing/martial arts
Want to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee? Then boxing could be for you.
Boxing works your whole body, particularly your arms and core. And I think people underestimate how hard and sweaty a boxing workout can be – all of that punching, skipping and slipping requires a serious amount of energy.
On TIFFXO, these are my FIGHTER workouts. They’re a Taekwondo-inspired mix of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and HIRT (high-intensity resistance training). which means you’re going to shred, build muscle and increase your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories).
4. Stair climbing
With no fancy equipment needed, stair climbing is a wonderful fat-burning workout – and can be much harder than what it looks. Trust me, I’m currently training for the ultimate stair climb, Stadium Stomp, which requires me to climb thousands (and I mean thousands) of stairs.
Stair climbing is also amazing for toning the lower body; you’ll work your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors and core.
If you want to maximise your workout, you’ve got to use weights (and no, you won’t turn into the Hulk). Weight/resistance training increases lean muscle mass, and the more lean muscle mass you have, the easier it is to burn energy (aka fat!)
6. Jump rope
If you’re travelling and need an effective (and free) workout, don’t estimate the power of the old skipping rope.
Skipping is a brilliant aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate, improves bone density and blood pressure, and coordination – there’s a reason why boxers love skipping. You can also add a jump rope to HIIT and seriously up the sweat.
Tiffiny Hall is a fitness expert and the founder of TIFFXO.