Doing something is better than doing nothing, we all know that. However, sometimes we can do everything right but those last few pounds just won’t budge. One way to change this is to increase the time spent working out, but another (less time-consuming) way is to increase the efficiency of your workouts.
Here are some ways you can boost your calorie burn whilst working out to get the most out of your workouts.
1) Interval Cardio Training
Performing cardio at a steady pace definitely increases endurance – however, it’s not uncommon for individuals to hit a plateau after a while. Instead of simply going for a walk, jog, run or cycle, try to mix up your cardio routines with some high intensity bursts. The secret of success lies in alternating periods of effort with low intensity recovery segments which will increase fat and calorie burning.
Next time you’re on the treadmill, try warming up for 5 minutes (jogging) then do 15 x 30 seconds sprinting/ 30 seconds standing on the side of the treadmill and a 5 minute cool down. You’ll find this not only breaks up the monotony of your cardio, but it also increases calorie burn after working out!
2) High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Similarly to above, but with workout moves instead of cardio. You could increase your calorie burn by adding a four minute Tabata-style workout to your training a few times a week. This method consists of alternating between 20 second bursts of maximum effort work and 10 second rest phases for a total of four minutes in order to raise your heart rate to the max – it even has an app to make things easier for you!
A study by Tabata et al (1) found that when participants completed this workout 5 times a week for 6 weeks, it not only increased participants anaerobic capacity but their aerobic capacity too.
3) Build Some Muscle
Don’t be afraid weight training will turn you into some she-hulk; women’s bodies aren’t built the same as males! However, muscle weighs more than fat. The more muscle you have, the heavier your body is and it requires more energy to move.
So get in the gym, grab some weights and get lifting! The combination of weight training and cardio is a match made in heaven. You’re weighting train to build and sculpt muscles and then use the cardio to burn calories and body fat to leave you with a lean, toned body.
4) Increase Resistance
By increasing the resistance on the exercise bike or incline on the treadmill, you’ll work out a whole new group of muscles.
This is especially important on these machines as this targets your glutes – your gluteus maximus muscles are the biggest muscles in the body, which use the most energy to activate – therefore they burn the most calories!
5) Turn It UP
In a recent study (2) researchers asked 12 participants to ride stationary bikes while listening to music. The test was performed three times, and the music they were given had three tempos – normal, 10% faster and 10% slower. The study found that when the tempo was slowed compared, the speed of pedalling reduced, their heart rates were lower and their overall mileage was lower than when cycling to the normal tempo of the music.
When the tempo was increased, however, the participants produced more power with each pedal stroke, they increased their pedalling rate, their heart rates were higher and they covered more distance. In short, working out to high tempo music can make you work harder, so turn it up!
6) Burn calories outside
I know it’s getting colder and darker, but try and take your cardio outside when you can. The environment makes a huge difference to your run or cycle – especially when you have to battle wind and/ or uneven ground!
You’ll end up working more and/ or different muscle groups without even thinking about it. Plus, hills help those booty gains.
7) Compete with a Buddy
Finding someone who can lift heavier/ run faster than you to work out with makes you work harder to keep up. It’s like when you run on a treadmill next to someone, no one says it but you know you’re racing! It releases that competitive edge inside of you – you’ll be smashing those PB’s before you know it!
8) Workout Smarter
Yes going for a walk is better than sitting on the couch, but if you want 100% of the results, you have to give 100% of the effort.
At the end of the day you simply need to workout smarter, not longer! Set aside 30 minutes to work out – it’s only 30 minutes! – set a timer and make those minutes count.
Take Home Message
Adopt some of these techniques to boost your metabolism and gain some lean muscle to start burning more calories – even during sleep.
Let Myprotein know about your progress!
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.