A daily exercise program is essential to help you burn calories and lose weight faster. It can help tighten flabby muscles, strengthen internal body organs including the heart helping you live longer. It can reduce aches, pains, and stiffness and improve your posture.
If you notice that you put in a lot of time and effort, but the scale is not budging, then it is time to include some shortcuts in your workouts to burn fat much faster.
Workouts that incorporate explosive movements commonly work your muscles harder in less time, thus increasing muscle growth and burning fat faster. They help you work out for a lesser time but still burn more calories, increase strength, and improve performance.1
Take a look at some of the best workout shortcuts that can help increase the intensity of your workout and burn calories faster.
Plyometrics are exercises that can develop athletic power. Also called jump training, plyometric exercises such as tuck jumps, squat jumps, and box jumps improve leg strength in a short period. The purpose of practicing these workouts is the same as that of strength training – to develop more significant physical power.2 They are a high-intensity form of exercise placing substantial stress on the bones, joints, and connective tissue.
Plyometrics can be categorized into two: single response drill and multiple response drills. These include exercises with different levels of intensity.
Plyometrics can be performed indoors or outdoors with very little equipment. Jumping in place, standing jumps, and depth or drop jumps accomplished by falling or jumping down a height are a few of the single response drills that are utilized to gain maximum results.
Multiple response jumps utilize the skills developed by jumping in place and standing jumps. Hops done over multiple objects and multiple throws involving throwing a ball back and forth are few of the effective multiple response plyometric workouts.
You can burn more calories performing 20 minutes of plyometrics than you will with 40 minutes on the treadmill.3
2. Pyramid Training
Pyramid workouts can increase strength and endurance. They go with just about any exercise. Many times, your body will plateau and not continue to make strength or cardio progress. The body has adapted to whatever routine you are doing.
Pyramid workouts can interrupt your routine and cause your muscles to respond to strength and endurance improvements. Pyramid training allows you to use a variety of resistances through a range of 6 to 12 repetitions. Each succeeding set is heavier than the previous one, so it prepares the body for the maximum set while continuing to pump growth-producing blood into the muscles.
Pyramid system is not necessary for each exercise. You can use it for the first exercise for a particular muscle group to warm it up fully and to achieve maximum calorie loss throughout the entire workout.4
3. Tabata Protocol
The Tabata protocol is a highly specific method that is popular among elite athletes in speed-oriented sports. The Tabata interval is twenty seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by ten seconds of rest. This interval is repeated eight times to create four minutes of the most intensive training you can imagine.
It differs from the traditional interval training as the twenty-second interval is much shorter than traditional intervals. The rest interval is just ten seconds which is so brief that minimal recovery can occur before the next work interval begins. Add weight to your body, if needed, to make the twenty-second work intervals maximal, in terms of both physical and mental exertion.
This protocol is uniquely effective in producing gains in both anaerobic and aerobic capacity and, therefore, produces the combined efforts of anaerobic and aerobic exercises maximizing strength and calorie loss.5
4. Interval Cardio Workouts
If you want to get more bang for your exercise buck in half the time, interval cardio sessions are the best. Interval cardio training helps build up your cardiovascular base level. It will help to push your fitness level up a notch, introducing the concept of fatigue to the body and teaching you how to drive through it. It works on your speed and power development as well.
It reduces cardio-metabolic risk and improves psychological health. With interval cardio workouts, your intensity varies throughout the workout session. The training session is alternating high-intensity bursts with low intensity or even rest periods throughout the 20-30 minute cardio session.
You can vary the workouts to keep your body guessing and lose more fat in the process. It prevents the adaptation process during a workout causing your body to work hard constantly, and it helps your body preserve muscle and increase power.6
5. Mix Of Cardio And Weights
You can get amazing results by doing a mix of cardio and free weights. The benefit of the combination is that both these styles of training are high fat-burners. Mixing them not only helps build a healthy muscular body but also helps strip off excess body fat by elevating your resting metabolic rate – the number of calories your body burns at rest. It stays raised for hours after your workout.
Before you perform your workout, make sure you complete the required warm-ups. A good guide is to find the weight that hits your challenge point, where you can lift for at least 8 to 12 repetitions comfortably.
If you feel challenged after a few repetitions, the weight is too heavy; if you feel you could keep going after 25 repetitions, the weight is too light. So, choose your weight wisely to get the maximum benefits from the workout.7
6. Drop Sets
Drop sets work well for achieving lasting results. By adding drop sets at the end of each exercise, you can get substantially more out of your workouts by pumping each body part.
A drop set involves performing a set of a particular exercise to failure (performing an exercise till you do not have enough muscular strength to do one more), then, immediately decreasing the weight and performing the exercise to failure with the lighter weight. It is a great technique for training past failure, if used sparingly.
Using this technique on more than one or two sets of an exercise for an extended period will lead to overtraining. Drop sets tend to work best for an exercise that allows you to decrease weight quickly and conveniently. You can perform drop sets on virtually any exercise that you would like to add intensity to.8
Supersets can help you complete a workout at a faster pace. A superset consists of two exercises with no rest between the two movements. It can involve moves for opposing muscle groups like the chest and back or the biceps and triceps or a combination of two exercises for the same muscle group.
Because opposing muscle groups do not use the same muscles to produce movement, you do not run the risk of being too fatigued to perform the second exercise. The increase in muscle strength is due to the pump that takes place in the opposing muscle groups.
If you have a muscle that resists growth, supersetting two exercises for the same muscle could make a difference. This method helps to complete the workout faster and involves different muscle groups, achieving maximum efficiency in burning fat.9
8. Compound Sets
Performing two sets of exercises together without a rest period can help stimulate growth in muscles. A compound set includes two exercises for the same body part. This technique can pump up your muscles by giving them a high level of exercise intensity in a short period. Performing two sets of exercises can trigger substantial new muscle growth and encourage fat loss.
Compound sets provide relatively greater intensity to your slower growing body areas and bring them up to the high standard of muscular development of the rest of your physique over time, thus, increasing the core strength.
To ensure that compound sets do not overburden your body, be sure to count each of the exercises you do as one set. Stick to not more than two compound sets per muscle to avoid overtraining.10
9. Giant Sets
Giant sets combine similar movement patterns to fatigue a muscle maximally. These are similar to compound set training in that multiple exercises are done for a single muscle group back to back with no rest between sets. The number of exercises performed makes a difference.
A giant set is any set that incorporates four or more different drills in succession. You move directly from one exercise to the next without resting in between movements. They are great workouts that quickly hit any muscle group from a variety of angles.
The benefits are similar to those of compound sets. Giant sets not only heighten exercise intensity and muscle development but also create an aerobic environment, thereby expediting fat burning.11
10. Combination Exercises
Combining two or more moves into double moves increases the difficulty and calorie burn of the workout. Combination exercises can stimulate strength and conditioning to increase the metabolic response.
These exercises involve combining two or more exercises into one sequential movement pattern for a series of repetitions. They are primarily used to increase muscular endurance and hypertrophy; strength training effects are secondary.
Exercises that stress large muscle groups increase the metabolic demands and provide a potent stimulus for physiological adaptations. 12
So, if you feel like you are spending way too much time working out without the desired results, include these easy exercises in your fitness routine to burn those extra calories.
|↑1||Harney, Gina. HIIT It!: The Fitnessista ‚Get More From Less Workout and Diet Plan to Lose Weight and Feel Great Fast. Demos Medical Publishing, 2014.|
|↑2||Miller, Michael G., Jeremy J. Herniman, Mark D. Ricard, Christopher C. Cheatham, and Timothy J. Michael. “The effects of a 6-week plyometric training program on agility.” Journal of sports science & medicine 5, no. 3 (2006): 459.|
|↑3||McNeely, Edward, and David Sandler. Power plyometrics: the complete program. Meyer & Meyer Verlag, 2006.|
|↑4||Weinstein, Bob. “Boot Camp Six-Pack Abs.” Health Colonel Publishing, 1912.|
|↑5||Horst, Eric. Maximum climbing: mental training for peak performance and optimal experience. Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.|
|↑6||Shepherd, Sam O., Oliver J. Wilson, Alexandra S. Taylor, Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Ahmed M. Adlan, Anton JM Wagenmakers, and Christopher S. Shaw. “Low-volume high-intensity interval training in a gym setting improves cardio-metabolic and psychological health.” PloS one 10, no. 9 (2015): e0139056.|
|↑7||Wyndham-Read, Lucy. “HIIT—High-Intensity Interval Training: Get Fit & Sexy in Less Than 15 Minutes a Day: Intense Workouts—Impressive Results.” Meyer & Meyer Verlag, 2015.|
|↑8||Wuebben, Joe. Stronger Arms & Upper Body. Human Kinetics, 2008.|
|↑9||Hansen, John. Natural bodybuilding. Human Kinetics, 2005.|
|↑10||Tuttle, Dave. Fifty Ways to Build Muscle Fast: The Ultimate Guide to Building Bigger Muscles. Penguin, 1999.|
|↑11||Jim, Stoppani. “Jim Stoppani’s Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength, 2E.” Human Kinetics, 2014.|
|↑12||NSCA-National Strength & Conditioning Association. “NSCA’S Essentials of Tactical Strength and Conditioning.” Human Kinetics, 2017.|