Did you know that cardio machines overestimate calorie burn by 20 percent on average? That means that we need to spend even more time in the gym to get the results we want. But is that the only way to get into shape? Do we really need to spend hours in the gym to burn a lot of calories?
Short answer: Nope!
Here are three workouts that burn major calories. The best news is that these workouts don’t take tons of time to do and don’t require a bunch of fancy equipment.
1. Descending Intervals
You’ve probably heard of high-intensity interval training. This involves mixing periods of your workout where you go all out with those that are a bit slower. This increases your calorie burn and shortens your workout.
Descending intervals are similar, but involve longer periods of time when you’re going at top capacity. This method of training boosts metabolism for hours after you finish your workout and helps you tone your muscles and lose weight.
You should keep your intervals the same length. For example, if you work as hard as you can for 2 minutes, your lower-intensity intervals should also be 2 minutes long. Then each successive interval afterward is reduced by 30 seconds. So you’ll go hard for 90 seconds, then slow down for 90 seconds and so on.
You can use descending intervals for all kinds of exercise, including running, biking, walking and much more.
2. Jump Rope
The great thing about a jump-rope workout is that you can do it virtually anywhere. Jumping rope burns 10 calories a minute, and it builds muscle and strength in your legs, buttocks, arms and core. Plus, it is one of the most effective ways to get rid of cellulite!
The following jump-rope workout plan comes from the experts at Shape magazine:
- 5 minutes: double-leg jumps
- 45 seconds: plank
- 2 minutes: single-leg jumps
- 2 minutes: double-leg jumps
- 45 seconds: opposite arm/leg extensions
This routine takes about 20 minutes, and burns 200 calories. If you do it five days a week, that’s 1,000 calories gone—without ever having to hit the gym.
3. Circuit Training
The idea behind circuit training is to maximize calorie burn by reducing the amount of time you spend resting between sets of different exercises. Here’s a great circuit-training program you can do at home to burn 500 calories in just 45 minutes. All you need is some space and a set of 5- to 8-pound weights. The challenging circuit workout was designed by Jeanette Jenkins, who trains fit celebs like Kelly Rowland, Pink and Alicia Keys.
“This workout gets results because it challenges you at every level,” Jenkins told Fitness Magazine. “Each set maxes out your muscles, while the intervals keep your metabolism stoked on high.”