Is it possible to burn fat and tone up with a 20-minute workout? For young parents and entrepreneurs, a busy lifestyle doesn’t allow for regular routines, especially around the holiday season. Let’s face it, sometimes life gets in the way, but is that a good enough reason to neglect your fitness goals?

Benefits of Short and Intense Workouts

A recent study by McMaster University in Ontario found that brief intervals of intense exercise produced similar benefits to longer cardio sessions. These benefits relate to improvements in fat loss, aerobic endurance, insulin sensitivity, and mood. With this in mind, you’ll never have to worry about a lack of time getting in the way of your workouts ever again. Performing short and intense intervals is an excellent way to mix up your training schedule. And here’s how to do it.

Designing Your Workout

First, you’ll need to design the structure of your intervals. Consider the interval length for work, rest and your total number of rounds. As a general rule, you should arrange your work to rest intervals in 1-minute increments. For example:

20-minute workout40 sec work / 20 sec rest
30 sec work / 30 sec rest
20 sec work / 40 sec rest

Next, decide how many rounds you will perform. Start small, and as your strength increases, you can increase the number of rounds.

Check out This Example:

8 Rounds X 30 Seconds Work / 30 Seconds Rest

Listen to your body and choose times that will be challenging without overdoing it. This also goes for the number of rounds. Work up to the challenge and don’t try to shoot for the moon too early.

Next, choose exercises that will be challenging when intensely performed, but won’t lead to injury. You can decide to do one exercise per interval or keep it exciting by mixing up multiple exercises.

Now, I can hear you say, “Wait a minute! That only adds up to an 8-minute workout!” Like any good workout, you need to warm up and cool down. A good 20-minute workout concentrates the intensity of longer sessions and may lead to injury if you don’t prepare. Your warm up and cool down should make up the first 5 and last 5 minutes of your 20-minute session. You can choose to warm up on the treadmill, bike, jump rope or simply perform light repetitions of the exercises in your workout.

Let’s Apply This Idea to a Sample 20-Minute Workout Routine:

Warm up – 5 min light jog on the treadmill

8 Rounds: 30 Seconds Work / 30 Seconds Rest
Round 1 – Alternate: box jump & squat
Round 2 – Stationary bike sprint
Round 3 – Alternate: push-up & pull-up
Round 4 – Stationary bike sprint
Round 5 – Alternate: box jump & squat
Round 6 – Stationary bike sprint
Round 7 – Alternate: push-up & pull-up
Round 8 – Stationary bike sprint

Cool down – 5 min light stationary bike

There you have it! A simple workout plan to incinerate fat in less than 20-minutes. For more information on the right methods to get you into shape, visit one of our facilities to speak with our many qualified personal trainers.