We’re always looking for effective ways to shed pounds and maximize our fitness endeavors. Well, one method that seems to work for many people is burst training which is essentially interval training.
It’s convenient, efficient, and a great way to get in a workout session whether you’re short on time or even if you just don’t really want to spend an hour or more working out.
Here’s some information about burst training and how you can benefit from this popular training method.
WHAT IS BURST TRAINING?
Burst training is an effective fat-burning and cardio-building tool that involves quick bursts of high-intensity activity (80-100% maximum effort) which are about 30-60 seconds in duration followed by low-intensity exercise (around 20% maximum effort) for 30-60 seconds… aka interval training.
You can burn a ton of calories in a short period of time without having to always do long, boring cardio sessions that are usually done at a continuous pace (efficiency is key).
You only need to do a few sessions per week to get the benefits.
Research does show there to be several benefits of interval training from improved cardio, to more calories burned, and even insulin resistance.
HOW TO DO BURST TRAINING
To do this form of training effectively, you’ll want to choose an exercise of your choice at which you can perform at 80-100% effort whether it be resistance training, swimming, sprinting, etc.
Determine how many sets of this exercise you’ll perform in the workout. For example, you can do 4,6,10,12, or more sets of burst training in one session.
It’s completely up to you as time, current experience level or preference all play a factor in the duration of which you desire to exercise.
An example of a burst workout would be doing clean and jerks for 30 seconds followed by the same amount of time or more of light activity. You’ll then repeat this process four times.
Or, you can do 30-second sprints on a track followed by 60 seconds of light jogging, repeating this process for the desired number of times.
WHAT SHOULD I EAT BEFORE BURST TRAINING?
Before engaging in high-intensity activity or any form of vigorous exercise, it’s generally recommended to consume a sufficient amount of carbohydrates to fuel your sessions.
Carbs are the main macronutrient stored and used as energy but a good fat source can also be used as energy as well and especially when on the keto diet. A quality source of protein is also always good to have at every meal because it’s the muscle-building macronutrient and which we always need plenty to build and maintain lean muscle mass. (1)
As far as when to eat before training, it depends on how much you eat. For snacks and smaller meals, you can probably train after 45 minutes to an hour to allow for optimal digestion. For big meals, an hour and a half is usually the minimum time necessary before training, with two hours being necessary in many cases.
HERE ARE SOME FOODS TO EAT BEFORE BURST TRAINING…
- Lean Meats (chicken, beef, turkey, etc)
- Grains (whole wheat bread, oats, rice, etc)
- Root Vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yucca, etc)
- Low-fat Dairy (cottage cheese, skim milk, etc)
- Nuts and Nut Butters
- Fruit (e.g. berries, bananas, coconut)
- Protein Shake
Make sure to drink plenty of water beforehand as you’ll need the additional strength and energy that hydration provides to be able to last and perform at your very best.
HOW LONG TO LOSE WEIGHT DOING BURST TRAINING?
Weight loss is definitely something that doesn’t occur at the same rate for everyone.There are several factors that have to be taken into consideration which include…
- Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE)
- Nutritional habits
There is, unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to fitness. But, if you stick with a training regime and do it consistently while having a good nutritional regime, you can lose a few pounds per week depending on the total amount of calories you burn.
There are many easy calculators that you can use to determine an approximate caloric number for your weight loss goals based on your age, weight, activity levels, and often your desired rate of weight loss.
You are your best judge when it comes to observing and adjusting where needed. So, you’ll have to look at the mirror and the scale to know whether or not your current regime is working for you.
IS BURST TRAINING THE SAME AS HIIT?
Burst training is interval training performed at a relatively high level of intensity followed by light activity in repeated bouts so you could technically say it’s a form of HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
But while we’re on the subject, check out this effective HIIT workout That Builds Full-Body Strength and Stamina.
IS BURST TRAINING EFFECTIVE?
Interval training is a very effective way to improve your overall fitness. The higher your workout intensity means more calories burned overall which results in more weight/fat loss.
Not to mention, you’re improving your cardiovascular endurance which will allow you to train longer and harder as you progress in your training which you’ll definitely appreciate.
Many people often prefer this type of training because it’s also very time efficient. In fact, you can get an optimal workout in roughly 12-15 minutes (no excuses) if done with enough intensity.
According to one study, interval training performed at a high intensity for 20 seconds followed by 40 seconds of rest can burn significantly more calories (about 25-30%) than steady-state cardio such as resistance training, cycling or treadmill cardio sessions. Although, the interval training was combined with a form of resistance training.
This was determined when nine trained men performed all four forms of exercise for 30 minutes.
This review concluded that interval training combined with resistance training is effective for providing the benefits of both when time is a concern.
But the calorie expenditure doesn’t end there… in fact, there’s sufficient research to support the fact that this form of interval training continues to burn calories for hours following exercise due to increased metabolic rate and post-exercise oxygen consumption. (2, 3, 4)
And… interval training apparently tends to tap into fat stores over carbs for energy, according to one scientific review. (2)
Therefore, a high-intensity form of training done in interval fashion would seem to be a preferred activity for those overweight or obese. Especially when you can get amazing results without much of an overall time commitment.
As far as muscle gains, well, research isn’t there to suggest burst training or interval training results in superior muscle gains. But we don’t need research to tell us that, based on what we know about resistance training. (5)
And for those at risk or who already have Type 2 diabetes, interval training has been shown to reduce fasting glucose and it’s evidently effective for metabolic health, even more so than continuous training. (8)
HOW TO DO BURST TRAINING AT HOME?
You don’t need any equipment to do burst training which is why it’s so convenient for at-home workouts.
But if you have the equipment, this would give you more options, of course. However, you can do bodyweight training, take advantage of the beautiful outdoors, or just do any activity that you enjoy which allows for high effort followed by a less intense period.
A few examples of workouts you can do at home are burpees that combine resistance training and cardio. Or, you can jog around the block or even do some boxing at a high intensity.
Again, how many rounds you decide to depends on you as there’s no set formula. Just choose an exercise (or two) and get to training!
Here are 5 CrossFit workouts you can do at home.
If you need a way to get in a quick, yet intense and effective workout every now and then or very frequently, we recommend incorporating burst training in your fitness regime.
You can burn loads of fat, improve your endurance, and even build muscle with just a few sessions of interval training every week whether done solely or in combination with your other workouts.
So, we hope this information was helpful and we’re confident anyone can benefit from this form of training.