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30 Minutes Interval Training - Mega Calorie Burn

Updated on December 14, 2013
how to keep fit and healthy?
how to keep fit and healthy?

Exercise, love it or hate it but you need it

Exercise plays an essential role in weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.The world today has over-complicated the concept of keeping healthy and fit, with all sorts of detox diets, supplements, and plastic surgery. However, if we go back to basics, weight loss is a simple equation: burn more calories than your daily intake and you got yourself a deficit, which will get you on track to getting rid of those extra pounds. The best, if not only, method to burn calories is to exercise.

The general norm is to workout at least 3 times a week in order to get the sufficient amount of exercise to create a calorie deficit. Although spending about 3 hours in the gym per week may not sound like an eternity, many of us still struggle to fit this routine into our busy lifestyles.

There are many women out there juggling work and family life, and the day only has 24 hours. If we take a snapshot of a busy evening in a woman’s life, and the activities she has to do, it may look something like this:

Drive back from work, pick up the kids from school, make dinner, clean up, put the kids to sleep, prepare clothes and food for the next day, relax and have a chat with the partner, and go to bed. From this example, it is clear to see how busy life can get, and why a few hours in the gym don’t take priority most of the time.

So, how can a busy woman still look after her figure and make time for gym?

The good news is that experienced trainers have thought about it all, and the world of fitness invented Interval Training. I do praise them for it! The concept of Interval Training, in a nutshell, is about high intensity workouts performed in less time, which work better than 1 hour of slow pain and sweat.

How many times do you exercise per week?

See results

Yes, I am saying that you can go gym 3 times a week, workout for less than 30 minutes, and get better and faster results!

Instead of running 40 minutes on the treadmill, you can run 10 minutes, and all you need to do is add better structure and intensity to your workout. I speak from personal experience, when I say the results will show on the sweat line of your t-shirt, and what a better way to know you are doing a mega calorie-burn workout?

However, interval training does not stop at cardio, as it involves weight training. For the past 4 years, I have tried many versions of workouts, from which I crafted the most effective 30 minutes interval training routine. I share it with you today in the hope that will benefit you the same and help your burn those unwanted calories.

However, please do adapt the routine to your needs and, if in need, consult your doctor before you get started. In case you are a beginner to exercise or weight training, start with body-weight (weight free) and move your way up the ladder.

interval training
interval training

Here’s my little secret formula:

Equipment needed: treadmill, dumbbells, rowing machine, and a bench.

Warm up:

2 minutes all body muscle stretch

Cardio Interval:

Speed Level 4: 2 minutes walking

Speed Level 8: 1 minute jogging

Speed Level 4: 1 minute walking

Speed Level 10: 1 minute sprinting

Speed Level 4: 1 minute walking

Speed Level 8: 1 minute jogging

Speed Level 4: 1 minute walking

Speed Level 10: 1 minute sprinting

Speed Level 3: 1 minute cool down

Weight Training Interval:

10 x Reps Squats

20 x Reps Lunges (10 x each leg)

40 x Jumping Jacks / or 2 minutes Rowing Machine

10 x Squats

30 x Bench Press ups

40 x Jumping Jacks / or 2 Minutes Rowing Machine

10 x Knee Cross Crunch (I also use a stepper)

10 x Push-ups (on your knees or hands on stepper, depending on your ability)

Finish routine without resting between exercise, and repeat again.

Cool down:

1-2 minutes all body muscle stretch

In order to avoid plateau, your workout should challenge your body to improve its physical ability week by week. This can be done by adding more reps or by increasing the weight.

See suggestions below:

Week 1: 3-5 kg

Week 2: 4-6 kg

Week 3: 5-7 kg

Week 4: 6-9/10 kg + add extra interval

I use lighter weights for bench press-up and knee cross crunches, and higher weights for squats and lunges. Once again, please adapt this to your own physical needs. The exercises should be challenging, but not painful.

Repeat this routine 3 times a week, with 1-day gap in between. For instance, you may exercise Monday, Wednesday and Friday – taking the weekend off, or Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday.

Twice a week add a 10 minutes abs workout at the end of each routine. Make your ab workout simple, consisting of old school abs crunches and sit-ups.

What's the hype about interval training?

Research shows that interval training is the better option and, by putting the right intensity in 30 minutes, you can achieve better results that you would in 1 hour. The success of this routine is due to the stop and go motion, and the combination of high intensity weight and cardio training.

It is scientifically proven and guaranteed that interval training will help you burn more calories in less time.

This workout, together with a healthy diet and a winner’s mindset, can be the key to your weight loss success.

Extra tip: drinking pre-workout fruit smoothie helps to raise your energy levels.

Good luck!


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    • OanaWriter profile image

      Georgiana Dacosta 4 years ago from London

      I agree with you CyclingFitness, losing weight drastically is not very healthy nor sustainable.

      However, it really depends on the lifestyle you had before you started your diet and fitness program. In my case, and other people I know, every time I came out of a sedentary period, where I spent almost all my days sat in front of the computer, and with a fairly unhealthy diet, I find that once I go on a healthy diet plan and regular exercise routine - even just 3 times a week, I am seeing speedy results.

      Now if I am maintaining well but just want to lose a bit more weight, I will need to wait longer for the results to show, as my habits were already good and I can't possibly create such a high calorie deficit without being unhealthy.

      In terms of the personal trainers, of course they should focus on your personal circumstances, really understand your body and metabolism, because one size never fits all.

      But there are still good personal trainers out there, so hope is not lost.

      Thanks for the comments, it's lovely to hear from someone with experience, I've learnt a lot from your comments.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 4 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Whilst your cardio sessions has the marks of an interval/ fartlek system session it was your main resistance workout that I was referring to as that doesn't appear to have the elements of an interval session based on what you have stated in your protocol.

      Any exerciser losing 10kgs in 2-3 weeks will invariably be losing too much weight in such a short term. 1-2 lbs a week is ideal and deemed to be more health conscious as a lb of fat equates to 3500 calories of deficit which is a sensible number based on a 500 calorie deficit per day for the body. Anything more than that is going to be likely either through dehydration or an unsustainable level of calorie deficit for the long term. I know people who become disillusioned by these figures but in reality they showcase a lifestyle change rather than excessive dieting and exercise. I would be very wary long term of a dieter losing 10 kg in 2-3 weeks and would be rather worried about their health in the long term.

      I'm very wary of the workouts given out by a number of personal trainers I've seen as they're often generic and differ little between exercisers at a number of the centres I've used. I have noted some exceptionally good PT's but also some very mediocre ones who are surprisingly able to earn a living in the area. I had a session with a personal trainer a couple of weeks ago and wasn't even asked my fitness background before the session- and this was a seemingly successful PT at a local fitness centre who has a large client base- It was a free session but I would have expected them to go all out in an attempt to secure my business long-term instead of giving me a generic session that wasn't related to my background.

    • OanaWriter profile image

      Georgiana Dacosta 4 years ago from London

      Hi CyclingFitness, thanks for stopping by to read and comment, I really appreciate it!

      I am surprised you don't consider it an interval training, I've been advised by a personal trainer that it is. It's the stop an go motion, where you sprint for 1 minute and then jog for one minute. I know it can be even shorter, with 20 seconds bursts of sprinting and then just resting, but 1 minute works the same.

      The workout was first inspired from the famous book The Truth About Abs by Mike Geary. I bought this in 2008 and this workout was given as interval training - I tweaked it a bit to suit my gym equipment but it's essentially the same process.

      Earlier this year a successful personal trainer gave me a very similar workout - which he called interval training.

      In terms of working out 3 times a week, I agree with you, more is always better when it comes to exercise, but there's evidence that 3 days a week still works, with the right diet.

      It certainly worked for me, and I know many people that have worked by themselves, or with personal trainers, on 3 times a week workouts and lost a lot of weight, up to 10 kg in 2-3 weeks. I think the key is the intensity of the workout and the diet.

      However, we must also take into account physical activity. For someone that has a sedentary life starting with 3 times a week will definitely make a difference.

      Hopefully my answer helps you understand the reasoning behind this article. Thanks again for commenting!

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 4 years ago from Nottingham UK

      I'm not sure I would call your weight training regime an interval training workout. Interval training is all about changing pace and multiple efforts. Your workout listed looks like a single station circuit and realistically will provide limited opportunities of development.

      Interval training can be great for exercisers to increase fat burning elements of their metabolism but the increased intensity levels can often mean it is not suitable for beginners due to the consistently high intensity levels required.

      As someone from a high level fitness background it's hard to see that 30 minutes x 3 times a week can genuinely give the weight loss and fitness development that many people strive for. I certainly wouldn't prescribe it to any exerciser I'm looking after.