How long should a workout be for it to be effective?
Many people have asked this question, and the answer really lies in the intensity of the workout. The intensity of the workout is actually more important than the length of time, and can make a difference in total fat loss because of how the body uses its energy.
The body may burn fat or it may burn carbohydrates. Depending on how intense of an activity is performed determines which of the two is burned. When you exercise, the intensity increases and your body begins to use more carbohydrates for energy versus fat. Once the carbohydrates are all used up, your body begins to break down muscle and use it for energy. Carbohydrates are essential for the body to burn fat effectively versus burning muscle.
In general, the body burns calories in order for you to simply stay alive and function normally. However, fat loss only occurs when you burn more calories than you eat on a daily basis.
The best workouts for burning fat and building lean muscles are High Intensity Interval Strength Training. The exercises use your own body weight and boost your metabolism for as long as 24-48 hours after you have stopped working out. The more intense your workouts are, the better, because your body will burn more fat. You will also become stronger and leaner.
The benefit of shorter workouts is that it allows you to push at your maximum effort. Once you have pushed at your maximum effort, your body will perform at a higher level throughout the day, allowing you to burn the most calories. It is similar to the theory that you should workout in the morning. Once you have started your day with a workout, your body will continue to burn calories throughout the day. It is like “revving up” your metabolism.
Bottom line is, if you have 15-30 minutes to spare for a workout, make it intense and workout at your maximum. Your body won’t be disappointed.
We’ve posted tons of workout videos for you that only take 4-5 minutes per circuit. Do at least 1 of these today!