If you’re spending valuable time in your day working out, you want to make sure you’re using your time well. There is a lot of debate out there about what workouts are the most effective. Some say you need straight cardio workouts to lose weight fast, while others swear weightlifting is the ultimate calorie burner out there. Do a simple Google search, and you’ll lose your mind looking for the right answer!
My husband, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, spends his life working with people to develop programs that maximize their calorie burn while they are at the gym. He says that the key to successful workouts to lose weight fast is to balance your cardio and your weight lifting. Both are necessary! At the moment, cardio workouts will burn more calories, but the post-workout calorie burn that lifting weights gives you is worth exploring. Weight training causes your body to have a prolonged calorie burn effect because the greater the intensity, the more oxygen your body will need to recover after your workout. This has a fancy technical term, “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC). In addition to increasing your EPOC, which burns calories all day long, building muscle also creates metabolically active tissue, allowing you to burn calories all the time.
If you’re searching for workouts to lose weight fast, it’s essential to choose those that burn the most calories and also give you that great after-burn effect. Below I’ve listed five of the best calorie burning workouts out there, to help you jumpstart your weight loss journey and achieve amazing calorie-burning goals.
Four Important Things to Know Before You Get Started
1. Losing Weight Fast is a Myth: Rapid weight loss is both unhealthy and unsustainable. It often leads to binge eating and fluctuations in your weight that can be dangerous. To safely lose weight in a way that will actually stick, you should ideally aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week. But there are ways to jumpstart your weight-loss that are safe, healthy and sustainable. That way you get long-lasting results without starving yourself or over-exercising.
2. Your Food Choices Matter More than Exercise: Healthy eating habits will take you way further than your exercising routine ever will. There’s the saying “abs are made in the kitchen,” and the meaning behind that is true, you will get much more benefit from making healthy choices while eating than you even will exercising. Creating a grueling workout in the gym so that you can binge eat pizza and ice cream will not balance out nicely.
3. You Have to Push Yourself: Hopping on the elliptical at half-speed while you watch an episode of TV is not worth your time. Every workout you give your time to, you should be pushing yourself as much as possible. Most trainers agree that it’s better to give it your all for three workouts a week than to put in half the effort five times a week. Your time is valuable, make those workouts count and push yourself to the limit.
4. Do Exercise You Enjoy: If weight loss is your goal for exercising, and it’s not typically something you do, then you have to find something you love. If you try one of the workouts to lose weight fast below and don’t enjoy it, move on to something else. You want to find something you like so that you stick with it. No one wants to create a lifelong routine doing something they hate. Keep experimenting until you find what you love. Sometimes it’s the most unexpected. My personal favorite workout to lose weight fast is a quality dance workout. It may sound silly to you, but finding a fitness plan you like makes all the difference.
Best Workouts to Lose Weight Fast
Now that I’ve laid out all of the important stuff that goes behind workouts to lose weight fast, we can jump right in and look at the five best exercises that are some of the quick ways to lose weight. These workouts all maximize calorie-burning and will help you get the most out of your time working out. The best part? Most of these workouts can take place anywhere! Whether you love your gym time or you’ve been searching for exercises to lose weight fast at home, these have got you covered.
1. Interval Training
One of the most popular methods of exercise for weight loss, interval training is a great way to kickstart your workouts to lose weight fast. Any form of exercise that spikes your heart rate then brings it back down is great to torch calories and make the most of your sweat sesh. The key is to push yourself hard for a set interval of time, then let yourself rest for a bit before going hard again. A common form of interval training is HIIT or high-intensity interval training. Another popular type of interval training is indoor cycling. This workout engages many muscles in your body, which is the key to getting that tremendous after-burn effect in your workout.
Try one of these great machine workouts at the gym for an accessible introduction to interval training. If you want exercises to lose weight fast at home, try this video from my favorite online workout video site, Fitness Blender. It’s completely free, and it’s a quick 22-minute total body HIIT workout that is perfect for your busy schedule. Or, if you’re looking for the ultimate challenge, try this 1000 calorie HIIT workout that promises to kick your butt in the best way.
2. Weight Training
Like I said in the introduction, lifting weights promises the most extended calorie burn of any exercise routine out there. Add weight training into your routine at least three times a week to really see results. Be sure that you’re mixing up your exercises and adding more weight as you go to keep things fresh and to keep your body from adjusting to your routine.
Try this arm and shoulder workout routine for a great introduction to weight lifting that will give you amazing upper-body definition. This total body strength workout from Fitness Blender is amazing because you can do it at home, and it changes up exercises every time, so there’s no excuse to get bored.
3. Running Uphill/ Stair Sprints
Running is one of the easiest ways to get yourself moving. But if you’re looking for workouts to lose weight fast, then a light jog is not going to cut it. The best running exercise is one that gets you moving on an incline. So find a hill or a set of stairs you can sprint up, or do a treadmill workout that increases the incline to its max. Running on an incline makes your glutes and legs work harder, increasing muscle and maxing your energy potential. Just make sure you are careful with your form. Lean into the hill, and bring your knees as high as you can, keeping weight on the balls of your feet. Bend your arms in a 90-degree angle and pump them straightforward. Don’t waste energy by clenching your fists or swinging your arms across your body, put your full focus into your run.
Check out these tips for running to lose weight to make the most of this exercise.
One of my personal favorites, Tabata workouts are a dream for those who are crunched for time. This workout is designed to be four minutes of high-intensity interval training that is broken down into 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by ten seconds of rest, repeated eight times until you hit the four-minute mark. This workout is ideal because it spikes your metabolism and heart rate in such a short time and makes the most of every minute in your workout regimen.
Check out this complete guide to Tabata workouts to get all the information and inspiration you need. Or try this total body Tabata workout from Fitness Blender. It promises all the intensity and calorie burning of a really successful gym routine, but you can do it at home.
5. Jumping Rope
The number one calorie-burning workouts, jumping rope can burn 667-990 calories/hour. Not only is it one of the most incredibly effective workouts to lose weight fast, but it is also cheap and portable. You can bring a jump rope almost anywhere, and use it almost everywhere!
Try this easy-to-follow jump rope routine:
1. Warm up for three minutes with an easy jump rope skip
2. Do 100 traditional jumps, where both feet leave the floor, and there are no extra hops
3. Do 100 jump rope sprints, moving at an even quicker pace
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, decreasing the number of jumps/sprints every time like this: 50/50, 25/25, 15/15, 9/9
5. If this isn’t challenging enough, work your way back up until you hit 100/100 again
Modify this routine with a weighted jump rope to help burn even more calories and engage your shoulders and arms even more.
Finding workouts to lose weight fast can be a challenge, but these five are guaranteed to burn maximum calories and keep your burning calories long after you’ve finished your workout. Try one of these exercise routines today and let us know how it goes in the comments!