If you want to lose a belt size, skip the treadmill. Performing intervals during your regular workout may help you lose more belly fat than steady-state cardio, according to Greek researchers.
In the study, participants performed hour-long workouts four times a week. While everyone did 40 minutes of strength training, they were divided into two groups for cardio. One group ran for 20 minutes on treadmills and the other group performed body-weight intervals for 20 minutes. At the end of eight weeks, the interval participants lost two inches of belly fat compared to the runners who lost less than one inch.
And the harder and longer you go, the more calories you’ll burn later, says Craig Ballantyne, M.S., Master Certified Turbulence Trainer. That’s why Ballantyne designs intervals to alternate between exercises that work different muscle groups. This allows certain muscles to recover while you hammer other ones, so you can dial up the intensity and minimize rest without getting fatigued too quickly, he says. Do this, and you’ll turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
Want to give it a try? Check out Ballantyne’s 20-minute gut-busting interval workout below. You’ll do as many reps as possible of an exercise in 30 seconds, rest 15 seconds, and then move on to the next exercise. Once you’ve completed the fifth exercise, rest for 30 seconds. That’s 1 round. Repeat 3 more times.
(And if you like this, you’ll love The Anarchy Workout—one guy lost 18.6 pounds of fat in six weeks!)
1. Goblet squat
3. Kettlebell (or dumbbell) swing
4. Goblet rear-foot-elevated split squat
5. Dumbbell single-arm row