If you are crunched for time or are looking for a way to push your body to the next fitness level, then look no further than short burst anaerobic exercises. This style of working out, also referred to as high-intensity intervals, pushes your heart rate up to 85 percent or more of your maximum heart rate. Because you are working out so hard, you can only hold this intensity for up to a few minutes.
If it comes to burning calories, then you can’t get much better than short burst, high intensity exercises. According to a study published in “Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism” in 2008, just six weeks of high-intensity training increases your body’s capacity to metabolize fat and carbohydrates. During this study, recreationally active individuals did 10 four-minute intervals at 90 percent of their VO2 max, which is about 95 percent of your maximum heart rate. They followed each interval with two minutes rest. Participants did this workout three times a week.
While short-burst sprinting exercises may be difficult, they definitely come with their rewards. Compared to steady moderate-intensity aerobic workouts, this style of working out significantly improves both your anaerobic and aerobic capacities, according to a study in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” in 1996. Steady workouts just improve your aerobic systems. This means that regardless of what you are doing, you will be able to go for longer and harder. This is because short-burst training teaches both your energy systems to work more efficiently.
Reduces Belly Fat
While specific spot training is impossible, short burst anaerobic exercises may just be your ticket to a trimmer belly. This style of training reduces subcutaneous and abdominal belly fat more effectively than other types of exercise, according to the “Journal of Obesity” in 2011.
If you are short on time, then nothing gets you through your workout faster than high-intensity bursts. If your aim is to improve exercise performance or increase lean muscle mass, then short-burst exercises can do it in as little as 20 minutes, notes the “Journal of Physiology” in 2010. Participants did eight to 12 60-second bursts at 95 percent of their maximum heart rate followed by 75 seconds of rest.
- Ideafit.com: Revisiting Energy Systems
- Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism: High-Intensity Aerobic Interval Training Increases Fat and Carbohydrate Metabolic Capacities in Human Skeletal Muscle
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: Effects of Moderate-Intensity Endurance and High-Intensity Intermittent Training on Anaerobic Capacity and VO2max
- Journal of Obesity: High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss
- Journal of Physiology: A Practical Model of Low-Volume High-Intensity Interval Training Induces Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Human Skeletal Muscle
Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.