Whether you want to blast fat fast or get a slim, firm abdomen, combining different types of exercises might be the answer you're looking for. You'll avoid boredom by mixing it up every day. Exercise combinations can help you get maximum results in a shorter time than doing one type of exercise. Remember to combine a nutritious, low-fat eating plan with your exercise routine to safely lose weight and build lean muscle.
Strength training burns fewer calories than cardio, but cardio doesn't work to build muscles. So how can you get both muscle building and fat burning in the same workout? Concurrent training can result in improved oxygen consumption postexercise and fast results in building muscle while losing weight. You will also save a lot of time by doing concurrent training. If you normally do 30 minutes of strength training every other day and 30 minutes of aerobics every day, try combining both types of exercise to maximize your strength and cardio fitness results. Do strength training for five minutes and then follow up with 10 minutes of aerobic exercises. Do another five minutes of strength training and finish up with 10 minutes of aerobics.
Love to go to the gym and work out on the machines? Turn your regular resistance training session into a muscle-building, fat-blasting combination workout with circuit training. Traditional resistance training consists of a set number of repetitions on a machine followed by two to five minutes of rest between sets and machines. When you do circuit training, you move immediately to the next machine without any rest between exercises. You can get maximum results fast doing circuit training because you not only work all the muscle groups, your heart rate stays elevated and your metabolism gets a boost for fat burning.
Get the most from your exercise routine by doing some interval training. Interval training consists of alternating intense exercise with moderate to light exercise. You can jazz up your fat burning and maximize your cardio strengthening by combining light exercise with short, intense bursts of all-out, high-power exercise. Runners can incorporate interval training by running for five minutes at a normal pace followed by a fast sprint for one minute, and then returning to their regular running pace. You can do the same thing on a treadmill or a stationary bike.
Warm-Up and Cool-Down
You're probably excited to try some combination workouts, but don't forget your preworkout warm-up. It's important to remember to warm up before your workout and to cool down after you finish your workout. Do some light exercise before you start your workout to increase your heart rate and get your blood flowing. A warm-up can improve the efficiency of your workout and help to reduce your risk of injury from stiff muscles and joints. Cool down afterward to reduce your risk of muscle soreness and to return your heart rate to normal.
- European Food and Information Council: Types of Exercise
- IDEA: Aerobic and Resistance Training Sequence
- Fitness: The Firm and Burn Workout
- IDEA: Get Creative with Circuits
- American Council on Exercise: Circuit Training
- MayoClinic.com: Rev Up Your Workout with Interval Training
- MayoClinic.com: Aerobic Exercise: How to Warm Up and Cool Down
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.