You want to know the key to torching calories and training your body to burn long after that last set is complete? High-Intensity Interval Training.
Now, I don’t want to lose or bore you with a bunch of scientific jargon about how the inclusion of such training can improve your VO2 Max and up your overall level of performance—but if you’re interested in all of that, feel free to look here—so I’m going to keep it simple and just get straight to the point: if you want to get more from your workouts and become a more fit individual, you have to work harder.
Here’s the thing: the reason so many people have had success on programs like P90x, TurboFire and Insanity is because those programs rely heavily on the concept of giving maximum effort for prolonged periods of time. That’s the only way to jolt your body into making the necessary adjustments it takes to keep up with the blood and oxygen flow you’re suddenly using in droves; that, in turn, leads to an increase in calories burned and a more aerobically fit body.
But, you don’t have to spend $100+ to get those results. You just need to dedicate yourself to doing more than the status quo. Challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone and truly see what your body can do; if you’re not drenched in sweat and completely breathless at the end of your routine, you aren’t doing enough—I’m just being honest.
Now, there are exceptions, of course. If you’re an Olympic lifter, you won’t necessarily take this approach, but most people aren’t incorporating heavy lifting into their regimen, they’re just trying to lose weight. If the latter sounds like you, then I recommend investing in a heart rate monitor and seeing just how much effort you’re really expending during your 30-60 minute jaunt in the gym—the results may surprise you—and go from there.
And, if you want to know your current aerobic fitness level, here’s a nifty little calculator.