You may have seen me sprinting a time or two on Instagram and Facebook and thought, “why in the world is she always sprinting?” Sprints are a regular part of my online bootcamps because they are an effective way to burn fat. I write sprints,l and other types of burst training into my programs because when they’re paired with strength training workouts and a dialed in nutrition plan, burst training is like icing on a fat burning donut. 

Now, wouldn’t a fat burning donut be amazing…A girl can dream right?

What is Burst Training?

Burst training is a form of interval training, which simply put is short periods of intense work followed by short periods of intentional rest. Burst training is similar to Tabata training and High Intensity Interval Training. I love burst training because it can be done with no equipment. You can use bodyweight exercises, a treadmill, stationary bike, jump rope or elliptical machine. It really is something you can do anywhere! Additionally, if you are working at an all-out intensity level, you are not going to be working for very long; which makes burst training highly time-efficient as well.  

Why Is Burst Training Effective?

Burst training requires your body to go into oxygen debt during your intense work periods. Once you are done “bursting,” your body has to then repay that oxygen debt. This means, in order to recover, your body will need to use more energy. Where will your body go for that energy? Your fat stores. Burst training will have your body burning fat way past the end of your workout! Research has shown that those who participate in interval training burn fat up to 48 hours after a workout. In addition, burst training raises your human growth hormone (HGH) levels. HGH is critical to burning fat and can also boost your immunity and reduce inflammation. 

Is Burst Training Better than Regular Cardio?

Your body is always working towards efficiency. When you do long form cardio, like running steady state on a treadmill for 45 minutes, your body gets better at utilizing oxygen; it becomes more efficient. The more efficient your body is, the less you’ll burn during your workouts. Steady-state cardio doesn’t require your body to go into any type of oxygen debt, which means you won’t be reaching into those energy stores after your workout, either. So, regular cardio burns calories for a while. As your body becomes more efficient, it burns fewer calories, with no after burn. Additionally, studies have shown that burst training burns 3 times more fat than steady-state cardio and that after two weeks of interval training people saw a 36% increase in fat burning. 

Don’t believe me? Look at a marathon runner’s body as compared to a sprinter’s body. Which one has more lean muscle? Who looks stronger and more toned? Hmmm….that’s what I thought.

How Can I Incorporate Burst Training into My Workouts?

A typical burst training workout can be nothing more than a 20 second sprint followed by a 40 second rest period, repeated 8 times. There are several different ways to time your intervals depending on your ability level and the type of exercise you are doing.The important thing to remember with burst training is that you really need to work at your highest intensity level during work periods. Because you aren’t working for very long, you have to go all out in order to get your body into that oxygen deficit zone! 

It is entirely possible to turn your body into a real fat burning machine. Adding burst training into your workouts will truly take your strength training, intermittent fasting and carb cycling to the next level.