Losing a pound of fat per each week is no easy feat, but certainly is possible! The key is to work long enough and at a high enough intensity for increased fat burn. When you workout at a moderate intensity (sweating a bit, but you can still talk) for one hour a day, you'll burn about 2 lbs of fat in a month. Suffice it to say that vigorous exercise every day will increase that burn even more! Shoot for an hour a day, 5-6 days per week, for your exercise regime.
When you are shooting for a pound of fat per week, the exercise that you use will be most beneficial in your fat burn. Burn up to a pound of fat while building endurance and cardiovascular fitness with these challenging exercises.
1. Interval Exercise
Hop on your favorite cardio machine, or get jogging or cycling outside, and work the intervals to supercharge your workout from "moderate" to "vigorous". Work at a difficult pace for 2 minutes and an easier, but still sweat-producing pace for 2. Your high interval should challenge you enough that you find finishing the interval really tough in the last 30 seconds. Work on this for a week or two, then continue to bump up the intensity, making the low or high interval harder each week. These are tough, but you can do anything for a minute! Try at least 1 minute if 2 is too difficult.
2. Total Body Cardio
Find a total body cardio activity that suits you. Great choices are rowing, the eliptical trainer, cross-country skiing, swimming or a fitness class like cardio kickboxing or aerobics. These activities will burn more calories and fat, and tone the entire body. Continue to incorporate intervals into these exercises (that will happen naturally in the classes), and you'll be burning much more fat. The goal is to get your whole body moving to strengthen your whole body, and therefore burn more fat all day long.
3. Pump Some Iron
Weight training has been proven to burn more fat than cardio alone. Muscles require more energy, and they keep your body burning more calories at rest.
4. Cardio Bursts
While you are lifting weights, complete a set of two different exercises, then do a cardio burst. These keep your heart rate high to burn more calories during the workout. Work up to a minute long burst of your chosen exercises, and switch them up during your workout to keep it interesting. These are a number of fat burning exercises, all of which torch about 10 calories per minute:
- Jump rope - jump on two feet, then alternate jumping on one foot for 15 seconds on each side to complete the minute.
- Step ups on a stair - find a stair that is about mid shin height. Step up with the right foot, then left. Immediately step down with right then left, then repeat, alternating to the left side for your second repetition.
- Jumping jacks - keep the motion fluid, and try to get your feet wide when you jump out.
- Sprints - this can be hard in the gym. Try using the group fitness room, or set up cones and run suicides so you take up less space.
- Run a flight of stairs - repeat to make it to a minute!
- Speed Skaters - these lateral jumps work the outside of the thigh and hip. Standing up, jump out as far as you can with the right foot, bringing left foot behind the right. Immediately jump onto the left foot as far as possible and bring right behind you as a speed skater would.
- Plyo jumps - choose squat jumps, tuck jumps, or jumping on a plyo box or high step. Perform 25 seconds, rest for 5, then repeat. These are tough!
- Lunge jumps - get in a lunge and jump, switching legs in midair. Repeat on the other side and continue jumping for a minute. You may need to rest for 5 seconds with these, too.
Perform these exercises regularly, and over time you will notice your body fat melting away!