Dubai: Don’t have time for a 45-minute work-out?

You needn’t lose out on good health because of that lame excuse.

The simple fact is that you can burn anything from 100-300 calories in a 3-minute, 5-minute, 7-minute and 15-minute workout, say physical fitness experts.

Instant workouts — like instant noodles and instant messaging — can be economical on time and big on weight loss.

Blocking one full hour for exercise can be taxing for many. And most exercise plans fail — because people are unable to consistently take one hour out of their schedule for a gym workout.

Not anymore — if you're determined to scrunch in a very slim window for exercise.

The secret of these fat-burning intensive work outs lies in the principle of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training.

Why HIIT is such a hit?

Adil Firoz, Dubai-based Physical fitness trainer explained: “HIIT involves a work-out that alternates between intense bursts of activity with small fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. It could be 30 second of intensive burst with 60 seconds interval of rest.

Adil Firoze, Dubai-based Physical fitness trainer 01
Adil Firoz, Dubai-based physical fitness trainer Image Credit: Supplied

"One can do simple exercises using body weight with sets of repetitions for short periods of time and provide the body a good work-out by raising your heart rate that results in fat burning and muscle toning. It is efficient as it achieves optimum fat burning in a short period of time as opposed to working out for 45-minute to one hour stretch. It is recommended because it’s a short session that anyone can fit into his/her busy schedule.”

Firoz said HIIT was particularly effective because of its after effects.

“As the body is being exerted fully, it ramps up the repair cycle to match this, which means you continue to burn more fat long after the exercise, improving your metabolism. It’s called the Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) effect.”

All you require is your body weight

According to a study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, a two-week HIIT training improves one’s physical fitness as much as 6-8 weeks of endurance training.

Anyone can do a HIT workout in the comfort of his/her home. All you need is your own body weight and depending on the amount of calories one intends to burn can choose between programmes as short as 3-minute, 5-minute, 7-minute and 15 minutes to lose upto 300 calories!

The most important thing to keep in mind is to have a warm up and cool down routine before and after the HIT schedule to avoid any stress to the joints or injure one’s muscles advises Firoz.

“Warm up should be a minute or two of dynamic stretches. These are active movements like rotation and loosening up and stretching stiff joints and muscles with a full range of motion. After the work out cool down is essential and that could just be deep breathing and lying still until the heart rate comes down.”

The quick work outs

3 min HIIT plan :

  • Bodyweight lunges 30 seconds
  • Pull ups 30 seconds
  • Burpees 30 seconds
  • Push-ups 30 seconds
  • Plank 1 min

Do as many repetitions as possible in 30 seconds. The number of calories one burns depends on one’s body weight, but on an average one can lose 50-100 calories in a 3 minute plan.

The Five-minute Plan

  • Bodyweight squat. 1 min
  • Bodyweight lunges. 1 min
  • Burpees. 1 min
  • Push-ups. 1 min
  • Jumping jacks. 1 min

Do each exercise back-to-back without rest.

Best for people on the go who can find 3 - 5 min windows to knock this circuit off. In one-minute one can do about 25 repetitions. So 25 repetitions of each exercise.

In five minutes, you lose 100 calories. In case you have time and want to stretch the HIIT for 24 minutes, you can lose 300 calories.

Each round of five minutes in one circuit and you lose 100 calories, give a three-minute break between each circuit.

7-min HIIT plan:

  • Jumping jacks 30 seconds
  • Wall sits 30 seconds
  • Push-ups 30 seconds
  • Abdominal crunch 30 seconds
  • Step up onto chair 30 seconds
  • Bodyweight squat 30 seconds
  • Triceps dips on chair 30 seconds
  • Plank 1 min
  • High knee jog in place 30 seconds
  • Bodyweight lunges 20 seconds
  • Push-ups with rotation 20 seconds
  • Side plank 30 seconds

In 7-minute one can burn on an average 150 calories.

Basic 15-minute plan

For this either you could repeat the five minute workout for three circuits or do another kind of running work out on your treadmill.

One illustration: Run as fast as you can for 30 seconds, followed by 1 minute of recovery where you walk at low speed followed by another burst of running for 30 seconds.

Alternate between running and walking for up to five rounds. This gives you 15 minutes of HIIT, with four minutes of low-speed rest in intervals and can help you lose up to 300 calories.