Burning 200 Calories in 2.5 Minutes.

How would you like to burn 200 calories in just 2.5 minutes of exercise? Researchers from Colorado State University and University of Colorado Anschultz Medical Campus found that interval training can do just that.

In recent years, high intensity interval training has become increasingly popular due to its fat burning benefits. Though the training is intense, it’s quick - and thus, it fits nicely into even the busiest of schedules. It’s an extremely efficient form of exercise, and there has been an increasingly large body of evidence and research to support the claims.

In this new study, researchers recruited healthy male volunteers between the ages of 25 and 31. For three days, the volunteers were locked into individually sealed rooms with the air intake and exhaust regulated. Specialized equipment measured oxygen, carbon dioxide and water content to determine how many calories each volunteer burned per day.

Though the first two days of the stay were largely sedentary, volunteers engaged in high intensity interval training on the third day. Using a stationary bike, the volunteers sprinted against high levels of resistance for 30 seconds. Coached over an intercom, the volunteers were told to give 100% effort. After the sprint, volunteers were given a four minute period of recovery - and then, another sprint. This continued until five, 30-second sprint intervals were completed.

In total, the workout amounted to 2.5 minutes of hard exercise. After analyzing the results from the room’s calorimeter system, researchers concluded that an extra 200 calories were burned during the high intensity interval training day. The increased calorie burn occurred not just during the exercise, but for several hours thereafter.

200 calories is a huge return for such a small investment of time. When completed a few times per week, it’s easy to see how these calories could add up - and result in big changes and sustainable weight loss over time.

To try interval training for yourself, download Davey Wavey’s Get Ripped Workout.

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  1. So total time is 18.5 minutes. I can burn just as many calories doing moderate cardio for that time period. So, it doesn’t seem like much of an advantage. Am I missing something?

  2. Well this was kind of a dumbed down version of HIIT, most of the time it will typically have shorter resting periods and longer sprinting periods. It would be interesting to see a study that analyzed these for calories burned to find the most effective balance in HIIT.

  3. No one can deny that interval training is by the far the best fat loss method - but a 4 minute rest period? Doesn’t that seem a bit excessive? Do they go into detail as to why the low intensity intervals were so long

    Normally if I’m training to burn fat I’ll do 45 seconds of 100% effort, high intensity cardio followed by 90 seconds of low intensity cardio (perhaps 15%) and repeat this until I can’t do it any more.

    Poliquin says the following http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/tabid/130/EntryId/1537/Tip-426-Lose-Fat-Save-Time-Improve-Conditioning-with-Sprints.aspx

  4. For the less fitness-educated among us, how reliable is the interval training program in most gym machines (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) for achieving an effective interval workout? For instance, the equipment available at my gym is preset for two minute interval segments - two minutes of low intensity followed by two of high, etc. The user sets the intensity of each interval, but not the length of the interval. Is this two minute system better or worse than say the 45 seconds of high followed by 90 of low intensity as mentioned above?

    • Dennis Oliver says:

      You can stay at the same level number on the machine and just go as hard as you can. Watch the clock on the machine. I’ve been doing this for 18 months on the elliptical at my gym. Works great.

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