Think back over the course of the past month. How many workouts do you think you did? 10, 15, 20 or more? Okay, great. Now, do you recall how you ended most of these workouts? Maybe a little ab work? How about a few dumbbell curls to pump up those biceps before you walk past all the chicks on the treadmills on your way out. Perhaps a light one mile jog to finish things out? Do some of you even remember doing anything in particular to finish off your workout before leaving the gym?
If you’re like most people, the end of your workouts probably leave a lot to be desired. Today, I’m going to explain to you why you need to change this, and why the last 10 minutes of your workout are arguably the most important 10 minutes of your ENTIRE day.
Physiology Is Your Friend
I’ve touched on this several times in past articles, but I’ve got to highlight the phenomenon known as EPOC one more time. For those that don’t know, EPOC stands for Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption. This represents the number of calories burned while your body attempts to get itself back into a pre-exercise state. You see, everything your body does to regulate itself requires energy; i.e. calories. In brief, the harder you exercise, the more work your body has to do to get itself back to the way it was before your killer workout.
The key to successfully boosting your EPOC to stratospheric levels AND maintaining a good workout while you’re in the gym is highly dependent on:
- High intensity
- Carefully calculated rest times
- Complex movements hitting multiple parts of the body at once
You probably already know how to bring the intensity. What you may not know are how to use rest times to satisfactorily allow you to continue exercising at a high level, but push you hard enough that EPOC receives a significant boost. You can’t just go out there, pump some weights, take a breather, maybe run on the treadmill for a while, and expect to reap all of the EPOC benefits. You want to maximize EPOC and burn fat fast? Then you need a carefully designed workout that takes into account all of the above.
Additionally, if you think simply jacking your heart rate through high-intensity cardio alone is going to get the job done, guess again. Lifting heavy weights takes a major toll on the muscles (in a good way) and spikes your heart rate as well. This combination of extreme muscle fatigue and increased respiration and heart rate are the perfect storm for a sizzling EPOC. Combining heavy weights with high-intensity cardio is the single best way to increase your post-exercise caloric burn. Next, I’ll show you how we can realistically accomplish this.
The Most Intense 10-Minutes of Your Life
Before people start jumping on me for my choice of words, allow me a brief admission. I’ve never given birth to a child. I’ve been told in some cases, that process can go on for days. So please, forgive my slight exaggeration in calling this the most intense 10-minutes of your life. I fully respect the intensity it takes to shoot a watermelon sized human out of your body. But, bottomline, this workout is KILLER. Thankfully though, it’s not long enough that you want to die. It’s the right mix of intensity and length that does the job without completely burning you out.
So check it out, we’re going to shift between high-intensity plyometric work and low rep/heavy weight lifts…and we’re going to shift quickly and with limited rest, so get yourself ready for 10 minutes of intensity.
Tips: On the snatches, perform right side, left side, 15 seconds rest, repeat. Use a weight that is heavy enough that completing the final rep of each set is difficult.
30 Second Rest
Tips: On the Bent Over Dumbbell Rows go for only 30 seconds rest between sets and again, go heavy so the final rep of each set is very tough to complete.
30 Second Rest
- 1 minute Box Jumps (substitute squat jumps if no access to a box)
- 1 minute Mountain Climbers
- Windshield Wipers until failure
So there you have it; this is the 10 minute workout finisher that is going to completely change your outlook on weight loss and staying fit. Bet you never thought something so short could be so effective. How effective you may be wondering? Well, keep reading…
The Little Things Add Up
By now we should have a clear understanding of what EPOC is and why we want to use it to our benefit. After all, continuing to burn loads of calories after you’ve gotten off the treadmill, gone home, and laid yourself out on the sofa is a pretty awesome thing. I want to show you in a more concrete way why this 10 minute workout is literally going to change your life. Take a look..
As we know, caloric burn is dependent on several variables such as weight, gender, muscle mass, etc. So the numbers I’m giving you below are simply guidelines to illustrate my point. These stats are fairly accurate for my body type. As a reference, I’m 5’10”, 165lbs, ~8-10% body fat..so it’s safe to say I probably burn more calories during exercise than most, but I digress..
Over the course of 10 days, I calculated that this 10 minute workout finisher burns on average ~140 calories per workout. While 140 calories may not seem like much, lets take a look at that number in the grand scheme of things…
- 140 calories burned x 6 workouts a week = 740 EXTRA calories burned a week
- 740 calories burned a week x 4.33 weeks a month = 3,204 calories a month
We should also know by now that 3,500 calories is equal to one pound of body fat. So, with this 10 minute finisher tacked on to the end of your workout, you instantly, magically, and wonderfully are now losing an extra 12 pounds a year. Again, this is on top of EVERYTHING you are currently doing. Consider this excess fat burn a little bonus.
Didn’t you say that EPOC will continue to help burn fat AFTER the workout? As a matter of fact, I did. So hold on to your horses, because things just got even better here. Not only are you burning 3,204 calories a month WHILE you’re actively engaged in this workout, but since this 10-minute finisher is designed to spike EPOC, you’re getting all of the post-exercise calorie burning benefits as well. So when combined together, this nifty little workout finisher is helping you seriously torch calories, burn fat FAST, and build lean, strong muscles across your body. Not bad for 10 minutes of work, huh?
Using This Workout
It doesn’t matter WHAT plan you’re on now. Whether your on our Total Body Blitz plan, doing Crossfit WOD’s, or doing the P90x DVD’s, it doesn’t matter. This 10-minute finisher is easily tacked on to ANYTHING. Since it’s so short, you don’t have to worry about it throwing off your next day schedule.
Like I said, this plan is just right bit of intensity and length, making it something you could theoretically do after each workout. That said, if you are performing this long-term, consider shifting the weight training exercises every 2-3 months. Wide grip pull-ups, heavy lat pull downs, bench press…there are tons of complex movements that would fill in nicely. The cardio exercises are what I consider to be some of the best exercises for jacking your heart rate, as well as hitting the major muscles in your lower body and core. Keep them constant and shuffle the resistance work as you see fit.