Are you all about saving time, getting more bang for your buck, and blasting calories? Go for sweat-dripping, fast-paced cardio sessions. If you've only got 20 minutes, then opt for one of these intense strategies instead of your normal workout.
Instead of: zoning out on the treadmill
Go for: intervals
Not only do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, but also, mixing up your pace helps you become a better, faster runner. If it's calorie burn you're after, then take note: going at your max for even just a little bit can help you burn a substantial amount of calories in the same amount of time, no matter what your running level. Alternating a steady 10-minute mile (6 mph) pace on the treadmill with five 60-second intervals at 7.5 minutes per mile (8 mph), for example, will burn 16 more calories in 20 minutes for a 130-pound person than just running at a steady 10-minute-mile pace — 196 vs. 180 calories. Mix up your pace and timing as much as you want; just make sure you are pushing it for those intervals. If you've never done intervals before, here's a beginner interval treadmill workout to try.
Instead of: your regular circuit workout
Go for: Tabata
Tabata is a form of HIIT you can do with almost any circuit workout. It consists of four-minute blocks of intense exercises (eight rounds at 20-second intervals followed by 10 seconds of rest), and while it can make you feel ready to quit, the payoff is worth it. At 13.5 calories burned per minute, you'll blast through 270 calories in just 20 minutes. Try one of our Tabata workouts here.
Instead of: heading for the dumbbell rack
Go for: kettlebells
Need even more of a burn? A recent study by the American Council on Exercise found that the average person burns a whopping 400 calories in just 20 minutes when using the kettlebell. While it takes a little time to learn how to use kettlebells safely, swinging the weights around can save you a lot of time in the gym. Get going with these kettlebell exercises, and put it all together with this basic beginner kettlebell workout.