Fitness Friday: The time-saving fat-burning super efficient workout (with an NFL tip!)

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I used to be an avid long-distance runner. Running less than 5 miles seemed like a total waste of time and I couldn’t fathom a weekend without a nice long run, ideally around two hours, sometimes more.

These days, the idea of running at all isn’t very appealing to me and with a toddler in tow and a busy family life, those precious weekend hours are crammed full with many things other than running. And said toddler is long past the time when she’d happily hang in a jogging stroller while mamma got in her workout.

That’s when I decided I’d finally give interval workouts a go. I’d heard they’re way more effective any ways, but my question to our fitness expert Laura was: why? Here’s her answer:

First, know that the body puts on a half a pound of fat every year after age 35. Even if everything else stays the same you get to 40 and *gasp* you have put on two and half pounds of fat. Compounding this problem is the fact that human growth hormone (HGH) production drops off precipitously after age 20. This is the hormone they give to small children when they won’t grow and also is used for a number of things including lean body mass maintenance, growth, and repair. There are people who get costly shots of HGH, or you could naturally stimulate your body to produce it.
The good news: interval workouts (doing anaerobic bursts of cardio) stimulates HGH production! So, when you are creating your interval workout, as long as you get the breathless feeling in the “go hard!” portion, you are going anaerobic or without oxygen briefly, and your body adds some HGH to the mix. In the body’s constant goal of efficiency, it likes that steady state speed cardio…it becomes really efficient at it really fast. When you mix up your speeds, your body becomes less efficient and simply has to burn more calories to do the activity.
Additionally, interval workouts are more true-to-life…you dash out the door to catch the dog, run to the store, zip home, and quickly put away groceries in time to dash out the door again to get the children. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. That is real life. Why not have your interval workout mimic the sport you need to be trained for the most: your daily life!

For this week’s Fitness Friday, Laura shares this great running workout strategy that is both time-saving (it can be as little as 20 minutes!), crazy fat-burning, AND wildly efficient. As a great bonus she gives an NFL training tip.

Now that’s my kind of workout!!

Here’s the interval workout I use:

  1. gentle warm up – slow jog – for 5 minutes
  2. run as hard as you can for 1 minute
  3. recover with slow jog or walking for 1 minute
  4. repeat steps 2 & 3 – the “interval” – 4 to 6 times
  5. cool down – slow jog – for another 5 minutes

And that’s it! It’s certainly not rocket science, but it’s a great workout and it burns fat long after you’ve finished.

Fitness Friday: The time-saving, fat-burning, super efficient workout (with an NFL tip!)  |

Laura Coleman - Laura Coleman rocked my world a few years back when she helped me get to the root of all the knee and lower-back issues I’d had since my teens. In just a couple of sessions, Laura put me on a simple program of rehab exercises (unlike any I’d ever seen before) that brought my body back into alignment and actually fixed the problem that no physiotherapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor had ever been able to solve. I was hooked! We’ve been terrific friends and shared many clients since, and I’m delighted that she has offered to share her wisdom with all of you via this Fitness Friday video series. Laura lives in Portland, OR with her two gorgeous daughters. She works her magic at Club Sport and with clients all over the continent via the magic of technology (aka Skype). Check out her blog and website here.

1 Comment

  1. Jaime M.


    Awesome. Margaret, do you do this with your toddler? I’ve got the same deal: a toddler and find it hard to do the workouts with child these days. I’m wondering if you do this with her at the park or on a field, i.e. a more contained space rather than the street where the kids can run free while mama does her intervals and supervises at the same time.

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