It seems our lives just keep getting busier and busier—between work, personal lives and random chores it really is tough to carve out time for exercise. Seeing that mounting weekly to do list, it’s all too easy to say you just don’t have time.
That’s why it’s that much more important to spend your time in the gym (or outside) efficiently. When you’re short on free time, you want to be using it wisely. You want to be spending that time doing something that definitely works.
It might mean changing up your normal gym routine, but when you want results doing the same thing each time won’t get you to your goal. From trying new tools at the gym (hello, kettlebell) to switching up your entire style, changing it up could be good for your body. These quick workouts are both efficient and effective—and you’re bound to find one you enjoy.
We asked athletes, personal trainers and other fitness professionals what workouts were best for weight loss. These workouts are the top picks.
You might be surprised to see strength training on the list, but it does, in fact, help with weight loss—some studies even suggest strength training is more effective than cardio when it comes to losing fat. That’s because muscle is metabolically active tissue, which means that even after you leave the gym, muscle is using more energy (burning more calories) than fat. So, while you’re sweating with weights or bodyweight moves, you’re burning calories, but you’re also burning calories afterward too.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
“The absolute best and most efficient workout for weight loss, building strength and improving your metabolism is High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT),” said Vanessa Broers, master trainer at The Barre Code Pittsburgh and owner of health coaching company Sweat and Butter. If you’re short on time but still want a killer workout, HIIT is fast, tough and elicits a great afterburn effect—meaning you’ll continue burning calories even after your workout is over. “The entire workout usually takes about 20 minutes and gives you more metabolic punch than a full hour on the treadmill.”