Burn Tons Of Fat Without Doing A Million Burpees — Here’s How

It’s LIIT.

Jen Ator |

Our overly packed schedules make us crave efficiency in every facet of our lives, especially when it comes to fitness. So it makes sense that HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training)—alternating bouts of all-out effort with pockets of active recovery—have flooded every corner of the mainstream exercise scene. Put on the map by decades of research and leveraged by elite athletes looking to perform at their max capacity, HIIT can be a great tool for fat-burning… but there are some downsides to the all-out-all-the-time approach.

“There’s this notion now that getting fit and healthy has to feel hard if you’re going to make meaningful progress; otherwise, you must be doing something wrong,” says Eat. Lift. Thrive. author Sohee Lee, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and sports nutritionist in San Diego. “My job is to convince you to take things slower and help you navigate the middle ground.” That’s because too much max effort can actually negate the benefits—and increase rates of injury, burnout, and frustrating weight-loss plateaus.

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Enter our new favourite acronym: LIIT (lower-intensity interval training). This modality isn’t slow or easy: You’ll still feel your muscles burning, but you won’t be wheezing or tempted to hurl. Because instead of requiring you to go as quickly or intensely as you can, LIIT workouts intersperse strength-training intervals with longer rest breaks (think minutes, not seconds) with the goal of executing each rep with laser-focus and perfect form.

Experts agree it’s one of the safest and most effective ways to build and maintain lean muscle mass (key for stoking your fat-burning potential long-term!), and our total-body plan here, created by Lee, delivers just that.

Do this circuit two or three days a week on nonconsecutive days: Starting with the first exercise, perform all reps and sets as instructed; then complete each superset in order. You’ll get stronger, recover faster, and feel fresher. Talk about streamlining.

Dumbbell Knee-Banded Hip Thrust

Sit with your shoulder blades against an exercise bench, knees bent and feet flat on the floor; place a mini band around both legs just above your knees, and hold a dumbbell across your hips with both hands (a). Drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees (b). Pause, then slowly lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 20, then rest for two minutes; repeat for a total of three sets.

Superset 1: Dumbbell Sumo Squat

Hold a dumbbell with both hands at arm’s length in front of you, then set your feet wider than shoulder-width, toes turned out slightly (a). Keeping your torso as upright as possible, push your hips back and bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can (b). Pause, then push back up to start. That’s one rep. Do 20, then rest for one minute before continuing to the next exercise.

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Superset 1: Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Sit on an incline bench holding a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing away from you (a). Brace your core, then press the weights directly overhead until your arms are straight, biceps outside your ears (b). Pause, then slowly lower the weights back to start. That’s one rep. Do 10; rest for two minutes, then go back to the first exercise and repeat the pattern for three total sets.

Superset 2: Dumbbell Single-Leg Braced Deadlift

Holding a dumbbell in your left hand, stand next to a squat rack or another stable object; place your right hand on it for balance (a). Keeping your right leg straight but not locked, hinge at your hips and raise your left leg as you lower the weight toward the floor (b). Pause, then pull with your right heel to return to start. That’s one rep. Do 12; switch sides and repeat. Rest for one minute, then continue to the next exercise.

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Superset 2: Dumbbell Single-Arm Row

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in your left hand; hinge forward, knees slightly bent and weight hanging at arm’s length (a). Keeping your core tight, squeeze your shoulder blade toward your spine to pull the weight to your chest (b). Pause, then slowly lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 15; switch sides and repeat. Rest two minutes, then go back to the first exercise and repeat the pattern for three total sets.

Superset 3: Frog Reverse Hyperextension

Lie facedown on a bench so your hips are at the end and your legs hang off freely and grab the sides with both hands; bend your knees and bring your heels together (a). Squeeze your glutes and raise your heels until your knees are in a straight line with your hips and shoulders (b). Pause, then slowly lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 20; rest for one minute, then continue to the next exercise.

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Superset 3: Banded Lateral Walk 

Place a mini resistance band just above your knees and stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent (a). Keeping your core tight and tension in the band, step your left foot out to the side (b), followed by your right. Continue for 20 steps, then immediately switch directions and repeat on the other side. That’s one set. Rest one minute, then go back to the first exercise and repeat the pattern until you’ve completed three total sets.

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