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The 9 Most Effective Ways to Get Your Best Body

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Beginner's Strategies

Goal: Blast calories

Winning Strategy: Incorporate interval training in your cardio routine

Researcher: Kyle J. McInnis, professor of exercise physiology at the University of Massachusetts in Boston

A 30-minute interval workout (which varies bursts of intensity with moderate recovery periods) can burn approximately 30 percent more calories than a moderate, steady session done for the same amount of time, says McInnis.

Apply this technique to any type of cardio: Divide your workout time into six or eight equal parts (for a 30-minute workout you'd have six 5-minute interval sets). Train for the first half of the 5-minute interval at a high intensity and the second half at a low one (i.e., 2.5 minutes "hard" and the next 2.5 minutes "easy" effort levels). As your endurance increases, keep the workout fresh by spending more time at high-intensity levels, increasing your speed throughout or doing longer intensity bursts with less recovery time.

Originally published in Fitness magazine, April 2006.


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