Secret Weapon: Burn Fat

by Melissa Koerner | March 20th, 2013 | Fitness Expert

ellipticalA great way to burn off unwanted body fat and get lean is to use interval training.  With interval training the metabolic adaptations are similar to the effects of resistance training but you don’t get the same muscle mass development.

How it Works

Training in intervals means that you mix training at intense effort for 30 seconds to three minutes (periods of 80-89% of your maximum effort) and take 30 seconds to five minutes of active recovery (rest periods.)

For example, if you’re going to use a treadmill for your intervals you will alternate between low intensity (walking slowly) and medium/high intensity (walking fast or jogging).

Here’s what sample interval looks like:

1.  Warm-up by walking for 2 minutes.

2.  Perform your first interval by jogging for 30 seconds.

3.  Take an active rest period by walking for 2 minutes.

4.  Repeat in this fashion for 3-5 more intervals.

5.  Cool down by walking slowly for 2-3 minutes.

* Modification: If jogging is too challenging for you, just increase the speed of your walk.

Interval Intensity

If using a treadmill or elliptical machine, you will need to experiment with speed a bit to determine what intensity is best for you.  To get the best fat-burning response, you want to train at about 70%-90% of your maximum effort and have active recovery periods at about 40%-60%.  Your goal is not to train at 100% effort.

To help you determine your intensity levels you can use the Rate of Perceived Exertion chart.  Your perceived exertion is the amount of physical and mental effort you feel when you’re exercising.

Rate of Perceived Exertion Chart


Very Light Activity

Activities other than sleeping and sitting; normal breathing

20%- 30%

Light Activity

Easy to breath and hold a conversation; could do this all day long


Moderate Activity

Breathing more heavily, can hold a conversation; could do this for hours


Vigorous Activity

Starting to feel uncomfortable, short of breath; can barely hold a conversation, can say a sentence


Very Hard Activity

Very challenging to keep exercise intensity, can barely breath and speak a word


Maximum Effort Activity

Feels impossible to continue, entirely out of breath and unable to speak

Interval training can be effective performed once a week to start and progressing to two to three times per week for intermediate to advanced exercisers.

Share this secret fat-burning weapon with your friends and family by clicking the “like” button.

And if you’re looking for some more exercise and interval ideas, I urge you to check out our DIY Healthy Solutions on the Go Program which is available online at www.FriendYourBody.com for you to access at your convenience.

To burning off unwanted fat,

Melissa  Koerner

Comments on Secret Weapon: Burn Fat

All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.