The secret of burning loads of calories and stripping away any excess fat does not necessarily lie in hours of toil in the gym. There are 3500 calories in 0.45Kg/1lbs of fat, now that sounds a lot but these 12 workout tips will burn off hundreds as you follow them as well as many more afterwards when you’ve showered and have put your feet up!

1. Tabata training

This is a training discipline that has really taken off in recent years. Tabata training is quick and certainly tough on fat! In as little as 4 minutes (or one “Tabata”) you can increase your aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, strength and power, resting metabolic rate and turn your body into a much more effective machine that will burn more fat during this short sharp burst than over a much longer aerobic workout.

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Exercise for 20sec at a high intensity, recover for 20sec and repeat. Pace yourself or take more recovery as needed but the key is to keep up that intensity, whether you run, row, cycle or step.

2. Run in the Sand (or snow)

Change up your normal walking, jogging and running routine by going off road – well, going off pavement at least – and try and do the same thing on sand. Sand means added resistance, less direct stability, working muscles harder, creating better lung power and leg strength and can burn 20 to 50 percent more calories in the same amount of time as a road run!

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3. Do Compound Exercises

Compound (multi-joint) moves, such as squats and leg presses, stimulate your muscle building hormones – growth hormone and testosterone. These hormones are great for muscle growth and increased leanness. And they have a myriad of benefits for everyday life, such as increasing your vitality and combating the ageing process.

Perform 4-6 sets of 8-12 reps on 4-6 compound exercises, 2-3 times a week, leaving at least a day in between each workout.

4. Skip between Sets

Skipping is one of the best cardiovascular exercises there is. It’s a great form of CV exercise and works the whole body. So grab a rope and instead of sitting down between resistance training sets, skip for 60 seconds. This is called “active recovery” and will increase the metabolic demands of your workout and shift many more calories.

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5. Circuit training

Circuit training is another stop-start  ways to burn calories. With little or no rest between sets of exercises while working multiple muscle groups, circuit workouts, gives you more bang for your buck. And you can do this type of training virtually anywhere, at a gym, in your home and outdoors.

6. Kettlebell training

Kettlebells offer the ability to burn fat with high-intensity workouts while sculpting your body from head to toe. These ‘cannon balls with handles’ can really challenge your whole body and build strength, stamina, endurance and flexibility. The functional movements you perform with kettlebells often resemble movements that you perform everyday, such as picking up and lifting a weight overhead. Kettlebell workouts build lean, calorie burning muscle and increase metabolism.

An increase of just 0.45kg/1lbs of muscle will burn 35 calories each and everyday – that’s a notional 3.65kg of fat a year!

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7. Sprints

Sprinting creates a very significant caloric burn during and post exercise – the latter is a consequence of ‘excess post exercise oxygen consumption’ (EPOC). Sprinting also assists in the development of a stronger lower body and core by really working your leg, glutes and abs. It’s no  surprise that top sprinters have great looking bodies!

After a thorough warm up do: 8 x 50m sprints with 3 minutes rest between each. Vary sprinting on the flat and for a really tough workout – up hill.

8. Wear a weighted vest

By adding additional weight to your body you can burn extra calories and gain more strength. Weighted vests lend themselves to a variety of workouts. You can add more of a strength dimension to press ups and triceps dips and squats and lunges. And this resistance can also increase the challenge of cardiovascular exercises, such as skipping and running, helping tone muscles and get the heart pumping (for the CV options only increase the weight added by 1-5% of your body weight initially).

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9. Ride your bike to work

If you live a reasonable distance from your work, burn extra calories by applying some pedal power instead of taking your car. Riding your bike for 30 minutes can burn 159 calories at 5.5 mph. Now, times that by your journey to and from work and that equals 318 calories, multiply that by 5 days a week and you get a whopping 1590 calories burned! That’s half a pound of fat!

10. Do Jumping jacks or press ups during commercial breaks!

The average TV commercial break lasts 2 to 3 minutes, so use that time to do some jumping jacks or press ups. The calories burned from 1minutes’ worth of jumping jacks will be about 7.8, multiply that by 3 and you will burn 23.4 calories in one commercial break. Swap the snacks do the ‘jacks’ and watch the calories fly out the window!

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11. Supersets & Giant Sets

Not only are supersets and giant sets (performing two or more exercises one after the other in a set) time efficient, but they also help build muscle and burn fat through the increase in the body’s production of lactate – an energy producing body chemical. At high exercise intensities lactate changes its molecular structure to produce lactic acid. The body responds to its reduced pH (increased acidity) by secreting more growth hormone. GH as indicated is a powerful fat loss and muscle building hormone.

12. Give yourself a Hiit!

High Intensity Interval Training has many benefits when it comes to fat burning and body leanness. Similar to Tabata training you perform a CV exercise for a relatively short duration for example, 1 – 10min and take a recovery. You then perform a further interval and a given number of intervals with their regulated recovery periods.

The recovery can be less then the length of the interval, the same length or longer – this will depend on the intensity of the intervals and your existing fitness level and your training goals. As you will normally be working beyond a steady-state when interval training, as you would when performing aerobic exercise, you will burn more calories during and post-exercise.

You’ll also strengthen your muscles more and create more lean muscle as you have to power through your workouts rather than plod.

13. Run up a flight of stairs

Running flights of steps, one or two steps at a time will burn 10 to 20 calories a time. This is something that you can do at home, at work or on the way to work. Stair training is used by athletes to develop power, speed and endurance and makes for a fantastic lower body workout that will shape your legs and glutes. So wear your trainers around town and take those steps!

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