How to burn 1,000 calories - fast

Tom Fontaine
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Image: Getty
We look at the exercises you can do to burn 1,000 calories in an hour Burning through 1,000 calories in a single workout takes hard work, dedication and a targeted training plan. The results, however, make it all worthwhile. Health & Wellbeing talks to an expert personal trainer to find out how it's done.

No more lacklustre, 400-calorie workouts for you. If you really want to shift body fat, build strength and endurance and generally look better with your clothes on, then it's time to crank intensity levels up several notches.

The human body needs to burn through 7,700 calories to rid itself of just a kilo of body fat, so incorporating a 1,000-calorie workout into your fitness regime several times a week will keep you in peak physical condition or, if you need to, get you back down to your fighting weight.

But burning 1,000 calories in a single workout — in around an hour — is no easy task. Personal trainer Gavin Walsh says: "If your goal is to burn 1,000 calories then you could simply go on a 15km jog or hop on the treadmill for an hour and set the speed to 14.4kph. The problem is that neither of these options are much fun and most men either don't have the time or ability to run constantly at this speed.

"Many people think cardiovascular exercise is the way to go when it comes to burning calories.

"Unfortunately, those who do become cardio slaves — constantly pounding the pavements, cycling, or cross-training just doesn't do the job. The key is to be clever with your training and use both cardio and resistance training to increase your metabolic rate."

Train to burn fat
The first step is to prepare yourself mentally for a workout that is — more likely than not — a lot harder than what you're used to.

Walsh says: "This type of workout is tough and most people aren't willing to work so hard. The intensity level needs to be above 65 percent of your maximum heart rate. In simple terms, imagine a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the hardest. You will be training at level seven or higher.

Training at this intensity isn't just about burning calories while you sweat — do it right and you'll even lose weight while you've got your feet up. "The smart way to train is known as metabolic conditioning," says Walsh. "A simple definition would be to lift something heavy, sprint and repeat several times over.

"This type of workout is intense, which of course burns a lot of calories in the first place. It works your heart and lungs but also helps tone your muscles at the same time. However, the key benefit of this training is known as the 'after-burn' effect. This is when your body burns more calories post-exercise, in some cases for as long as 72 hours. You should expect to burn an extra 200-300 calories after a metabolic conditioning workout."

The workout
So if you're not going to be plodding around your usual running track, what will your 1,000-calorie workout look like, and how often should you do it? Walsh explains: "This type of workout is intense and should therefore only be carried out 2-3 times a week to give your body much needed rest time.

That's not to say you can't follow up with a couple of low-intensity recovery sessions. Rest is not to be overlooked; without it you'll find it a struggle to train with enough intensity to create the after-burn effect.

"As well as burning hundreds of calories during the exercise session, you will burn yet more after the workout. Plus, the resistance training helps tone your muscles, which will increase metabolism and speed up weight loss even more."

  • Start with a 10-minute warm-up run, cycle, or similar.
  • Do 50 burpees as fast as possible.

Now do three sets of each of the following, resting for 45 seconds between each super-set (numbered).

  • 12 deadlifts followed by 12 dumbbell chest presses.
  • 12 squats followed by 12 chin-ups (or as many as you can do).
  • 15 Swiss ball leg curls followed by 12 standing dumbbell shoulder presses.

Now take the 'ladder' approach to a clean and press, squat jump and press-up — do seven of each, then six, then five and so on with no rest in between.

  • Now do 50 bench jumps, using a bench or any other platform that is close to 22 inches high to jump onto, then off.
  • Treadmill or outdoor sprints. Do all-out sprints for 30 seconds, followed by one-minute jog, repeating 10 times.

Remember those stretches
Finally, as you would with any workout, do a short cool down and have a stretch. Your thoughts will soon turn to food; nutritionist Katie Peck ( explains the ideal post-high-intensity workout meal.

"You should consume a snack containing carbohydrates and protein within 30-45 minutes of finishing. Carbohydrate replaces muscle glycogen and aids the immune system, which is suppressed during such an intense session. Protein, meanwhile, helps in muscle repair and growth. A fruit smoothie and handful of raw nuts, fruit juice or banana and a protein bar, wholegrain peanut butter sandwich, yoghurt and apple are good examples."

Whatever you choose, enjoy it. You're a thousand calories better off - and you've earned it.

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