So you really haven’t exercised in a really long time, you don’t have a gym membership and you’re not sure where you can start?
Great! You’ll like this one. Because today, I have a video workout just for you (first ever for Pretty Awesome Fitness. And featuring my pink sweat pants…). Best thing? You can fire up your metabolism, burn fat and build muscle in just two minutes.
First things first, you don’t need a gym to effectively burn fat. Heck, you don’t even need one for a workout. And most importantly, you don’t need to spend hours working out just to see results. Simplicity and minimalism is the key. And today I’ll introduce to you a concept called high intensity bodyweight circuit training that can maximise your fat loss and boost your metabolism at any time of the day.
Our workout today is probably the most simplest yet effective I’ve ever come up with. Eight exercises, 15 seconds per exercise for a total of 2 minutes. By doing each exercise one after another, you’re making your body work without resting, which ultimately raises up your heart rate making it a great cardiovascular quickie. Couple that with the strength components and you’ll be burning fat and calories for hours after that. Pretty awesome huh?
JUST TWO MINUTES?
I’m a huge fan of short, but effective workouts, the ones that gets you in and out in 30-minutes or less. I’m busy, you’re busy and we are all busy. I don’t know about you but spending hours in the gym is not my cup of tea. Preference aside, here are some of the benefits of high intensity body weight circuit training.
– It burns tons of calories in a short time. According to a study in the Journal of Physiology, circuit training burns more calories than interval training, and definitely a lot more than steady state cardio.
– You can do this anywhere. In your living room, bedroom, backyard, kitchen too — just make sure you don’t burn those pancakes. It eliminates the limiting factor of access to equipment and facilities.
– It’s easy to regress (make it easier) and progress (make it harder) so it’s suitable for anyone of any fitness levels. More on this later.
I’ve actually designed this 2-minute fat burner for myself, as a way to get out of bed and only just started doing it this week. As soon as I wake up I will hit the deck and do one round for two-minutes. It’s amazing how refreshed and energetic I feel right after that. Yesterday, I decided to do it two more times during the day, just for fun, once just before lunch and one just before dinner. The result? Instant energy booster, any time of the day.
You can do this workout anywhere, anytime, for just two minutes or a couple of two minute rounds. I’ll show you how, but for now let’s proceed with the awesome workout shall we?
THE 2-MINUTE BEGINNER FAT BURNING WORKOUT
As a circuit, perform each exercise for 15-seconds, one after another without any breaks. I recommend having a timer with you, I personally use an iPhone app for that. Do the circuit once in the morning, as soon as you wake up. This really warms your body up, steps up your metabolism and get you well and energetic for the rest of the day.
If you like, you can also do this as part of a longer workout routine, although I wouldn’t recommend doing it for more than 30 minutes (approx. 10 rounds). The reason is because this workout is suppose to make you feel fresh, not leave you feeling downright dead after it. The longer a high intensity body weight circuit is, the lesser the effectiveness of it so short and sweet is great!
To repeat this workout, simply have a break (30-60 seconds is good) and then get back on it. Repeat for 3-5 rounds and you’ll have an awesome workout that can burn calories up to 72 hours after it!
Ready? Let’s do it!
Make sure you warm up! If you’re doing this as soon as you get out of bed, a couple of arm swings is great. Simply move your body to lubricate those cold joints. You may also jog on the spot if it’s a cold winter morning. If you’re doing more than 1 set of this, try to get a proper cardiovascular and dynamic warm up by going for a walk round the block, climb up and down your stairs, stationary bike etc. for 5-10 minutes or just jog on the spot.
Whatever you do, do not skip the warm up. You’ve been warned! ;)
After warming up, click the video below to know what exactly you need to do.
15 secs push-ups
15 secs body-weight squats
15 secs sit ups
15 secs high knees
15 secs single leg hops
15 secs prisoner get ups
15 secs star jumps (jumping jacks)
15 secs squat jumps
As soon as you’re done with the workout, make sure you stretch.
Smile and congratulations, you’ve completed one of the most effective fat-burning circuits ever.
WHAT IF I CAN’T DO ANY? WHAT IF I WANT TO MAKE IT HARDER?
If you’re struggling with any of these exercises, take it easy. I’ll break each exercise down so you’ll have a better idea of what’s going on.
Push-ups. It’s all about the technique. Make sure you tighten your abs and your butt and push yourself down so that you chest is about 2 inches from the ground. Drop down to your knees if you can’t do it on your toes. You can do other variations of push-ups if you find it easy, check out this Art of Manliness post with 35+ other variations!
Sit-ups. Make sure you breathe out as you squeeze your abs and sit yourself up. If you can’t go all the way up, that’s fine. Do crunches instead with the legs down or legs 90 degree in the air.
Squats. When you’re squatting, make sure you’re pointing your butt back and your back is straight, like you’re about to sit on a chair. If you feel like you’re out of balance, try putting a chair behind you and do an assisted squat. You can read more about squats and it’s technique (and how you can get an awesome booty out of it) in one of my previous post.
Squat jumps. Like the squat, except a little more advanced, this is both a strength and cardio exercise. This is also the last exercise so it’s one awesome finisher as you get your heart rate through the roof and finishing like a king, or queen.
To make it harder, try one of the variations I explain in the video. Otherwise, make the timing longer. Instead of just doing each exercise for 15 seconds, make it 20 and build your way up to 30 seconds per exercise. Ouch.
HOW OFTEN CAN I DO THIS?
If you’re doing it in the morning, once a day is perfectly fine! The aim here is to kickstart your metabolism, and make your body one fat-burning machine throughout the day. I suggest doing it once as soon as you wake up and get into the habit of doing it every day. Over time, it’ll be just like brushing your teeth, you can’t leave home without it, can you? Please say no.
If you’re doing it as a workout, which means you’re doing 5 or even 10 rounds of this, 2 to 3 times a week is great. Doing it every day can do more harm to your body than good. Plus, your body deserves the rest after a workout like that. You don’t want to risk overtraining too soon.
CAN I REALLY LOSE WEIGHT DOING THIS 3 TIMES A WEEK?
Yes, if you watch what you eat as well.
Your weight loss success depends on what you put into your mouth, more than what you physically do for exercise. Eat lots of real foods, unprocessed carbohydrates, good quality protein, fruits and vegetables, and avoid the processed crap and sugar and drink at least 3 litres of water a day and feel the difference in weeks.
LET ME HELP YOU
Leave a comment below and let me know how you went. Tell me about your fitness levels, whether you’re a seasoned exerciser or you haven’t exercised in years or ever, and how easy it was for you. If you want, you can even record how many reps you can do of each exercise in 15-seconds and let me know!
Most importantly, I want to know because I care! This also marks the first of the Pretty Awesome Fitness workouts on video (featuring my pink sweatpants…) so if you like it, let me know and share the love by sharing it with your friends. I’ll definitely make more of these videos in the future and you can subscribe to Pretty Awesome Fitness YouTube channel to support this crazy idea of mine. :)
Oh and, it’s Anzac Day tomorrow in Australia so I shall take this moment to remember, not only Australians, but everyone who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
Have an awesome weekend, Pretty Awesomes!
Love this workout? Click here to get subscribers only workout for free!