12. Turn up the intensity with HIIT
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can leave you utterly winded and exhausted while also taxing your muscles—and that’s exactly why Donavanik and Guy recommend it.
“Adding new types of cardio in the form of HIIT is the most effective way to burn calories, boost your metabolism into high gear for periods long after you’ve stopped the activity, and burn body fat—while sparing all that hard-earned muscle you’ve worked for,” Guy says. “My general rule of thumb for healthy individuals is that if you can perform a high-intensity interval for more that 60–90 seconds, you’re not working at a pace that’s truly at your peak performance or above 85% of your maximum heart rate.”
Guy recommends cardio movements that tax your leg muscles, like stair-climbing, hill sprints, or rowing, which lead to fatigue faster and challenge your heart rate. Exercises like jumping rope, kettlebell swings, and plyometrics are also challenging in a HIIT format, he says.
Donavanik also recommends compound movements like deadlifts, burpees, and thrusters. They’re huge calorie-burners, he says, although you shouldn’t try doing these every day because they are so demanding.
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