No one wants to slog it out at the gym for little return. Which is why it’s super handy to know which exercises are actually worth the time and energy.
Of course, the more muscles you work and the harder/longer you push yourself will determine how many calories you burn. But, there is a way to economise this process:
“You want an exercise that uses both lower and upper body muscle groups and is performed at a high intensity,” Dr Tim Church, an exercise researcher at Louisiana State University tells Health.
In addition, weight training helps ramp up the “after-burn” effect once the sweat sesh is done and dusted.
“You get more bang for your buck in the long-term,” Laura Miranda, a doctor of physical therapy and certified personal trainer explained in a recent interview with Women’s Health. “Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue, so the more of it we have, the more effective we are at burning calories all day long.”
To simplify all that info, CrossFit or Tabata-style interval training is the best burn for your buck.
A study on the 'Cindy' – a 20-minute CrossFit workout that sees gym goers do as many rounds of pull-ups, push-ups and squats as possible – burned an average of 13 calories per minute (meaning around 260 cals were burned throughout the entire session.) Other research shows that one particular Tabata workout – involving 4-minute blocks that mix maximum-intensity bouts of resistance and aerobic training with short periods of rest – burns 14.5 cals per minute (or 280 cals over 20 mins.)
That said, Tim the best workout is always the “one you actually do.” It’s always worth trying to max your per-min calorie burn - but unless you stick at it, you’re unlikely to see results.