Do i need to work more than 20 mins to burn fat?

Jean brought up a very interesting point today, she said that she always took it that you needed to work for at least 20 minutes before she starting burning fat. In theory, she is right and your body will start burning it’s carbohydrate and simple sugars first, then after the 20 minutes stage depending on energy levels in the body, fat can then be used as a fuel source so that does work-in a perfect world.

What happens if nothing is going to plan that day, we need a quick workout and we can only fit in a 15 minute run, is it worth it? We can only do 20 press ups, 20 arm dips. 20 squats, and 70 squat thrusts, is it worth it? What if you can only get a 10 minute walk in with the dog as you have to go back to work, is it worth going even you put in a light jog? Is it worth going for 15 minute bike ride when we usually do 45 mins? Will we burn fat if we do any of these things?

The answer must be a resounding “yes”! Of course, we would spend a little more time warming up and getting into the workout, it’s not good to rush in and go 200% all the time! What i am saying is that any exercise is good, and i have had some of my best workouts in under 10 mins. Breaking 9 minutes for the first time whilst doing 2500 metres on a rowing machine nearly half killed me! Usain bolt does his best workouts in under 10 seconds! What about the guys and girls who do the run up the stairs every february in the empire state building in new york? There are 1575 stairs and the women’s record is 13 minutes 12 seconds, the men’s rec0rd is 9 minutes and thirty three seconds.

Do you think that any of these workouts/events burnt any body fat or not? Of course they did and often pushed our bodies to new levels of achievement and conditioning.

The key is you are pressed for time is to raise the intensity to suit the workout. For instance, if you are used to running for 30 minutes on a flat surface and that gives you an effort of 8 out of 10 then great. Do make a workout of 15 minutes much more intense, incorporate hills or interval training, do some sprints with minimal rest, in fact do anything that makes it harder and really try and take rest out of the equation.

P.S. To clear up my home workouts post yesterday, my example workout was exactly that, an example. For instance if your best test on your own was 20 press ups, 30 arm dips, 60 squat thrusts etc, your circuit you do 3 times should be half of that. Therefore, it would be 10 press ups, 15 arm dips and 30 squat thrusts. Effectively, you are halving your personal best totals but doing them a total of 3 times instead of once. This will make a very effective workout indeed. Any problems let me know.

27 Replies to “Do i need to work more than 20 mins to burn fat?”

  1. Of course, that makes sense Ke, and ur right any exercise is better than nothing. And its a comfort to know that anything I can manage at the moment will help my weight loss, as long as I control my eating. To be perfectly honest, what I did today is enough 4 the mo, alot of bulk to move. Will post my eating later. Ta

  2. The best birthday present I had today was the one I gave myself, my workouts. Have started Ke. Watch this space

  3. Ok,

    11.15 Breakfast – Porridge, half banana, blueberries, protien

    1.15 handful grapes, half banana, 2 plums

    5.30 3 slices beef, sprouts, carrots, parsnips, peas, 2 roasties, 1 yorkie, 3 tbl spoons gravy

    Been drinking water through the day and will have a protien shake later if I want it. My stepfather bought me a huge box of chocolates from Thorntons, I have put them on top of the wardrobe, honest. But I did have a Tia Maria and diet coke, just the one, for my birthday. If weather too bad will do indoor workout 2mo.

  4. Your efforts should never be discounted, you got it, all your exercise efforts ARE WORTH IT. Don’t listen to old stories/heresay and you are improving RIGHT NOW and every day so keep your realism going, YOU ARE IMPROVING SO WELL DONE!!

  5. Hi Deb, Have started my diet and exercise plan, but I will be starting the 12 weeks from 1 Jan, I expect to lose 2lbs a week so that is 24lbs in 12 weeks, so its Friday 26th March that the 12 weeks in up. I should be 11st 10lbs by the time we meet. Did an indoor workout today, enjoyed, will do indoor again 2mo if the weather is bad, my use my stepper. Eating ok. Hope ur doin alright. Jean x

  6. Hello Jean a belated Happy Birthday!! Been feeling a bit rough past 2 days but ok this morning. Agree that 12 wks to start officially on Fri. Will have to take it one day at a time, if I look forward too far the task becomes daunting. If I lose 24lbs I will be delighted, but I found when I did this previously I lost fat but gained lean muscle and the scales didn’t move that much. According to the “Tables” I am around 4 stone overweight so I have lots to shift.
    I have marked March 24th as “D” day, could stand for Diet, Deb, Delighted !!!
    Anyway, let’s make that weekend a date! I celebrate my birthday the week before, and in a smaller dress size I hope (no, believe!)
    Good luck Jean, Cyril and everyone out there!!

  7. Hi Deb, sorry u have been felling rough and pleased that u r better now. I too will have to take it one day at a time, thats the only way. I agree that if you look forward too far it is daunting, but I dont think 12 weeks is too far, I also have 4 stone to lose and if I think “god I have 4 st to lose” then I get daunted, so I am halving it into 12 week periods. The first 12, will hopefully c me losing 24lbs, 11st 10lbs, the second 12 week period will c me me down to 10st, thats as far as I have got, would like to b 9st 3lbs then everything that I have will fit. There is nothing wrong with losing FAT and gaining LEAN MUSCLE Deb, would’nt care what the scales said, cos MUSCLE weighs more than FAT, so the scales may not move much but your BMI “BODY MASS INDEX” would b very low. Will take my BMI later and let you know what it is, dont really want to know but will go there. Your “D” Day will spell DELIGHTED and you will be in a smaller dress size, I am goin for 2 dress sizes, just as well we have never met Deb, we would’nt know each other anyway. We will have to try and get Cyril on board. Well it is teaming down, so its an indoor workout 4 me. Com on Debs, we can do this, dont know if your working, know its more difficult if u have commitments, but did you read Keri’s Post last night “DO I NEED TO WORK MORE THAN 20MIN TO BURN FAT? Inspiring stuff, and now I no longer think “its not worth it” cos it is after all, isnt life great. Post later. Jean or Jeany to Cyril. x

  8. glad your better Deb xxx.working myself to go on the TG no bike today tomorrow (bloody cold rain here today anyway) lean muscle is what i want and have have about 6 st to go to my true weight (if there is one lol.) my scales has that BMI stuff on it to Jean,haven’t a bloody clue how to use it mind lol,lol,lol, i’d be chuffed it i could get into a 34/36″ anything (42 at the moment from 46″),so i wouldn’t have to where bliming shorts everywhere then.I dont want to get anything the size i’m now cos i’ll only say oh well and stay this size (which i dont want to be)

  9. Hi Cyril, well I havent got a TG but I have just finished my indoor workout, and to my surprise I enjoyed. Have taken my BMI and wait for it, 35.1, pretty much expected that, no surprise there. Com on Cyril you have done so well so far, 42 from 46, what r u complaining about, keep goin, I unfortunately have made the mistake of buying new clothes, up to size 16/18 now from size 10. Anyway wont be this size for long. We will keep eachother goin mate. x

  10. Hi Ke, Just finished my indoor workout, stepped it up a bit from yesterday, included my Stepper 2day. as follows;

    Hypers x10x10x10
    Squats x25x25x25
    Pressups x25x25x25
    Dips x25x25x25
    Alt Squ Thru x50x50x50
    Sit ups x50x50x50
    Stepper x50x50x50

    The times for each set, 1) 5.44 2)5.56 3) 5.18, last one the fastest, go figure. anyway cos that didnt come to 20mins, it only came to 16.58 I jogged on the spot for 6.19 mins, taking the workout to 20mins.

    Boy did I need a towel today, “cos I sweat so much” Its good to b back. Rain easing may go 4 a walk. Post later. Jean

  11. right then if i put all this down there’s no hiding is there.All exercise’s done at level 3 ( 22%/55wt thing is i’m 5lbs heavier than the chart so could be a little more? ) instead of level 2, but all my leg stuff was done at level 5(33%/82wt) dont if the % stuff makes sense Ker.right this is what i do 3 times a week depending on the weather.So today i did;
    leg pulls(crunch’s) 3 x 10
    arm pullover’s 3 x 10
    butterfly’s 3 x 10
    seated row 3 x 10
    squats 3 x 10 (level 5)
    decline adominal crunch’s 3 x 10
    and i had some squat like exercsises for my achillies and i do 3 x 50 of those to finish off with.all these exercises are the beginer’s program but it works for me lol.right then here goes the nasty stuff 🙂 18.4st,57.1%BF? and BW was 24.2%?all right over my head but i know it aint pretty stuff 🙁 :-)…..
    but has you say Ker cant belive how much a jump up 1 level was.Would’nt be able to 20 of everything i was doing on the lower levels!!!!!!!

  12. Hey Guys, will u watch something for me, its on UTube, its Inspired Bicycles – Danny MacAskill April 2009 and its 5mins 38secs long, please watch it to the end. This guy is a genius on a bike, fearless, he was unknown untill his flat mate posted this video on the Tube and now he has world wide recognition and has done an advert for VW. If you want INSPERATION watch this. In my next life, cant wait. Jean

    Done a 30min walk after my indoor workout, got a soaking

  13. all inspiring comments and thanks for your efforts! There are a substantial number watching the site now but they are still afraid to post, yet inspired by your efforts so thank you for that. Cyril, will have to do a proper body fat test on you sometimes, 57.6% body fat seems high to me and unlikely. I have had people that high before but not very often, and judging by your exercise efforts, you sound on the right side of 50% definitely. Keep it going and a great effort and a like your rep range now, too many reps is not that results orientated and glad you seem to have come down.

  14. will try to keep the reps at that but i’m aching big time.But there again i’ll wait to see if i get used to it before reducing.Wouldn’t mind betting the body bit is right,but with a bit of luck it will soon come down.better bloody had after all this work 🙂

  15. Hey Guys . . . . .There’s a lot of activity going on!!
    I completed my 3 reps of indoor workout and only stopped once for water and a whiff of oxygen Ha Ha!!
    press ups 3×20
    sit ups 3×12
    arm dips 3×8
    squat thrusts 3×60
    squats withweights 3×15
    arm curls 3×15
    lateral raises 3×8
    squats with arm raises 3×8
    No lunges, knee too dodgy!

    This will be done 3 times a week and will walk/jog (or is it jiggle?) twice a week.
    Food much better although social occassions still on the calender will try to sabotage me.
    This is great fun and I want to thank Keri very much for this fab idea.
    Jean, will take a look at You Tube now.
    Let’s keep up the momentum you lovely guys xxxxx

  16. I have just watched Danny MacAskill and I am dumbfounded!!
    Please watch it, it is amazing! Thanks Jean.

  17. I know Deb, he is amazing, I for one would pay to see him perform, what he does is extremely difficult and out there, Ha if only I was 40 years younger, I would be trying that, trust me.

  18. right off on the bike.Liz my wife has decided to come with me too.Very crisp up here today so may take the camera to.Going to time how long it is for proper today to.I was told yesterday Ker that i should be standing up to get my core going when i cycle?i told the guy that i’m useing my TG for that stuff.Should i be doing what he said???

  19. one thing I have never been able to do is stand up, even when I go up hill, always in the saddle. Is’nt that cheating

  20. i would have thought so jean.Don’t care what he reckons cos its working on my legs and butt.Love the ride back cos i can really stretch out my achillies……

  21. i would sit where is comfortable on the bike for you. “core” stuff is very fashionable, so much so that most people latch onto it to be cool, without a real understanding what it means. You are right cyril, keep it to your inside stuff, core training IS very important, but you are doing the right exercises anyway. There are many so called “experts” out there.

  22. standing up i tend to a lot myself, but thats the way i always have rode. Make sure you have the seat at the right height too, around hip height. Standing up does bring the core into play more, but ride as you feel is comfortable for you too.

  23. not really cheating at all. You should ride on how is comfortable for you on the bike, some people like doing it like myself, some people like sitting in the saddle, no problem either way in my book. Anything that is uncomfortable is NOT a good idea.

  24. What i am saying is that exercise UNDER or above 20 mins is good. You can lose fat using either method, as long as its a decent effort. As long as you eat well too, you will lose fat. Eating well and training hard go perfectly together. The original quesdtion was is workout out under 20 mins any good or even pointless? i replied that it could be highly productive, especially when you are short of time, just increase the intensity of the workout a fair bit.

  25. just come in from being on the track.Gawd riding in the snow is great,but i think i’ll will be all ice tomorrow.But put a good few rides in this week 🙂 and after being sleding all day up Cray above Dan-yr-orgof…….

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