Burst Training Studies Prove Fast Weight Loss

Women Push UpsI’m about to share with you the single best exercise for burning fat. But first, I want to explain the number one mistake people are making in the gym, today.

This mistake is leading to some pretty big consequences like:

  • Causing you to age faster
  • Breaking down your joints
  • Causing your body to STORE fat, instead of burn it
  • Causing your hormones to get out of balance

The number one mistake is doing way too much cardio.

Most people who want to burn fat and lose weight falsely assume that going to the gym and doing traditional aerobic exercise, like jogging on the treadmill, is the best way to see results.

But recent research is proving that long distance cardiovascular exercise is NOT the fastest way to burn fat and lose weight.

If you’ve been spending hours on the treadmill and not seeing any results, it’s because long distance cardiovascular exercise can decrease testosterone and raise your stress hormone levels like cortisol (1). Increased levels of cortisol stimulate the appetite, increase fat storage, and slow down or inhibit exercise recovery.

A recent study in Psychoneuroendocrinology showed evidence of long-term high cortisol levels in aerobic endurance athletes.  Researchers tested levels of hair cortisol in 304 endurance athletes (runners, cyclists, and triathletes) and compared to non-athletes.  The results showed higher cortisol levels with higher training volumes (1).

The Journal of Sports Sciences found that long periods of aerobic exercise increased oxidative stress leading to chronic inflammation (2).

So, What’s the #1 Exercise to Burn Fat Fast?

If you want to see results fast without the negative benefits of cardiovascular exercise, your best option is burst training (3).  Burst training (aka interval training) combines short, high intensity bursts of exercise, with slow, recovery phases, repeated during one exercise session.  Burst training is done at 85-100% maximum heart rate rather than 50-70% in moderate endurance activity.

Similar exercise methods to burst training include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and the Tabata method. With burst and other types of interval training you are getting the same cardiovascular benefits as endurance exercise but without the negative side effects.  Also, burst training is the fastest way to lose weight and burn fat fast.

Essentially, burst training is exercising like a sprinter rather than a marathon runner.

One of the major benefits of burst training is that it can be done in the comfort of your own home with no or minimal equipment.  An easy example of burst training would be going to a track and walking the curves and sprinting the straight aways.  Or getting on a spin bike and cycling hard for 20 seconds then going easy for 20 seconds, then repeating that cycle for between 10 to 40 minutes.

Burst (or interval) training isn’t necessarily new. Elite athletes and Olympians have known this secret to exercising and have been doing interval training for years. The research proves that anybody – not just elite athletes – can do interval training and achieve amazing results, no matter your experience or fitness level.

Research from the University of New South Wales Medical Sciences found that burst (interval) cardio could burn more than 3 times more body fat than moderate cardio. The researchers studied two groups and found that the group who did eight seconds of sprinting on a bike, followed by 12 seconds of exercising lightly for 20 minutes, lost THREE TIMES as much fat as other women, who exercised at a continuous, regular pace for 40 minutes (4).

The reason burst training works is because it produces a unique metabolic response in your body. Intermittent sprinting causes your body to not burn as much fat during exercise but after exercise your metabolism stays elevated and will continue to burn fat for the next 24-48 hours!

Also, chemicals called catecholamines are produced which allow more fat to be burned and this causes increased fat oxidation which drives greater weight loss. The women from the study lost the most weight off their legs and buttocks.

Another study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, April 2007, researched eight different women in their early 20’s. They were told to cycle for 10 sets of four minutes of hard riding, followed by two minutes of rest.

After two weeks, the amount of fat burned increased by 36 percent, and their cardiovascular fitness improved by 13 percent (5).

Key Benefits of Burst Training

  • Can burn up to 3x more body-fat than moderate cardio
  • After two weeks of interval training, fat burning increased by 36%
  • Your body will continue to burn fat for the next 48 hours after you are done exercising
  • You can workout in less time and see better results

Complete Burst Training Program

I’ve put together an amazing resource if you want to take your burst training to the next level.

If you’re interested in adding burst training to your workout routine and really want to see dramatic results, check out my new fitness video called BurstFit Fire.

It’s a complete guide to doing burst training at home, with 6 sessions, a warm-up and cool-down, and a simple calendar to follow for each workout – check out the brand new DVD series here: BurstFit Fire.

Burst Training Testimony

Dear Dr. Axe,

In the last 6 weeks I have lost 37 pounds. I have incorporated your exercise regimen with burst training. I’ve also been working on incorporating as much real food as I can in my diet. Lost 4 inches in my waist during these last 6 weeks. It has been so invigorating to do things properly and healthy and get super results! I’m a 5’9” male and six weeks ago I was 276 pounds, 47” waist. Today, I am 239 pounds with a 43” waist. Thanks for all the valid exercise and nutritional information!

Sincerely, Jeremy H.


Skoluda, N., Dettenborn, L., et al. Elevated Hair Cortisol Concentrations in Endurance Athletes. Psychoneuroendocrinology. September 2011. Published Ahead of Print.

Packer, L. Oxidants, Antioxidant Nutrients, and the Athlete. Journal of Sports Science. June 1997. 15(3), 353-363.

Marzatico, F., Pansarasa, O., et al. Blood Free Radical Antioxidant Enzymes and Lipid Peroxides Following Long-Distance and Lactacidemic Performances in Highly Trained and Aerobic and Sprint athletes. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 1997. 37, 235-239.

M. Heydari, J. Freund, and S. H. Boutcher. Journal of Obesity Volume 2012, Article ID 480467.

Talanian, JL. Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases capacity for fat oxidation. Journal of Applied Physiology April 2007.


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5 Easy Tips For Not Gaining Extra Weight Over The Holidays

Learn more about my new fitness series – burstfit.com/fire

It can get pretty difficult to stay healthy and not gain weight during the holidays. Here’s my top 5 secrets for not getting sick or putting on that extra few pounds during this holiday season.

1. Stay Active – Try going for a light walk before or after eating. My family usually does a local 5k race.

2. Get More Vitamin D3 – Get out in the sun or you can supplement with a high quality Vitamin D3 supplement. Make sure it’s D3 and not D2 (synthetic).

3. Eat More Organic Protein and Veggies – Meat and vegetables will help keep blood glucose and insulin levels down, help you burn fat, and keep you from getting sick.

4. Lower your Sugar and Carb Intake – A little bit of stuffing and pie is ok! But if you want to keep from getting sick during the holidays, this is the number one thing you can do.

5. Try Some Healthy Recipes – Stay away from the highly processed white flours, sugars and hydrogenated oils. Try some healthier recipes using dates, organic pumpkin and maple syrup. Your family won’t even know the difference!

I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy holiday season!


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The Top 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Core to Prevent Low Back Pain

(To learn more about burst training, check out my new series BurstFIT Fire.)

Millions of Americans struggle with low back pain and it’s one of the top questions I get asked about. The problem of low back pain can usually be traced to not having a strong enough core. I’ve put together my top 5 exercises you can do to strengthen your core and lower back muscles to help prevent pain and injury.

1. Planks – the #1 core stabilization exercise

2. Cat and the Cow – Stretches the low back

3. V-ups – Strengthen the ab muscles

4. Swimmers – Stengthen the low back muscles

5. Rows – Strengthen the upper back muscles

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How To Do Burst Training On A Treadmill (3x More Effective)

The fastest way to burn fat, in the shortest amount of time.

Have you ever spent hours in the gym, pounding away at the treadmill? Are you convinced that the built-in “calories-burned” counter is an accurate indicator of a good workout?

Well… the calorie counter is far from accurate in terms of a good workout. In fact–spending hours pounding away on a treadmill is not the best way to burn fat or get in shape. This is the number one mistake I see most people making in the gym today.

The key is to do short bursts or intervals. Here’s how: crank up the speed on the treadmill and hop on for 10 second bursts, then rest for 20 seconds. The speed should require 90-100% of your effort.

For a low-impact modification, use a lower speed and change the incline to the steepest level and continue with 10 second bursts and 20 second rests (or in this case, a 10 second “climb”).

Repeat for 10-20 minutes.

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How to get Six Pack Abs like Ryan Lochte

This week I got to witness Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps both win Gold here in London, but I couldn’t help but notice- these guys are ripped. I’ve seen quite a few ladies with their “I love Lochte” t-shirts and I think part of the obsession may have to do with his washboard abs.

I often get the question from patients, “How do I get six pack abs?” Well, in a recent interview with Ryan he let us in on some secrets of how he has become more ripped than ever.

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Go Barefoot, the running revolution

A research study published in the Dec. 2009 issue of The Journal of American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has found that wearing running shoes may actually cause osteoarthritis vs. running barefoot.

The study enrolled 37 women and 31 men who ran at least 15 miles per week. The subjects “running gait’s” then were evaluated running either barefoot or with a typical running shoe. The subjects had markers on their knees, hips and ankle joints, and as they ran, cameras picked up these markers, allowing the researchers to see how the joints moved.

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Do You Have Good Posture? How to Straighten Up Now

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH,) 8 out of every 10 people complain of back pain at one time or another leading them to seek out pain relief.

Do you have an aching back? If so, you’re not alone by a long shot. Most people turn to the medical profession who will prescribe medications. Some choose all natural relief methods, but above all there is one way to get long term relief from persistent back pain.

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Crossfit for Life

We all know exercising on a regular basis is vital for health and vitality not only for today but as we age. With thousands upon thousands of gyms and fitness programs sprouting up throughout communities the choices can be overwhelming leaving the consumer doing nothing at all. Today, I’d like to introduce you to one of the best exercise programs out there – CrossFit.

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Rx for a Good Night’s Sleep: Exercise

insomniaDid you know that a whopping fifty percent of middle-aged and older Americans have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep? Insomnia is something that impacts about twenty-five percent of the entire population. That’s a lot of people not getting enough shut eye. According to a study out of Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, the answer for many of these people is engaging in aerobic exercise.

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Guest Post: How to do the Perfect Push-up

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7 Ideas for Burst Training at Home

7 Ideas for Burst Training at HomeYou don’t need a gym membership. You don’t need fancy, expensive equipment. You don’t even have to leave your bedroom if you don’t want to! Burst training is a type of exercise that you can do anywhere, anytime.

It involves exercising at 90-100% of your maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds, followed by 30-60 seconds of lower intensity exercise or resting.

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Guest Post: Rock Climbing for Fitness

Guest Post: Rock Climbing for FitnessThis post is written by Newton Dominey, owner of The Crag in Nashville, TN. Interested in writing for my blog? Check out my guest post guidelines!

Many people incorrectly assume that rock climbing, particularly indoor rock climbing, is something best left to kids & birthday parties. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Rock climbing is a sport that can be enjoyed by kids & adults alike, and with great physical and mental benefits.

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Maximize Your Exercise Routine

Woman lifting weightsby Dr. Joseph Mercola

Many of you may not realize that I have been passionate about exercise for 41 years. Ever since I first read Dr. Ken Cooper’s book Aerobics, I was hooked. Unfortunately, for over 30 years I primarily pursued aerobic type of exercises. Nevertheless I have been exercising regularly since then.

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It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day

I’ve had many people ask me when is the best time to exercise. The answer to that question is: first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Here’s why:

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.