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Lose the Freshman 15: Fat-Burning 20 Minute Workouts


How are you doing, collegiettes? I hope you are all having an awesome weekend!  My weekend was really relaxing.  On Friday, I worked on hiring new Group Exercise Instructors (amazing job), then taught a cycling class (another amazing job), and then my mom came to town and we went to a winery.  Don’t worry – I only had one glass of wine and a salad with salmon and quinoa for dinner ;) Then Saturday, my family celebrated my Grandma’s 82nd Birthday! I am SO proud of my family!! My family was planning on having unhealthy foods for dinner, but then I mentioned I would bring a big salad to stay on track.  Next thing you know, the menu changed and we had over 6 vegetable salads, hummus, a fruit platter, and chicken for dinner instead.  It was so cool to see my entire family taking a healthy initiative, even at a party where comfort food is normally a staple.  Of course there was still cake, but I skipped out on it.  I noticed once I cut sugar and alcohol out for the most part, I really don’t crave it as much and I don’t “have to have it”. It was also really inspiring to hear from my cousins, who are both losing weight.  It was definitely a general consensus that eating healthy and working out is the way to go.  Also, they looked looked absolutely stunning!  Everyone there was taking a healthier approach on eating and working out, and not only did everyone look physically better, but you could tell in their aura and confidence.  Truly amazing!  It reminded me of this photo I posted on instagram earlier (@britthayley), where one action of eating healthy, or working out, leads to another.  It couldn’t be truer. 

Then today, I went to brunch with my best friend, who by the way, is SO supportive.  Then we went shopping, and spent our entire paycheck at a cute litte boutique that just opened, and then got our nails done and grocery shopped.  Perfect Sunday I’d say!  

But for the workout.  The weather in Eugene has been fantastic, and I have been busy with the usual! So, the past few days I have done HIIT (pronounced “hit”workouts, or High Intensity Interval Training.  The point of HIIT is to get a lot of intensity in a short amount of time.  Also, when doing HIIT workouts, you reach an anaerobic stage, where you literally are breathless.  I won’t get into the scienc-ey stuff (nerd alert), but basically it turns on the fat burning machine inside of you.  Compared to loooong drawn out cardio, where you only burn for the duration, you burn calories for hours after you’re done working out when doing HIIT.  So – less time, more fat burning.  Yes. Please. HIIT ME UP. Sorry, I can’t help myself from being uber cheesy. 

Here are a few of my favorite HIIT workouts.  Each are only 20 minutes!  But let me tell you something, on a scale of toughness from 1-10, you better be working around a 9-10.  Listen to your body, but push yourself! Otherwise, the workout won’t be effective in 20 minutes.

Track workout:

1.    Jog / Walk 2 laps to warm up your body (5 minutes on treadmill)

2.    Sprint your heart out on the straights and jog/walk the curves (20 second sprint on treadmill, 30 second jog/walk)

3.    Repeat step 2 for 8 times

4.    Cool down with a 5 minute jog/walk and stretch


Tabata is the most common form of HIIT.  You bust your butt for 20 seconds, and recover for only 10 seconds.  I do these all the time in my HIIT Cycling class, and they are great every time.

Before starting this, do 5 minutes of any active warm-up depending on where you are.  I do this workout in my house, so I will normally do a combo of jumping jacks, jogging in place and jump rope.

1. 5 minutes of any active warm – up.  Could jog in place, on a treadmill, jump rope, etc.  After 5 minutes of warming up, do 10 lunges each leg, 20 air squats and 10 pushups.

2. Repeat each exercise 4 times:

  • 20 seconds of High Knee-Runs, 10 second break
  • 20 seconds of Burpees, 10 second break
  • 20 seconds of Jumping Jacks, 10 second break
  • 20 seconds of Squat Jumps, 10 second break
  • 20 seconds of Mountain Climbers, 10 second break
  • 20 seconds of Fast Feet, 10 second break
  • 20 seconds of Lunge Jumps, 10 second break
  • 20 seconds of Plank Jacks (in plank position, hop your fit in and out), 10 second break
  • DONE! Cool down for 5 minutes. 

So now there is NO excuse ever to have “no time” for a workout.  Everyone can afford 20 minutes from their day.  This week, I challenge you to do one of the HIIT workouts first thing when you wake up.  Do it on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  If you’re more advanced do it Monday through Friday.  I will be joining!

Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo!



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