I burned 16 kilograms (35lbs) of body fat in about a year. It was a lot of fat burned out, true, but I wouldn’t say aggressive even though I put myself to a great physical effort to fulfill my goal.
Aggressive fat loss makes me think of something I can realize rather shortly, which I didn’t. On average, I got rid of a little over 1-kilogram fat per month, a very achievable goal by absolutely anyone. However, I burned most of it during the last 3 months as my metabolism enhanced, and as I got way more physically active. Plus, my nutrition got better and better.
Typically, aggressive fat loss workouts make you think of intense training sessions of very short duration, for about 10-20 minutes. That’s how fitness influencers push and do marketing around it. It’s a game-changer as overweight people, in general, will prefer doing something that doesn’t require a lot of time and effort. Therefore, prolonged training sessions will not trigger the same attention in this situation.
That’s why you can see everywhere, workout videos with the clickbait title: Aggressive Fat Loss in 10 Minutes. It’s a lie, but the first to blame is the masses of people who get hooked so easily. When something sounds too good to be true is because it is fake, not real.
I explained in an article about the mathematics of fat loss. If you read that one, you can understand why it is almost physiologically impossible to burn fat so rapidly.
Read the article: Where Does the Fat Go When We Lose It? Mathematics of Weight Loss
But I want to highlight a few aspects of these 10-20 minutes of aggressive fat loss workouts because it’s not all complete crap:
Consequences of 10-20 Minutes Aggressive Fat Loss Workouts
- Time-efficient. If you don’t count the warm-up, which will also take about 5-10 minutes, then you can consider a 10-minutes intense training session as one extremely time-efficient.
- A sedentary person who is overweight or obese will start to burn fat once he moves around and does any sustained physical activity. It will work for a period whether we talk about skipping-rope for 10 minutes or walking 30 minutes.
- It is said that short high-intensity interval training increases the metabolic rate while at rest. So practically, you burn more glucose and sugar while training, but after you’re done, the body will utilize fat more effectively in the hours after.
- A 10-20 minute workout will get you ready for the day, active and refreshed. Many do it not to burn fat, but to feel energized, and it works. However, many prefer running 30-60 minutes, but that’s not the topic now.
I also elaborated more detail on why I am against aggressive fat loss workouts in 10 minutes in the video below:
The fitter and more adapted you get to a workout, the more workout duration you need to burn fat. Perhaps, doing only short training sessions can make you relatively fit, but you’ll still carry around enough body fat unless you push it further and get even more on point with nutrition.
Also, to get that nice tonus of the muscles, you need more extended dedicated training sessions. Many overweight guys turned fit, but their bodies don’t look well at all. That’s because they also need strength training and more cardio.
The major aspect to remember is that we burn fat while we do an aerobic and cardio activity. No matter the type of training, you’ll first utilize sugar as fuel and not body fat. So that’s why you need prolonged sessions, so you can get into that metabolism that uses fat as energy to fuel the exercise. You can’t hold a high-intensity for long periods.
Practically, a 40-minute jogging session will burn more fat than a 10-minute intense workout.
Both high-intensity short training and aerobic training burn calories, perhaps a 20-minute HIIT workout even more, but that doesn’t mean it will get those calories from body fat. It will create the necessity for glucose, and if you extend a HIIT workout to half-an-hour, it can also induce sugar craving because that is what it is based on as fuel.
A relaxed and prolonged aerobic session utilizes fat and oxygen, so you won’t experience extreme hunger after finishing.
I began by telling you that I burned all those kilograms off, and I never said what I did exactly in terms of training. So here it is:
- Bodyweight training sessions: pull-ups, pushups, dips, squats (longer than 10-minutes duration)
- Swimming. I swam around 4-5 kilometers per session for a few months and for 2-3 times a week. That took me about an hour.
- Fast short distance running (5-6 kilometers) and jogged longer distances too (8-12 kilometers). It took more than 20 minutes and up to 1-hour
- A lot of trail running of different distances and pathways, from cross-country to mountain trails
- HIIT using bodyweight exercises and skipping rope
- Sprints and did a lot of hill sprints too or on a stadium’s steps.
So this was my training for a whole year, and that’s why I burned out the fat while at the same time, I trained the muscles and athleticism too. Aggressive fat loss workouts in a short span are a complete lie. Hence, start opening your eyes and observe things.