Blast Fat With This 30-Minute Interval Workout

It's all about the heart-rate monitor. Actress Lauren Graham wanted big results in a short time, so she worked out 90 minutes a day, five to seven days a week. But the key to her success was that she was tracking her heart rate—and that's a trick anyone can use.

This 30-minute interval workout, designed by Michelle Lovitt, will help you plow through a plateau and drop pounds. Fat, like fire, needs to have oxygen to burn.

Try this target heart rate (THR) workout, and watch the fat fall off.

The Plan

"Michelle taught me that heart-rate monitors on gym equipment are set for standard weights and ages, so you need your own," says Graham. 

Activity: Warm-Up Minutes: Four THR: 50 Percent
Activity: Sprint Minutes: One THR: 60 Percent
Activity: Recover Minutes: One THR: 50 Percent
Activity: Cooldown Minutes: Two THR: 50 Percent
 TOTAL:  30 Minutes
*Choose any heart-pumping activity you enjoy.

Do the sprint-recover sequence six times, increasing your heart rate by five percent each sprint. (Last one should be at 85 percent.) Repeat the 12 minutes, starting again at 60 percent and working up to 85 percent.

Find Your Sizzle Zone

If you don't have a heart-rate monitor yet, no problem. Figure out your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Multiply that number by 0.6 and by 0.85 to find your low and high fat-burning thresholds.

Tree Sit

Works: legs

Stand with back flat against a wall (or tree) and lower until knees are bent at a right angle. Extend arms straight overhead and left leg forward so it's parallel to ground. Hold for 15 seconds; switch legs. Do three sets.


Works: abs

Sit with legs extended, feet flexed, back straight; wrap band around soles of feet, holding each end next to knees. Keeping arms and legs straight, slowly lower torso, one vertebra at a time, to ground. When top of shoulder blades touch ground, slowly roll up. Do three sets of 12 reps.


Works: arms, back

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart; hold band behind lower back with both hands, elbows bent and by ribs. Keeping palms facing forward and hands at waist height, extend arms. Return to start. Do three sets of 12 reps.

Active logo Tone up faster in a fat-burning class.

SELF  gives you great advice on being healthy, happy, slimmer, fitter and less stressed.

Discuss This Article