Short Workouts for Fat Loss

Mar 19, 2015 | by AIF

Time efficient workouts are popular as most people are time poor. But can fat loss be achieved in such a short time?

The answer appears to be yes. Scientific studies show that calorie expenditure will be at an increased rate for 24 hours hours after a high intensity, time efficient workout. According to Lauren et al, “High intensity interval exercises induce 24 hour energy expenditure similar to traditional endurance exercise, despite the reduced time commitment” (2012). Fitness Australia recently reported the same findings in an article titled, “The hype about HIIT interval training”.

While a smaller percentage of fat is metabolised during the high intensity workouts, it’s a smaller percentage of a higher calorie expenditure pie.

One way of approaching this type of workout is by thinking about how to expend as many calories as possible in the short time available, increasing oxygen demand, lactate production and heat dissipation to create an increased EPOC.

Here are a few ideas:

Beginner: Intermediate Clients:

Warm Up

shuttle runs

X 4



BW squats

X 6


Dynamic Stretches

squat and OH arm swings

X 8



assisted squat jumps

2 X 20

CrankIt straps


DB squats

2 X 8 PRE 7/10



BB squat press

2 X 6-8 PRE 7/10


cable squat/row

3 X 6-8 PRE 7-8/10



3 X 7-8 PRE 7/10

vary hand positions or incline/decline


mountain climbers

2 X 16

ensure core bracing

Intermediate to Advanced Clients

Warm Up


4 X 50


side taps off step or BOSU

2 X 16-20


Dynamic stretches

leg swings and waist rotations

6-8 each



BB deadlift

3 X 8/6/3 PRE 7-8/10

reverse pyramid


renegade row with tricep push-ups

3 X 8 PRE 7/10



DB squat press

3 X 8 PRE 7/10

option: add a jump


body row

3 X 8 PRE 7-8/10

use Smith machine, elevate feet onto a bench or Fitball


plate press and pullover

3 X 8

bench or Fitball


cable wood chops

10 each side X 2

progress to alternating with dynamic foot change


Fitball alternating tuck/push up

10 of each

ensure neutral spine

Warm Up

rower 3-4 mins PRE 5/10

include 3 X 15 sec surges


Dynamic Stretches

waist rotations and leg swings

X 6 each



DB Bulgarian lunges

2 X 8 each leg PRE 7-8/10

progress to OH press with weight plate


Bulgarian lunges with front knee to chest jump

1 X 10 each leg PRE 8/10


bench hop overs/ burpees

2 X 9 (odd number)

PRE 7/10 then 4-6 burpees

technique and effort, increase reps if time


BB bench press

3 X 8/6/3 PRE 7-8/10

superset bench press/chin-ups, spotter may be required


chin-ups (vary grip)

3 X 5-8 PRE 7/10

assisted machine or spotter, add in isometric hold if needed


moving plank

1 X 10-12 reps

neutral spine, elbows to hands

All workouts are aimed to be time effective using supersets to minimise rest. As clients learn the exercises, reduce the number of sets and perhaps start with two sets. Once competent, increase sets to three or even four sets.

Always conclude the workouts with a thorough partner assisted stretch, especially the quads, glutes, hamstrings, chest and lats.



The Australian Institute of Fitness
The Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) is the largest and longest established fitness training organisation in Australia, with dynamic training methods and expert course coaches nationwide - spanning fitness, massage and nutrition. The AIF qualifies more fitness professionals than any other provider in Australia, as well as offering a broad range of continuing education courses (CEC), upskilling resources and partnership programs for existing industry.

Read more articles

View all articles

Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.