Spin class

When it comes to exercise, many people look for a magic bullet: something that melts away the pounds. That’s not how it works, according to Renee Anzalone, a local personal trainer who’s been whipping people into shape for 20 years.

“It’s 80% diet, 20% workout. You can’t kill yourself with cardio and think you’re gonna lose weight if you don’t fix the diet. The other part is, these high intensity workouts make you hungry. So, you work out like a freak, then you’re hungry and then most people will eat back, if they’re not careful, what they probably burned off,” Anzalone said.

But some workouts burn more calories than others. Here are Anzalone’s top 5, in no particular order.

1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), including Tabata workouts

“You have to go so hard that you’re extremely out of your comfort zone. You should be so winded you can’t speak,” Anzalone explains.

2. Metabolic cardio circuits

High calorie-burning activities, such as jumping rope, rowing machines, kettlebell swings, medicine balls, slam balls, battling ropes, sandbags.

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Renee Anzalone

Submitted by Renee Anzalone (Photo credit: Tec Petaja)

Do these in circuit form, with very little recovery between each exercise. “That’s my favorite way to train because not only am I burning a lot of calories, I’m also toning and strengthening every muscle in my body,” Anzalone said.

3. Body weight training

This means push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, jump squats, plyometric lunges, plyometric step-ups, bear crawls, box jumps, planks.

Anzalone explains, “Anything where you use your body weight is gonna burn a lot of calories and keep your heart rate up. Again, do them in rapid succession. Don’t do one and stand around for a minute. Slam them out.”

4. Kickboxing

Anzalone says kickboxing classes are a great a way to burn calories but you get out only what you put in. She also warns don’t believe everything you hear.

“I see a lot of false claims. I hear in advertisements that you can burn over 1,000 calories in a workout. That’s not true. Maybe if you’re a professional kickboxer… but most people, even in a one hour class, I’m gonna be generous and say 700 calories,” she explains. 

5. Indoor cycling

Anzalone is a big fan of indoor cycling classes but if you don’t work hard and keep up your heart rate, you won’t see the benefits. She also likes the Peloton bike because it offers something for everyone.

“There’s beginner, advanced, they come in different lengths of time which I think is convenient. I like the competitiveness of it. I think it’s very well designed. You can do it when you want to do it.”

This story is featured in Rover's January print edition, which includes features on fitness, health and wellness, as well as tips and other information from cover to cover. Find the full edition here.

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