I came across this video.

In it the man essentially makes you do 10 dumbbell squats, followed by a similar exercise where you swing your arm out forwards, followed by 10 half burpees. You then take a 15 second break and do it again for 10 minutes. I have to admit, I was exhausted!

I was just wondering what the benefits of doing these kind of exercises are as opposed to say, a 30 minute run (apart from the obvious focus on different muscles).

How much can you burn doing something like this? Or is the point of this something different?


That is a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is an effective conditioning tool that improves markers like your VO2 max, your cardio capacity, and your fat burning potential. I say potential because the actual fat burning depends on the exercises used, etc.

Typically, you burn more Calories in a shorter period of time. In essence, in order to get the same amount of work from steady state cardio (like running on a treadmill), you will have to do that cardio a lot longer. Depending on intensity, and how well you kept up with the HIIT, a 10m HIIT session can be the same amount of work as a 60m steady state cardio session.

Runners often employ HIIT style training to help improve their lung capacities and be more efficient in their training. The main differences will be the duration and intensity of the on and off portions (relative high intensity and relative rest). An example of this approach would be many Couch to 5K programs.


It seems like the exercises are a form of Tabata interval training, see Tabata questions on stackexchange and http://tabatatraining.org/. The benefits this exercise versus running from my personal experience are:

  • that very few people can run that intensive for 30 minutes

  • probably less likely to cause injuries in knees, legs and hips

  • and you also work more large muscle groups than running

From a personal perspective, I have stopped running for "high intensity training" since I have too many problems with my knees. Instead I do variants of Tabata and swim.

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