7 Fat Burning Challenge Workout Samples

Challenge workouts are great for fat burning. I love them because they keep me strong, but the added benefit is that they keep me lean too.

Let’s face it…staying lean is a big part of the fitness game. I wouldn’t be able to do 50 pull ups in less than four minutes if I had a lot of extra baggage hanging on me. And neither will you..

Most women my age are trading in their training shoes for fuzzy slippers. Not me.

In fact, the closer I get to 50, the harder I’ll work to prove to everyone that age doesn’t really matter when it comes to fitness. Sure, I’ll slow down compared to my 20 year old counter part, but I’m still in the game.

A word to my more ‘mature’ readers: we can do it all (almost) but we probably need a little more recovery time. And we need to listen to our bodies more. A small ache or pain can become a big one if we don’t pay attention.


We need to be in tune with our body more than ever. It should be a little easier if we’ve been paying attention though, after all, I’ve had more time to get to know my body than someone half my age…that’s  just me seeing the cup half full here-I’d rather have my 20 year old knees and a little less self awareness on some days!

For all you youngin’s out there: pay attention! You won’t be young forever and if you want to win at this game of fitness (aka: life) be good to your body: muscles and joints and they will repay you will years of pain free use.

I thought it’s be great to summarize a few of my favorite fat burning challenge workouts for you in one place. I need to be creative to get quick workouts in that will not only keep up my strength, but also keep me injury and fat free. I don’t like boring, so I always want to be doing something a little different. The workout formats that I’m going to give you will help torch fat: if you have a little flub, they’ll help you say good by to it. If you’re already at a good weight, they’ll keep your metabolism stoked so that flub will not call your belly home.

First of all, I refuse to grab a magazine and head to the treadmill. I have more important things to do than waste time reading ‘Us’ while barely breaking a sweat plodding along on the treadmill.

Here’s a challenge: Sell your treadmill. Better yet, give it away if you want to lose your ‘chunk’ in record time There’s some marathon runner out there that could use it during inclement weather. Seriously, as far as I’m concerned, there’s only one reason a treadmill is useful and that is if you LOVE running and need a long distance fix for your spirit OR if you’re going to do HIIT on it, but don’t expect to burn your belly fat on it.

High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is where the fat burning magic happens.

Sadly, I see more of ‘magazine reading’ type training than HIIT every time I go to the gym.

Since I know that many of you love your cardio fix on traditional equipment, my first two challenge workouts to burn more fat are simply to do HIIT on  the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike or rower. This, by the way is my LEAST favorite way to burn fat. I think it’s the most boring and the least effective workout than other workouts that I’ll share, but for some people, this is something that they want, so here you go:

Fat Burning Workout #1 Cardio Equipment

60% max 2 min warm – up,

30 sec 90-100% max followed by 30 sec 60% max

Repeat 8-10 times

60% max 2 min cool down

Total time = 12-14 min

Fat Burning Workout #2 Cardio Equipment

60% max 1 min warm up

20 sec 70% max, 20 sec 80% max, 20 sec 90-100% max, active rest 30 sec 60% max

Repeat 8 -10 times

60% max 2 min cool down

Total workout time = 15-18 min

Outdoor training is a treat where I live here in Canada. When the weather is fine (not often!) I love hill sprints. They’re fast and nasty. To amp them up I’ll throw 20 push ups in as my active recovery at the bottom of the hill, OR if I’m super jacked, I’ll do burpees at the bottom of the hill before I sprint back up.

Fat Burning Workout #3 – Hill Sprints

60% max 1 min warm up (brisk walk up/down hill)

  • sprint up a steep hill
  • jog return to the bottom
  • do a 20 sec ab move (or push ups or God forbid: burpees!) at the bottom of the hill
  • alternate sprinting forward and backward up the hill (holy hamstrings, try backward hill sprints!)

60% max 2 min cool down (easy walk)

Here I am, doing hill sprints:

challenge workout

My favorite workouts include body weight and strength training for HIIT. You’ll see that strength moves, when put together with little rest, will  keep your metabolism fired up for hours of calories burning after your workout and totally exhaust you in short order.


Fat Burning Workout #4 – Bodyweight Challenge

Warm up 3 min with full body dynamic stretches (that is, range of motion movements of all limbs)

Set a timer for five sets of 1 min with a 5 second transition time.

  • Burpee
  • Pull ups
  • Squats
  • Push ups
  • Box jumps


Count your reps for each set and record (during the 5 second transition).

Rest 2 minutes between sets.

Repeat up to 3 times trying to match your reps from the first set.

Cool down with 2-3 min of stretching.


Fat Burning Workout #5 – Continuous Timed Sets

Warm up 3 min with full body dynamic stretches (that is, range of motion movements of all limbs)

Set your timer for 30 seconds with a 5 second transition for 25 total sets. Keep rotating through the following list of exercises for just over 12 minutes of fat burning fun.

  • Skips
  • Push ups
  • Pull ups
  • Squat
  • Plank

Cool down with 2-3 min of stretching

By now you know that my jump rope is my all time fav travel companion. I actually left it in a hotel gym once (what was I thinking??) but to my great relief,  the attendant dude there put it aside for me. You know that someone would have snatched that up in a second. It’s THAT valuable!

Here’s another workout with two of my favs:

Fat Burning Workout #6 – Burpees and Jump Rope

Warm up 3 min with full body dynamic stretches (that is, range of motion movements of all limbs)

  • 1 min of Jump rope
  • 10 sec rest
  • 1 min of Burpees OR burpee pull ups (I force myself to get 10 reps, even if I went over by a few seconds)
  • 10 sec rest
  • Repeat this for 10 sets


Cool down with 2-3 min of stretching.

Fat Burning Workout #7 – Take Away Challenge

Warm up 3 min with full body dynamic stretches (that is, range of motion movements of all limbs)

Set your timer…

Start with 10 reps of pull ups or any tough movement like burpees, squats, box jumps, cable rows….Choose a tough weight if you’re doing a weighted movement.

Knock out your 10 reps.

Rest as little as possible.

Do 9 reps, rest as little as possible.

Do 8 reps…7 reps…6 reps…

Stop the clock. (Use the barf bucket as needed 😉

The first time I did this challenge I got a time of 3:58. That’s 55 pull ups in under 4 minutes. I was happy with that. But not so happy that I won’t try to beat that time.

Cool down with 2-3 min of stretching.

So, why would you ever get on a treadmill again? (Unless you’re one of those that needs to run to clear your head or work out a problem-all the more power to you there).  These are 7 super cool fat burning challenge workouts to melt away belly fat, or where ever fat plagues you. You can use these workouts on your day off or as a finisher to your regular program.

And of course, you need my pull up program to maximize your pull up power, so make sure that you get going on that too.