My Top 4 Fat-Blasting Cardio Workouts

Hybrid opt

I hear it all the time: ?I don?t have time to exercise!? And while I know we?re all sooooo busy, I also know that it is very possible to get a workout in no matter how busy you are! Today I?m sharing my top 4 fat-blasting cardio workouts?that can totally be done at home!!!?for those days when you really feel like you don?t have time to work out, or just don?t want to work out (been there, done that. A lot. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), so you can send those anti-transformation thoughts packing and get one step closer to achieving your goals?whatever they may be.


First, let?s talk a bit about cardio. Yes, abs are made in the kitchen, but regular cardio?which we call Accelerators in our new Extreme Cycle?can literally accelerate your rate of fat burn in amazing ways. Want to achieve your transformation goals? Then healthy diet + regular cardio is the way to go! And regular cardio not only helps get and keep you fit and trim, but it will keep your heart healthy too. The American Heart Association recommends between 75 and 150 minutes of cardio exercise per week (depending on intensity), so any spare minutes you can get in during the day?even a few at a time?can really go a long way towards your transformation goals and a healthy heart!

And to get you even more excited about working out at home, check out these perks that you cannot get at the gym:

  • You can do a few minutes here and there as you have time. Those few minutes of burning calories will definitely add up!
  • You don?t have to travel anywhere = more saved minutes.
  • You can work out while watching TV or your favorite movie or your latest NetFlix binge.
  • If you?re not feeling comfy at the gym, you don?t have to worry about that at home.
  • If you have kiddos running around like I do, they can work out with you, around you, or you can easily take advantage of naptime. Bonus: You?ll be teaching your littles the importance of working out!
  • Working out at home can be a bit quieter than at the gym, which is kinda? nice.
  • You don?t have to wait for the equipment. Ever. Or deal with all of those other gym annoyances. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now that you?re ready to work out, here are my 4 fave fat-blasting cardio workouts:

1. The Treadmill: A classic, but still one of my (and America’s!) favorite way to get cardio in.  Aside from the obvious uses, the treadmill can be especially helpful if you?re low impact, recovering from an injury, and/or a workout newbie. My favorite thing about treadmills is the vast number of workouts you can do on this machine is pretty much endless = no workout boredom! Here?s my fave treadmill workout:

Treadmill sprints (20 minutes total!):

  1. Put your treadmill at max incline (or an incline that will challenge you).
  2. Run as fast as you can for 30 seconds?all out!
  3. Jump (very, very carefully) onto the sides and rest for 90 seconds.
  4. Repeat x 10.
  5. Alternatives: If you can?t run, walk as fast as you can. Is 30 seconds a bit too much? Do what you can and slowly build up. No treadmill? Head outside, use your stairs, or run around your house! Seriously…this workout can be adjusted to any fitness level and any place!

*Average calories burned in 20 minutes: Between 150-200, depending on gender, body composition, and intensity.

2. ProForm Hybrid Trainer: This amazing two-machines-in-one is the newest addition to our home gym. It has all the perks I listed above, plus!

HP TrainerPro Bike

  • It?s affordable (again, two machines for the price of one!).
  • It’s super easy to put together, and it’s totally lightweight and movable.
  • It’s great for workouts during injury recovery.
  • It?s iFit compatible, which is super cool because you can literally work out anywhere in the world!
  • You can do sprints, intervals, work from beginner to all-out, adjust the settings to best fit you and your current fitness level?just like with the treadmill.
  • You can alternate between biking and ellipticalling in the same workout in seconds, which works different muscle groups (Yay!) and adds variety to your workouts.
  • And?I LOVE this?you can alternate between forward and backward on the elliptical. That adds a whole new level of awesomeness to your workout!

If you have an elliptical or bike at your house?or both, you?re good to go!

HP TrainerPro Elliptical

*Average calories burned doing elliptical + bike (20 minutes total): Between 200-250, depending on gender, body composition, and intensity.

3. Burpee Runs: These are seriously another one of my fave cardio workouts because you A. don?t need any equipment (although these are super treadmill-friendly), B. you can literally do them anywhere, and C. they?ll kick your butt?you?ll feel like you?ve really conquered something amazing when you?re done!

Here?s how you do Burpee Runs:

  1. Start with an 800-meter (1/2 mile) Burpee Run broken up into 200-meter segments.
  2. After a quick warm up, run 200 meters (equals halfway around a standard high school track), stop, hit the floor, and perform 10 burpees. Once you complete the burpees, hop back up, and continue running.
  3. Repeat 10 burpees every 200 meters until you?ve completed 800 meters.
  4. Doing your running on a treadmill? 200 meters roughly = 0.125 miles on the treadmill.
  5. Gradually continue to push your body over an extended period of time. When these Burpee Runs are doable, up your distance to 1,200 meters running with breaks of 20 burpees, and continue to add 200 meters to your total distance, continuing with breaks of 20 burpees.
  6. Alternatives: You can walk instead of run if you need to, or do a run/walk thing too.

*Average calories burned during Burpee Runs: 150-200 calories, depending on gender, body composition, and intensity.

4. Zumba: Love to dance? Even if you’re not a dance aficionado (take it from me!), Zumba is an incredible cardio exercise that’s not only super fun, but is actually a pretty intense workout.  I don’t know about you, but burning 500-600 calories in one class or in my own family room sounds a lot more appealing to me than running mile after mile to achieve the same result. Here?s what I love about Zumba:

  • You can burn some serious calories doing a 60-minute class or even just dancing around your house for a few minutes. YouTube or any of the amazing Zumba DVDs can be great options for an at-home Zumba sesh!
  • It?s super fun, and you don?t even realize you?re getting in an awesome workout while you?re having so much fun!
  • Anyone can dance, so Zumba is great for beginners to professionals.
  • Likewise, you can go at your own pace and at your own intensity.
  • You can include your littles in the fun and make some great memories while you?re working your bodies.
  • Since there are a limitless number of songs and dance moves that will work, Zumba = no workout boredom.


*Average calories burned during a 60-minute Zumba class: 500-700, depending on gender, body composition and intensity.

And here?s some bonus cardio info for you: Workouts #1-3 follow the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) method, which means that these workouts cause your metabolism to burn for hours even after you stop working out, so you?re burning more calories all. day. long., and you?ll have extra energy throughout your day too! Yes, please!

Which of these workouts are you going to try first? Do what we tell all our peeps to do??Date? your cardio! And while trying something new can be a bit scary, if you don?t try something new, you?ll never know if that might be the work out you?ll love that will be a huge key to achieving your goals! One of our fave things to say is ?Action conquers fear,? so try one of these workouts (or any workout), and if you don?t love it, move on to another one. Eventually you?ll find the one (or maybe even two or four) that you love to do, which makes working out way more excuse-free. And if you do find multiple forms of cardio that you love, mix them up during the week to keep workout boredom and muscle overuse at bay. Take my faves, put together your own faves, make up your own intervals, and go! Like I said before, even if you only have a few minutes to work out, something is way better than nothing. Even an ?I promise to work out 5 minutes a day? promise to yourself can move you forward on your transformation path!



Related reading:

Commercial Break Workout: Total Body Blaster
All About Exercise
Exercise…It?s a Family Affair!
Transformation Tip | 5 Minutes to Fight Fat and Get Fit
Fit in 4 Minutes

*Note: Calories burned were based on a 150 lb female and a 200 lb male. Figure out your calories burned per workout here.

50 Responses

  1. I am 36 years old with a few medical issues that has made cardio very painful as well as most workouts. I continue to try and I fail. I fear that I will continue to spiral and end up unhealthy and frankly, fattier. I am 5ft2 122lbs. I am guessing I have about 28% bf.

    I would like to get to at least 18%-20% bf before 07/20. I have never felt comfortable in a dress and have never worn one, not even when I got married. This means a lot to me. There is someone very special to me and I would like to surprise them by wearing one on their bday.

    So any advice or workouts would be greatly appreciate. I am open to discussion in regards to diet/food changes

    I understand you’re busy..

    1. Hi Crystal: What an awesome goal! You can learn about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in this post: And I’d discuss the exercise part of their program with your healthcare team and then follow their recommendations for any modifications. They are the best ones to help you with this since they understand your exact issues and can work with you on a one-on-one basis. You can do this!

  2. Hello.
    I just finished watching obese a year to save my life. I just want to say what you guys do is so inspiring.
    I know in my heart I was born to be a personal trainer but I don’t really look the part. I’m not over weight but I don’t look like you, what does it take to look like you. I weigh 53kg and my body fat %is a bit higher than it should be.
    I really want to change peoples lives like you do, I love the feeling of helping someone build there confidence and take control of their lives but I have a long way to go with my own determination.
    Do you have any advice?
    Much appreciated
    I really want to make my dream come true to be an amazing trainer like you.


  3. Hey there,

    When will Team Powell do Daily Burn 365 Live here in NYC? Everyone else has come through to either lead the class, join the class, promote their book, healthy lifestyle, recipes, way to burn fat, lose lbs, etc. I want to see my dream team on the show! Let’s do this! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Jean: As of now, there aren’t any plans for Chris and Heidi to participate in this show, but keep an eye on their social media channels for any announcements.

  4. Hey Heidi,
    I am a 40 year old mother of two teenagers and wife aof a 51 year old veteran. Over our 16 years of marriage he and I both have gained a LOT of weight! I have had a complete Hysterectomy and I take Thyroid medicine so my energy level and metabolism is very low to say the least. I need to lose at least 200 pounds and my husband needs to lose about 130. I know with proper diet and exercise we can do it but honestly we are bombarded with so many does and don’ts that contradict themselves that we get frustrated and don’t get past the plateau of our recent attempt. I have tried to find out how to sign up to be one of your success stories but have had no luck. Can you please tell me what steps we need to take to apply to have your assistance on getting healthy? We always put others first and we are ready and need to put our health first now. Thank you

    1. Hi Brandy: Casting for “Extreme Weight Loss” is currently closed, and Chris and Heidi would love to help everyone personally but they’re not taking on clients right now. But you both can begin your transformation journeys today with the same program Chris and Heidi use on the show, and you can learn about their carb cycling program here: You both can do this!

  5. i’m in my second pregnancy now (third trimester – 11 weeks to go!) and it helps to have motivation for the workouts which are getting harder and harder each time. i was able to lose the weight within 5 months after my first ONLY to get pregnant again. i have maintained a good weight gain and good nutrition resulting in a relatively uncomplicated pregnancy. as hard as it is to lose weight – i’d say it’s even harder to gain weight the right way.

    these tips are awesome for a busy mom. when we had some snowstorms during the winter, i put on a youtube workout video and spent 40-60 minutes working out in front of my daughter. she laughs at the movements and finds it entertaining. we have a playroom in our new house where i plan on working out with both daughters milling around. the burpee runs (minus the treadmill – i’ll probably run in place) are great. i also like the zumba workouts.

    i also walk up and down the stairwell at work and try to get my workouts in at the gym at work. many workplaces allow for workout time now, but people do not take advantage of this time – they need their lunch hour and make excuses about working out instead.

  6. Hello! Love this blog. I’m a girl, I keep loosing weight and I really don’t want to (5,4′, 119lbs) . I’m working out daily and wanna gain MUSCLES and get some rutines in with workouts and food. I’m still kinda new with all this and would need some tips.. Is there some help I can get from this blog? And If there is could you send me the link? xo

    1. Hi: Here’s a post that talks about how to gain healthy weight:, and here’s a booty building workout to get you started: Since gaining healthy weight is a very individualized thing, we really don’t have a one-size-fits all program like with weight loss, so hopefully these posts, and other workout posts on this blog, will help you figure out what works best for you. You can do this!

  7. Thank you for these awesome tips! I am a stay at home mom with a 9 month old. I eat right, so I have lost my pregnancy weight but I need to get my body TONED… is FAR from it! I just love you and Chris! Keep being awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. hey you inspire me so much,im alot older than you Heidi and would love to be fitter any tips for when your body starts slowing with the aging process? xxx

    1. Hi Margaret: The same tips can work for pretty much anybody, even when your metabolism starts to slow down. That’s when good nutrition and regular workouts are even more important! Get some great tips in Chris and Heidi’s carb cycing program here: You can do this!

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