Burst Training {The BEST Exercise for your Body}

Written by Dr. Jake, Ask Dr.Jake Contributor

Fitness has a bad wrap. Many times we get caught up in these fad exercise principles: run/walk on the treadmill for 45-60 minutes per day, get on the bike a pedal as fast as you can to nowhere and even protein shake before, after and even wake up in the middle of the night and drink your protein. 
The truth is: exercise and fitness can be created in less than 12 minutes every other day. This is important to remember, especially for moms! You can even do this as a family!

Here’s how and how not to go about being fit: 

First, The Ugly: Moving is better than not moving, period. Lack of exercise is known to increase your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes as well as osteoporosis. Action step: Get moving, even if its walking. And since you are walking, do it outside so you can get your daily dose of Vitamin D.

The Bad: Long duration cardio exercise like running endlessly on the treadmill is known to cause increases in the stress hormone Cortisol. Cortisol stimulates appetite, is catabolic (breaks down muscle), increases fat storing, and slows down or inhibits exercise recovery. It can also decrease testosterone and growth hormone. Now, to all you fitness junkies out there, don’t be offended. You know the truth is coming…and its coming in the form of burst and surge training.

The Good: Conditioning exercises that elicit a specific hormonal and energy production response designed to improve the capability of the body to efficiently and effectively deliver energy for activity. It is characterized by short surges of high intensity exercise and exercising at 90% to 100% of maximal heart rate. There is a greater increase in fat loss after high intensity exercise due to the release of growth hormone.

There is a positive relationship between carbohydrate expenditure during exercise and fat expenditure during recovery when you are exercising in short bursts as hard as your little heart can take it. In fact, a recent study showed: There was a significant loss in body fat in a group that exercised at a high intensity of 80-90% of MHR. In the other part of the study, No significant change in body fat was found in the lower intensity group which exercised at 60-70% of MHR. Also, the type of workout exercises, loads were not changed between the groups. Only the intensity changed. No significant difference in workload existed between groups.1 The effects of exercise intensity on body composition, weight loss, and dietary composition in women.2

Another study in the Journal of Applied Physiology December 31, 2009 showed that burst type fitness training increased growth hormone and testosterone, causes fat to be burned after exercise for 36 hours,causes muscle building and not muscle wasting and increased sensitivity to insulin which means more sugar burning which helps both diabetics and people who don’t want fat stored on their hips and thighs.


Here is a guide to “getting it done”!

Burst time Goals- up to 45-60 sec burst with 30-40 sec breaks and continuing with a 2 minute rest in between sets, this can be done either 3 days/wk or 6 days/wk.

Exercises to choose: Squats, Push-ups, Jumps, Dips, Swing arms Squats, Explosive Jumps,  Punch Arms-front, Jumping Jacks, Punch Arms-sky, Lunges, Knee Raises, Mountain Climbers,  Mountain Jumpers,  Alternating Heels Raises, Burpees (up-downs), etc. Bands-remember, you can always use bands in some fashion to resistance. 

12-20 minutes is all you need. Go at 90% of everything you can, Go Hard!

Set ONE- 
20 secs on 
20 secs off
20 secs on 
20 secs off
20 secs on 
2 minutes off

Set TWO- 
20 secs on 
20 secs off
20 secs on 
20 secs off 
20 secs on
2 min off

20 secs on 
20 secs off
20 secs on
20 secs off
20 secs on 

DONE! Once you get to the point where you aren’t as tired when you get done, increase the amount of time, IE, 20 secs burst to 30 secs.

When you do start this simple training, don’t sabotage your workout afterward. Post Exercise Nutrition: No carbs/sugar for at least 2 hours after exercise. Consuming a snack, drink, or meal high in sugar will negate the positive effects of HGH and increased insulin sensitivity (NO FAT BURNING). A protein smoothie without harmful sucralose, splenda or aspartame is a great post workout food.

Here is a link to the best protein on earth… Perfect Protein 

At Victory, our clinic, we specifically teach Maxt3. This has been designed for all ages and sizes. In fact, several of our patients that helped design these workouts won gold medals in the Olympics this year, Kayla Harrison, Americas first Judo gold medalist, included.

Don’t forget too! Exercise boosts the growth of new nerve cells and improves learning and memory.

In comparison to sedentary mice, the brains of mice that exercised had about 2.5 times more new nerve cells. 3 “Catecholamine release, growth hormone secretion, and energy expenditure during exercise versus recovery in men.” 4

Why do you think exercise is important to your health? Don’t forget You are in charge of YOUR health and raising a healthy family!

My husband (a wellness doctor) has a feature on my blog called “Ask Dr. Jake“, he would be happy to answer any of your health related questions or at least direct your path to some better options.
ScienceDaily November 9, 1999
1, Bryner, R. W., R.C. Tome, I.H. Ullrish, and R.A. Yeater
2, J. Am. Col.
3, Pritzlaff, Wideman, et al. (2000)
4, J Appl Physiol. Sept;89(3):937-46
About Rachel

Rachel is a mother to four children and a wife to a wellness doctor. Her passions are faith, family, and health. You can find her writing about her family adventures and inspiring you to make healthier choices for your family.


  1. I looked at the site Maxt3 that you mentioned and was wondering if the people you are working with are loosing weight at a good pace and also if those loosing weight on this program are taking large doses of vitamin d.

  2. I have been exercising, but am unsure if I am really doing much. I should try this.


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  2. […] Jake says: Anytime you are dealing with reproductive issues, exercise is a must. Burst or surge training will decrease cortisol and increase growth hormone. I would also put him on a heavy dose […]