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Secret Exercise Tricks for a Lean Body in 2 Weeks, Say Experts

Seeing results in just two weeks is really hard. But it's certainly not impossible.

Let's be real: It's a really tall order to see any meaningful results to your body when you're training to slim down in just two weeks. But it's certainly not impossible. "It will take some dedication, because you can't just exercise like normal people do," says Paul Claybrook, MS, MBA, a CN-certified nutritionist at Super Duper Nutrition. "They go walking, jog on the treadmill, lift some weights, and so on. These are great activities to keep you active and lean, but they may not be very effective alone when it comes to leaning up rather quickly. For that, you will need to be extremely efficient in your fat burning."

Yes, you need to eat right and drink lots of water. (If you have any questions at all about your diet, allow us to refer you here, here, and here.) But as it pertains to your exercise, you need to be disciplined about your training so that you maximize not only your workouts but also your "off hours." And, yes, the key is to ensure that you're constantly burning fat all day, every day. With that in mind, do the following exercise tricks, and you can indeed see lean-body results in very short order. Read on for what they are. And if walking is your preferred form of exercise—and you've got longer than two weeks to get fit—don't miss The Secret to Walking Your Way to a Lean Body, Say Experts.

Do at Least an Hour of Steady-State Cardio Per Day

Young smiling attractive sporty girl runner in shorts and sleeveless shirt keeps her leg raised while warming up and stretching outdoors at stadium of university campus seen on background

"Assuming you are eating as well as realistically possible and you only had two weeks to lean out, I would focus strongly on steady-state cardiovascular activities," says corporate wellness consultant Jake Dermer, NASM CPT, and author of The Desk Job Survival Guide. "Endurance walking, swimming, running, biking, or rowing, or anything you could keep pace at for an hour."

This, he says, is all about the calorie burn. He notes that it takes long to build up your muscles, and that you may not see the benefits of hardcore strength training in such a window. So if you're super dedicated to getting a slimmer figure on a tight deadline, a regular regimen of steady-state cardio will ensure that you burn tons of fat every day. And if walking is your cardio of preference, check out The Secret Cult Walking Shoe That Walkers Everywhere Are Obsessed With.

If You Can, Embrace the Sprint

woman sprinting

Given that an enhanced fat-burn is your goal, Claybrook, meanwhile, recommends that you hop on aboard the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) train. "Essentially it means doing an activity (usually sprinting) at 100% effort for about 20-30 seconds," he says. "This burns more fat, per unit time, than anything else because you are maxing out your energy systems and thus requiring the utilization of fat stores. So, instead of jogging, say 10 miles (which will probably take you about 2 hours), you could do 10 sets of all out 100% sprints for 20 seconds, followed by a 2-3 minute rest, and potentially burn more fat. Plus, it only takes about 30 minutes."

Consider Moving Your Exercise to Before Breakfast

morning run on the beach

Joe Vega, C.S.C.S., founder of The Vega Method, advises you to take advantage of a concept known as "fasted cardio," in which you do your cardio on an empty stomach before breakfast. "Fasted exercise can lead to increased fat burning," he says. "It will also improve motility, your ability to go to the bathroom, and rid your body of waste."

Paul Jordan, a trainer and founder of Activ36Five, advises you to do some HIIT, specifically, before breakfast. "Start your day with an early morning fasted Tabata and HIIT workout to send your heart rate soaring," he says. "An 8-minute Tabata workout on the treadmill burns more calories than cycling. This is then followed by a 20 minute full body HIIT circuit; training high intensity on a morning has shown to help boost your metabolism to help you burn calories all day. Studies have also shown that high intensity training can produce twice the benefits of moderate exercise." For more on early-AM fitness, don't miss The Secret Side Effects of Exercising Before Breakfast, According to Science.

Stay Active All Day

Asian women exercising in bed in the morning

"This step is crucial, easy and has always helped me turn the corner," says Nadia Charif, RD. "Be active outside of your workout. Super light activities here can be enormously effective for short term weight loss."

In other words, you need to move around all day and continue to keep your body in a calorie-burning state whenever possible—even if it's simply carrying your child up the stairs. "For instance, walk to the grocery store rather than ordering from Instacart," says Charif. "Do some gardening. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Walk to Walgreens rather than pinging Amazon. Take an afternoon or night walk with a friend or podcast. Play catch or Around the World with your fave youngster. Enjoy a relaxing swim."

Try Something New

Profile view of concentrated and serious young woman standing in plank pose on fitness mat, training at home

When dedicated exercisers find that they've reached the dreaded "plateau"—when their bodies have adapted to their training regimens and results feel harder to come by—the best course of action is simple: Change up your routine. Likewise, if you're looking to see changes to your body fast, you'll want to throw some new at it.

"If you want to shock the system, you need to give your body something it hasn't seen before," says David Rosales, NSCA-CPT, OTC, of Roman Fitness Systems. "There are so many different ways to go about this."

His one suggestion would be to shift your training from based on sets and reps to training based on time. It's called "density training."

"In density training, you try to complete more work in less time, hence the name," he explains. "One way to easily implement this is if your training normally takes 40 minutes, stick with the same exercises and sets and reps but aim to complete it in 30 minutes. This kind of sudden change will force your body to adapt." And for some exercise moves you should ignore, don't miss The Worst Abs Exercises You Shouldn't Do After 40.

Consider Cardio in the Morning, Strength Training in the Early Evening

young fit woman doing squats with barbell, exercising back and legs muscles

If you mix your AM HIIT routine with a PM strength training regimen, it could be the ticket to a leaner body in 2 weeks, says Jordan. "Mixing the high-intensity training in the morning and heavy resistance training in the evening will force your body to boost the production of growth hormone levels to its peak which helps with the fat-burning process," he says.

Just be sure to use compound movements that target your major muscle groups. "With little time to spare, it's best to do heavy resistance training, focusing on compound exercise such as the deadlift, military press, bench press and squats," he says. "Make sure you minimize the time between sets to get through the workout as quickly as possible with proper technique." And for more great exercise advice, don't miss The One Major Side Effect of Walking Every Day, According to Science.

William Mayle
William Mayle is a UK-based writer who specializes in science, health, fitness, and other lifestyle topics. Read more about William