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The #1 Way to Shape Up for Summer

We asked Jillian Michaels for her secret.
Man tying shoe before workout

Summer is fast approaching, and you're already feeling the heat to drop those last few pesky pounds that have lingered since winter. You've overhauled your fridge of all the unhealthy foods, checked out our tips on how to dine out without undoing your weight-loss wins, and even said sayonara to your usual post-dinner dessert. Now, it's time for you to overhaul your fitness regimen (or start one, no judgment). So what's a weight-loss-warrior got to do? We've consulted Jillian Michaels, health, wellness, and fitness expert and creator of the My Fitness by Jillian Michaels app, who reveals the number one best workout that will help you lose fat, tone up, and torch calories just in time for the summer season. Heed her tried-and-true advice below!

What's the best workout to shape up for summer?

Michaels tells us that the best workout to shape up for summer is High Intensity Interval Training, otherwise known as HIIT. As the name implies, HIIT is an exercise method in which you perform a quick bout of exertion (think sprints, burpees, or jump squats) and then follow it up with a short recovery period of low-intensity movement (such as walking or even resting). These workouts are short—about 15-30 minutes long—but are very time-efficient because the exertion period helps you build endurance and torch fat.

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"Study after study shows us that high-intensity fitness techniques are the most effective for burning calories and elevating metabolism (which is how we burn fat)," Michaels says. In fact, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Obesity found that high-intensity training may be more effective at reducing subcutaneous and abdominal body fat (the dangerous types of fat that can lead to metabolic diseases—and make your skinny jeans look extra skinny) than other types of exercises. The researchers also found that high-intensity training led to fat oxidation during and after exercise, as well as suppressed appetite. Who knew a workout can help you avoid late-night cravings?!

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To get the most out of your workouts, Michaels recommends incorporating HIIT with weight training. "Be sure to utilize these techniques in circuits so you keep yourself moving to maximize results," Michaels says. However, you should always aim to challenge yourself during your workouts to reap results, and doing so requires mixing things up every once in a while. "Additionally, every two weeks, make sure to progress your program so you don't plateau, and you'll continue seeing great results," Michaels tells us. "That could mean a few more reps, a few more pounds, or a more advanced variation of an exercise."

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