Burst Training By J.J. Virgin

 JJ on her X-iser. She uses this for burst training.

Maybe you're like many of my clients whose athletic shoes are worn to a pulp. Why? They've spent the last year walking…and walking…and walking their way to fitness. At the break of dawn or after dinner, they put on their workout clothes and grab their IPODS to walk for 45 to 60 minutes.

And guess what?

Maybe they've lost a few pounds and then the progress just seems to get stuck.

The answer isn't adding minutes to your walking routine. Walking is simply controlled falling and there is a law of diminishing returns here. You can walk your tootsies off and not get much for your efforts.

That's why I want you to CUT DOWN YOUR EXERCISE TIME and make it work for you through burst training.

This is a special type of training that's the most effective and efficient because it teaches your body to become a better fat burner.
Burst training is short, but intense periods of an exercise for 30 to 60 seconds. You should go hard enough to feel the way you did as a kid racing across the playground. Remember how your lungs and legs felt like they were on fire? You felt like you couldn't go this fast for another second, but exhilarated that you did it. That's bursting -- and it's my secret weight loss weapon.

A quick science lesson: When you burst instead of just going at a steady pace, you create lactic acid which in turn triggers the rise of Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

This is good stuff! In fact, movie stars pay big money to have HGH injected into them. It helps you hold onto or build more muscle mass, burn off fat weight and keeps your skin supple and younger looking.

Your body will also take more time to recover from bursting than traditional aerobic exercise which means a bigger boost to your metabolism post exercise.

How to Burst

You want to incorporate at least 4 minutes of total burst training every other day. Burst for 30-60 seconds with an active rest break between sets. Your bursts should be a 9-10 in terms of intensity on a scale of 1 to 10. You truly need to feel like you can't go another second during your burst. If you can go more than a minute then go harder. The goal isn't to exceed that one-minute mark, but to incorporate more intensity as you get better. In fact, you will be amazed at how quickly you get better.

Only you know what's intense for you. Maybe your intensity is walking super fast or walking up a hill with more zeal. Or maybe you've been working out for a while and bursting to you will be a hard sprint. Challenge yourself and mix up your activities, so you don't get bored.


* Sprint/walk. You set the intensity levels. Your sprint might be a really fast walk or walking up a hill.
* Stationary cycle. Go at level 0-1 at 70 rpm and then push up the level as high as possible while keeping the rpm's over 100. To take it to the next level, stand up and cycle during your bursts.
* Stairs. Walk or run as many as you can in 30 seconds and then walk down and repeat. This is a great exercise if you're out of town at a hotel.
* Jump rope. Jump as fast as possible for 30 seconds and then walk around to recover. This is another great one for out of town or if it's cold/raining/windy out and you don't feel leaving your house.
* Use a stationary stepping machine called the X-iser. It's the most effective piece of equipment. It's also portable and you can take it anywhere.

Burst Train with J.J. Virgin

J.J. Virgin discusses how the X-iser was used with a
Client on Extreme Makeover

Happy bursting!

JJ Virgin is a UCLA graduate. She has attended six different graduate and doctoral programs including biomechanics at California State University Northridge, Sports Medicine at University of Miami, doctoral level exercise physiology, nutrition and aging at USC and nutrition at University of Bridgeport. A 25-year veteran of the health and fitness industry, She has practiced holistic nutrition and functional medicine for the past 10 years. Ms. Virgin integrates her educational background into her work as an on-camera nutrition and fitness expert, writer, professional speaker and radio personality. She has made numerous network television appearances including two seasons on "Dr. Phil," "E! Modern Girl’s Guide to Life," NBC’s "iVillage Live,” ABC’s "Extreme Makeover" and network pilots. Ms. Virgin is regularly featured in magazine, website and newspaper articles.


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" Xiser is a portable ergonomically correct sprint trainer. This unit can be kept at home or at the office for quick burst workouts that effectively mimic sprint training. It's perfect for the fat-loss lifestyle "

Jade Teta ND, CSCS
Keoni Teta ND, LAc, CSCS

Authors of The New Metabolic Effect Diet



 “World’s best stair climber!”

Paul Chek, CHEK Institute


" I use burst training with every client I have. It is not an option! Everyone gets on the
X-iser day one to experience what a real burst feels like!
The X-iser is an essential part of my celebrity business - Nutrition on Location - and the foundation of my personal training
routine as well! "

J.J. Virgin CNS, CHFI, Ph.D.

Nutrition and Fitness
Expert for:

ABC's Extreme Makeover
Dr. Phil Ultimate
Weight Loss Challenge
Nutrition on Location - Celebrity Fitness Consulting