Are you considering working out on keto but aren’t sure where to begin? Let’s take a look at three types of workouts on the keto diet that maximize fat burning, muscle building, and overall health.
Also known as strength training, this type of workout involves exercises where your body is working against an internal or external form of resistance.
An example of internal resistance would be performing a push-up at an incredibly slow pace, taking three seconds to lower your chest to the ground and two seconds to push yourself back up.
A traditional weightlifting workout is an example of external resistance. During the bench press, you are pushing a loaded barbell or dumbbells away from yourself.
Benefits of Resistance Training
- Lean Muscle: Studies show that resistance training – whether bodyweight or external weight-based – is incredibly effective at building lean muscle tissue. Despite the still popular myth, women don’t have to worry about bulking up like a guy if they begin weight training. Increased muscle mass also means a higher metabolic rate which corresponds to greater fat loss. 
- Fat Burning: While resistance training might be more associated with muscle building, studies show that it’s a fantastic fat burner as well. Studies have found that resistance training was more effective at increasing excess post-oxygen consumption (EPOC) levels than aerobic exercise. EPOC , also known as the Afterburn Effect, refers to an increase in metabolism due to higher oxygen consumption after you finish your workout. 
High-Intensity Interval Training
More commonly referred to as HIIT, this type of training focuses short periods of explosive movements followed by a rest or less-intense period of time for recovery. HIIT exercises are meant to be so intense that they can not be preformed for more than the alloted time.
For example, you may complete 20 seconds of burpees, rest for 10 seconds, complete 20 seconds of jump squats, rest for 10 seconds, complete a 20 second sprint, rest for 10 seconds and then repeat the whole circuit for 20 minutes.
Benefits of HIIT
- Insulin Reduction & Glucose Control: Studies have shown that completeing high intensity interval training may decrease insulin levels, improve insulin resistance, and stabilize blood glucose levels. 
- Fat Burning: Studies show that HIIT workouts are incredibly effective for fat loss because of the caloric expenditure during workouts and the elevated EPOC levels afterward. 
- Time-Saving: Your average HIIT workout will only take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete, unlike many traditional workouts that have you in the gym for an hour.
How to Maximize HIIT Workouts
If you want to maximize both fat burning and lean muscle development, studies suggest performing tempo-focused HIIT. This is a form of aerobic exercise completed at a consistent high intensity for 30 minutes. The intensity should be at a point where you’re not able to hold a conversation because of your breathing.
Low-Intensity Steady State Cardio
Also known as LISS, this is a type of cardio workout that focuses on a longer workout duration at a lower intensity.
It should be paired with HIIT workouts. I recommend alternating between the two workouts to avoid over-training via progressing too quickly.
Benefits of LISS
- Fat Burning: Just like with HIIT workouts, studies show that LISS workouts can also help to support calorie burning and overall weight loss. 
- Ideal for Recovery: While LISS workouts might take longer to complete, they are lower in intensity, giving your body a break from the weightlifting or HIIT workout the day before.
How to Maximize LISS Workouts
Long-distance training at a slow pace is the best way to make the most of LISS workouts. Aim to perform an exercise at a low-to-moderate intensity for at least 60 minutes.
Learn More About Working Out on Keto
Looking for a detailed workout program? Check out our OK32 system, which comes with an entire day-by-day workout program and guide.
- Schoenfeld BJ, Contreras B, Krieger J, et al. Resistance Training Volume Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy but Not Strength in Trained Men. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019;51(1):94–103.
- Burleson, M.A. et al. 1998. Effect of weight training exercise and treadmill exercise on elevated post-exercise oxygen consumption. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 30, 518-22.
- Elliot, DL, Goldberg, L and Kuehl, KS. 1992. Effect of resistance training on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Journal of Applied Sprt Science Research, 6(2), 77-81.
- Murphy, E. and Swartzkopf, R. 1992. Effects of standard set and circuit weight training on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Journal of Applied Sport Science Research, 6(2), 88-91.
- Trapp EG, Chisholm DJ, Freund J, Boutcher SH. The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008;32(4):684–691.
- Boutcher SH. High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. J Obes. 2011;2011:868305.
- Keating SE, Machan EA, O’Connor HT, Gerofi JA, Sainsbury A, Caterson ID, Johnson NA. Continuous exercise but not high intensity interval training improves fat distribution in overweight adults. J Obes. 2014;2014:834865. Epub 2014 Jan 19.
David James Sautter is a fitness writer with over a decade of experience in the industry. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education, he earned certifications as a NASM-certified personal trainer, NASM-certified fitness nutrition specialist, and ACE-certified sports conditioning specialist. Merging his two passions, he has been the driving creative force behind articles, e-books, and training guides that cover a range of health and fitness topics with an emphasis on the ketogenic diet.