The time-poor workout

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One question came in this week about a workout for time poor people. All of us at times find we get a little stretched to fit a workout in.


One effective simple method is to get back to basics, work as much muscle as you can as hard as you can in whatever time you have. Forget bicep curls or toe flexes. Get a big compound movement, which means the more joints moving the better. Get as much weight as you can safely handle and move it as fast as you can.


However unless you’re extremely fit already, an all out set of that won’t last for very long before you feel like lying down and having a rest for a week or two.


This is where intervals are good. An interval type workout is where you can do all out sets of exercise broken up by rest so you can keep the intensity high enough.


Think of the difference in pace you would have if you were running the City to Surf, compared to the pace you would cover over 50 metres if two huge Rottweilers launched around a corner at you.


That 50 metres might only be a tiny fraction of the distance and time that it takes to do the City to Surf, but the actual results, in terms of training, for your body would be a whole lot more than the equivalent 50 metres in the long distance run because of the intensity.


So basically your return on time invested is a whole lot higher.


There was a study done years ago called ‘Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism’.


It showed a group of people doing interval training for 15 weeks burnt nine times the amount of fat as a group of endurance training people training for 20 weeks!


Even if the fat burning was just equal it would be a good reason to do it, but nine times more is incredible.


There is a drawback though.


It’s hard basic training, and not everyone can handle it.


If it’s easy, you’re doing something wrong.


Keep it simple.


For example, do as many chin-ups as you can then drop and do as many pushups as you can.


It has been around a long time under different names.


I think it’s even how the Egyptians trained before a big day building pyramids.


These days, though, it has got names like Crossfit or Caveman training.


But call it what you like, it’s a good way to make the most of limited time.


Now as to why you have only got limited time to exercise? Sounds like some sort of priority problem, but that’s a whole new column.


No matter how time poor you are, you need to fit some exercise into your weekly routine. Make it work, and you will feel a whole lot better in your day.

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