One question came in this week about a workout for time poor people. One effective, simple method is get back to basics: work as much muscle as you can as hard as you can in whatever time you have.
Forget isolation movements like bicep curls or eyelid flutters. Get a big heavy compound movement, which means the more joints moving the better, and as much weight as you can handle with correct form and move it as fast as you safely can.
This is where intervals are good. An interval workout is where you can do all-out sets of exercise broken up by rest so you can keep the intensity high.
Think of the difference in pace if you were running the City to Surf compared to the pace you would cover 50m at an all out sprint. That 50m might only be a tiny fraction of the distance and time it takes to do the City to Surf but the actual results, training wise, in your body would be a whole lot more than the equivalent 50m in the long distance run, because of the intensity it was done at. So your return on time invested is a whole lot higher.
There was a study conducted called ‘Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism,’ which, (summarised), showed that 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!
There is a drawback though. It’s hard, basic training, 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 and repeat. This form of training has been around a long time.
These days it’s got names like Crossfit or Caveman training. Call it what you like but it’s a good way to make the most of limited time.
Now, why have you limited time to exercise? Sounds like a priority issue, but that’s a whole new column.