Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Short Workouts

I was talking to a guy one day at the beach and he asked me how many hours a day I worked out. I told him that I may get in 45 minutes a day and he looked at me like I had three eyes. He looked perplexed and questioned what I must be taking to look the way I do. He told me he works out 3 hours a day and still he has excess stuff he could get rid of.

“I am still 30 pounds overweight and can’t seem to lose it. How is it that you can just workout for 45 minutes a day and look so good?” he asks me showing a bit of frustration and unbelief.

A few weeks later he comes into my place and signs up and asks me to help him one on one. Well, as you can imagine I did help him and he could not believe the results he was getting with only a 30 minute workout. He lost that excess weight in two months and became a true believer in the fact that you don’t have to be in a gym for 2 hours to get everything done.

Now at this point some of you may think that I am crazy and don’t know what I am talking about. Well here is my argument to why I believe that short intense workouts may be much better for most people. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

Long workouts: I have been in too many gyms and noticed that in most cases there is more socializing than there is working out. With long workouts you do get a caloric burn but it is much more methodical in nature. You don’t ever get your heart rate up to its maximum and keep it there for a long period of time. In most cases you may break a little sweat but not one where it takes you a long time to recover from. While you work out you are burning calories but because you never maximize your heart rate, once you stop, for the most part so does that caloric burn. Your heart rate goes back to normal quickly and your breathing pattern slow down, assuming it was up to begin with. In most cases the next day you really don’t feel the work out you did the previous day and the area of your body you worked out is not sore at all.

Short workouts: These workouts last not more than 45 minutes and are real intense. There are no breaks and usually multiple things are done at once. These people usually get up a sweat and then maintain it for the whole workout. Their heart rate is maximized and maintained at that level throughout the whole workout. Socializing with other people is done after the work out is over. Their body is usually sore the next day and usually last two days. The D.O.M.S. (delayed onset muscle soreness) effect happens to these and they look forward to it.

Here is an example of short term versus long term. I have an abdominal exercise that I do with people that only take 2 minutes. I call it the 2 minutes abs. With this exercise your laying on the ground on your back and your legs are posted up on a bench with someone holding your ankles to give you some support so that you can do the sit ups. Your hands are cupping your ears with your arms bent and elbows straight up in the air. Now when the timer starts you are to bring your body up and have your elbows touch your knees for two minutes. Trust me in 1 minutes you will feel those abs working and by the end of the two minutes you are toast. The maximum amount of sit ups you will probably do in 2 minutes is maybe 50. The best of the best can only do 90 to 100. A few days later you are still feeling that burn.

Now compare that to a 30 minute abdominal workout. Most of the time you will be doing crunches and then when you are done you feel it for a while but then shortly after you are done that feeling of accomplishment or that tightness goes away. The caloric burn ends shortly after the exercise is complete. Please note that with a short intense workout you could be burning those calories even a few days later (if anyone has question about that please leave a response and I will give you more info on why I say this).

For those that need to lose weight or really trim out or those that are looking to elevate their fitness levels, there is nothing better than doing 45 minutes workouts 5 times a week rather than doing 2 hour work outs 3 times a week. Think of the time you save from being in the gym and all that extra time you will have to go on with the rest of your life. Remember this is only my opinion.

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