Lazy? No way. There’s a new reason to spend less time at the gym, and it’s a good one: New research shows that you can get just as effective of a workout in 20 minutes as you can in over an hour.
According to my new favorite book, The First 20 Minutes by “Phys Ed” columnist for The New York Times Gretchen Reynolds, working out for four to six four-and-a-half and a half minutes at an intense pace is equivalent to a steady pace of 90 to 120 minutes of exercise. Crazy, right?!
A group of college students rode a stationary bike for 90 to 120 minutes at a steady pace while another group performed short intervals of 20 to 30 seconds and then rested for four minutes. They repeated this cycle four to six times for a total of two to three minutes of intense exercise.
After two weeks of repeating these exercises, both groups saw similar results; they increased their endurance and physical fitness. But surprisingly, working out for a longer period of time didn’t increase their results at a greater level.
Now It’s Your Turn
Sticking to just cardio may not be the best bang for your time. “When you have limited time, choosing between cardio and resistance training is a mistake,” Travis Steffen, a Strength and Condition Specialist and founder of Workoutbox.com, told us. “Instead, combine the two. With an intense manual resistance circuit with very little rest between exercises, you can get both resistance training and cardio done in one shot.” Check out a 20-minute workout he provided that will get you results…and fast. All you need is a pair of dumbbells!
Dumbbell Saigon Squat
Three to Five Reps
Prisoner Pause Squats
For the rest of this workout,
Next time you’re ready to work out, are you reaching for the dumbbells or your gym card?
Front Raise with Static Hold Combo
12 Reps Each Side
Alternating Toe Touch
Week 1: 2x Through Circuit
Week 2: 3x Through Circuit
Week 3: 4x Through Circuit
Week 4: 2x Through Circuit
For more exercises, check out Travis’ site, Workoutbox.com.