How Much is Enough?
How long do I need to workout for to get a result? Have you ever asked this question? If you have you are not the only one. We are all as busy as ever and want to get the results in the shortest amount of time. Leading into Christmas is no different. Lots of functions to go to, presents to buy and busy wrapping up work assignments so you can enjoy a well-earned holiday stress free!
Before I tackle the question of workout length let’s take a step back for a minute.
Remember, the first key is consistency! Forget about how long to workout for if you are only doing it once a week. You need to do it more often than that to get a real effect. Most days (have one day off if you like) is the way to go!
Intensity is also a very important key! How well you train is more important than how long you train for. Remember the first step is consistency though so don’t go trying to break records if you haven’t trained for a couple of weeks. Ease into and gradually up the “anti” each session. Let me also point out that keeping your technique in check is a fundamental way of keeping intensity high while keeping the chances of injury to a minimum. No use lifting that heavy weight if your core is not switched on, your back is all bent and you have not set your shoulders correctly!
Now let’s talk about how long you need to workout for to get a result! Anything is better than nothing! Lets say you have been struggling with the consistency thing and you’ve been getting in 2-3 workouts per week instead of doing something 5-6 days per week. Then start by just doing something each day. Seriously this does not matter if it is a 5minute powerwalk around the block. Just start getting used to doing something each day! Try hitting the deck and doing as many push ups as you can in 2 minutes. The next day try as many squats as you can. See how you feel after this 2 minutes? Different than before the 2 minutes, right!
Now lets not forget about the principle of progressive overload and also keep things in check with your goals. If you keep doing 2 minutes each day your results will soon plateau and you’ll need to do a little more. Also if your goal is to lose 1 kg a week then you’ll need to burn up around 9000 calories extra each week. So doing solid 30-45 minutes workouts will help a lot more than the 2 minute efforts!
If I have to give you a minimum workout time then it is 20 minutes. 20 minutes of good workout time. This can include warm up and cool down since you will still be moving the body during this time. So here are some ideas for fast and effective workouts you can do almost anywhere.
1. Warm up – 3 minute jog, some dynamic stretches (arm swings and legs swings).
Workout – Run at a fast pace for 6 minutes, turn around and run back aiming to get back in less than 6 minutes.
Cool Down – Stretch out full body with good focus on your legs.
2. Warm Up – Loosen up with some light stretching and 5 reps of push ups, squats and sit ups. Workout – Set a timer for 3 minutes and climb a ladder of push ups, squats and sit ups. Climbing a ladder means starting at 1 rep for each exercise and then complete 2, then 3 and so on climbing as high as you can within the 4 minutes. Have a minute rest and then start at the number you reached and climb back down aiming to get to zero in less than 4 minutes. Cool Down – Stretch out full body with good focus on areas that are feeling the tightest.
3. Warm up – Find yourself a nice hill or set of stairs that is around 50-100m. Warm up with some light stretches and then 2-3 minutes of jogging followed by 10 push ups and 10 squats. Workout – Complete as many push ups as you can in 20seconds and then as many squats as you can in 20seconds and the run up the hill or stairs as fast you can. Take note of how many push ups and squats you did and the total time from start to the top of the hill. Take an easy jog back down the hill and then repeat the same number of push ups, squats and hill run aiming to match your first time. Repeat this as another 2 to 3 times giving you 4-5 rounds of this fast and furious full body conditioning session.
4. Cool Down – Stretch out full body with good focus on areas that are feeling the tightest.
Do one of these workouts each morning over the festive season and I’m sure your keep the Christmas pudding bulge at bay! Hey, why not punch one out on Christmas morning and I’m sure the Christmas feast will be even more satisfying! It will only take 20minutes! Christmas is more fun when you’re fit!