Got a Minute? Get in Shape
Maintaining Vitality Doesn’t Have to Take All Day
I have a love/hate relationship with fitness. I truly do enjoy exercising, especially when it involves something fun like surfing, snowboarding, or hiking. I also enjoy the feeling after a good workout in the gym, however, I often find myself postponing it or dreading gym workouts throughout the day if I haven’t been able to knock it out early in the morning. So I have to say I was intrigued by a recent NY Times article that said one minute of all-out exercise may have the exact same benefits as forty-five minutes of a moderate workout. One minute for forty-five minute results? I’m all in.
For context, I am well-versed in all types of exercise regimens from Soul Cycle, Orange Theory, Cross-Fit and Power Yoga for group training, individual strength training with equipment or free weights as well as personal training at Body 20 or the all too popular P90X and Shaun-T home programs, and as a competitive swimmer and multi-sport athlete growing up am quite familiar with every cardio/interval training trick in the book for my various individual cardio workouts. In other words, it takes a lot to impress me with something new in the fitness arena.
As is everything that seeks to catch your attention, the workout was actually 10 minutes, not one minute, which slightly annoyed me but I was still interested. Since cardio was the crux of this article, that will be our focus here. The article purports that the experiment conducted by McMaster University in Ontario Canada was one of the most scientifically rigorous studies done to date comparing super-short vs. standard workouts. The experiment was only conducted on men (surprise, surprise ladies), so for now let’s assume women would have similar results. Gender inequities in science can be reserved for another blog, or two.
The long and short was that three like groups of out-of-shape young men were segregated based on the following: group A to continue their current routine which was basically nothing, group B performed 45-minute endurance workouts in the lab, and group C did a 10-minute workout of 2 minutes slow and 20 seconds all-out for three intervals and a three-minute cool down at the end, also performed in the lab. Over a 12-week time period, group B worked out 27 hours total, group C worked out 6 hours total, with only 36 minutes total of all-out exertion, and group A was thrilled they were placed in group A.
The results? After comparing detailed pre and post diagnostics at the cellular level, groups B and C both had the same gains. In both, endurance had increased by nearly 20 percent, insulin resistance had improved significantly, and there were significant increases in microscopic structures in the muscles that relate to energy production and energy consumption.
The takeaway? If you’re training for a marathon or competition, then a 10-minute workout likely won’t work for your endurance needs. But if you’re looking to improve health at the cellular level via exercise, this may be the golden ticket to an abbreviated workout regimen when you are time-starved. Just remember that the 20 seconds has to truly be all-out, not just higher intensity than average. I just had a flashback to wind-sprints in high school on the track team, ugh. On the plus side though, track practice was two hours and we’re only talking ten minutes here. I can do ten minutes.
Vitality is one of the most critical dimensions of living to the 6th Power as all other dimensions require optimal energy to live at maximum potential. Time is often the biggest qualifier to balancing all dimensions of life effectively, so enjoy this latest time saving information nugget in your day.
Since my time-related excuses have just been nullified, I’m off to make a pot of coffee and while it brews I’ll complete my cardio for the day. In the time you read this blog you could have been halfway through your daily cardio, so click off and get moving!
If you would like further support on this or any other issue, click here to contact 6th Power for a free consultation to see if 6th Power can help you achieve your maximum potential.