Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Short and Effective

Ever feel like you have to exercise for at least an hour for a workout to be effective? Hour-long workouts are great if you have the time and enjoy working out. But sometimes, it's nice to have a sweaty, butt-kicking workout in a short time. If you focus and work at a high intensity, a short workout can be just as, or even more, effective than a longer workout. This goes for both cardio and strength sessions. 

I planned to do some lifting this evening before teaching Insanity, but ended up a little behind schedule, leaving me only about 15 minutes to fit it in. With 6 exercises, each working multiple muscles, I knocked out 2 sets with heavy weights, followed by a few minutes of plank work. A couple of hours later, and I'm already feeling that work in my body! The key is to have a plan and move quickly between exercises with minimal rest between. Using heavy weights helps burn out the muscles with few repetitions. If I had a little more time, I probably would have done the circuit a third time, and still would have been under 30 minutes for a complete strength workout.

As far as cardio, I've been teaching a 30 minute version of Insanity a couple times per week. Those 30 minutes are super intense and leave me burning calories at a higher rate for hours after I'm done. I've also been using Shaun T's T25 here and there on days when I don't teach or can't make it to the gym. The same rule applies, focus and push through at a high intensity and you get an effective workout in a short time. 

Short workouts are not only convenient, they're a great way to mix up your routine and keep your body guessing. Throw in an extra short workout into your routine to help break through a plateau and push your fitness to a higher level!

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