Why spend 1 hour in the gym when you can accomplish the same thing in less than 30 minutes? I have been a runner since I was 16 years old and I still love to put those running shoes on and get outdoors. There is nothing that compares to this endorphin rush as you fill your lungs with fresh air…well not-quite- fresh air if you live in a big city….and pump your muscles.
Interestingly, there seems to be a shift in the idea that the longer we train, the better the results. Studies in the Journal of Physiology found that about 20 minutes of high-interval training provides many benefits and may in fact prove to be a better strategy for longevity.
According to Dr. Al Sears, MD, we were not meant to do long-duration exercise. Our ancestors had short periods of exertion while hunting, followed by periods of rest.
High Intensity training also known as burst training is basically going all out for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whether you are sprinting for 30 seconds or repeating an exercise for 1 minute, the intensity of this form of exercise appears to have many benefits:
- Produces similar or superior physiological changes in people that are healthy or unhealthy.
- Increases the ability of your muscles to generate more energy with less effort
- Improves oxygen uptake and improved blood flow
- Increases insulin sensitivity and thus keeps blood sugar balanced
- Speeds up muscle contractions
- Improves cardiac function
- Burns up to three times more fat
- Burn fat while you sleep
- And lastly, the most common “reason” people use for NOT exercising is the TIME factor. This interval training can easily be accomplished in 20 minutes.
Here is an example if you like to run:
- Warm up for 4 minutes
- Sprint all out for 30 seconds
- Recover for 60 to 90 seconds
- Repeat 8 times
- Cool Down for 2 minutes and you are done. That is a total of 22 minutes. If you feel really adventurous, you can even add a few extra minutes of some intensity weight training.
So why spend 1 hour or more in the gym when you can accomplish more in less time? As many hours and years that I have spent running, I can see the improvement in my muscle tone and overall shape of my body since I have been applying this method of training. I challenge you to try this for 2 weeks and let me know what you think.