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10 Minute Workout

“Really Tim, what’s the catch?”

Sport TimerThere has been a growing trend in the workout world towards High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), sometimes referred to as Tabata training. The workouts are quick, effective and tough! Its methods apply to anyone whose goals are to lose bodyfat, increase muscle (without bulking up) and increase their cardiovascular capacity.

So what’s the catch? There isn’t a catch, but there is an explanation. The average gym enthusiast makes the following time-wasting mistakes…

  • Isolating muscle groups
  • Separating their Strength and Cardio
  • Too much downtime

Let’s take a closer look at each of these. I’ll use the legs as an example of why isolating can be a waste. In their never-ending quest to re-invent the wheel (and turn a profit), most manufacturers of workout equipment offer several different pieces of leg equipment. All of which are typically taught during an initial so-called orientation. Inner thighs, outer thighs, hip-extension, hip-flexion, leg-extension, leg-curl, standing calf-raise, seated-calf raise and enough leg press variations that only an engineer can understand. Rather than burn up precious time and increase your risk of injury, a simple exercise called a squat (or deep-knee bend as they were called in gym class) will hit every lower body muscle simultaneously.

As to my second point of separating strength and cardio…see for yourself. Do a one-minute set of squats and see if you’re winded. Your heart doesn’t distinguish the difference between squats and a Treadmill. All your ticker knows is that it’s working harder.

Downtime is wasted time! Efficiency is the name of the game here. In the previous example of doing one minute of squats, follow it up immediately with one minute of push-ups. While your legs are resting, the muscles in your upper body are working. Repeat this superset five times total and you have a ten minute workout.

The example of squats/push-ups is just one of endless combinations you can come up with. Try doing as many jumping jacks as you can in ten minutes and you’ll never look at an elliptical machine the same way again. There are countless ways to exercise and stay healthy. A good old fashioned 30-60 minute workout is still a great thing. I use my gym time as a form of meditation to escape the outside world. But, when my time is limited there is no excuse for not getting in a 10 minute blast!

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