How To Get In Shape With 30 Minute Workouts
Many experts recommend that adults get a minimum of 2 and one half hours of moderate intensity physical activity each week. The key words here are "moderate intensity" because they suggest that the type of exercise called "cardio" is the best form.
This has been the recommendation for quite some time, yet the incidence of obesity, as well as lifestyle driven diseases such as Type II Diabetes continues to explode. Clearly something is not working.
We have practiced shorter high intensity interval style workouts in our Brandon boot camps for many years with great results. If you're not getting the results you want from your fitness program, maybe it's time to make the switch.
Many studies support the idea that shorter, high intensity workouts provide better results in a fraction of the time.
A recent study in the Journal of Physiology found that workouts consisting of about 20 minutes of high intensity interval training resulted in the same benefit as longer workouts that focused on endurance training.
This is good news for busy people. One of the biggest obstacles to beginning an exercise program is finding the time. This may become an excuse of the past, because more and more research is showing that you can cut your training time dramatically and reap more benefits.
How to do interval training
There are several types of interval training, but the kind we want to use alternates short periods of high intensity work (20-60 seconds) with periods of rest.
This type of training can be used to improve all aspects of your fitness and metabolic health as well as reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
And as a bonus, it improves your fat burning abilities.
Almost any type of training is suited to intervals. Everything from cardio machines, to lifting weights to bodyweight circuits can be used.
My personal favorite is bodyweight circuits. They can be done anywhere and can be adapted to any fitness level. There is also an endless variety of exercises, ranging from simple squats and push-ups you remember from gym class, to very advanced drills. Bodyweight circuits are our favorite in our boot camps.
Why do intervals work so well?
Intervals are a natural fit for our bodies. Our ancestors didn't usually run mile after mile, but rather participated in bursts of high intensity activity followed by periods of rest.
When you exercise in short bursts, followed by periods of recovery, you are recreating this pattern, giving your body what it needs to function optimally. You will also maximize your fat loss, while dramatically improving your heart health and endurance.
Issues with traditional cardio
Modern cardio training has been the cornerstone of fitness industry recommendations for almost 40 years. During that time, it has not proven to be nearly effective enough. Here are some of the reasons why.
- Traditional cardio training takes far too much time to get the desired result. Several studies have compared interval training to traditional cardio training for health and fat loss. Intervals always come out on top.
- Cardio training burns fat as fuel during the workout. But that's what we want right? Well no, because if your body gets the message that it needs fat to fuel your workouts, it will respond by keeping more on hand when you need it. Interval training, on the other hand, burns sugar for fuel, sending your body the message that it's alright to release it's fat stores.
- Traditional cardio is boring. Every day it's the same thing. Intervals can be done in nearly infinite combinations of time protocols and exercise combinations.
Try This Interval Training Workout
Here's a simple bodyweight interval workout you can do in under 20 minutes.
Do 15 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest for 5 minutes of each of these supersets. Rest 1-2 minutes between each superset.
A) squat and push-up
B) mountain climber and lunge
C) skaters and plank
You start with 15 seconds of squats, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Then 15 seconds of push-ups and 15 seconds of rest. Continue alternating for 5 minutes, then rest and repeat for supersets B and C. The entire workout looks like this:
Superset A: 5 minutes
Rest 1-2 minutes
Superset B: 5 minutes
Rest 1-2 minutes
Superset C: 5 minutes
The whole workout takes 17-19 minutes, depending on your rest period. As you get used to the protocol, increase the work time for each superset to 6 minutes.
Here's a video showing one round of each superset.
Make the Switch
Most Americans either get too little exercise or too much of the wrong type. This has resulted in two-thirds of the adult population being overweight. And millions more suffering with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type II diabetes.
Elevated insulin levels are a primary driver of these conditions and exercise is one of the most effective tools to help you reduce your insulin levels.
Exercise will help you reduce the chance of getting many diseases and it's far less expensive than any medical intervention.
And as a final benefit, you will look and feel great!
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