Monday, March 8, 2010

Hurry Up and Get in Shape!

How often do you ever read about someone who does an hour or so of cardio on a gym machine each day, in addition to strength training, and say to yourself: "How do they do all of that training? I don't have the time for that?" You're not alone since I do the exact, same thing. I don't have a clue how some people have that much time on their hands. Even if I did, I certainly wouldn't spend that much time on one of those lovely, shiny pieces of modern machinery. You probably wouldn't either.
5 one-arm swings, each arm
5 snatches, each arm
10 burpees
Repeat 7 times (Thanks, Ross!)
Total time: About 15 minutes
If you look at those same people and think that because you can't devote that much time to training then you can't get in shape, then you're way behind the curve. Yeah, a lot of us don't have a lot of extra time on our hands to devote to training like that but that's not an excuse to not even bother.
3 minutes Jump rope
30 seconds rest
3 minutes burpees
30 seconds rest
3 minutes jump rope
30 seconds rest
3 minutes burpees
Total Time: 13.5 minutes
There are a lot of lies out there about training and the amount of time that you need to spend training is certainly one of them. The fact of the matter is that you don't need an enormous amount of time. Even on my least-booked schedule days, I really don't train more than 45 minutes a day. Most of the time, it's under 30. That's what I've got, and I make the most of it.
Ladder Pull-ups, left arm
Ring dips
Ladder Pull-ups, Right arm
Ring dips
Dumbbell snatch, 10 reps each arm
Repeat twice
Total time: About 20 minutes

If you bother with strength and fitness literature, you'll find that they recommend resting at least a minute, sometimes as much as 3 minutes between sets. If you think that's crazy, then I'm with you. We've got things to do and that much rest just isn't necessary. If you're going to make the most of 20 minutes to train, then you've got to learn to push the pace! Cut your rest time down to 30 seconds to a minute. TOPS! You can rest all you want after it's over. You're in a gym to train, not to rest. So, TRAIN! You can die after you're done!
BW speed squats, 20 reps
BW lunges, 24 reps
Reverse lunge w/knee shot, 12 reps each leg
Jump squats, 12 reps
15' rope climb, twice
repeat 4 times
Total time: about 20 minutes
Exercise selection and design is also important. I'm a huge fan of supersetting for that reason: you don't need the actual rest. You just move to another muscle group or movement that you haven't worked in the last one. Full-body workouts are good for this reason too! If you train like this, you won't miss the extra 90 seconds of rest!
Headstand neck exercises, 10 reps each direction
Ab wheel roll-out, 10 reps
2 Bridge (switch up the bridges)
Repeat 3 times
Total time: about 15 minutes

Oh, and don't get in my face with the scientific evidence about the extra rest period being more helpful. It's not even applicable to this situation. We don't have time, remember? We can't lament about what we don't have. We can't wait for the perfect amount of time to train. Anything is better than nothing. I'm not even sold on that notion of that much rest amounts to anything anyway.
Handstand Push-ups on Perfect Push-ups, 12 reps
Ring Dips, 12 reps
15 KB Clean and Press, each arm
Repeat 4 times
Total time: about 25 minutes

So, stop using the excuse of only having 15, 20 or 30 minutes to train. If you want to make it work, you can find ways to make you not miss the extra 40 minutes of training time. You'll be in too much pain to even notice! Don't tell yourself that you don't have enough time. Instead, figure out how you'll make the most of the time that you have. If you can't even carve out 15 minutes to train, then you need to stop lying to satisfy your laziness and weakness.

1 comment:

SR said...

These routines are great! where would one look for resources on similar, 20-minute routines?