What do you want to bet that a 20 minute workout can be better than an hour workout?
I’d bet just about anything.
It kills me to see people in the gym who think they need to slave away for hours to get results. It kills me to hear people say that they don’t have enough time to workout.
It kills me that people WASTE THEIR TIME doing long, drawn out workouts when they could get better results in 20 minutes.
And I’m not saying you should never workout for an hour…I’m just saying that you don’t need to!
Why spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and then 30 minutes doing some slow isolated muscle group weight workout when you could accomplish the same thing (and more!) in only 20 minutes?
Don’t waste your time! Try circuit training! It will help you get great results in less time.
When I say circuit training, most people think of quick circuits and light weight…barbie weights actually. But that isn’t what a true circuit is.
A true circuit is one in which you use challenging weights while taking minimal breaks between exercises. A great circuit also alternates the body parts worked so that you can keep moving from exercise to exercise without having to take any rest.
And the other benefits of circuit training besides saving you time:
- You improve your cardiorespiratory system WHILE you build muscle. With traditional weight training workouts, you take super long rests between sets, which allows your heart rate to recover. But with circuit training and less rest, your heart rate remains elevated throughout the entire workout, helping you reap cardiovascular benefits without going on the treadmill for 30 minutes after your weight training circuit.
- You burn more calories AND fat in less time! Now who wouldn’t want to do that!?! More work is performed in less time equaling a greater calorie expenditure. A 185-lb. exerciser performing a 30-minute weight training routine expends 133 calories. To compare to circuit training, the same 185-lb. person performing a 30-minute circuit training session burns 355 calories. These statistics show that circuit training burns more than double the amount of calories than a standard weight training workout.
- You also burn more calories for longer! Circuit training triggers a response in your body that accelerates metabolism for up to 48 hours. You burn more calories after your workout because of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which is affected by exercise intensity. Since circuit training is more intense compared than the typical weight lifting workout, circuit training will help you burn more fat after you workout!
- You build muscle! Most people think that circuit training equals light weights which equal no strength gains. But the lack of rest actually increases the amount of testosterone released, which helps build muscle. Also, because circuit training workouts are shorter you avoid cortisol releasing, which it does typically during lengthy cardio sessions. Cortisol can actually start to breakdown muscle tissues!
Hopefully, now you are thinking to yourself…Why don’t I do any circuit training? If you are looking for a great circuit, try one of the workouts of the week!
I love walking outside or going for hikes, but I hate walking on the treadmill. It is such a fun activity to do with friends and family, but such a boring thing to do on your own…inside…
But the health benefits that you get from low-intensity workouts, such as walking on a treadmill, make the boredom worthwhile.
With this low intensity aerobic exercises, your heart and other energy systems have to work a little harder, without being overly stressed, to handle the extra fuel and oxygen delivery demands. This low intensity aerobic exercise also creates specific biochemical signals that produce a number of health and fitness benefits including:
- Improved fat metabolism – Low intensity aerobic activity trains your body to more efficiently utilize free fatty acids as fuel, which benefits you 24/7. It also helps you develop a higher metabolic rate and a preference for fat over glucose…especially if you are eating a low carb diet. Low intensity exercise can also help you balance your blood sugar levels and regulate your appetite.
- Improved cardiovascular function – You will strengthen your heart and improve your capillary network, which is the network of blood vessels that supply your muscles with fuel and oxygen. You will also improve your respiratory system functioning (the oxygen delivery by your lungs to the rest of your body).
- Stronger immune system – You build a stronger, more efficient circulatory system through low-intensity cardio. This combined with the fact that low intensity aerobic exercise stimulates beneficial hormone flow means that your immune system will be stronger!
- Increased energy – You don’t deplete and fatigue your body very much during low-intensity exercise. Usually actually you relax and feel more rejuvenated!
- Improved musculoskeletal system – Aerobic exercise prepares your body for the stress of weight lifting. It strengthens your bones, joints and connective tissues.
And I find that walking is a great thing to do on active rest days! It is a great way to relax. You also burn some extra fat, improve your aerobic base and loosen up your muscles so that you can get in a nice good stretch and foam roll!
So don’t skip the walking, or other low-intensity aerobic activity, just because it is “easy.” It is an essential part of your workout routine! Just like foam rolling and rest, it is necessary to getting great results!