By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, MT
After years of personal experience, observational relevance, and just plain frustration with the overall level of Fitness & Health Nationally, I wanted to write an article about maximizing workout time. Since time seems to be a determining factor or excuse for not working out, I’d like to offer some ways to maximize it. Part of my rationale is if you can only do 10 minutes of intense exercise, 6 times a week, at the end of the year its 3,120 minutes, which is a lot more than zero! Most importantly it will help to improve your life, fitness, and health! It’s all accumulative!
For example, a most recent fitness study claims that sixty seconds of high intensity exercise is more valuable than 20-30 minutes of low intensity exercise. For decades’ trainers in the know have been advocating interval training over long sustained endurance work. I learned this in the early 80’s, training to improve my mile run time, which I ran in 6 plus minutes with minimal endurance work, to 4 & a half minutes with sprint and strength work.
One of the things that I learned was that quality training was more important that quantity training. So sprinting on the track, up hills, in the pool, on the bike, etc, improved my speed and fitness more than doing any long distance aerobic workouts. It required way less time, instead of 90-120 minutes, it took me to 15-30. So I started doing 2 shorter workouts a day, one in the early am and another midday or later, whenever I could get it in. This naturally elevated my metabolism and kept it going throughout the day!
Getting married, having a family, and business mentally got me away from that but recently I’ve decided to return to it but make it easily doable, which I’m sharing with you.
Upon rising exercise will jump start your metabolism for the day the only drawback is usually your mind and body aren’t fully awake so choosing an exercise that will help wake you up, like a cup of coffee, but without being overwhelmed is important. Structural strengthening exercises like Y raises, trap 3 raises, Petersen step ups, lying hip bridges, side arm rotations, planks, etc will serve this purpose. Just doing 3 sets of 60 seconds each will wake you up, jump start your day, and not require much time 4-6 minutes total, with 30-60 seconds rest or less between sets.
AM Workout Example:
Day 1, Lying single bent leg hip bridge with foot on the floor or elevated, 60s x 3 sets, with a 151 tempo.
Day 2, Front plank with forearms arms on top of a physioball, 60s x 3 sets, with a 60s tempo.
Day 3, Lying Y arm raise with dumbbells, 3-5lbs, 60s x 3 sets, with a 151 tempo.
Day 4, Petersen step ups, using a normal step, 60s x 3 sets each leg, with a 111 tempo.
Day 5, Lying Leg raise & hip lift, with knees slightly bent, 60s x 3 sets, with a 111 tempo.
Day 6, Lying on side, arm rotation with a dumbbell, 1-10lbs, 60s x 3 sets, with a 311 tempo.
Do as many as possible (amap) with good form, pause if necessary, then continue until 60s is up. Eventually you’ll be able to complete the 60s without pausing with good form.
Midday or afternoon workout would be at a higher intensity level, since your mind and body should be optimally active. Thus using large muscle groups or compound or multiple joint exercises should be the plan. This could include alternating a upper and a lower body exercise, like a push up or bench press with a squat, performed together in a superset fashion. Possibly doing each set for 30-60 seconds depending on your goal, completing 6-8 sets of each upper and lower body exercise. If Four exercises is used do 3-4 sets of each. This should take 15-30 minutes total, including a quick 3-4 set warm up for each. The resistance should be heavy but allowing good form, controlled tempo, and theability to complete the set.
Warm up sample: i.e., bench press, if your actual exercise weight is 200lb, then warm up set one is 100lb x 3-4 reps, set two is 125lb x 2-3 reps, set three is 150lb x 1-2, and set four is 175lb x 1-2 reps, or using approximately 50%, 62%, 75%, and 87% of your workout weight to warm up with.
PM Workout Example:
Day 1, A1-Barbell or dumbbell split squats, 30-60s each leg x 6 sets, with a 301 tempo; A2- Lying pull ups, 30-60s x 6 sets, with a 311 tempo.
Day 2, A1-Barbell or dumbbell Romanian deadlifts (RDL), 30-60s x 6 sets, with a 301 tempo; A2- Barbell or dumbbell bench press, 30-60s x 6 sets, with a 301 tempo.
Day 3, A1-Double or single leg Physioball leg curls, 30-60s each x 6 sets, with a 311 tempo; A2-Barbell or dumbbell upright row, 30-60s x 6 sets, with a 311 tempo.
Day 4, A1-Barbell or dumbbell squat, 30-60s x 6 sets, with a 301 tempo; A2-Chin ups, 30-60s x 6 sets, with a 201 tempo.
Day 5, A1-Barbell or dumbbell or weight plate, 45 degree back extensions, 30-60s x 6 sets, with a 311 tempo; A2-Barbell or dumbbell seated press, 30-60s x 6 sets, with a 301 tempo.
Day 6, A1-Seated or prone machine leg curls, 30-60s x 6 sets, with a 311 tempo; A2-Barbell or dumbbell pullover, 30-60s x 6 sets, with a 311 tempo.
The most important aspects are just doing it (aka Nike, ‘Just Do It’), consistency (doing it on a regular basis), correct form (good posture & tempo), intensity (70-90% of a 1 rep max lift), and short duration (15-30 minutes). The exercises can be performed numerous ways, upper body together, lower body together, upper & lower body together, or combining 2-4 exercises together.
At night, before dinner if possible, stretch for 60s x 3 sets. Choose your worst or most difficult stretch a do it for 60s sets, preferably in a PNF manner, i.e., contract the muscle for 5-10 seconds, followed by a 2-3 second release and relax. Each night you can choose a different stretch or repeat the same tight one. This will offer you a complete training regime taking 25-35 minutes a day, keeping you active at least three times a day.
I hope this is helpful,
'Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’