10 minute warm-up on the treadmill, 45 minutes lifting weights, another 45 minutes to an hour of moderate intensity cardio, followed by a cool down stretch. For many decades, this regime was considered the gold standard for everyday gym goers.
Is there anything wrong with this? No. If you have that kind of time to invest daily on your training than go for it. But let’s be realistic here for a minute… it’s 2019, who has 2 free hours a day to spend working out??
In today’s life where we always have places to be and people to see, exercisers need a quick & effective work out alternative. Something where you’re in & out of the gym as quickly as possible and still see results. Now I know what you’re thinking, I have to focus solely on strength and sacrifice cardio (or vice versa) because I’m on a time crunch, right?
Wrong! Shorter duration workouts (30-45 minutes) are becoming increasingly popular because of their ability to produce similar or even superior results to longer training sessions. In fact, short, intermittent bouts of exercise lasting only a few minutes can produce similar physiological results on your body as an hour of cardio! (Don’t believe me? Look up One Minute Workout by Martin Gibala, PhD McMaster University).
Aside from the time saving benefit, shorter workouts allow you to train harder, burning more calories in the process. This not only occurs during your session, but afterwards as well. Your body continues to work and expend energy well after your workout is complete in an effort to return to its normal resting state. The result… your body becomes a calorie burning machine!
Furthermore, increases in strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility, and even balance, can all improve with regular shorter duration workouts.
Looking closer at the effects of exercise on hormonal release also provides good insight in favour of a 30 minute workout. Exercise itself is a stressor, much like writing an important test or running late to work. One of the major hormones released in times of stress is cortisol. The longer the stress is present in the body, the more cortisol released into the bloodstream. Combine your 2 hour workout with all the other everyday sources of stress and you can see how easy it becomes to accumulate cortisol.
What’s the big deal?
Well, chronically elevated cortisol is linked to harmful effects on the cardiovascular system (heart & blood vessels), weight management, suppressed immune function, and several other bodily functions.
It wasn’t until I began training high level athletes a few years ago that I bought into this principle of less is more. 30 minute workouts are a great way to provide a training stimulus without risking overtraining (with strong programming of course). Furthermore, in my experience, it’s much easier to maintain your focus on your workout, compared to all the between sets selfies taken during your 2 hour “pump.”
Stop into LiV Personal Training Studio where we specialize in 30 minute workouts and chat with one of our knowledgeable and experienced trainers. If you’re not completely sold on the idea, who knows, maybe Rob will put you through a quick demo!