When it comes to exercise, more isn’t always better.
Sure, sometimes it feels SO GOOD to be in the gym for an hour, lifting, spinning, HIITing, whatever your workout of choice is.
But when time becomes an excuse for NOT getting that workout in, that’s a problem.
And, truth be told, sometimes shorter workouts can actually be a lot more effective than longer workouts.
1. Shorter workouts take away the “I don’t have time to exercise” excuse.
Obviously working out for 15-20 minutes will take a lot less time that working out for 60, right? It’s less time to budget for so you’re less likely to skip it. Knowing that you can wake up at 6:30am to get a 25 minute high-intensity workout in, instead of waking up at 5:30 to get to that hour long class at the gym sounds a lot more appealing, doesn’t it? Shorter workouts mean more sleep if you’re a morning exerciser, less time spent at the gym, more time spent with your family or friends and you can do a lot of quick n’ dirty workouts at home (checkout the bottom of this article for a free 15 minute workout). So out goes the excuse of “I don’t feel like going to the gym today.”
2. Shorter workouts keep you more motivated to get your sweat on.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me they cut their long run or elliptical session short, or skipped it all together, because they forgot their headphones or they were just too tired. Shorter workouts help you stay engaged and interested. Even if you leave your headphones at home, you can push through. 15 minutes of hard, high intensity work vs 60+ treadmill minutes wins in my book every single time. Plus, does anyone actually look forward to being on a piece of cardio equipment forever? Probably not. And if we don’t enjoy it, we won’t keep doing it.
3. Shorter workouts help regulate your appetite.
I had a client who used to think more was better when it came to cardio. She’d spend an HOUR doing sprints on the treadmill, then she’d get home, she’d be ravenous. When we workout for hours on end, our appetite goes crazy in order to make up for all the energy used during the workout. We also put ourselves at risk for “I worked out for over an hour today so I deserve this pizza” which can send your fitness and fat loss progress backwards. With shorter workouts, even though you’re bringing 100% of your intensity and are going all out for the 20-25 minutes, there isn’t the same effect on our appetite as with longer sessions. What’s more, short, intense workouts help our body burn more calories after we’re done exercising for up to 48 hours, whereas with steady state long duration workouts our body is done burning calories once we step off the treadmill.
4. Shorter workouts can get us better results in less time.
What if I told you that 30 minutes of high intensity exercise can boost your metabolism, help you burn more body fat and burn a lot more calories than 45-60 minutes on the elliptical? Well, that’s what I’m telling you, sister! Yes, these shorter workouts are super uncomfortable, they push you to the limit and you’ll feel muscles burn you never even knew you had, but when you really think about it, the pros of shorter more intense workouts far outweigh the pros of longer duration workouts.
Here’s a quickie, equipment-free workout to try:
Set a timer for 15 minutes (or for as much time as you have) and go through as many round as you can, resting as needed but keep it short:
Give this workout a shot and lemme know how it goes for you!