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Friday, February 22, 2008

Super Quick Workouts For Your Busy Schedule

Have you ever had those days, weeks or even months that just seem to be so out of control that getting a workout in is the last thing on your mind?

Just because you feel that way, does not necessarily mean that there is not time for a solid, fat burning workout. Here are some ideas I use with my clients that will help you out, even if you only have 15 minutes to spare. As a bonus, you won’t need any of your own equipment to do these workouts, although they can be done in a gym too.

There are many ways to incorporate these short workouts into your day. If you are feeling tired and need an energy boost during the day, the 4-minute workout below will get your blood pumping and your energy high in no time.

The Fastest Workout Ever

Got 4 minutes? The following workout is based on research done by a man called Dr. Izumi Tabata. It’s called the Tabata Protocol.

What you do is pick 2 to 4 bodyweight exercises. For this example, we will choose bodyweight squats and pushups.

For 20 seconds, perform as many bodyweight squats as possible, safely. Then rest for 10 seconds. Once the 10 seconds is up, immediately do 20 seconds of pushups. Then rest for 10 seconds and then go back to 20 seconds of squats, and so on, until you have completed 4 minutes (or 8 intervals).

If you repeat that process 2 to 3 times you are going to be shedding fat in no time.

Here are a couple pointers for performing this style of workout. If you have weights that you would like to use, then set your intervals up so that you are doing an upper body exercise immediately after a lower body exercise, and vise versa.

If you are only using just your bodyweight, add in full body calisthenics movements, such as jumping jacks, running on the spot, burpees, etc.

The Race to 100, 200, 300 and Beyond

If you are super short on time, but need to get your workout in, then my advice is to race yourself. Pick a challenging amount of pushups, squats and an abdominal exercise of your choice. See how many of each you can do in one minute and then multiply that number by 2 or 3 depending on how much time you are going to have or depending on your experience level.

Let’s say you can perform 25 pushups in 1 minute, 50 squats in 1 minute and 30 crunches in 1 minute. If you are a beginner or really crammed for time, multiply those numbers by two.

So your goal is to perform 50 pushups, 100 squats and 60 crunches as fast as you can. This will be how the race works. Perform as many pushups as you can. Then immediately try and perform as many squats as you can. Then try and complete as many crunches as you can. Then repeat the cycle until you have reached your desired target number of each exercise.

You can take as many breaks as you like. Keep track of your time so you can observe your progress.

Fun at the Playground

If you find some of your time is spent with the kids at a playground then why not join in on some of the fun yourself. If you are a little shy about getting out there, then hold a race with your kids. Make it a game.

Include pushups, pull-ups (courtesy of the monkey bars), sprints or laps around the playground, etc. Be creative and have some fun. You can also create an exercise game in your backyard. It’s great fun and it will keep everybody healthy and happy.

short doesn’t mean easy

Just because you are strapped for time doesn’t mean that you can’t get an intense and challenging fat burning workout in. Remember to perform the exercises with proper form the whole time to ensure you remain injury free.

Have a great workout! :)


Dan Grant

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