I once worked with a client who was so busy, he couldn't find more than a few minutes at a time to exercise. When I suggested doing short workouts, say a few 10-minute workouts each day, he looked at me like I was crazy (a not uncommon occurrence in my line of work). "What good will that do?" He wondered, going on to say that, in the past, he did at least an hour of exercise to keep his weight down.
I asked him: "So, which burns more calories: Shooting for an hour and doing nothing, because you don't have the time, or 10 minutes of intense, focused exercise?"
I helped him answer that question by taking him through a few 10-minute workouts. For a cardio-focused workout, I chose 5 exercises and had him do each for 1 minute, repeating the entire series again. They included sprinting around the block, running up and down a flight of stairs, jumping jacks, sprinting on his stationary bike and a minute on his elliptical trainer at a heavy resistance (he had an amazing home gym).
For a strength-focused workout, I had him do pushups, squats, lunges, step ups, dips, triceps pushups, planks with dumbbell rows and a squat, curl and press exercise.
At the end of our experiment, possibly due to the sweat pouring down his face, he was convinced that he really could get a good workout in a short period of time. And, he no longer had any excuse for skipping his workouts, for which he was so grateful, he gave me his firstborn child. Actually, he just gave me a dirty look since his child was in college and too old to give away.
The key to short workouts is to chose big, whole body movements that involve multiple muscles and work at a high intensity to get the most out of every single second.
So, what about you? If you only had 10 minutes, what would you do with it? Leave a comment and tell us how to get the most out of 10-minute workouts.
More About 10-Minute Workouts