As if we don’t struggle to get through a busy week. The US government recommends 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity exercise at least five days a week. That may not be a problem if you are fanatical about fitness. But most of us have careers, kids, and a long to-do list most of the time. So is it really necessary to spend long hours at the gym? Not according to most fitness professionals that I have had the pleasure of talking to. We all agree that around 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise three to four times a week is more than enough to obtain a marvelous physique. Although the gym is a good place to socialize and make new friends, most people spend way too much time talking instead of pumping iron! If you can stay focused for an intense cardiovascular workout for 20 minutes, you will burn no less than 200 calories. That does not include the calories you burn hours after your workout!
There are many ways you can increase the intensity level of your current routine and reduce your workout time. Here are a few exercises I recommend.
Mountain Climbing: Start in a pushup position. Keeping your hands on the ground throughout, jump one leg forward into a deep lunge. Without pausing, jump the other leg forward as the first leg returns to the starting position. It’s almost like running horizontally up some stairs. This exercise will target your chest, arms, glutes, hamstrings, abdominals and quads.
Wood Chop: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball or light hand weight above your head with both hands. As you drop down into a squat, swing the ball or hand-weight down between your legs to mimic the motion of chopping wood. Swing it overhead again as you rise back to the starting position. This is a good total body exercise and warm-up.
Overhead Side Press: Stand with your legs slightly apart, holding your abs tight. Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms facing away from you. Simultaneously, press the weights up while lifting one leg at a time, almost like marching in place. This is great for shoulders and abdominals.
Applying three 20 minute weekly workouts, can maximize your time and help you maintain. As soon as your schedule allows, I recommend you increase your workout in 10 minute increments or add another 20 minute workout to your week. YOU CAN DO IT!
Charles “Chizel It “ Harris
AFAA Certified Fitness Trainer