Tuesday, February 15, 2011

6 minute workouts?

Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
Ted: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the excercise video.
Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7... Minute... Abs.
Ted: Right. Yes. OK, all right. I see where you're going.
Hitchhiker: Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin' there, there's 7-Minute Abs right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?
Ted: I would go for the 7.
Hitchhiker: Bingo, man, bingo. 7-Minute Abs. And we guarantee just as good a workout as the 8-minute folk.
Ted: You guarantee it? That's - how do you do that?
Hitchhiker: If you're not happy with the first 7 minutes, we're gonna send you the extra minute free. You see? That's it. That's our motto. That's where we're comin' from. That's from "A" to "B".
Ted: That's right. That's - that's good. That's good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you're in trouble, huh?
[Hitchhiker convulses]
Hitchhiker: No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody's comin' up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won't even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.
- Something about Mary

Classic movie!  Truth is you can get a workout in 6 minutes, and I strongly encourage it.  Don't confuse what I'm saying, longer duration workouts are awesome and you should plan on 1-3 per week time permitting.  But a quick 5-15 minute workout can really provide a lot of benefit, especially to those with very little free time. Here are a few reasons...

  • You can pack a lot into 5-15 minutes if you shorten those rest periods. 
  • Everyone has 5-15 minute they can spare during the day.
  • You can train more frequently throughout the week.
  • You don't need a lot of equipment (think body weight exercises, bands, weight vests).
  • You don't need to go to the gym to do it.  I use my living room or patio.
  • If you focus on working as hard as you can in that block of time and create lactic acid in the muscles you'll create an "after burn" effect which will allow you to continue burning calories at an elevated rate for the rest of that hour.  
  • You'll be promoting recovery from previous workouts by increasing blood flow to sore areas as well as insulin sensitivity.
  • Increased insulin sensitivity means better carbohydrate utilization.
  • And probably most important, actually feel good after a workout!  Not sure why we've got it engrained in our heads that we need to feel beat up after every workout.  But with a shorter workout, you'll release all those hormones/endorphins that make you feel good and promote recovery, without completely exhausting your nervous system. 
Stay on the look out, i'll be posting a bunch of great (SHORT) home & gym workouts that I do myself and encourage my clients to perform.


  1. Sounds great, Jay, looking forward to having an online reference.

  2. Excellent! I can get a 6-minute workout and feel that "rush" just before I eat that piece of chocolate CAKE...double RUSH!!