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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Key to Minimal Workouts With Maximal Results

What if someone told you that they could get you in shape in just 8 minutes per day? You'd probably be quite skeptical, to say the least, afterall, 8 minutes doesn't sound like much. But, fitness experts will be sure to tell you that if you're trying to lose weight, intensity always trumps quantity. Put another way, doing an intense workout like running stairs or doing sprints for 8 minutes will burn more calories than one hour moderately pedaling on an exercise bike. Armed with that knowledge, we come away with a much greater appreciation for short, efficient workouts.

How do these fast paced programs work? Very simply, through something called super sets! The idea is borrowed from professional athletes who carry out two exercises consecutively with no rest in between. Right after one muscle group is worked out, another one immediately follows, causing a maximum amount of exertion for the body, and consequently burning more calories than moderate exercise for long periods of time. By alternating exercises this way, the most important muscle groups in your body are exercised evenly. The results of this type of workout routine is a strong athletic body, meaning that 8 minutes is more than enough - guaranteed.

Another component of this type of workout is variety. Some fitness gurus call this "muscle confusion". The fact is that the body get accustomed to an activity within about 3 weeks, and this can lead to weight loss and muscle-building plateaus. The solution is to vary your exercises everyday, challenging your body to keep up and forcing your mind to concentrate on the new movement. Say goodbye to your old boring workout! Another advantage of this is that it gives your muscles more time to recuperate from the previous days' workout. That way, you don't injure yourself. Afterall, muscle growth actually happens when you're resting.

As far as the occasional muscle aches associated with this type of workout, they are not caused by lactic acid, as is commonly thought. They are the product of tiny muscle tears that occur after strenuous activity, and are typically noticed 2 days after working out. Simple ways to prevent these aches include working out regularly and ensuring that you maintain proper form. Another helpful tip is to increase the range of movement before you try to increase the intensity or weight so your body gradually becomes accustomed to the exercise. And of course, you can spend time in the sauna or get a massage.

So the key to working out is intensity, and this can be done in as little as 8 minutes if you train properly.

Feel free to check out our workout routines for men and medicine ball exercises articles.

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