Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

Pressed for Time? Stay In Shape With Mini-workouts

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I’ve been seeing a number of articles and tweets from people who miss workouts because they are too busy. Like most people, I struggle with keeping my time dedicated to workouts sacred. No matter how busy I get, with me being over 40, missing a workout can have a devastating effect on my progress.

You can’t catch up on a lost workout. Once it is missed, whatever benefits that would have been gained from the workout are lost forever. Your next workout, which was supposed to build on your previous efforts, will now be spent to get you back to where you were before you missed your workout.

Your fitness level doesn’t stand still when you miss a workout. It’s common to get advice saying you need to maintain high intensity each and every workout, but in reality progress depends more on consistency than extreme effort. You want both but if something has to give, let it be intensity or duration, not frequency.

I’ve come up with approach that I use when I don’t have time to workout. I still workout, but I shorten the duration of the workout. With strength training, I’ll do fewer total exercises with less rest between sets. With cardio, I increase the speed and cut the duration.

What I sometime find is that my compressed workouts can be stimulate more progress than if I had time for a full workout. It’s a change from my routine so it has the potential to shock my muscles to grow and get stronger. Or it could be the reduced volume is giving me more of a chance to recover between workouts. Either way, I’ll take it.

The key goal is to stimulate the muscles so they don’t atrophy before the next workout. You may not make progress, but at least you won’t have a set back. It’s not just the muscles, you also need to remain consistent to strengthen the habit of exercise. If you can justify missing one workout, why not two or three … you get the idea.

Despite everything I have just said, we are all going to miss workouts. The important thing is to understand the true cost of missing a workout. Similar to a credit card bill, if you miss a payment you are going to pay interest. It’s best to remain consistent and have a strategy for handling time constraints.

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Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

April 4, 2014 at 11:21 am

Posted in Fitness

Tagged with ,

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