You’ve heard it a hundred times. That old excuse, “I don’t
have time to exercise”. The fact is you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to
lose weight, gain muscle and achieve many of the health benefits afforded by
regular exercise. With the right training, your daily exercise routine need not
last more than 10 minutes!
In every gym you will find guys who spend countless hours
pumping iron and others doing endless cardiovascular training and often not
getting the results they are after. Unless these people are in the gym for
other reasons (which is often the case), there are many of them that are
wasting their time. Why? Because the body adapts quickly to any physical
demands placed on it and that is the basis of the S.A.I.D. Principle (specific
adaptations to imposed demands).
Even after your first workout, the body starts to adapt to
the training. Let’s look at walking for example; those first few workouts may
be a little demanding but soon you would be able to walk much further and
faster than before. After all, walking is something we humans have adapted to
do very efficiently. Sure walking is great for someone starting out but not for
months on end! Even jogging becomes routine with the body adapting a
comfortable gate to get the job done as efficiently as possible.
So what you will need to do is pick the best exercises, what
intensity to perform them at (proper form and intensity is key and may require
a trainer to help you determine what that is) and just as important, you will
need to vary your workouts often. The best way to do this is doing bodyweight
The right exercises involve compound movements. Compound
exercises involve multi-joint and multiple muscles all working together like in
the case of the squat (see picture). This exercise is called the “King” of all
exercises and works the entire lower body, involving the ankle, knee and hip
joints and working the quadriceps, glutes, hips and more. Done right, this
exercise can effectively raise your metabolism all by itself! Another basic
that many ladies say they can’t do (which they can with proper instruction and
progression) is the push-up (see picture and exercise description- I have a
great variation that most everyone can do). The push-up involves the wrist,
elbow and shoulder joints and most of the upper body muscles and with just this
one move, most of your upper body muscles can be strengthened and toned.
This type of training is not easy but everybody can do it.
It requires no equipment and you will get tangible results quickly- so let’s
get started! Note: Always get a doctor’s clearance before starting this or any
We will be performing a circuit training routine which means
moving from one exercise to another right away. Perform each exercise slowly
and after 30 seconds move to the next. Stop if you are unsure about how to
perform an exercise and stop if you feel faint or dizzy.
jacks- a classic and so simple in design. A great warm-up for the joints and
works the inner and outer thighs. Variation- jogging on the spot.
remember to keep your head up, tilt your hips back and bring your hands out in
front of you. Start to lower your body slowly like there is a chair behind you.
Bend your knees to 90 degrees and bring your hands down to your sides as you
move back up. Do not push your knees forward. (See Photo)
get into push-up position with your hands and feet on floor. Hands should be
right under shoulders and abdominals tight. Slowly lower yourself to the floor
and touch your nose, then come back up. Variation- Now I know a lot of you
cannot come back up so what I recommend and do all the time with clients is
“flops”. Do the first part and slowly lower to the floor and just flop your
entire body down. Now get back up using the knees and go back into regular
push-up position to start the next repetition. (See photo).
jumps. Get up and get moving again with stride jumps. Great for the butt! (See
Lunges- with feet together step back about 2 feet and touch knee to floor. It
will be helpful for beginners to hold onto something like a chair or a set of
Equalizers. Keep knees at 90 degree bends. (See photo).
7. Repeat the
circuit one more time.
When you work these compound exercises into a circuit the
heart rate really goes up and you get a great cardiovascular workout. You also
increase your metabolism with the strength training and unlike low intensity
cardiovascular training, you will burn calories long after this workout is
Do this routine every day (a little muscle soreness is
normal so you may want to do it every second day) because it is important to
build in some consistency and form a habit. It’s like doing the dishes (not
like I would know, my wife would say) - they add up at the end of the week -
but do them each day and it’s much easier. And the dishes, like this routine
take only 10 minutes. It does not get better than that!