If you are someone that falls into the “too busy to exercise” category, then this article is for you. Many of us have hectic schedules that do not permit regular gym attendance before or after work. Some who have off days are often so tired or have so much to do that going to the gym on those days just does not work. Sometimes schedules are so unpredictable that a gym workout becomes unfeasible. Others just cannot afford the monthly gym fees. However, with changing times, changing schedules and crucially, changing budgets, a revolutionary way to exercise has been developed. This article highlights three workouts for those on a tight schedule…and a tight budget.
The High-Intensity Workout
In order to create a consistent workout schedule amidst a hectic work schedule, you must embrace the idea of shorter workouts. It has been scientifically proven that you do not need to spend hours exercising in order to improve health and fitness. High-intensity workouts with intervals can get you in the best shape of your life…and in much less time. They are ideal for those with busy schedules, slow metabolism and those who wish to increase stamina in a short period of time. These types of workouts involve alternating between intense exercises and brief rest periods. Some researchers have even posited that these workouts can burn as many and possibly more calories than an hour long workout!
An effective style to use in these high-intensity workouts is the Tabata Style training. This involves 20 seconds of an exercise and then 10 seconds of rest, repeated for a specific time period (usually no more than 10/12 minutes). This may not seem like a great deal of exercise. However, the key is doing the workout with as much effort as possible, pushing your bodies to the limit during each exercise period. If this workout has been completed with minimal difficulty then, unfortunately, you have done it wrong.
There are many variations of high-intensity workouts. This one that will be shared with you involves two exercises – Jump Squats and Burpees. The routine is as follows:
- Minute 1: 20 seconds of Jump Squats with 10 seconds of rest and one repetition.
- Minute 2: 20 seconds of Burpees with 10 seconds of rest and one repetition.
….and so on. The exercise is repeated up to minute 10, alternating between the jump squats and the burpees. However, there is a rest period between minute 5 and 6. Below is a visual representation of how to do the two exercises:
A visual representation of a burpee.
A visual representation of a jump squat.
The Scientific 7 (but really 8) Minute Workout
An article in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal demonstrated that in 12 exercises, with only the use of your body, a chair, and a wall, you can have an exercise that is effectively equivalent to a long run and some weight lifting; all in just eight uncomfortable and brutal minutes (despite the sources indicating its duration is seven minutes, it really works out to be eight). And….it is all based on science.
Like the previous exercise, one must maintain a high level of intensity and there are breaks in between exercises, albeit brief ones. Again, science has shown that just a few minutes of high-intensity training effectively equates to several hours of running or bike riding. These few minutes, however, MUST be done at MAXIMUM capacity. The intervals are very crucial as it gives the muscles a brief time to recover. Also, the order of exercises in this workout is very important. The exercises are to be done in 30 seconds with 10-second interval breaks in between them. Below is a visual depiction of the scientific eight-minute workout.
Additionally, there is an electronic app of the exercise available for both Android and Apple devices. For those who do not possess these operating systems, there is also a desktop version available. The application offers illustrations of the exercises, a timer, and audio cues. You can visit this here to download any suitable version for yourself.
The Advanced Scientific 7 (but really 8) Minute Workout
Upon the requests from various readers (for whom the above workout became too easy and monotonous, the latter of which can happen with repeat exercises), a more advanced and demanding routine was developed, only requiring a few dumbbells. Below is a graphical depiction of the advanced workout. Some exercises may require more detail, so visit here for more information.
It is important to note that these workouts do not just build the usual muscles but they also work the smaller muscles such as those in the back, abdomen, shoulders, and hips; muscles which are often neglected during regular exercise. It has also been said that the workout counteracts the aches, pains, and fatigue usually experienced by those in desk jobs. However, although these exercises are very convenient for those with a busy schedule and a tight budget, they should not be your only form of exercise. A diverse exercise schedule is very important not only for fitness but to ensure that exercising does not become a monotonous and mundane task.
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