Quick Workout Reasons
One of the many misconceptions of fitness and working out is the time you should take to do one in the day. All too frequently people are let to believe that a workout can and in some cases should take up to two hours! No one is to blame for thinking it because in simple terms it can make sense; workout longer, lose more weight. Right? Well dear reader if the body worked in those simple terms we would all be a lot more fit; but it’s not the case. What is even more tragic is that this in itself is one of the main reasons people choose to give up fitness; too much time wasted over something that isn’t working. Let’s sort that one out here.
A workout doesn’t mean feeling tired for a long time, nor does it mean constantly keeping your heart rate at a max level. A workout be it strength or endurance is all about pushing your body further than it can already go. A workout that last 2 or so hours isn’t really getting you to that level of more than your body can take because if you were hitting it then you wouldn’t last 2 hours at all! In essence a good and effective workout session can be defined by how long it takes you to get too tired to do that next repetition or that next 2 kilometres run. If your workouts last about half an hour to 45 minutes, or even 20 minutes before your body goes ‘no more! I’ve given her all she’s got captain!’ then that’s a workout that works.
When you exercise you are essentially using your muscles as much and as hard as you can. The more they are used the more energy (found in your fat cells) your body needs. This is fuelled by a high heart rate, but is not exclusive to how fast your heart is racing. A workout isn’t even defined by how much you sweat because that’s just the body trying to cool itself down. The real way to lose fat and to gain muscle is to use your muscles to their near maximum potential or even to the limit, because that in turn breaks the fibres in the muscle (in a good way, don’t worry) so that on rebuilding our muscles grow even just a bit, and the body fat above and around it goes away. This is the action of toning.
Therefore it isn’t how long you train that makes a good workout but at what intensity you train at. If you are not really going very hard in the gym or in your exercise you aren’t really maximising your muscles and not giving them a chance to grow and to essentially adapt to this exercise-lifestyle. The body adapts to its conditions to help do whatever it is made to do easier. If you are working out for a long time there really is little adaption the body needs other than to keep your heart rate going at a slightly higher pace, and in turn uses less and less fat as energy because it adapts to conserve that fat for longer periods of time; meaning those long workouts could be having an adverse effect on what you may be trying to achieve in working out!
Those workout fads that keep you in the gym for long hours at a time may feel good and you might enjoy them but chances are they aren’t giving you the results you want, certainly not in the most efficient way possible. A perfect workout lasts however long it takes before your body gets more tired than your mind, which in turn fuels your desire to go even harder so that your body catches up to your mind. In a long workout the roles are reversed. So in a motivational way a short workout is more effective than a long workout! The reasons for keeping it short are endless!
So when you next workout, have a gym session or go for a run outside just remember that if you get in and out quickly and at the time when your body feels that it can do no more, then that’s your workout done well and efficiently and the chances of plateauing are minimal. You will improve your ability to lift more, to run faster, to jump higher at a greater and faster rate if you choose to cut out the rest times, up the intensity and beast mode your session into a condensed and intense 45 minutes. That will raise the fun factor and give you more time to enjoy the feeling afterwards and to feel that the burden of fitness is lifted off your schedule. Be free gym bunnies. Enjoy!