When you have thrown snow into the mix, and your schedule gets turned upside, the days seem to go even quicker. Case in point – its Wednesday already (and February 3rd). Hey, the quicker we can get through February, the better! In the social media world, “Wednesday’s” seem to elicit a common trend – wine and workouts. They both have a glorious ring, don’t you think? Today, I am talking about fitness, and how my workout routine focuses, mainly, on under 30 minute sweat sessions. The BONUS? I am sharing with you some of my recent workouts for you to try at home or in the gym.
As a health & wellness professional for 15 years, I have tried it all and, for what it has felt like, done it all, when it comes to working out. I was the cardio queen, marathoner, boot camp instructor, dabbled in Kettlebells, sports performance, “traditional” strength training, tried different fitness classes, was religious at Orangetheory for a few years and, well, you get my point. All of these, though, came with, at least, a 45-50 minute time frame, if not longer. And while I did some some results, initially, mainly, I was feeling tired, puffy, “skinny fat” (although I gained weight when I was training intensely), lack of motivation, irritable, etc. *I do want to take Orangetheory out of the mix; I did enjoy going to the classes, and the variety of what was offered, but ended my membership when the pandemic hit and my favorite instructors had left. Yes, did see results!
Mainly, it was because I had fallen in love again with the under 30 minute workouts, and the ease of being able to do them in my home was a HUGE time saver (and I don’t have to wear a mask).
You may be thinking “under 30 minute workouts, how is that ever going to show results?” I felt the same way when I first start researching this way of training, and then started implementing it into my weekly workout routines. While I could get all scientific here, I am going to keep it pretty straight forward, especially since I know you want to check out the workouts I am sharing.
#1: The motivation to workout will double (or triple), and the intensity you bring with it will become that much greater. Doesn’t your mindset change when you know your workout is only 10, 15, 20, or 30 minutes in length, especially when there is variety involved? I know it did for me, especially coming off LONG training runs when I was in the throws of my 13.1 and 26.2 days. Knowing I could get in a kick ass workout under 30 minutes was a breath of fresh air. As for the intensity, you have a LOT more to bring to your workout. This is, also, the key difference too. If you are going for a shorter amount of time, your intensity needs to be ramped up. For example, if your workout is only 10 minutes long for the day, you need to use those 10 minutes, wisely. At the end, you want to be able to say “I could not go for 11 minutes.” I talk a bit more about this in point #3.
#2: Strength training & intervals will, always, trump slow and steady cardio. Not only do we want to feel great after our workout, we want to keep that effect going long afterwards too. This is the difference between training with (heavy) weights, and focusing on cardio intervals, then doing steady state cardio and lifting here and there (OMGOSH, I do not want to get bulky)! And, no, you are not going to get bulky. Lifting with heavy weights not only gives you a feeling of empowerment but it helps to build both muscular strength & endurance, improve body composition, and burn more calories at rest. With strength training & interval training combined or independent, you can continue burning calories for up to 2-3 after. How awesome is THAT? Steady state cardio may produce a nice reading on the treadmill/elliptical/bike/iWatch but those calories are ONE and DONE. Plus, you hunger, energy, and cravings are less stable, too, and your overall lean body mass decreases in the process. Again, a different conversation – I love this stuff – but another reason under 30 minute workouts, that require lifting heavy & cardio intervals (at an intensity that is FIT for you), are going to give you the best results!
#3: A common misconception when talking about these, intense, “give it all you got,” workouts is that breaking (or resting) should not occur because you ONLY have a small time frame. This could not be further from the truth! A mentor of mine in the industry, Jade Teta, emphasizes the need of rest based interval training, and the guidelines of “push until you cannot, rest until you can.” If you want to keep the same intensity throughout, rest needs to be incorporate. Push until you cannot do anymore with good form or at the intensity you doing, and rest until you can pick it back up. Who knows, you may be even able to push a little harder.
#4: Finally, VARIETY in your workouts! It is so easy to get in a rut, and gravitate towards the workout you are continuously are doing. Guess what though; your body gets used to it, especially if you are not changing up the weight. An even bigger doozy is continuing to do the same workout, with the same weights. Can you do this one week, and then revisit in another week or 2? Absolutely! Should you be doing the same routine 3 days a week for 4-6 months, changing variables here and there? This is where we get comfortable, and dare I say soft. “Hey, I workout 3 days a week.” Great! Are you seeing results? “Hmm, not really.” With anything in life, variety is the spice of life. We need it to change, grow, and keep motivation high. This is why under 30 minute workouts are so effective!
Just remember, when utilizing a high intensity approach, your body needs time to rest and recover in between workout days. While everyone is different, you need to listen to your body, and assess how you feel, changes your body is making, etc. I start clients out with a 3 day goal, and change according to how they feel. It’s about starting small, and pivoting as needed. On those recovery days, add in some leisurely activities (i.e. leisure walking/gardening) that keep you moving but don’t wreak havoc on stress or cortisol levels.
If you are interested in learning more, check out the company I co-own – 2 Health Nuts. We offer a wide variety of services, such as personal training, health coaching, program development, etc.
Now, the FUN STUFF! Below I am sharing 3 workouts for you to try! Remember, to be safe, listen to your body and, most importantly, enjoy! Let me know your thoughts and how you liked!
Disclosure: While all thoughts and opinions are my own, this post contains some affiliate links in which I may be compensated (at not cost to you). This compensation helps with keeping my blog up and running, and creating amazing content to share! I cannot thank you enough for your support, feedback, and following! You are the best!