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What to Do When a Full Workout is Out of the Question

  Nov 14th, 2012

Make Time for a Short WorkoutIt was 5:30am when my alarm went off. “There’s no way I’m rolling out of bed to go workout,” I thought as I pulled the blanket over my face and dozed back off to sleep.

 

Forty five minutes later I woke up to the sounds of my six week old son fussing in his bassinet. At this point, the prospect of getting out of bed and starting my day didn’t seem so intimidating.

 

Now I had a bigger problem: deciding if a shower would be my first order of business or if I would have enough time to get a little training in before hitting the showers.

 

My training typically consists of 30-40 minutes of weight training, followed by 15-20 minutes of cardio. At this point, cardio was out of the question and I’d have to keep my weight training to a mere 20-25 minutes, at most.

 

“A short workout is still infinitely better than no workout,” I decided. I then threw on some grey shorts and a tank top and headed downstairs for a quick round of super-sets.

 

After finishing my workout, I bounced up the stairs with sweat dripping off of my chin, feeling great about my decision to hit the weights.

 

I have to admit this scenario doesn’t always play out like this, though. I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times my schedule has gotten a little jacked up, and instead of training for as much time as I could, I used my change in schedule as an excuse to skip my training for the day.

 

Less Than Ideal is Infinitely Better Than Nothing

The problem most of us have is that we underestimate just how much of an impact a short twenty or thirty minutes of moderately intense exercise can have on our bodies.

 

The thought of hour-long workouts is so engrained into our brains that we tend to think of anything less than that as being virtually useless. My brain is no exception. Well it used to not be an exception, anyway.

 

I’ve since come to the realization that a 20 minute bout with some super-sets is more than sufficient to adequately train three or four muscle groups with four or five working sets. And don’t forget about the hours of metabolic boost we receive after our training is complete.

 

Even though you may only burn a modest couple hundred calories from your shortened workout, it can still result in another several hundred calories being burned throughout the hours that follow your workout.

 

Think about it this way: opting for a quick workout, instead of deciding not to train, will shed a meal’s worth of calories for you. In other words, these are calories you’ve earned. Use them as you see fit.

Short Workouts are Better than No Workouts

 

If your goal is to maintain your physique, you can choose to eat a little extra with a meal, or add a meal to your daily eating schedule.

 

Or, if you’re in the process of cutting fat, this is another five hundred calories to that end to keep you progressing towards your goal that much faster.

 

Skipping Workouts Will Get You Nowhere

If you’ve been prone to skipping a day or two of training each week because schedule changes or unforeseen circumstances cut down the hour you had set aside to workout, and you think it isn’t worth your while to spend twenty or thirty minutes at the gym, think again!

 

Instead of worrying about the time that you don’t have, you would do well to shift your focus to the time you do have at your disposal instead.

 

The man (or woman) staring back at you in the mirror every morning will thank you for it.

 

 

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