One Minute Workouts
Many of you may not realize that you're already incorporating one-minute bursts of exercise when you take some of our most popular group-fitness classes.
"While we would advocate that people should work out for more than just 10 minutes a day, the study on the benefits of brief bursts of exercise struck a chord with us," Brent Holten says. "If all of us regularly added one minute of high-intensity exercise into our daily fitness regimen, we could become faster, stronger and leaner over time."
What can you do for one minute? If you push yourself for just 60 seconds at a time -- and we mean, really push yourself -- you might be surprised to discover what you can accomplish when you workout.
A recent study by the University of Utah caught our attention: Researchers discovered that a dozen or so bursts of exercise lasting only a minute, accumulated during the course of the day, provide the same kind of health benefits as the government-recommended 10-minute bouts of moderate exercise.
About this study
We all know the connection between exercise and good health. We understand how exercise can reduce the risk of just about every chronic disease, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more.
Unlike all of us, fewer than 4 percent of adult Americans achieve the minimum 150 minutes of recommended exercise per week. These people complain that they don't have time to exercise, even in 10-minute blocks. The findings from University of Utah researchers, however, make this excuse harder to defend.
The researchers, as reported by LiveScience, tapped data gathered during a government study called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and analyzed the exercise habits of more than 4,500 adults. They found that minute-long bursts of high-intensity exercise -- for example, walking very, very fast -- was linked with lower weight and other health benefits on par with those resulting from 10-minute bouts of moderate exercise, such as walking at a regular pace.
Think about our Spinning classes, when instructors call on you to pedal as fast as you can -- usually for just a minute or less. Picture yourself in a Pace or Treadmill Bootcamp, when sprinting drills amp up your workout. We incorporate these short bursts of energy to help you build cardio strength.
And in classes like Bootcamp, Fat Shred and the Caveman Workout, we incorporate brief, high-intensity drills that can help you build muscles and burn fat.
And our Tabata Circuit class is all about bursts of exercise. In this class, you'll perform four minutes of intense interval training on each station of the circuit. For example, at a running station, you'll sprint as hard as you can for 20 seconds, walk for 10 seconds and then repeat seven more times for a total of eight sets. And then you'll move on to the next station, and so on and so on.
Do it yourself
You can incorporate these one-minute bursts outside of our group-fitness studios as well. The next time you're running on a treadmill or working out on an elliptical, add in 60 seconds of high-intensity drills for every five or 10 minutes you spend on these machines.
This concept can even be applied outside of the gym. For example, instead of using elevators, try running up a set of stairs instead.
While these one-minute drills -- in a class or on your own -- will help you build cardio strength, get stronger and lose body fat, it's important to remember that it will take some time before you see these benefits. In other words, these drills aren't a silver bullet.
As noted in the University of Utah study mentioned above, the researchers only explored the minimum amount of recommended exercise. Exceeding these recommendations -- for example, getting an hour of exercise daily -- would lead to even greater health benefits.