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Fitness for Body, Mind and Spirit

GreenNote Life

Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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Save time at the gym with this one-minute workout…

Do you have difficulty finding time to train? Today’s topic may be the answer you are looking for; the one-minute workout. Sounds too good to be true, right? Maybe not. Researchers at McMaster University have completed a study that indicates that a single minute of very intense exercise produces health benefits similar to longer, traditional endurance training. Interested? The researchers had previously studied the increase in fitness levels from SIT (Sprint Interval Training). This 12-week study involved three, 20-second all-out cycle sprints performed three times per week. The total time for this was 10 minutes which included a 2-minute warm-up and 3-minute cool down, and two minutes of easy cycling for recovery between hard sprints. Next the scientists were interested in comparing the SIT to a moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT). They examined cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin sensitivity (a measure of how the body regulates blood sugar.) Their research looked at the SIT protocol group with the MICT group who performed 45 minutes of continuous cycling at a moderate pace with the same warm up and cool down. So you have one group doing interval training, short bursts of all-out efforts for a total of 10 minutes and one group doing a steady pace with no intensity variation for a total of 45 minutes. What did they discover? After 12 weeks of training the results were similar, even though the MICT protocol involved five times as much exercise and a five times greater time commitment. Effectively, their study shows that an interval-based approach can be more efficient. You get health and fitness benefits similar to traditional approach in less time. No need to spend hours at the gym. That was another issue they wanted to solve; there is no excuse for not having time to exercise as this study proved. But wait! The sprint interval training totaled 10 minutes three times per week and ten minutes is longer than one minute. Right you are. Let’s break this down:

Using a stationary bicycle:

Warm-up for 2 minutes with a low load setting i.e. 75 watts

• Sprint on the bicycle in an all out effort, like you are “sprinting from danger”, for 20 seconds

Recover for two minutes, still pedaling

• Repeat the 20-second sprint and recover for two minutes

• Repeat 20-second sprint interval

• At the end of three rounds cool-down for 3 minutes, 50 watts

The total amount of 20-second sprints, in all-out efforts, repeated three times equals one minute, hence, the one-minute workout. For more information on this protocol read the book, “The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter”. Now let’s say you are new to fitness, are de-conditioned, or are elderly. Scientists suggest that there are still benefits gained from doing a similar protocol with interval walking. The key is interval training is infinitely variable. A study done in Denmark looked at interval walking vs. steady state walking and the effects on individuals with Type II Diabetes. Just picking up the walking pace a little bit, returning to steady state walking and then repeating picking up the pace, showed that the group doing interval walking lost more weight, had better ability to utilize their mitochondria, enhanced the ability of blood glucose to store in muscle instead of stored glycogen, and had better fitness overall. It’s a good time to mention that before beginning any exercise program, you should consult your health care professional. If you get the “OK”, incorporate interval training in your program. As mentioned above, if de-conditioned or new to fitness, a good place to start is interval walking, which you can read more about here. If you are struggling with making the time for training, here is one example that you only need one-minute. OK…maybe 10 minutes but you got that, right?

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