What if someone told you that you could get in the shape of your life working out just 1 minute a day? No way, right? This has gotta be a scam, you say. Well, actually it’s possible.
Working Out Doesn’t Have to Take All Day
Tim Ferris is known all-over the world for his revolutionary approach to work called “The 4-Hour Work Week”. He dispels the common belief that you have to work 80+ hours a week to earn lots of money and live the life you want. He said that, in one particular week, he only worked 4 hours, but he made more money that week than any other up till then.
The same can be said about working out. Instead of spending hours and hours on the treadmill, or doing 15 sets of barbell curls, what if you could structure a workout that required less time than what it would take you to get dressed for work in the morning?
Quality over Quantity
The first thing that needs to be understood about working out is that quality beats quantity every single time. If I walked up to you right now and said you could choose between 1 juicy, delicious tasting apple or 10 mouldy, worm-filled apples, which would you choose? Assuming you’re as fond of eating worms as most people are (which is not at all) you would choose the delicious tasting apple, right?
What if you could have 100 or 1000 disgusting apples instead of this one delicious apple? You’d probably still choose the delicious apple. Why is that? It comes down to quality. No matter how many disgusting apples you get, they do not magically add up to one juicy, delicious apple.
The same is true for working out. No matter how many hours you put in, if you’re spending most of the time checking your phone, going to the toilet or just checking yourself out in the mirror, your results will be minimal, if any at all. Every time you get in the gym, you need to demand quality in every set, and in every rep.
Intensity is Key
The second point is the importance of intensity. Have you ever noticed that marathon runners look very different from say, sprinters? Why is that? Is it because one is more dedicated to their sport than the other? Is it because one is more determined than the other? Of course not. The different is in the intensity of their training.
A marathon is a long way- 42 kilometres to be exact. The kind of training that you would do to build up to a marathon consists of long periods of endurance at a low intensity. It’s about expending minimal effort in the short run, to maximise your output over time.
Sprinters, however, train very differently. At the olympic level, the 100-metre sprint is over in a matter of seconds and won across milliseconds! When Usain Bolt or Tyson Gay get out onto that track, they are putting in everything that they’ve got into those 10 seconds. They are expending maximal effort in minimal time, maximising their intensity.
Now I’m not saying that’s it bad to train like a marathon runner, don’t get me wrong. But in order to get great results in minimal time, you can’t just be walking on the treadmill, trying not to break a sweat. You can’t be resting for five minutes after every single rep. You need to hit every rep as hard as you can, with as little wasted time as possible.
Consistency is the Hidden Variable
Let’s say that after hearing me talk about quantity and intensity your like “I had a workout just like that the other day. I woke up feeling super pumped, got into the gym, worked out hardcore and got out. It felt great, but that made little difference to my energy levels and zero difference to my physique”.
Oh yeah? Well what about yesterday? Did you do another super intense, high quality workout yesterday too? Did you do one today as well? Are you gonna do one tomorrow?
Quality and intensity are important, but together, they aren’t even half the equation. The rest of the equation is consistency. Can you get into the gym and do your super intense, high quality workout 5 times a week for 6 months? What about even 3 times a week for 2 months?
Most people at this point will stop reading. They’ll just turn to something else, looking for the next “Get-Rich-Quick” scheme or the “Lose 30 pounds of fat in 30 days without ever having to diet or workout” scam. The truth is, most people will never make it past one week of high quality, high intensity workouts. Consistency is the hidden variable.
Consistency is the primary reason that some people have amazing bodies, and some don’t. Consistency is the most critical element to a healthy, energy-filled, motivating lifestyle. Consistency is about making quality and intensity a habit. It’s about continuing to put in the work even when it’s not fun or exciting. Consistency is what will ultimately determine whether those workouts will have any effect on you or not.
You don’t have to spend hours and hours in the gym to get the body that you’ve always wanted. You don’t have to try millions of different exercises to build a strong, muscular body. The three things that you need in your workouts are quality, intensity and consistency. But the most important of these three will always be consistency. By consistently doing high quality, maximum intensity workouts, you will be able to build a strong, healthy body while spending minimal time at the gym.
How effective are your workouts? Let me know in the comments.