Clean And Jerk: The Fast Fitness Trend
…And get out. Charmaine Gooden works out the fast fitness trend.
“These Ten- to 15-minute mini-workouts that add up to four hours a week are perfect for beginners, de-conditioned persons and those starting fitness later in life,” says Maureen Hagan, vice-president of operations, GoodLife Fitness, “plus it leaves time for socializing.”
Most importantly, it’s hopeful these time-efficient workouts will be useful in tackling the rising problem of age-related obesity in Canada.
But does it work? Over the past 10 years, the medical and fitness communities have been re-evaluating how much exercise is needed on a daily basis. First, they said you only needed 30 minutes a day. Then, they said you didn’t need to do all 30 minutes at once: three 10-minute workouts would do.
In 2009, scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton found that short-term (10 to 15 minutes), high-intensity interval training is a safe alternative to traditional types of long-term, moderate exercise. The secret behind the 10-minute workout is the use of interval and circuit training techniques. Circuit training strings a series of exercises one right after the other, with little or no rest in between. It has long been used by the military to get their cadets in fighting form.
“Lack of time — real or perceived — is one of the main barriers to a successful fitness program,” says Andy Smith, general manger of eMbody Fitness Clubs, which creates personalized programs based on its clients’ goals and time constraints. “The 10-minute trend can really serve as a launch point for a lot of people. It’s manageable and once you get into the habit, it’s easy to extend your time and intensity. Trying something for 10 to 15 minutes opens your horizons to new activities.”
But, as is always true of embarking on a new exercise regime, “shorter high-intensity workouts are not for everyone,” cautions Mike Dickin, certified kinesiologist and president of the Ontario Kinesiology Association. “Consult your health-care provider first and, if deemed medically safe, incorporate this workout into your [regular routine] to see an even better return on that exercise program.”
Exercise … And Make It Quick! At home, you can try these ideas, with a few fitness staples such as stability balls and resistance bands thrown in.
The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough by Sean Foy (www.4321fitness.com)
Sean Foy, an exercise physiologist, wrote this book based on the principal that you need four minutes of aerobics, three minutes of resistance exercise, two minutes of core work and one minute of stretching and deep breathing a day. “We looked at different time versions — 15 minutes, 20 minutes — but found people more psychologically apt to try a 10-minute workout,” says Foy.