Over 80 percent of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their life (1). In 2008, obesity costed America 147 billion dollars (2) and some websites have reported that the number has climbed to a staggering 192 billions dollars (3) . Based off these numbers, America is overweight and injured. I have seen this firsthand as a trainer. People are weaker than ever and lack the ability to move well. I am sorry to be brash, but it is the truth. We are animals and movement is wired into our dna. Unfortunately, we no longer have to move for food or shelter like our ancestors. Technology is slowly replacing our need to move and is slowly persuading us to be lethargic and do nothing. While humans are wired to move, we are also wired to do nothing. It is important to understand that we will adapt to any environment we live in. Just take a look at the schools from the 1940s and 1960s:
From a very young age I had been training with my Dad on the beach in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. We would run the beach together and push wheelbarrows of concrete up my driveway in hope of me becoming the best athlete possible. I loved this style of training, but when I heard that my friends were lifting weights I felt left out and wanted to switch to weight training. So I started training with my oldest brother, Sean, during the summer leading up to my 8th grade year. I still remember sitting in the bleachers that summer talking to my friends about our max bench press. I was very weak compared to my friends, most of them were benching 135 pounds while I was only benching 95 pounds. I was embarrassed to say the least. This embarrassment started a fire inside me and motivated me to become as strong as possible.
Have you ever wondered what the least amount of exercise you could do while still obtaining some sort of health benefit from it?
We live busier lives than ever and for some, the idea of exercising 30 minutes to an hour isn't realistic nor enjoyable. For most of us, we love our workout and look forward to it but that isn't the case for everyone. There are a lot of people who dread exercise or lack the time to exercise. It could be their job, family life or just a lack of priorities. I still believe that exercise should be one of your main priorities because it enhances every aspect of your life, but that isn't the point of the this discussion. The point of this post is to answer the question above:
What is the least amount of exercise you could do while still obtaining some sort of health benefit from it?
Last week I just got done writing about the benefits of a high intensity workout and how it can save you time in the gym. This week I am going to go over another sprint workout that has been shown to help reduce body fat. And don't worry it isn't going to take you an hour to perform. Regardless of how much time you have that day, you should never let a busy schedule force you to take break from exercise, rather, you should switch your workout to one that accommodates your schedule. The easiest way to do this in a time efficient manner is through sprint training. When it comes to sprint training you don't need much, and this was proven in my previous post on interval training (click here). But not everyone enjoys that type of interval training, so I decided to search pubmed until I found one that seemed suitable. I came across a study that showed sprint training induced fat loss in women. The study consisted of 15 women and each participant completed six weeks of sprint training. The training regimen consisted of four to six 30 second “all-out” sprints on a self propelled treadmill with four minutes of rest (walking) performed three times per week. After the six weeks were over, training decreased body fat mass by eight percent! (2)