So you read the New York Times article about how all it takes is a minute of exercise to get fit, and now you’re geared up to hit the gym, hop on a bike for 75 seconds (because 60 seconds might be too easy), hit the steam room, and get home.
Or maybe you didn’t read the article, maybe you read the title and made some assumptions. Either way, let’s set the record straight buttercup.
You only need 60 seconds of exercise 3x per week
If you’re not working out 100% of the time or thinking about working out, you’ll lose all of your gains.
Ok, probably not, but here’s the deal. If you want to know how many minutes of exercise you can “get away with” while still maintaining your Netflix and cupcake lifestyle, go away.
Everything goes back to your goals. Do you want to get a beach body by this summer, or are you just interested in using the recumbent bike you bought in ’91?
If you want to change the way you look, you need more than 36 minutes of exercise across 6 weeks. Sorry not sorry.
You think Steve Jobs started Apple saying “I’m going to work on my business from 12:33pm until 12:35pm every 3rd day, and I should be successful by this time next year”?
(hint: he probably didn’t)
If you hop on a bike and cycle really really fast for 20 seconds a few times, you get the benefits of 45 minutes of steady state exercise.
You lack the ability and will power to push yourself as hard as you would need to to get these magical benefits.
Here’s a fact: The people who want to be able to ‘do the least’ don’t have the drive to put themselves through hell for 60 seconds, which is the only way you’re going to get anything out of a minute-long workout.
If your post workout ritual doesn’t involve a mop, a wheelchair, and a saline drip, guess what? DOESN’T COUNT.
Sprinting for 20 seconds does not equal going fast for 20 seconds. Let’s break it down.
2 seconds: This is pretty hard, but I can do it
6 seconds: Oh shit, I don’t think I can keep this up.
11 seconds: Please God, kill me.
14 seconds: Gerrrrrrhmphcknoairiminhell
17 seconds: Why can’t I see anymore? Why is Prince here?
20 seconds: I’ll name all my children Bette Midler if I don’t have to every do that again.
The control group seems like a bunch of lazy assholes.
“Yeah, well you know. That’s just like your opinion, man”
This study is actually really awesome. It was well done, had a control group, and looked at a lot of different variables in terms of fitness levels, but also health markers, blood work, and muscular efficiency, making it one of the best studies that has been done in terms of interval training.
One thing that wasn’t mentioned by the study though is that 45 minutes of strength training will have a much bigger payoff than the equivalent amount of low intensity cardio.
Just like every other too good to be true fitness announcement in the last 20 years, the facts remain the same. If you can adhere to a structured strength and cardio program, eat well 80% of the time, and be consistent, you’ll be better off than the rest of the population that bounces from fitness shoes, to gluten free pasta carbonara, to pogo fitness.