If this summer’s beers and barbecues have ruined your gains at the gym, this workout we’re about to tell you about can help you get back on track… A recent study from the University of Texas concluded that a HIIT-style workout, based on short bursts of intense cycling, is enough to achieve improvements in body composition and heart health. Those tested were asked to pedal hard for four seconds and then rest for 15 to 30 seconds. This was repeated 30 times for a total of 120 seconds of work.
Study author Dr. Edward Coyle revealed that those who used this technique three times a week had improved muscle mass in their legs and improved aerobic fitness after eight weeks of practice. And all in less time than it will take to make a coffee or go down to throw out the garbage. (The 20 best exercises for your legs without using weights).
We’re not telling you to ditch the gym for a while. But these days when you don’t feel like lifting anything too heavy, having a plan like this is always a good idea. If you have time for a morning session at the gym, spend 5-10 minutes on mobility, then do 30 intervals on the AirBike or SkiErg.
Other workouts of just a few seconds and minutes
If you have… 3 seconds
Scientists in Niigata, Japan, found that people who performed a single repetition of an eccentric bicep curl for three seconds daily saw improvements in strength.
If you have… 3 minutes
A University College London study found that three minutes of exposure to red light in the morning can improve eye health, which could offset some of the effects of excessive screen use.
If you have… 5 minutes
Research published in the Journal Of Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry found that practicing mindfulness meditation for just five minutes a day can reduce stress levels within a week. (Meditation changes the brain to strengthen the immune system).