Why a 20 minute workout is better than hours in the gym

Running on a treadmill

Are you one of those people who spend an hour or more working out in the gym every day? If so, you might be interested to know that you can achieve the same results in a third of the time, simply by changing your workout routine.

For a lot of people, maintaining a healthy weight and looking good means plodding away for an hour on the treadmill every day. Most of the time, there is some form of exercise machine involved as the solution. But it does take quite a while to burn those calories, doesn’t it?

The truth is, it doesn’t have to. There are many ways in which you can burn the same amount of calories in a short amount of time. And the answer is fast, intense workouts, using little more than your own body weight.

There is no secret to losing weight and burning fat through exercise. You have to burn calories. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose. So, all you have to do is figure out how to burn the most amount of calories in the shortest amount of time.

The key to getting the same amount of calories burnt in 20 minutes compared to an hour on the treadmill is to go hard. Your workout has to be intense. You have to get that heart rate up and keep it there the whole time.

Create a workout for yourself that uses intervals or sets of several different exercises. Split those 20 minutes into five sets. A 3 minute warm up, followed by three 5 minute sets of exercises and finishing off with a 2 minute cool down.

Your warm up shouldn’t be just lazing around stretching. You should be getting straight into it by doing some lesser impact exercises. Do a couple of intervals of jumping jacks and stop in between to loosen up your muscles by doing arm crosses and some on the spot jogging.

Next, hit those three 5 minute sets hard. You could, for example, do a set of strength, cardio and abs.

Start with some strength exercises like push ups, squat lifts and lunges. Pick five exercises and do them for 1 minute each. Don’t rest in between your sets; the key to this is to keep going. No rest.

Next, move onto your cardio set. Do some jump rope exercises, jumping jacks, high knees and butt kicks. Again, find five exercises and do them for 1 minute each.

Again – no resting. Move straight onto your 5 minute abs set. Do some reverse crunches, bicycle crunches and side lunges, just as a few examples. Pick five exercises to do for 1 minute each, with no resting in between.

By then, you should be hurting. You should be pouring with sweat and out of breathe. If you’re not, you haven’t gone hard enough. It is that constant, high intensity workout that will burn those calories fast.

Finish off your 20 minutes with a 2 minute cool down. Now is the time to let that heart rate come down gradually. Get into some deep stretches and take the time to think about what you have just done. Congratulate yourself for working out today, and for the hard work that you’ve put into it.

You really don’t need to slave away for hours in the gym to achieve results. All you need is 20 minutes. You’ll find that this is much easier to stick to, and you will enjoy yourself a lot more.

Good luck with your weight loss and your continued good health.