For decades high volume training was the centerpiece of mainstream training. 5-6 workouts a week with lots of sets was pushed by professional athletes and imitated by student athletes and ordinary trainees (source). But many of us have found from personal experience that too much of a good thing can lead to staleness, overtraining and injuries. Short workouts that last as little as 10 minutes can boost metabolism for weight loss but are probably most useful for building muscle. Short workouts allow you to increase the intensity significantly and leave a lot of time for recovery and adaption.
Boost Metabolism for Better Results
Short workouts that last for 30, 20 or even 10 minutes don’t leave a lot of room for error so its important to make the most out of each session. One way to do this is to train to raise your metabolism as much as you can with full body exercises that target the large muscles of the back, hips and thighs.
Why Do Short Workouts?
This will have two effects: it will burn more calories and at the same time ramp up your lean muscle mass (source). Bent-legged deadlifts, squats, clean and jerk and snatch are the best examples of metabolic exercises you should include in most of your workouts. Work into these exercises slowly with attention to proper form and use weights that allow you to complete a 12-20-repetition set.
The Cardio Key to Short Workouts
Cardio work is of course important for your overall health and should never be shortchanged in your routines, and with short workouts you don’t have to. You can get the heart healthy and calorie burning benefits of cardio work without marathon training sessions that can dig into your recovery abilities. The possibilities for brief, but effective cardio workouts are nearly limitless.
You can combine a metabolic exercise like the clean and jerk with bursts of mountain climbers or box jumps. Alternating 50-yard sprints with sets of push-ups and sit-ups or a traditional circuit routine in the gym with selection of exercises that covers all the major muscle groups. Regardless of the specific workouts you pick, working your whole body with intensity that elevates your heart rate are the keys to getting the most from short workouts.