4 Short Workouts that Work: Cut Time Off Your Workouts Right Now!

Episode #490 Too busy to exercise? I’ve got your quick-fix workouts to satisfy your desire for tone, strength, and metabolism right here.

Think it takes an hour for effective exercise? Think again! Here’s 4 of my all-time favorite ways to get a strength workout in anything from 30 minutes to as little as 10.

Good news.

First, doing longer and more isn’t actually hormone balancing. Your long, drawn out, workouts probably sabotage more than support hormones. And remember, hormones, after all, that determine if you store or burn fat. A tired and drained body can’t lose fat.

Second, if you use heavier weights – which your metabolism and bones will thank you for – it takes fewer repetitions. How long can it take to do 5 repetitions?

These are my go-to workout solutions to … no time to workout. And sister, we’re talking strength training above all else. Sure, there’s yoga, Pilates, and barre. There’s walking, spinning, and running. When you strip away all the options that are less crucial to your survival and optimal aging, it’s easy.

These remain: intervals, stretching and strength. But the greatest of these is strength. It’s not Corinthians. It’s Flipping50.

DROP SETS

This is also something I refer to as monster sets. It is in fact a monster! You would find the heaviest weight you can lift to fatigue in 15 repetitions. Every set you’ll do will have 15 repetitions. You will complete a set, drop or reduce the weight, and immediately complete another set. You’ll do it at least 4 times.

I frequently use this strategy when I’m busy and barely have time to complete a workout. I’ll do it with a squat, and chest press, and a pull like a bent over row. I can complete a short volume-inclusive workout (strange to put those in one sentence for most!) in 15 minutes or less.

Yet, no more than once a week do you want to use it. A variety of stimuli is important.

So, let’s explore the other three options here.

SUPER SETS

Alternating exercises of opposing muscle groups or of body parts is extremely beneficial for energy expenditure. Here are three examples:

  • Chest and a Back exercise
  • An upper body and a lower body exercise
  • A chest and a triceps exercise

TRI SETS

Choose three exercises and complete them in a circuit 2, 3 or 4 times.

I do a 3 x 3 with major muscle groups choosing a push, a pull, and a lower body exercise.

It’s a 10-minute workout.

If I have a little more time, I will add a 4th exercise, often core, so that there is ample time to recover.

CIRCUITS

Choose 8-10 (or fewer) major muscle group exercises. Sequence them so that you have 2 minutes rest before using the same muscle groups again. Perform each using a combination of repetition range and weight that takes you to muscle fatigue. It’s almost always best to perform to muscle fatigue if you’re a woman in menopause after:

  • Muscle strength
  • Lean muscle for metabolism boosting
  • Bone density (lower rep range)

Complete the circuit 2, 3, or 4 times. Take little rest between exercises, meaning move quickly and efficiently then, but take your time and don’t let momentum take over during the exercises. This makes circuit training very different from many bootcamp style classes where you’re just moving in a frenzy.

The idea here too is not to boost overall metabolism for the duration of the workout. It is to boost metabolism long term by reaching muscular fatigue with overload to the muscle that changes your metabolism more permanently. (Albiet, yes you have to continue to strength train to enjoy the metabolism benefits. If you stop strength training you will lose muscle). 

TIME EFFICIENT EXERCISE WILL:

  • Reduce rest time between exercises (no, there’s not time to scroll the phone, babe)
  • Maintain the recovery of a muscle group before using it again
  • Reach muscular fatigue

The idea is REDUCE IDLE REST time, get the volume and the intensity you need, AND still ALLOW RECOVERY for muscle groups by STRATEGIC EXERCISE SEQUENCING.

There you have it.

These workouts are the substance of my existence… and my body composition that’s remained the same since I was 26.

Look it’s not about time. It’s what you do with the time that matters.

Except that spending too much time exercising… will definitely backfire on you. There’s that. Adrenal fatigue in midlife is a real concern and it’s common.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

28-Day Kickstart (last time offered in Nov 2021) 

Muscles in Minutes

5 Day Flip

1 thought on “4 Short Workouts that Work: Cut Time Off Your Workouts Right Now!”

  1. AngeLITA Valenta

    This was extremely helpful, Debra! Love it. I listen to many fitness/ health podcasts, yet yours are the only ones I feel answer all my questions. It is almost like you know what I am thinking. Your knowledge is based on your many years in the industry, your age, you always support your information on statistics, reports, studies, etc. You have the credentials and you live our daily lives. We run the same path and it is comforting to have you along side me through this journey of ageing. Looking forward to your next podcast, masterclass, etc.

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