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Got 15 Minutes? Shorter Workouts Might Be Best

Got 15 Minutes? Shorter Workouts Might Be Best

If you think the best way to get the most benefit from working out is by spending as much time in the gym as possible, think again. It turns out you may need to shorten your exercise sessions to achieve optimal results. Experts from the University of Stirling, Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence discovered individuals completing fewer repetitions during quick high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, sessions actually got better fitness benefits than those individuals doing more repetitions.

In the study, even after just two max sprints, the researchers saw each additional sprint reduced the overall results of the workout on average by about 5%. “We found improved cardiorespiratory fitness does not suffer when people complete fewer sprint repetitions and that this may even produce better results,” states Dr. Niels Vollaard, lecturer in health and exercise science, about the study. “The optimal number of repetitions appears to be just two, so workouts based on supramaximal sprints can be kept very short without compromising on the results.”

“If you’re giving max effort, it’s impossible to keep up with it for many reps,” explains Don Saladino, NASM, celebrity trainer, owner of Drive Clubs in New York City. “Think of Olympic lifters or bodybuilders for example. You never see them performing more than a couple reps at a time because they’re going so heavy and giving all their effort.”

So instead of blocking off an hour-plus to hit the gym, dedicate fewer than 15 minutes to do one of these two HIIT workouts.


15 Minutes, 5 move AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible)
**Be competitive with yourself to up the amount of rounds each time you do this routine.


Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, feet pointed slightly outward. Keeping your chest tall and back flat, bend and push your knees out as you sit back into your heels and lower until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Perform 5 reps.


Come into a pushup position placing your hands on a bench or couch in front of you, hands stacked directly under your shoulders, legs extended out behind you, balancing on your toes, body in a 45-degree angle, straight from head to toe. Keeping your body in line, bend your elbows and lower your chest to bench or couch. Explosively push up, allowing your hands to lift off bench or couch, landing back softly. Perform 5 reps.


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Jump as far as you can toward the right, landing on your right foot. Then jump off your right foot as far as you can to the left, landing on your left foot. Continue alternating. Perform 5 reps on each side.


Come to the floor. Place your forearms on the ground in front of you, elbows bent 90 degrees, stacked directly your under shoulders, legs extended behind you resting on your toes, body lifted in a straight line from head to toe. Squeeze every muscle in your body to create tension. Hold for 10 seconds.


Come to all fours, in a tabletop position with your hands on the floor stacked directly under your shoulders, knees on the ground stacked directly under your hips. Keeping your back flat and core engaged, lift your shins just slightly off the ground. Simultaneously lift and move your right hand and left foot a step forward, then move your left hand and right foot a step forward. Perform 5 steps forward, then do the same going backwards for 5 steps.


10 minutes
**Increase your speed slightly each time you do this workout.

60 sec, 0% incline, speed 3.5-4.0 walk
60 sec, 2% incline, speed 4.5-5.0 light jog
60 sec, 2% incline, speed 5.5-6.5 jog
60 sec, 3% incline, speed 7.5-8.5 run
60 sec, 3% incline, speed 8.5-9.0 sprint
60 sec, 5% incline, speed 4.5-5.5 light jog
60 sec, 0% incline, speed 6.5-7.5 run
60 sec, 5% incline, speed 4.5-5.5 light jog
60 sec, 5% incline, speed 8.5-12.5, sprint
60 sec, 0% incline, speed 3.5-4.0 walk

Amy SchlingerUnder ArmourAugust 18, 2017