Because of my work schedule this week I have to get to the fitness center bright and early so I can be at work by 7:00 am. I didn’t have a session, but wanted to get some cardio in this morning. At the downtown location, the elliptical and treadmill are actually located in another room, and typically I’m the only person in there. So, while I’m on the elliptical this morning (really hoping Michael or someone doesn't come to check on me because I’m just belting out my favorite songs that are playing on my phone), I’m also figuring out how long I can go before I need to start getting ready for work. When I do cardio, I typically like to get 45 minutes to an hour in, and sometimes will even do more than an hour. But, then I have times like today, where I am only able to get 30 minutes in. There have even been a few times where I only had enough time to work out for 20 minutes.
The weeks I work early, I have to leave my house between 4:45 and 5:00 in the morning to make sure I’m at the fitness center by 5:15 or no later than 5:30. Michael is typically there around 5:15ish or shortly after, but by the time I get inside and get situated where I’m ready to start working out sometimes I get to only workout for 20 or 30 minutes before I have to stop and get in the shower so I can make it to work on time. And as I’m pushing through some sprint intervals, I start asking myself, is it really worth getting up at 4:00 in the morning so I can get in only 20 or 30 minutes of cardio? I kept thinking, if I can’t at least get 45 minutes in, I’m probably wasting my time. Of course, I know these are the type of thoughts that become excuses, and so I had to refocus my thoughts in a positive way. And I remember coming across quotes before regarding these types of situations, and so I found one that really was appropriate and I couldn’t have found a better quote to put it in perspective.
Something I’ve learned over the past several months is about HITT workouts. These are High Intensity Interval Training workouts, and Michael has written some for me in the past. These types of workouts are typically done in 20 – 25 minutes, and can be more effective than walking an hour on the treadmill. HIIT workouts consist of high intensity during short work periods. Here’s an example of a HIIT cardio workout Michael wrote for me for the first time. I did 4 rounds total where I would do 30 seconds of hard intense work and 30 seconds of rest on each exercise, and then a 60 second rest between rounds, which means this work out would take approximately 24 minutes.
· Kettlebell Swings
So, next time you try to convince yourself it’s not worth going in to work out for just a short period of time, just remember doing something for only 20 minutes is better than doing nothing at all. Don’t let thoughts like this become your excuses to not get the results you desire.