Does Anyone Even Do These Super Short Workouts?
The New York Times has a new super fast workout that you can do anywhere, even if you can’t get to the gym today. I tried it anyway, and … hey wait, am I the only one doing this?
Short, intense workouts seem like a good idea on paper. If you haven’t exercised yet, this is probably due to the fact that you feel like you don’t have time to go to the gym. But does anyone do these short workouts? Sure, I have nine minutes and some free space, but do I want my work clothes to sweat? And if I’m going to change , why not just walk out the door for a run or turn on Sworkit or Nike Training Club and do something a little more like a full workout?
After all, the seven-minute workout with which the New York Times began its super-short workout repertoire has an odd history. It was published in a scientific journal , but that does not mean that any scientists have checked whether it is easy to stick to or whether it gave the promised results. Instead, it was developed using recommendations from previous research with the goal of giving people a little strength training at a fast enough pace to be considered cardio. The designers worked as trainers at the corporate health institute . In other words, the people your boss pays to get you to exercise.
We love to talk about these short workouts, but I don’t see any evidence that people want to quickly spend a couple of minutes doing strength or circuit training. The new nine-minute workout dropped earlier this month, but I searched social media and found that almost no one is enthusiastic or complaining about how it feels to do this workout – just post the fact that it exists.
So how does the nine-minute workout go?
First, a nine minute workout actually takes 11 minutes. I just want you to know what is included. But there are nine exercises, and you do each in one minute. Here is the structure:
- One minute of squats, one minute of push-ups, one minute of climbers.
- Take a minute to rest.
- One minute of forearm planks, one minute of jumping into split squats, one minute of hip bridge on one leg.
- Take a minute to rest.
- One minute push-up burpee, damn hardcore. One minute of toes touching one foot. Raising your legs in one minute.
It’s like an exercise program that doesn’t know what it wants to be. The New York Times advertises it as a strength training program, but then states that it is designed according to “the principles of high-intensity interval training known as HIIT.”
The result is a hybrid that does not work either. If you want to gain strength by fatiguing your legs by doing split squats, you will do so before the minute is up. But if you try to stretch the exercises for a full minute, you will have to do them at a slower pace than HIIT requires.
This is exactly how this training went. One minute felt too long for some exercises, too short for others, and overall it didn’t feel like strength training or interval training. Although it was ok for what it was! A little thing that challenges your body is much better than sitting at a table or couch for the same amount of time. However, if that’s your goal, you may find a better exercise plan than this awkward one.