Is Micro Training Effective?

We are all working in survival mode now, and stopping regular exercise in the midst of a pandemic is certainly understandable. But regular exercise can help manage anxiety, depression and improve sleep quality , and in the world we live in, these benefits can be critical. If your schedule is too chaotic to fit into a single workout, the answer may be micro-workout, which can be roughly defined as a ten-minute workout that includes high-intensity intervals.

The theory is that these short moments of intense intervals between sprints can increase endurance in much the same way as longer workouts done at lower intensity. There is a certain amount of evidence to support this theory, although it is still unclear how beneficial micro-training is and what the optimal intervals are.

That said, while increasing stamina is a good benefit, at this point most of us are just trying to hold on to the shreds of sanity we have left. If ten minutes is all you have, a quick workout will always be better than nothing at all, and will probably go a long way in improving your overall mood.

When it comes to filling those ten minutes, there are certainly strategies you can use to optimize your results, but even if all you have the bandwidth for is a ten-minute walk around the block, that helps, too. Don’t get hung up on this: whatever works for you and what you can stick with is what you should be doing.

With that in mind, if you’re looking for micro workout inspiration, here are some tips to maximize your workout time:

Sprint interval stationary workout

This workout , which requires a stationary bike, includes 3 x 20-second cyclic sprints alternated with 2 minutes of more measured cycling, with a 2-minute warm-up and a 3-minute cool down. If you don’t own a bike, but have a place where you feel safe, this can be turned into a track workout. Just make sure you practice safe physical distancing.

Perfect workout

This training , which was adapted from the book by Martin Gibaly, Ph.D. “one-minute workout: science shows the way better, smarter, faster and shorter” , is good for those who do not have the equipment. Start with a 30-second springboard jump, then alternate bodyweight exercises with cardio exercises at repetition of 30-second intervals. Examples might include push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, or burpees alternating with cycling, jumping rope, or running in place.

Combo with skipping rope

Adapted from the Bustle article , this workout requires very little equipment. At minute intervals, start with the rope, plank, walking lunges, and ski jumping, and then rest for one minute. (If you don’t have a rope, try standing jogging or burpees.) Then repeat.

While the evidence for the effectiveness of micro-training is still debated, the evidence for regular exercise is overwhelmingly clear. Micro-training can help you maintain a regular exercise habit and help you stay sane during these very chaotic times. If you only have ten minutes, you can still count those minutes.


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