Where did this misconception come from that we must workout for exactly ONE hour? I’m going to do weights for 30 minutes then hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes… Or I’m going to take a 45-minute class and then do 15 extra minutes of cardio…or I’m going to divide up my 1 hour of cardio into 20-minute segments on different machines, so I don’t get bored.. we’ve all been there, but do we know why? Why do we think we didn’t have a great gym session unless we stayed on the elliptical for at least 60 minutes? This is a very common misconception with people who exercise regardless of if their goal is to lose weight, get healthy, stay healthy, tone, etc. Let’s crack this weight loss myth!
First, it is important to realize that no workout is a bad workout. If you’re debating coming into W3 to workout, and you decide not to for reasons other than an injury or sickness, you will most likely regret it later (but you’ll never regret a workout). So, coming to the gym for 30 minutes is definitely better than not at all. But the question is still “why do we think that 60 minutes is necessary?” Maybe it was a goal that you decided to work up to, starting out at walking at 10 minutes and now you can do the elliptical for 60 minutes- great! But it may not be necessary. Quality over quantity in exercise oftentimes fares better than thinking how long you exercise is going to allow you to achieve your goals. Especially for weight loss, lifting a 10 lb dumbbell 10x over a 2 lb dumbbell 30x is going to get you results a lot faster. The quality of lifting a heavier weight will build your muscle, increase your metabolism and therefore, aid in your weight loss a lot faster.
Lastly, to demonstrate our point that a longer workout (such as 60 minutes) vs. a shorter workout is not necessarily better is the concept of HIIT- high intensity interval training. A lot of W3’s small group functional training is based around this concept of bringing your heart rate up for quick intervals and then back down again. The benefits of high intensity interval training and the speed at which this helps you achieve your goals far outnumber other types of exercise, such as steady state cardio on a treadmill. (and these workouts are definitely less than 60 minutes!) The benefits of HIIT, such as Tabata training, include time- efficient workouts, fat-burning during and after workouts, healthy heart, and weight loss (not muscle loss!) The fact of the matter is that during these short, intense workouts, most of your weight loss is coming from fat stores whereas steady-state cardio usually burns at least some muscle. If you’re looking to lose weight, just remember that longer does not always mean better, and you don’t have to stick to any specific (60 minute) rule. Get a good, strength training, fat-burning workout in, and you’re good to go. If you haven’t already, just try one of our functional training workouts. Don’t be intimidated. There are levels and modifications for everyone. Just try it- you’ll be amazed by how you feel afterwards and the results your body will see, too!