Fit­ness on a Tight Schedule…and a Tight Budget

If you are some­one that falls into the “too busy to exer­cise” cat­e­gory, then this arti­cle is for you. Many of us have hec­tic sched­ules that do not per­mit reg­u­lar gym atten­dance after or before work. Some who have off days are often so tired or have so much to do that their plan of going to the gym on those days just does not work. Some­times sched­ules are so unpre­dictable that a gym work­out becomes unfea­si­ble. Oth­ers just can­not afford the monthly gym fees. How­ever, with chang­ing times, chang­ing sched­ules and cru­cially, chang­ing bud­gets, a rev­o­lu­tion­ary way to exer­cise has been devel­oped. This arti­cle high­lights three work­outs for those on a tight schedule…and a tight budget.

The High Inten­sity Workout

In order to cre­ate a con­sis­tent work­out sched­ule amidst a hec­tic work sched­ule you must embrace the idea of shorter work­outs. It has been sci­en­tif­i­cally proven that you do not need to spend hours at the gym or exer­cis­ing in order to improve health and fit­ness. High inten­sity work­outs with inter­vals can get you in the best shape if your life…and in much less time. They are ideal for those with busy sched­ules, slow metab­o­lism and those who wish to increase sta­mina in a short period of time. These types of work­outs involve alter­nat­ing between intense exer­cises and brief rest peri­ods. Some researchers have even posited that these work­outs can burn as many and pos­si­bly more calo­ries than an hour long workout!

An effec­tive style to use in these high inten­sity work­outs is the Tabata Style train­ing. This involves 20 sec­onds of an exer­cise and then 10 sec­onds of rest, repeated for a spe­cific time period (usu­ally no more than 1012 min­utes). This may not seem like a great deal of exer­cise. How­ever, the key is doing the work­out with as much effort as pos­si­ble, push­ing your bod­ies to the limit dur­ing each exer­cise period. If this work­out has been com­pleted with min­i­mal dif­fi­culty then, unfor­tu­nately, you have done it wrong.

There are many vari­a­tions of high inten­sity work­outs. This one that will be shared with you involves two exer­cises – Jump Squats and Burpees. The rou­tine is as follows:

· Minute 1: 20 sec­onds of Jump Squats with 10 sec­onds of rest and one repetition.

· Minute 2: 20 sec­onds of Burpees with 10 sec­onds of rest and one repetition.

….and so on. The exer­cise is repeated up to minute 10, alter­nat­ing between the jump squats and the burpees. How­ever, there is a rest period between minute 5 and 6. Below is a visual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of how to do the two exer­cises:

Jumo Squats


The Sci­en­tific 7 (but really 8) Minute Workout

An arti­cle in the May-​June issue of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fit­ness Jour­nal demon­strated that in 12 exer­cises, with only the use of your body, a chair and a wall, you can have an exer­cise that is effec­tively equiv­a­lent to a long run and some weight lift­ing; all in just eight uncom­fort­able and bru­tal min­utes (despite the sources indi­cat­ing its dura­tion is seven min­utes, it really works out to be eight). And….it is all based on science.

Like the pre­vi­ous exer­cise, one must main­tain a high level of inten­sity and there are breaks in between exer­cises, albeit brief ones. Again, sci­ence has shows that just a few min­utes of high inten­sity train­ing effec­tively equates to sev­eral hours of run­ning or bike rid­ing. These few min­utes how­ever MUST be done at MAX­I­MUM capac­ity. The inter­vals are very cru­cial as it gives the mus­cles a brief time to recover. Also, the order of exer­cises in this work­out is very impor­tant. The exer­cises are to be done in 30 sec­onds with 10 sec­ond inter­val breaks in between them. Below is a visual depic­tion of the sci­en­tific eight minute workout.


Addi­tion­ally, there is an elec­tronic appli­ca­tion of the exer­cise avail­able for both Android and Apple devices. For those who do not posses these oper­at­ing sys­tems, there is also a desk­top ver­sion avail­able. The appli­ca­tion offers illus­tra­tions of the exer­cises, a timer and audio cues. You can visit this link (http://​well​.blogs​.nytimes​.com/​2014​/​10​/​24​/​f​o​r​-​a​-​7​-​m​i​n​u​t​e​-​w​o​r​k​o​u​t​-​d​o​w​n​l​o​a​d​-​o​u​r​-​n​e​w​-​a​p​p​/ ) to down­load any suit­able ver­sion for yourself.

The Advanced Sci­en­tific 7 (but really 8) Minute Workout

Upon the requests from var­i­ous read­ers (for whom the above work­out became too easy and monot­o­nous, the lat­ter of which can hap­pen with repeat exer­cises), a more advanced and demand­ing rou­tine was devel­oped, only requir­ing a few dumb­bells. Below is a graph­i­cal depic­tion of the advanced work­out. Some exer­cises may require more detail, so visit the link http://​well​.blogs​.nytimes​.com/​2014​/​10​/​24​/​t​h​e​-​a​d​v​a​n​c​e​d​-​7​-​m​i​n​u​t​e​-​w​o​r​k​o​u​t​/ for more information.

Advanced 7-mins

It is impor­tant to note that these work­outs do not just build the usual mus­cles but they also work the smaller mus­cles such as those in the back, abdomen, shoul­ders and hips; mus­cles which are often neglected dur­ing reg­u­lar exer­cise. It has also been said that the work­out coun­ter­acts the aches, pains and fatigue usu­ally expe­ri­enced by those in desk jobs. How­ever, although these exer­cises are very con­ve­nient for those with a busy sched­ule and a tight bud­get, they should not be your only form of exer­cise. A diverse exer­cise sched­ule is very impor­tant not only for fit­ness, but to ensure that exer­cis­ing does not become a monot­o­nous and mun­dane task.

© Photo 1 taken from Bloomtofit​.com
© Photo 2 taken from Burpeesandbed​timesto​ries​.com

© Photo 3 & 4 taken from Nytimes​.com
© Arti­cle of caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

Share this post

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn
Scroll to Top