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Maximum Results + Minimum Time

A lot of people in North America really only exercise for one reason: To Lose Weight.

But they don't want to work hard to do it. Exercise? That sounds too much like work. It is that kind of pessimistic and lazy attitude that causes people to become paralyzed by "I'll do it later."  It is therefore no surprise that America has an obesity epidemic when you considered a combined lifestyle of bad diet and lack of exercise. Also to blame is all the nutritional / exercise misinformation being pushed at them by the food industry and even people in the exercise industry who really just want to sell you something.

Well to be fair, I am selling something too. Personal Training. But I am also a strong believer in giving away free information so that people can go the Do-It-Yourself route.

One of the things people are always looking for is ways to maximize their weight loss... but they want to do it in the minimum amount of time required.

This to me is the typical male approach to getting a task done. If you give a guy three boxes and tell him to carry them upstairs one at a time he will look at you funny, stack all three boxes together and then try to carry them up the stairs all at once. Its not lazy, its male logic. "I can carry all three at once and therefore accomplish the task in one shot."

Part of it might be male ego and testosterone, that is for psychiatrists to decide, but the analogy is good.

So how do we apply this to exercise?

#1. You want to maximize calorie loss per minute.

This means you're going to have to compare exercises and pick one that burns a lot of calories in a hurry. The obvious choice is running because that burns the most calories more than any other exercise, but depending on your goals you might also choose weight lifting, a specific sport, skipping rope, jumping jacks or even yoga.

#2. At the same time you want to be able to keep up the activity for the stated length of time.

So for example if your plan is to only exercise for 15 to 30 minutes per day then you ideally want to be burning a lot of calories during that time period and not stopping to rest. So you want to pick an activity that you're certain you can do. eg. Jogging for 30 minutes.

#3. You want to push your limits in order to maximize results.

One way to do this is via Interval Training. So to take the example of running and jogging you could do the following:

Sprint 1 minute, jog for 2 minutes. Repeat 10 times. Total time 30 minutes.

And if you're still not tired after the 30 minutes, sprint for an additional amount of time until you're ready to quit.

The same method can also be used for weight lifting and mixed cardio.

30 lb bicep curls 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
Pushups 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
Chin-ups 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
25 lb bicep curls 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
Pushups 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
Chin-ups 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
 20 lb bicep curls 3 minutes, jumping jacks for 3 minutes.

Total time 30 minutes.

#4. The Fun Factor.

Running and weightlifting can be pretty boring however. That is why it is important to mix it up with music and other things to make them more interesting. Try and pick music that makes you feel invigorated.  Eye of the Tiger, Super Trouper, Hungry like the Wolf, TV theme songs... whatever gets your heart and mind racing.

If that still isn't enough fun for you my recommendation is to take up a sport every day for 30 minutes (or longer). If its truly fun you will lose track of time and want to do it every day. (This is why I got into archery and boxing in the first place. They're sports I never get bored of.)

If you can find an activity you enjoy that you can do every day for 30 minutes and it doesn't feel like a chore or work, awesome. Then all you have to do is push yourself to your limits in an effort to maximize your results / calorie loss.

Eventually you will hopefully lose track of time and your worries over "minimizing time and effort" will disappear.

#5. Variety.

Always try new things.

If the only things you are doing is running or weightlifting, your body will stagnate. You will reach a plateau where you can't cross an endurance barrier. To get around that you need to try new things and use muscles you aren't used to using. Yoga is good for this, but you can find many other activities which can activate those rarely used muscles. Once you do so you will be able to push your "maximum" to new heights by awakening muscles you never knew you had.

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