This 20-Minute Workout Beats an Hour on the Treadmill

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Lazy? No way. There’s a new reason to spend less time at the gym, and it’s a good one: New research shows that you can get just as effective of a workout in 20 minutes as you can in over an hour.

According to my new favorite book, The First 20 Minutes by “Phys Ed” columnist for The New York Times Gretchen Reynolds, working out for four to six four-and-a-half and a half minutes at an intense pace is equivalent to a steady pace of 90 to 120 minutes of exercise. Crazy, right?!

The Workout

A group of college students rode a stationary bike for 90 to 120 minutes at a steady pace while another group performed short intervals of 20 to 30 seconds and then rested for four minutes. They repeated this cycle four to six times for a total of two to three minutes of intense exercise.

The Results

After two weeks of repeating these exercises, both groups saw similar results; they increased their endurance and physical fitness. But surprisingly, working out for a longer period of time didn’t increase their results at a greater level.

Now It’s Your Turn

Sticking to just cardio may not be the best bang for your time. “When you have limited time, choosing between cardio and resistance training is a mistake,” Travis Steffen, a Strength and Condition Specialist and founder of  Workoutbox.com, told us. “Instead, combine the two. With an intense manual resistance circuit with very little rest between exercises, you can get both resistance training and cardio done in one shot.” Check out a 20-minute workout he provided that will get you results…and fast. All you need is a pair of dumbbells!

Dumbbell Saigon Squat
Three to Five Reps

Twisting Pushup
10 Reps

Prisoner Pause Squats
20 Reps

Speed Squats
10 Reps

Vertical Jumps
8 Reps

For the rest of this workout,

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