Get the Facts
The 5-Minute Workout
By Dr. Len Lopez
Nutrition and Fitness Expert
Can you get a good workout in 5 minutes? Yes you can!
It may take 10 minutes of exercise to land the cover of a fitness magazine, but you can get a good quick, intense workout in 5 minutes!
The 5-Minute Workout is a quick way to get an intense strength training workout, which will release as much testosterone in the shortest amount of time. This is important, because the intensity of your workout will determine how much testosterone you produce. The more intense the more testosterone you produce. You may produce more testosterone in those 5 minutes than you can in an easy walk or jog, and it’s testosterone that helps build muscle for both men and women, along with keeping your metabolism pumping.
The fact that it is a short workout is a major reason so many people enjoy this workout. It’s ideal for people on the go that sometimes neglect their workout because they don’t have enough time. Anyone with kids, family or a full time job knows what I’m talking about and as Ephesians 5:16 says, “We have to make the most of our time and opportunities.”
The name of the game is to pick an exercise or two that targets several muscle groups at once. Some of the best exercises to choose from are push-ups, pull-ups, squats, clean and presses with dumbbells or a kettle ball.
You don’t want to pick an exercise that only isolates one muscle like bicep curls. I like push-ups and pull-ups the best, because they target every major muscle of the upper body. Squats and lunges address the lower body and are great if you want to combine that with and upper body movement. Clean and presses or kettle ball swings are excellent whole body exercises as well.
The goal is to do as many repetitions as you can in 5 minutes. If you choose push-ups – do as many as you can in 5 minutes. If its pull-ups, squats or presses…the goal is to do as many as you can in 5 minutes.
The fact that you probably can’t do push-ups continually for 5 minutes will require you to break it down into multiple sets. Whether you perform 5 or 15 sets in that time frame is dependent on you and your current level of fitness.
The key is to try and keep the rest break in-between the sets, constant. You can rest for 10, 15 or 20 seconds…it depends on your level of fitness. Or you can rest until you catch your breath and are ready for another set, but the goal is to do as many reps as possible in those 5 minutes.
You have Two Options
One way of performing the 5-Minute Workout is to do a progression of sets. The first set you might do 12 reps…the next set…9 reps…the next 6 reps. Continue dropping the number of reps for each set you do, because it is going to get harder and harder. It’s perfectly fine to do the same number of reps on those last few sets. The amount of rest you take between sets should be the same, but you may need to rest longer as the number of sets increases.
The second option is to pick a target number of reps for each set
You can perform sets of 5, 7 or 15 repetitions per set. The key is to do the same number of reps each time. The rest period should be constant and you can choose 10-30 seconds between sets. If you are doing sets of 7 repetitions the first set may seem easy, especially if you’re able to pop out 15 push-ups at any given time. But by the time you get to the 4th or 5th set you may find seven repetitions quite difficult. That’s what you want, this is when you stress and stimulate your muscle to change. They have to adapt to the stress being placed on them. You can’t expect your muscles to change and become stronger and leaner if you don’t stress them!
I’m not sure if it is biblical, but I have always heard “what won’t kill you will only make you stronger.” You don’t need your workout to kill you, but if you are not stressing those muscles – those muscles will simply say, “I don’t need to change (get firmer and stronger), I can already handle the stress or workload you are giving me.
Take it to the gym
You can also mix it up a bit and perform the 5-Minute Workout in a gym. You might do a 3-5 minute workout on a squat rack for your legs. Then spend another 3-5 minutes on pull-ups or seated rowing exercises for your back, biceps and forearms. Followed by a 3-5 minute workout of bench press or push-ups, then finish it off by doing some clean and overhead presses.
Whether you train at home or at a gym, it’s a great way to mix-up your workout and add some variety, especially if your body has gotten used to the same routine. A great game to play or to motivate yourself is to always try and do at least one more rep than you did the time before. It gives you something to shot for.
Don’t forget to make sure you train your body equally. This is why I like push-ups and pull-ups for the upper body and like using The Work Horse Fitness Trainer. It makes it possible for almost everyone to do both push-ups and pull-ups. Yes, ladies and some of you men out there who can’t do but a few pull-ups, you can finally do pull-ups with The Work Horse Fitness Trainer.
Keep in mind, if you do push-ups you need to also do pull-ups otherwise you are creating muscle imbalance. Push-ups only targeting half your upper body – you need that pulling motion to balance out the other half of your upper body or you will be setting yourself up for upper back and neck pain.
Push-ups target your chest, shoulders and triceps
Pull-ups target your back, biceps and forearms.
If you haven’t tried the 5-Minute Workout give it a try. You will be surprised how good of a workout you can get in those 5 minutes. I recommend the 5-Minute Workout on the Work Horse for a anyone who mostly does aerobic training (walking, jogging, biking, or dance class/videos) and isn’t getting enough strength training into their daily life. You can perform you strength training before or after your aerobic activity, but it allows you to get both aerobic and strength training in at the same time.
Here’s to helping you get more free time in your day (shortening up your workout), or to simply make sure you fit in some strength training into your busy day. Either way it’s one way of looking after your temple and keeping it strong.
Dr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert and creator of the Work Horse Fitness Trainer. His background in natural medicine and strength training gives him that special insight to help those who are struggling to bring both ‘health’ and ‘fitness’ together. You can learn more or get a Second Opinion at www.DrLensBlog.com
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