The older I get, the more I am appreciating short strength workouts. Even if the short workouts are by necessity. With two young kids, a coaching business and freelance writing, there’s only so much a man can fit in.
But after two years of Covid imposed short strength workouts, I wouldn’t go back to longer session. Even if I’d figure how to go from 24 to 28 hours a day. A hindrance I am still trying to solve.
When in the past I’d set aside an hour for training, I now get in about 30 minutes. Including the warm up. Obviously, living in the tropics cuts down the need for an extensive warm up. After three or four specific warm up exercises, I can focus on workout specific warm up during the first few sets of the actual training session. If I’d live in a colder climate, I’d take longer to get ready.
So, time-wise my workouts are half of what they used to be. But the actual amount of work isn’t as low. Since I am training at home, it’s mostly distraction free compared to the gym environment where I was constantly chatting to people.
At home, I do most of my workouts when the kids are not at home. And I train at the end of the workday to not get pulled back to the work stuff. Podcasts don’t count!
That’s an unnecessarily long-winded, but a very Joonas-like way of saying that when I train, I can actually focus on training. And get a decent amount of work done in a short time. The goal is to hit 16-18 total work sets within each session. Which is roughly about two thirds of what it used to be.
That and avoiding complete failure in each set means that I am fresher immediately after the session. And (usually) my patience is on the nicer side for the rest of the afternoon.
All of that and the fact that my strength levels haven’t taken a noticeable drop means that my short workouts are here to stay.
But before you go halve all your workouts…
Short workouts are not for everyone.
If the training time is the only time you move during the week, you benefit from longer sessions. Get as much movement in as you can when you can. While pulsing between intense and less taxing movements in the actual workout.
But if you’re already active daily and strength train 3 or 4 days a week, try shorter workouts. I think you’ll be surprised. In a good way.