It’s a small wonder I’ve never blogged about fitness here before, because it’s one of my big centers or interest, along with “eating clean”, or at least trying to not speed up our way to the grave via our plate.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love pizza, cheesecake is my favorite food in the world, and yes, I like a Big Mac now and then.
BUT, even so, I’m like TOTALLY aware of what not so healthy food does to our body, outside AND inside. Being fit has become nearly and obsession for me and I’ve been working out seriously (even with some “off the wagon” times, alas) for about 8 years now. As a matter of fact, I feel, and look, much better now than I did at 25 (hmm, that makes 18 years ago, yikes).
The number ONE myth that needs being busted (there are basically two of them, the second one adressing diet, but I’ll stick with the first in this post) is that you need to work out at least 40 minutes before you enter a so called “fat burning” zone. While that may be scientifically true for deep, complex metabolic mechanisms, what is totally FALSE is that you need 40 minutes for a workout to be beneficial to you.
Proof ? Check two people : Zusana Light (Easten ex porn starn reborn as internet fitness guru, and just one beautiful person inside, out, and all over) and the current BodyrockTV diva, Lisa Marie. While I’m not advocating the extreme shrededness of Lisa, Zusana has achieved the perfect balance of slim, toned, and sexy. And all that with daily workouts that hardly ever exceed 20 minutes, more often than not 15. And the BodyrockTV formula is my personal choice : 12 minutes daily.
Yes, you read that right, 12. Why is it genius ? Because it’s a NO EXCUSE deal. Who in the entire world can decently say they can’t find TWELVE minutes (any time in 24 hours of their day) to work out ?!? If you can’t, you must be one hell of a busy person (probably the busiest in the entire world). Or is this busy just lazy ??
Personally I chose the 12 minutes deal because I can’t say I can’t do it, daily, for this short period of time. And in 12 minutes, I don’t reach the fuck-it-I-don’t-want-to-do-this-it-hurts state of mind that would jeopardize my comittment to the program. I know it’s gonna make me sweat but gently so, and I WILL be able (and most importantly *willing* to do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that, basically for at least 6 days a week).
What you do within those 12 minutes is entirely up to you (huh huh, NO sitting in the couch with Ben & Jerry…). You who think a 12 minute workout is for sissies or just a bunch of crap, look closely at how it works before looking all smart and and smug : you get an interval timer (free app on any decent smartphone). You set 12 rounds of 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. You’ll soon realize rest is not real rest, it’s just the time you need to get from one excercice to the other, change position, maybe write down your number of reps if you’re into that, or get that gulp of water you’ll desperately need. Next thing you know the timer is beeping again and you have to get your ass back to it.
I personally like to do bodyweight exercices that require little to no equipment, cardio enough but that I can reasonably sustain for 50 seconds. Like jumping rope, climbing one set of stairs two by two for the given time, push-ups, bicycle sit-ups (hello obliques !), Turkish get-ups, etc… Your mileage may vary and you can do whatever you please as long it makes you sweat and want to stop. If not, you’re not pushing hard enough. I skip the super cardio exercices that I can’t possibly do for 50 seconds straight, like jump lunges or heavy kettlebell swing. For that you can arrange 30 second sets with 20 on and 10 off, in a different workout.
Working out every single days does several things. First, it brings your confidence, self-esteem and general well-being feeling waayyyy UP. Second, it becomes addictive, it’s a little time warp outside of the world, the daily meeting with yourself, a moment of both void, effort and peace, something that’s totally yours. Third, after one week of this (if you stick to it) you’ll start to actually feel/see an ever slight difference in your body, and by the end of the second week, the change will be not so slight. It’s a building process too, and the longer you do it, the more changes it brings. Of course it helps if you maintain a healthier diet at the same time, with avoiding the obvious worst foods (do I need to remind you fast food IS the obvious worst, and that regular soda can ruin ALL your fitness efforts ??).
I get the point of all this is not short termed or a quick fix. It becomes a way of life. At first people might give you weird looks or be surprised, but as you go on with it they will learn to adapt to this 12 minute space where you’re not available, and that is non negociable. After my breakfast, week day or not, vacation or not, rain or shine, I take 12 minutes for myself (and a jump rope, kettlebell of just my butt weight) and do my thing. Because ultimately, you either do it, or you don’t, and live with the consequences.
Remember. 12 minutes. No excuse.