Improve Cardiometabolic Health In Just 10 Minutes

We live busier lives than ever, and for some, the idea of exercising 30 minutes to an hour isn't realistic nor enjoyable. A busy job or family commitment can make it challenging to get an hour workout. However, you don’t need as much time as you think. Research shows that a ten minute workout can be just as effective as a fifty minute workout.

I know, it sounds too good to be true. How could the shorter workout yield the same results as the longer workout? Exercise intensity.

A study done out of McMaster University tested whether or not a ten minute, high intensity workout could be just as beneficial as a fifty minute, low intensity workout. Twenty five men were separated into three different categories. Nine of the men were put in the high intensity group, while ten were put in the low intensity group and the other six didn’t train at all.

The Protocols

High Intensity Group

  • 2 minute light pedaling warm-up

  • 20 seconds all out

  • 2 minutes light pedaling

  • Repeat 3 times

  • Frequency: 3 times per week

  • Duration 12 weeks

Light Intensity Long Duration Group

  • 2 minute light pedaling warm-up

  • 45 minutes at 70% maximal heart rate

  • 3 minutes cool down

  • Frequency: 3 times per week

  • Duration 12 weeks


The study compared insulin sensitivity, oxygen uptake, and skeletal muscle mitochondrial content over the twelve week span. And guess what! Both protocols obtained the same benefits, but the high intensity group saved two hours a week of training (30 minutes versus 150 minutes) (1) .

For the last month, I have been using this protocol with my clientele and have gotten great results. However, I am not using a traditional stationary bike, instead, I am using an Airdyne fan bike. The fan bike forces the client to use their upper and lower body in a push pull fashion. In addition to this total body movement, the Airdyne Bike is fan based meaning that as power output increases, so does the resistance. It may only be ten minutes, but the the workout is extremely challenging. Most of my clients can’t believe how tired they become from a twenty second sprint.

Give It A Try

After reading this, I am sure you are thinking this is too good to be true. Granted, the study was only done on sedentary men, which means they were untrained individuals.  Also, the study was done on men and not women so we have to be careful extrapolating this data to females and trained individuals. However, it is still worth testing on yourself to see if it works. Just remember, the intensity must be extremely high (90-100%) or you won’t obtain the benefits mentioned above.

erik rokiskyComment