Multiple mini workouts instead of single long ones - personal experience?

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  • serindipte
    serindipte Posts: 1,557 Member
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    I'm a big proponent of doing what you CAN do. I feel like that's what has contributed the most to my success. For me that was just grabbing extra steps and movement throughout the day without explicitly working out. Over time, I was able to do more, so I did, but that little added bits definitely added up over time.

    I still try to get in extra steps or extra movement time, but it is no longer the bulk of my exercise regimen.

    As time goes on, I do intend to add longer workouts. I am just starting (over) and was mainly wondering if anyone had success with the shorter workouts vs trying to push an exhausted self through one longer one.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
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    Mini workouts AKA grease the groove(GTG) are great for exercise where strength is a minor component. Pushups/pullups are a great example. If you can do 1 or 2, doing 1 or 2 every hour or half hour is a great bridge activity and allows you to increase capacity without over stressing CNS, because the individual load of each session is low and recoverable. It would work for other strength based exercises as well.
  • fitoverfortymom
    fitoverfortymom Posts: 3,452 Member
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    serindipte wrote: »
    I'm a big proponent of doing what you CAN do. I feel like that's what has contributed the most to my success. For me that was just grabbing extra steps and movement throughout the day without explicitly working out. Over time, I was able to do more, so I did, but that little added bits definitely added up over time.

    I still try to get in extra steps or extra movement time, but it is no longer the bulk of my exercise regimen.

    As time goes on, I do intend to add longer workouts. I am just starting (over) and was mainly wondering if anyone had success with the shorter workouts vs trying to push an exhausted self through one longer one.

    Yes. Absolutely. ME ME ME ME ME.
  • serindipte
    serindipte Posts: 1,557 Member
    edited May 2018
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    Mini workouts AKA grease the groove(GTG) are great for exercise where strength is a minor component. Pushups/pullups are a great example. If you can do 1 or 2, doing 1 or 2 every hour or half hour is a great bridge activity and allows you to increase capacity without over stressing CNS, because the individual load of each session is low and recoverable. It would work for other strength based exercises as well.

    I'm SO glad you said 1 or 2!!!!!! I can push out 5 several times per day, but I have not been able to get a 6th. Pull ups are a no go for me right now, but maybe one day.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
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    serindipte wrote: »
    Mini workouts AKA grease the groove(GTG) are great for exercise where strength is a minor component. Pushups/pullups are a great example. If you can do 1 or 2, doing 1 or 2 every hour or half hour is a great bridge activity and allows you to increase capacity without over stressing CNS, because the individual load of each session is low and recoverable. It would work for other strength based exercises as well.

    I'm SO glad you said 1 or 2!!!!!! I can push out 5 several times per day, but I have not been able to get a 6th. Pull ups are a no go for me right now, but maybe one day.


    LOL. For pushups it works for anywhere from 2-30-If you can do 30 in under a minute, you can probably keep doing them at a slow casual cadence indefinitely. For pullups, the max benefit is around 10 or so for most people. And 30 pullups is a pretty massively advanced demonstration.



    If you're currently pushing out 5. step back to 3 or 4 and add 2 or 3 sets. If you're doing 15(5x3) Shoot for 24(3x8 or 4x6) Stick with that for a week or so and then bump a pushup into every set. Be mindful that you want to stop at the point where you could do 1 more. So If you're not feeling a given set around rep 3, just take a knee and stop. If you're feeling froggy, go ahead and do 6 or 7. But always get up knowing you had one more in the tank.

    The ultimate goal is to get to the point where doing 1-10 pushups is no harder than standing up from your desk and walking to the bathroom and requires no more mental/physical effort than doing the same.
  • CarvedTones
    CarvedTones Posts: 2,340 Member
    edited May 2018
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    serindipte wrote: »
    Mini workouts AKA grease the groove(GTG) are great for exercise where strength is a minor component. Pushups/pullups are a great example. If you can do 1 or 2, doing 1 or 2 every hour or half hour is a great bridge activity and allows you to increase capacity without over stressing CNS, because the individual load of each session is low and recoverable. It would work for other strength based exercises as well.

    I'm SO glad you said 1 or 2!!!!!! I can push out 5 several times per day, but I have not been able to get a 6th. Pull ups are a no go for me right now, but maybe one day.

    I do under table pull ups. On the floor or a pad under a sturdy table, preferably with rounded edges (my kitchen table is perfect), you grab the table edge and pull yourself towards it. When you first start doing them, you can have your knees bent and heels against your butt and limit how much weight you are pulling up. As you get stronger you slide your feet further away until your legs are straight and then it starts also working the core the keep your body straight (you start lifting your butt off the floor/mat). It is really not quite the same as a pull up because of the arm angle. I have shoulder problems and can't do much with my hands above my ears.
  • serindipte
    serindipte Posts: 1,557 Member
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    serindipte wrote: »
    Mini workouts AKA grease the groove(GTG) are great for exercise where strength is a minor component. Pushups/pullups are a great example. If you can do 1 or 2, doing 1 or 2 every hour or half hour is a great bridge activity and allows you to increase capacity without over stressing CNS, because the individual load of each session is low and recoverable. It would work for other strength based exercises as well.

    I'm SO glad you said 1 or 2!!!!!! I can push out 5 several times per day, but I have not been able to get a 6th. Pull ups are a no go for me right now, but maybe one day.

    I do under table pull ups. On the floor or a pad under a sturdy table, preferably with rounded edges (my kitchen table is perfect), you grab the table edge and pull yourself towards it. When you first start doing them, you can have your knees bent and heels against your butt and limit how much weight you are pulling up. As you get stronger you slide your feet further away until your legs are straight and then it starts also working the core the keep your body straight (you start lifting your butt off the floor/mat). It is really not quite the same as a pull up because of the arm angle. I have shoulder problems and can't do much with my hands above my ears.

    My table would fall over lol .. I don't have any spots in my house I could try that, but it sounds interesting.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
    edited May 2018
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    serindipte wrote: »
    serindipte wrote: »
    Mini workouts AKA grease the groove(GTG) are great for exercise where strength is a minor component. Pushups/pullups are a great example. If you can do 1 or 2, doing 1 or 2 every hour or half hour is a great bridge activity and allows you to increase capacity without over stressing CNS, because the individual load of each session is low and recoverable. It would work for other strength based exercises as well.

    I'm SO glad you said 1 or 2!!!!!! I can push out 5 several times per day, but I have not been able to get a 6th. Pull ups are a no go for me right now, but maybe one day.

    I do under table pull ups. On the floor or a pad under a sturdy table, preferably with rounded edges (my kitchen table is perfect), you grab the table edge and pull yourself towards it. When you first start doing them, you can have your knees bent and heels against your butt and limit how much weight you are pulling up. As you get stronger you slide your feet further away until your legs are straight and then it starts also working the core the keep your body straight (you start lifting your butt off the floor/mat). It is really not quite the same as a pull up because of the arm angle. I have shoulder problems and can't do much with my hands above my ears.

    My table would fall over lol .. I don't have any spots in my house I could try that, but it sounds interesting.

    You could get one of the over door pullup bars(Gold's or Perfect) and some nylon straps like you would use for tying stuff down in a truck bed.

    It's like a TRX kit but it's only 25-30 instead of 120-200.

    BW/ring Rows are a great exercise. and a great complement... Compliment... Meh. to pushups. If you get a cable setup and rig up some grips you can do elevated/ring pushups too.. The instability really hits your core.
  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,541 Member
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    spartan_d wrote: »
    It depends on what you're training for.

    I often train for endurance. Brief mini-workouts wouldn't do much for accomplishing that goal.

    That's what I was thinking. Brief runs aren't going to help me do an endurance race.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
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    spartan_d wrote: »
    It depends on what you're training for.

    I often train for endurance. Brief mini-workouts wouldn't do much for accomplishing that goal.

    That's what I was thinking. Brief runs aren't going to help me do an endurance race.

    But if your goal isn't to be an endurance runner.....
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
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    SonyaCele wrote: »
    spartan_d wrote: »
    It depends on what you're training for.

    I often train for endurance. Brief mini-workouts wouldn't do much for accomplishing that goal.

    That's what I was thinking. Brief runs aren't going to help me do an endurance race.

    But if your goal isn't to be an endurance runner.....

    A 30 minute walk will improve your cardio capacity more than a 3 minute run(even if you repeat the 3 minute run every hour)
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
    edited May 2018
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    SonyaCele wrote: »
    spartan_d wrote: »
    It depends on what you're training for.

    I often train for endurance. Brief mini-workouts wouldn't do much for accomplishing that goal.

    That's what I was thinking. Brief runs aren't going to help me do an endurance race.

    But if your goal isn't to be an endurance runner.....

    Even if you don't want to be an endurance runner or athlete, mini workouts are going to do little for your cardiovascular health. When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure years ago, my doctor put me on meds...the meds brought it down to some extent, but it was still elevated and he recommended at least 30-45 minutes of moderate cardiovascular work at least 3x per week, if not 4-5. That has done the trick...still on meds, but it's way better controlled now. My BP rises in the winter when I spend less time exercising.

    I typically cycle 4x per week...sometimes 5. I also walk my dog for about 20 minutes most days.

    Of course, you have to start somewhere...I wouldn't ever suggest someone just go out and start riding 50+ miles per week...I started out just walking and trying to get more movement into my day and things have just evolved from there over the past 5.5 years.
  • serindipte
    serindipte Posts: 1,557 Member
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    SonyaCele wrote: »
    spartan_d wrote: »
    It depends on what you're training for.

    I often train for endurance. Brief mini-workouts wouldn't do much for accomplishing that goal.

    That's what I was thinking. Brief runs aren't going to help me do an endurance race.

    But if your goal isn't to be an endurance runner.....

    Even if you don't want to be an endurance runner or athlete, mini workouts are going to do little for your cardiovascular health. When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure years ago, my doctor put me on meds...the meds brought it down to some extent, but it was still elevated and he recommended at least 30-45 minutes of moderate cardiovascular work at least 3x per week, if not 4-5. That has done the trick...still on meds, but it's way better controlled now. My BP rises in the winter when I spend less time exercising.

    I typically cycle 4x per week...sometimes 5. I also walk my dog for about 20 minutes most days.

    Of course, you have to start somewhere...I wouldn't ever suggest someone just go out and start riding 50+ miles per week...I started out just walking and trying to get more movement into my day and things have just evolved from there over the past 5.5 years.

    The mini workouts I've mentioned are not something I expect to provide anything cardio. For the cardio, I have been walking 20-30 minutes @3.2mph 3-5 times per week. I will increase that as I'm able.
  • SaunaSuit
    SaunaSuit Posts: 96 Member
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    YES mini workouts. 5 days week Now!
    4am exercise: walking/jog- Water#3-8 oz with each meal or exercise.
    7am Oatmeal-flaxseed 1/4 bowl, Buttermilk in oatmeal or buttermilk- Berries 1/4 bowl, Water#3
    8am exercise- Walk 5 miles tn place with computer netflix, Water#1
    9am Breakfast, Fruit Soup 1/4 bowl, Cabbage soup 3/4bowl, Steamed Veggies, Orange- Water#3
    10am exercise- Everyday with Richard Simmons: Intro/ Diner, Water#1 z
    11am Snack, Salad w Green Olives#3, Coby Cheese Sprinkle, Blue cheese Sprinkle on top.
    12pm exercise- Lisa's Jazzercise youtube Water#1 z
    1pm Lunch, Cabbage Soup 3/4bowl, Flatbread or Tortilla, Steamed Veggies,-Water#3
    2pm exercise- Moving with Susan Powter (1994)/or Jane Fonda s Lean Routine file 1 of 2
    3pm Snack (last meals 2:30-3:00pm). Grapefruit- Water#3 this is to flush out and digest food!
    4pm-7pm- Meditation /Yoga/ Stretching/ Floor Exercising/ or Weight Lifting: Water#1
    3 HOURS Relaxing Music "Evening Meditation" Background for Yoga, Massage, Spa
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
    Options
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    SonyaCele wrote: »
    spartan_d wrote: »
    It depends on what you're training for.

    I often train for endurance. Brief mini-workouts wouldn't do much for accomplishing that goal.

    That's what I was thinking. Brief runs aren't going to help me do an endurance race.

    But if your goal isn't to be an endurance runner.....

    Even if you don't want to be an endurance runner or athlete, mini workouts are going to do little for your cardiovascular health. When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure years ago, my doctor put me on meds...the meds brought it down to some extent, but it was still elevated and he recommended at least 30-45 minutes of moderate cardiovascular work at least 3x per week, if not 4-5. That has done the trick...still on meds, but it's way better controlled now. My BP rises in the winter when I spend less time exercising.

    I typically cycle 4x per week...sometimes 5. I also walk my dog for about 20 minutes most days.

    Of course, you have to start somewhere...I wouldn't ever suggest someone just go out and start riding 50+ miles per week...I started out just walking and trying to get more movement into my day and things have just evolved from there over the past 5.5 years.

    that is good that worked for you, and is what your dr suggested. Not everyone falls into that category or would have the same dr suggestions. I don't do any steady state cardio and haven't for y ears. I get all my exercise from my weight lifting program and i'm totally healthy at 51 years old, never been on any meds, never any physical issues. I'm just saying everyone is different, everyone's goals are different. Not everyone needs to do extended steady state cardio to be healthy or reach their goals. Some do, some dont, its all about what you like to do and your goals and obviously Dr recommendations. I've been reaching all my fitness goals for many years with zero steady state cardio. I hate cardio , i have very short attention span and 30 minutes cardio would be pure torture. If someone is staying active throughout the day with mini workouts and this is their lifestyle, odds are very high its gonna be enough for them to lead a healthy life
  • fitoverfortymom
    fitoverfortymom Posts: 3,452 Member
    Options
    serindipte wrote: »
    Mini workouts AKA grease the groove(GTG) are great for exercise where strength is a minor component. Pushups/pullups are a great example. If you can do 1 or 2, doing 1 or 2 every hour or half hour is a great bridge activity and allows you to increase capacity without over stressing CNS, because the individual load of each session is low and recoverable. It would work for other strength based exercises as well.

    I'm SO glad you said 1 or 2!!!!!! I can push out 5 several times per day, but I have not been able to get a 6th. Pull ups are a no go for me right now, but maybe one day.

    you can put a broom stick across two chairs or tables, lay on the floor and just try to pull your upper body off the ground, then try to get the butt off the floor, Eventually you try to get to full body weight rows, to pull ups w/ assist band, etc.

    Super duper helpful.
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,118 Member
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    serindipte wrote: »
    I'm a big proponent of doing what you CAN do. I feel like that's what has contributed the most to my success. For me that was just grabbing extra steps and movement throughout the day without explicitly working out. Over time, I was able to do more, so I did, but that little added bits definitely added up over time.

    I still try to get in extra steps or extra movement time, but it is no longer the bulk of my exercise regimen.

    As time goes on, I do intend to add longer workouts. I am just starting (over) and was mainly wondering if anyone had success with the shorter workouts vs trying to push an exhausted self through one longer one.

    I absolutely have had success starting small. I took short walks (around 10 minutes) several times a day, then added a short run (10-15 minutes) in the AM, then added short sets of bodyweight exercises into my runs, then started doing a short (20 minutes) bodyweight workout 2-3 times a week. All of this together made noticeable improvements in my strength, stamina, and ability to keep on doing a little bit more than I'd done the day before. Which is maybe the same as stamina, but whatever.

    I did cardio videos over the winter, usually 20-40 minutes three times a week, and started a strength training program that took about 25-30 minutes including warmup and cool down. Now it's taking just over an hour three days a week. I've started running again too, about a half hour twice a week and an hour once a week. If you'd told me to do that last year, I would have laughed in your face, but now I have to make sure to give myself rest days so I don't overdo it!

    I resisted anything that looked like exercise for a long time until I realized that I didn't have to do the "best" or "optimal" workout to see benefits of my time - I just had to do something a little bit more than I was already doing. When you're not doing much, move doesn't look like very much either, but if you stick with it it definitely adds up. Good luck!
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
    edited May 2018
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    SonyaCele wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    SonyaCele wrote: »
    spartan_d wrote: »
    It depends on what you're training for.

    I often train for endurance. Brief mini-workouts wouldn't do much for accomplishing that goal.

    That's what I was thinking. Brief runs aren't going to help me do an endurance race.

    But if your goal isn't to be an endurance runner.....

    Even if you don't want to be an endurance runner or athlete, mini workouts are going to do little for your cardiovascular health. When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure years ago, my doctor put me on meds...the meds brought it down to some extent, but it was still elevated and he recommended at least 30-45 minutes of moderate cardiovascular work at least 3x per week, if not 4-5. That has done the trick...still on meds, but it's way better controlled now. My BP rises in the winter when I spend less time exercising.

    I typically cycle 4x per week...sometimes 5. I also walk my dog for about 20 minutes most days.

    Of course, you have to start somewhere...I wouldn't ever suggest someone just go out and start riding 50+ miles per week...I started out just walking and trying to get more movement into my day and things have just evolved from there over the past 5.5 years.

    that is good that worked for you, and is what your dr suggested. Not everyone falls into that category or would have the same dr suggestions. I don't do any steady state cardio and haven't for y ears. I get all my exercise from my weight lifting program and i'm totally healthy at 51 years old, never been on any meds, never any physical issues. I'm just saying everyone is different, everyone's goals are different. Not everyone needs to do extended steady state cardio to be healthy or reach their goals. Some do, some dont, its all about what you like to do and your goals and obviously Dr recommendations. I've been reaching all my fitness goals for many years with zero steady state cardio. I hate cardio , i have very short attention span and 30 minutes cardio would be pure torture. If someone is staying active throughout the day with mini workouts and this is their lifestyle, odds are very high its gonna be enough for them to lead a healthy life

    That part is important. I have a two hour round trip daily commute and then I sit at a desk all day. I've had days where I leave work and I've taken all of 2300 steps so dedicated cardiovascular work is not only beneficial, but pretty much essential to my health. Humans are meant to move and not moving can be pretty detrimental to your cardiovascular health. I would agree that someone who is more generally active in life, dedicated cardio probably wouldn't be necessary...but the vast majority of the population sits on their *kitten* most of the day and then goes home and does more *kitten* sitting.

    When I was in my 20s I worked in a big liquor store during the school year and did landscape construction in the summers and didn't own a car most of the time so walked or road my bike everywhere. I was active enough then that I didn't have to worry about doing anything deliberate cardio wise...not so much these days.

    I would be bored with cardio if it was stationary...but being out on my bike on the road and riding through my sleepy little village along the Rio Grande is an amazing way to start the day, particularly when the sun is just starting to peak out over the Sandia Mountains.

    ETA: I think most doctors would recommend more light to moderate physical activity to help combat hypertension...mine works out of the NM Heart Institute, but I'd think most doctors would recommend regular cardiovascular exercise to combat certain heart conditions.