The Ten Minute Spartan

The Ten Minute Spartan

The theme for this week's Spartan Training Newsletter is the 10-minute workout. We believe you can exercise in 10-minute intervals and be successful. You just need to have a Spartan attitude.

For demonstration purposes, we've put together 5 workouts for you to do this week that take no longer than 10 minutes. Give them a try. Experiencing them will make you a believer.

However, pulling off a 10-minute workout is harder than most people think. We've been lead to believe that exercise is some long, arduous and overly-involved affair. To pull off a 10-minute workout you need to be efficient. You need to be gritty. You need to get down to business and wrap it up in less time than it takes people to back and organize their gym bags.

Here's how to take 10 random minutes in your day and turn it into fitness gains. You'll discover that what needs the most adjustment is simply within your mind.

1 --Don't get hung up on clothing. Yes, it's great to have on the latest apparel for a long workout. The materials will help with sweat and prevent chaffing. And, well, you look cool.

But if you have 10 minutes to work out, you can't spend 9 minutes changing. Jeans and t-shirt work. Anything will work, really. No, this will not be optimal, but if changing is gonna keep you from working out, you are better doing something rather than nothing it what you have on.

If you are alone and inside just strip down and get exercising. This will keep you from getting your clothes sweaty. Get your 10 minutes of bodyweight exercises in your skivvies (or less).

2 -- Here and now is the best place and location. Don't get bent out of shape about needing the fanciest facilities and gear. You have gravity. You have a body. The world is your gym. Get to work here and now. Learn to jump into a workout in places you normally wouldn't think to. Learn to walk right out the door wherever you are and kick it into a slow jog. Stop the excuses and get to work.

3 -- Remember showers are optional. Despite some social programming to the contrary, a little bit of sweat isn't going to turn you into a stinking mess for the whole day. Learn how to towel off and use a sink for a quick refresh. If this is going to really freak you out, or you need to be sure that you are always pristine, carry a clean shirt and fresh deodorant at all times.

4 -- Practice.  You aren't going to nail an effective 10-minute workout the first time you try it. Seriously, it takes focus and practice. Confidence comes through repetition. You need to experience how much work you can get done, too, to really understand the difference that can be done in 10 focused minutes.

5 -- Plan ahead. Yes, the point of 10-minute workouts is to do them when you happen to find some free time in the day. But you can also be strategic and plan these quick hits for your body. Once you accept that you squeeze workouts into time periods you used to reserve for Angry Birds, you can get proactive for success.

6 -- Chill out. We get it -- you are a type A personality and if you can't do things perfectly and to their optimal efficacy don't want to do it. It's either the best or nothing for you. It's either a 60-minute workout or no workout!

Well, that kind of perfectionism leads to a lot of good intentions. miss opportunities, and, finally, 'if onlys'.

Learn to let things be a little less than perfect and optimal. 10 minutes is better than nothing. Do something rather than nothing in the time you have. 

7 -- Don't forget to stretch -- We didn't program any stretching into our 10-minute workouts. This doesn't mean you shouldn't schedule some flexibility training for yourself. Throughout the day do a few stretching intervals. A quality stretch can be done in 30-90 seconds. Take time to stretch between work emails or at other opportunities.

8-- Combine 10-minute workouts throughout the day. Remember that a 30-minute workout can be 3 separate 10-minute workouts. Exercise, especially in endurance sports, comes from a cumulative effect. We can't always find 30+ minutes a day, but we can often find multiple 10-minute intervals.

By breaking up training into shorter intervals you just might discover that you end up working out more.

9 -- Pace yourself. Start slow. Give yourself at least 3 minutes to get your blood flowing before you kick a 10-minute workout into maximum gear. Too often we panic and think we need crush a workout from the beginning. Ease into the first minute or two of jumping jacks. Don't worry, by minute 7 you will be suffering plenty if you do it right.

10 -- Experiment. Everyone is different. We all respond well to different approaches. Be your cooky Spartan self and find your own.

Do you have a 10-minute workout you want to share? Email