Here's a question we get from readers every day: How long do I need to work out to see results? Our response: How long do you have?
Some guys love programs like P90X, which has you exercising for 60 minutes or more six days a week. But studies have shown that as little as 11 minutes of exercise is enough to boost your metabolism—and burn fat—for the rest of the day.
And, according to a recent study in the European Journal of
Applied Physiology, 15 minutes of
resistance training is just as effective as 35 minutes of weightlifting in
elevating resting energy expenditure up to 72 hours after the exercise. That
means you can burn calories and build muscle in less than half the time. It also means you can work out three days a week, not six. (For more instant exercise tips, don't miss the 100 Smartest Fitness Tips Ever!)
The most effective fat-melting, muscle-pumping strategy is
all about intensity. If you're like most
guys, you're working out too slowly, spending too much time in the gym, and not
seeing the results you want. But by condensing your workout into a perfectly
designed 15-minute total-body pump, you can rev up your metabolism and burn
massive amounts of fat, while building your aerobic endurance and stimulating muscle growth. The result: A stronger, leaner you—and 5 extra hours a week to play Home Run Battle 2.
This dumbbell routine, from the Men’s Health Big Book of
15-Minute Workouts, builds muscle and melts
unwanted flab the old-fashioned way—hard work, no rest. Do this four-exercise
circuit with no break between exercises. After completing a circuit, rest for
90 seconds before doing it again. Do three complete circuits. Sound easy? Just
1. INCLINE BENCH PRESS
A. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie on your back on a bench
set to a low incline (15 to 30 degrees). Lift the dumbbells up to arm’s length
so they’re over your chin, and hold them with your palms turned toward your
feet (thumbs facing each other).
B. Slowly lower the weights to your upper chest, pause, and
push them back up over your chin.
REPS: Do 10 to 12
2. ONE-ARM SNATCH
A. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand using an overhand
grip. With your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and place the
dumbbell on the floor.
B. Perform a high pull: In one explosive movement,
straighten your legs and hips while bending your elbow to pull the dumbbell
C. At the dumbbell’s highest point, drop your hips and
“catch” the weight by rotating your wrist under the dumbbell. Quickly
straighten your arm so the dumbbell is now over the top of your shoulder.
Complete all your reps, and then repeat with the dumbbell in your left hand.
REPS: Do 10 with each arm
3. SEATED CALF RAISE
A. Place a step in front of a bench, grab a pair of
dumbbells, and sit down. Set the balls of both feet on the step, and hold a
dumbbell vertically on each knee. Lower both heels as far as you can without
touching the floor.
B. Push off the balls of your feet and lift your heels as
high as you can. Pause and repeat.