My 15-Second Workout

I don't know who or what I was listening to or reading the other day, but I recall mention of a 15-second workout. As someone who used to spend up to 40 hours a week training for triathlons, my first thought was, well... remember what I said the other day about trying to avoid profanity? I'll let you use your imagination as to what I first thought.

But then I got to thinking about my own workout regimen of late and how the mountain biking I did all year didn't help me lose any weight (I wouldn't mind losing 5 to 10 pounds, nothing serious). My legs certainly got stronger, but it was really my upper body that needed to tighten up. So I thought about the pushups I was doing nightly earlier this year. Nothing impressive, just about 30, sometimes 40 pushups at night before bed. Every now and then I would feel good and do them in the morning too. But then I skipped a day and lo and behold it's been months since I've done them.

And that's what gave me an idea. What if I did just 20 pushups every other hour all day long? It would only take about 15 seconds every 2 hours; I can do it anywhere; I don't need to change my clothes for fear of getting sweaty; and it will be over before I know it. Surely I can spare 15 seconds, right?

So, starting at 9am yesterday, I dropped and did 20 pushups. No problem. 11 o'clock came around and I repeated the process. And so on and so forth throughout the day. I skipped 7 o'clock by mistake because I was caught up in the excitement of watching the Seahawks completely embarrass the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football, but I resumed the plan at 9pm and then did 30 for good measure prior to going to bed.

My total for Day One in my new 15-second workout plan was 150 pushups. After about 50 or so I started to feel a nice little tightening in my abs and my shoulders and chest and when I woke up this morning, my upper body was feeling a bit tighter than normal. Could the old-fashioned pushup really provide this much work to so many muscle groups? Could this be the miracle workout everyone seems so anxious to buy on television?

At 9am this morning, I dropped and did another 20 just like yesterday and although my arms and chest are feeling the effects of yesterday's efforts, it felt good to push through the soreness that was there. I'm not sure how much this will actually help, but I know that I usually tire at about 40 or 50 pushups if I try to do them all at once. If splitting them up throughout the day can get me to 150 or more, then that's what I'll do. Now I just need to ask a personal trainer if this "bite-size" approach will net a bigger benefit than just doing one set until I collapse on the ground. I tend to think it is.

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