In less than 10 minutes, beads of sweat were running down my forehead after trying one of Fitness Center and Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Matt Durant’s 15-minute workouts.
Before the workout I observed others moving through the workout and I thought, “This doesn’t look so hard, a few push-ups, some squats, some jumping and a quick sprint.”
I was sadly mistaken. Just doing the exercise for a few minutes I felt my muscles burning and my heart speeding up. A feeling I usually feel after being at the gym for much longer.
The first step of the regiment is the Hindu push-up, which starts in the basic push-up position except your butt is pointed high in the air and your hands and feet are spread apart. You then dive down until your hips are touching the floor while your upper body and your head are pointed up. Slide back into the push-up position with your head facing the ground and continue for 10 reps.
I immediately felt the muscles in my arms begin to work, and I soon realized that these weren’t average push-ups. I was working twice as hard to push myself into the dive rather than pushing myself up. Hindu push-ups, unlike traditional push-ups, target almost all body parts. They provide a neck stretch, benefits your shoulders, your hips, hands and chest.
The second part of the workout was doing 10 squat jumps. Durant emphasized sitting back on my heels and squatting down rather than flat on my feet. The goal of squat jumps is to do them as fast as I could ten times. The jump squat is an intense exercise used by athletes to build muscles, and improve stamina and endurance.
Without a break a 10-yard sprint followed and finally I was given a 30 second rest before repeating the whole process. The benefits of sprinting is to get your heart rate up rather than jogging for an extended period of time.
“The purpose of doing a 15-minute workout as fast as you can is to burn more calories,” Durant said.
Durant said that if somebody were to do the workout as hard and as fast as they could, he or she would burn more calories than the average trip to the gym, because normally people spend too much time resting at the gym.
Fifteen-minute exercises also benefit resting metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories burned at rest. Durant said that the workout lacked a name, because by next week he probably would have changed it, or he would have a whole new 15-minute workout.
What this showed me is that there is never an excuse not to do some kind of physical activity. That evening when I got home, I tried Durant’s workout, and besides being out of breath and sweaty, I possessed that feeling of accomplishment that comes with a great workout. It is definitely doable, and is convenient because it does not require the use of any equipment.
With that said, it is a challenging workout if you exert as much energy and power as you possibly can.
You are guaranteed to sweat, but feel worked at the same time. I’d call it a way to get the burn faster and harder.
I definitely recommend not only Durant’s workout but other 15 minute variants for a quick workout on those days where life is just too hectic to spend an hour in the gym.
Michael Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.