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episode #311

Get Fit in Just 15 Minutes a Day: The Micro-Workout Secret

December 11, 2023 in Podcast


This week I discuss the benefits of utilizing micro-workouts and a couple examples of what to do! A micro-workout is a mini-session that lasts for a short period, usually less than 15 minutes. The primary advantage of micro-workouts is that they are quick and require minimal time commitment. These sessions can be executed anywhere and anytime, even during the busiest day.  This level of freedom helps lessen the barriers and excuses that get in the way of exercising. I love that! So what could you do for a micro workout?

Here are two options:

- One set to failure workout (strength training) - You can try this with the X3 Bar or with traditional weights. Training to failure means pushing your muscles to the point where you can’t perform another rep with good form.

- HIRT (cardio) - The goal is to practice the exercises with maximal intensity for a short duration of time (5 to 15 seconds). The key is to have a rest interval of at least 45 seconds so you can recover to perform your next set as effectively. (4 to 6 sets) Using a Rogue Echo Bike, Row Machine, Swimming, Sprinting or Kettlebells are all options.

Micro-workouts provide an ideal chance to challenge yourself and stay committed to a healthier and happier life. So, go ahead and start incorporating micro-workouts and let me know how it goes!

One Set to Failure Workout


High Intensity Repeat Training


Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the GETLEAN and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. All, right Welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I hope you at a great weekend and happy Tuesday if you're listening to this on Tuesday.

Brian (41s):

Hope you had a chance to listen to my interview with Brad Kerns. This was actually the fifth time I've had Brad on the podcast and I have to say this was the best. So if you haven't already, check it out. He is the podcast host of B rrAD podcast. He was a professional triathlete back in the eighties, and we touched on his career, the importance of recovery of zone one training. We talked about the problems with restrictive dieting, the importance of muscle mass. We got into hormetic stressors and recovery and much, much more. So if you haven't already, I definitely recommend listening to my interview with Brad Kearns. Now on today's micro podcast, I wanna follow up from some of the stuff that I've talked about with Brad and one of 'em was micro workouts.

Brian (1m 26s):

You, you've probably heard me talk about it throughout. I don't know some of these episodes that I've had with their, either with individuals or on my own. I think it's something that everyone should look into, especially, you know, we're getting into the new year. If exercising is something that you know you haven't been doing or maybe you're inconsistent with, I truly believe that if you can find a way to add in these Micro workouts throughout the day, throughout the weeks and the months to come, they're gonna make an impact on your health. Some of the advantages, obviously the efficiency and the time saving that it takes to do A micro workout versus, you know, going into a gym for an hour is, you know, it sort of takes the excuses out.

Brian (2m 13s):

I love that. you know, obviously the you, you're still gonna get the positive benefits of working out, meaning you can build muscle, you're gonna get the month mental health benefits, you're gonna stay consistent over a long period of time. And if you're living a busy life with kids and a job, you know, staying committed to micro workouts is, is gonna be the way they go. I believe this was something that I put into my program because I thought it was that beneficial and it's been, it's been working very well. Now you're probably thinking, well what is A micro workout? Well, there's different interpretations of it.

Brian (2m 54s):

One of 'em that became really famous back, gosh, in the day and it's still talked about today, was Mike Men's one set to failure sort of training system. He came out with a book, gosh, I believe it was, it might've been in the seventies. Don't quote me on that, but you can look it up. I can put a link in the show notes for his book if you wanna check it out. But his sort of one set the failure that he brought prominent back in the seventies, and it's just, for him, it was a time efficient way to train, but he also, it wa was a way that he increased strength and muscle mass. I mean, if you look at him, he's enormous. So there are benefits to it and you don't necessarily have to just go into the gym and do three to four sets of every exercise, you know, take an hour.

Brian (3m 45s):

you know, some people like to do that. I personally do like to, I've done one set to failure before. The thing about it is when you're doing one set, you gotta really commit. You gotta really be just honed in. And I would say majority of people that go into the weight room don't really understand what it means to fail, like with maximal intensity and you, you have to really push if you're gonna do it, sort of that One set to failure workout. Now, there are safe ways to do it. For example, I've talked about the X three bar before and the X three bar was developed by Dr. John Jaquis. This is only one system, but you can do one set to failure workouts with that.

Brian (4m 27s):

And that's what he sort of promotes in his program and where you do like sort of a push pull and a legs day or you can do a total body day, whatever type of workout you want to do. But he promotes doing this one set of failure where you literally cannot push the bar anymore. So that's one way of doing it. Another, another way of doing A micro workout would be, I've had him on the podcast, maybe I'll get him back on Craig Marker talks about, and he has an article on Breaking Muscle that was written a few years ago, but he talks about this hit versus hurt mentality. And to summarize the article, I'll actually, if you're, if you're watching on YouTube, I'll, I'll show it to you real quick.

Brian (5m 11s):

Here it is, Craig Marker, hit Versus Hurt. And he talks about the history of hit. And I'm sure you've all heard about Tabata workouts and how they sort of gotten famous where you do this, you know, 20 seconds on ten second rest interval and for four minutes, and let me tie you up, I'm gonna stop sharing for a second. If you try doing that and you really go out for those 20 seconds, there is no way you're recovering in 10 seconds with maximal effort. Let's just say you're doing a sprint or on a bike, like a Rogue Echo bike, which I love. You're just gonna burn out and it's causing, what's really happening is you're just causing too much stress in the body.

Brian (5m 56s):

And Brad and I talked about that in the podcast is you have to find that fine line between, you know, going hard but also allowing yourself to recover and come back even better the next time. And so he talks about instead of this high intensity workouts, these Tabata workouts where you're giving yourself, you know, 10 to 20 seconds of rest when you're doing a 22nd interval, try high intensity repeat training, okay? And you can do this on a separate day that you do your strength training. So let's say you do your strength training two, three times a week of, you know, one set to failure, 15 minute workout, and then you go and do another day, maybe once a week.

Brian (6m 38s):

I'd say, yeah, I don't think you need to do it a ton unless you're really training for something once, maybe twice a week you do a high Intensity repeat training workout. And. what that is, and I'll put the article in the show notes, is essentially you are building this high intensity program based on your recovery. So what it is, is you, you go intense for like the work duration is five to 15 seconds. That's it. And then what you're gonna do is you're gonna take a longer rest and the amount of rest could depend on the individual, but you wanna make sure that you come back the next time with the same amount of effort. So intensity is key.

Brian (7m 21s):

'cause you're only doing five to 15 seconds. I've done this on the Rogue Echo bike. It's a great platform to use it on. You could do it on a bike, a rowing machine, you could do it on a, you know, you could do sled pushes, you could do a even swim, you can snatch a kettlebell if you're maybe more experienced. But try it on a bike maybe just to start out, if you could, if you can get sort of a heavy duty like an Echo bike, that would be cool. Or if they have one in your gym and you go for five to 15 seconds. And so you keep that work time short allows for maximal effort and a quicker repeat performance. And then give yourself like 45 seconds depending on, you know, how experienced you are.

Brian (8m 2s):

And then come back again. And you'll do that for, you know, let's just say on average, maybe around four to six times. So like a sample workout would be hill sprints could be one way to do it. I would say Sprinting is not for everybody, but you could sprint, you know, for eight seconds as far as possible. And then, you know, measure that distance and try to push that and maintain that distance each time. So Sprinting might be a little more complicated 'cause you wanna really make sure that your, your effort is the same and the distance is the same every time. So either you're not fading as the workout goes on. So if you wanna read more about it, I'll put a, I'll put a link in the show notes for his breaking muscle article, hit versus Hurt also, you can look up my interview with Craig Marker, maybe I'll try getting him back on.

Brian (8m 50s):

So those are, I, I would say are two great options for these micro workouts that sort of take the excuses out and allow you to be consistent over time. Try one, set the failure. You can build muscle that way. Okay? You'll hear arguments both ways, but either way it's better than doing nothing. And if you really hone in on that workout that one, set the failure, trust me, you'll, you'll be, you'll be cached when you're done. And I would say maybe trying a, some type of band system would be great if you're doing your basement and then on, on, on a, on another day you can try this high intensity repeat training and I think that might be a good blueprint to, to get going, you know, in the new year.

Brian (9m 31s):

So if you have any questions regarding either one of these workouts, let me know. These are some of the things that I like to implement in my Stepladder system program. So if you've got questions regarding that, you can email me Brian at Brian, brian at Brian Gryn dot com. And I appreciate you listening and I'll look forward to talking to you on Friday with another great interview. Have a great day. Thanks for listening to the GETLEAN E Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other Podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes at Brian Gryn dot com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was.

Brian (10m 16s):

Thanks again and have a great day.

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