"Getting stronger only takes 13 minutes three times a week" starts off with a reference to a recently published paper that looks promising, but the second paragraph is about the author's personal belief that high intensity/slow motion workouts are the best for you. There's no real connection between these two paragraphs except that they both prescribe shorter weigh lifting sessions.
"You can improve your body's function and alleviate anxiety in two minutes a day" again lists someone's personal take on dealing with anxiety and stress. While deep breathing is certainly helpful they don't site any peer reviewed papers or clinical studies that say 2-4 minutes of deep breathing a day will impact your heart rate/blood pressure/anxiety much less do it via increasing alpha waves.
"Cutting out sugar..." is similarly good intentioned (almost everyone should eat less sugar than they do, myself included) but again cites nothing meaningful.
Also this damn site somehow popped up two autoplaying audio/video ads, one of which I could not see or get rid of. Rage inducing.
Everything else (time of the day when you work out, number of repetitions / series, specific exercises, etc) is secondary and seems to only matter insofar as it allows you to stay more time under tension...
So I'd be VERY sceptical of anyone who claims you can have great results in X minutes a day.
With that said, it takes very little time under tension for a newbie to stimulate growth. But that effect doesn't last for long.
This isn’t surprising; strength gains are substantially neurological. Over time, though, you still need more muscle to move heavier weight.
I know a some powerlifters, and their personal size varies with their volume (and whether or not they want size). Some are deceptively small for the weight they can move. That being said, you can’t deadlift 500 pounds without putting on some significant mass, either.
But the title specifically states "to look and feel better", and strength alone won't do much in regards to a persons' appearance.
I'd also like to know the starting point of the study's subjects. Although the study does mention "healthy resistance trained men", I'd guess that they were starting from a state that was low enough to achieve strength gains with relatively low exposure to weightlifting.
Unfortunately, the author cherry picks the studies (eg. ) to get the narrative she wants, even though the research groups were small to begin with (n=34 and n=18 respectively) and were quite different (trained men vs just older individuals), etc. etc. etc.
How about eating healthy foods? Getting enough sleep?
For me its about what my motivations and intentions are and if your article provides a measurable result to compare.
That bloody autoplay video at the bottom of the page got me too
For the last two and a bit weeks I've stopped adding sugar to anything, and stopped having any dessert or pointless snacks that are primarily sugar.
One week in and people asked if I'd lost weight. For most of last year I was hanging around 86 kilograms and probably tending slowly upwards. I weighed in mid last week at 83.
No other habits have changed.
Don't know if I "feel" any different, other than being hungry more often and physically feeling the void of the drug-like high of sugar intake to the point that I need to pursue an activity in order to distract myself from it. Two weeks isn't very far in though.
Every bodybuilder knows: when they start 'cutting', the first few kgs, in the first couple weeks are almost water loss and glycogen, so you always discount it (i.e. don't count it as fat loss).
Eating carbs (carbo-hydrades) makes your body retain more water. Less ingested carbs means your body will shed that extra water out.
After the first week or so, if you keep losing weight, then it means that it is actual fat loss.
Some other pretty quick wins are drinks -- soft drinks, juice, milk, beer... doesn't really matter what, but it's about 200 calories per 500 ml. If I want to shed a kg just drinking water for a week or two often does the trick (too much beer :-P ). Things with pointless fat are often really high in calories too: salad dressing, butter on toast, muffins/cakes/cookies (a single muffin can often weigh in at between 500-1000 calories!), potato chips. Peanuts are crazy too: 570 calories for 100 grams of peanuts!
Although it is currently an unpopular view, I've found that many people are completely unaware of how many calories they are actually taking in. It's not hard to push your daily intake up to 3000 calories without really realising it. Getting it down to 2000 again is often not that difficult from a "what should I eat" perspective. People frequently have other issues with food, though, and I don't want to minimise the difficulty that some people have losing weight.
I've started to feel better after severly cutting back on added sugar,but it does take a while to get used to
I was down to 73 Kg within a few months, which is the upper limit for my BFI at 170 cm. I've somehow since stabilized at 75-77 Kg, but that is a huge difference from the scary 84.
"Yeah, let's get 34 males that did not regularly workout and then prove that they can get stronger even with 13 minutes of a good workout routine!
All we need to do is get non-lifters and put the 70 minute group with a shitty lazy routine. That ensures the "year one effect" where everyone gains a lot of strength in the beginning and gives a good advantage to the 13 minutes group!
In the end we'll prove that for a beginner a good yet short workout routine is superior to the lazy yet long one!"
"That's not going to get any clicks! I'll just say that 'we don't need to exercise for hours a week to look and feel better' based on a research that doesn't even mention 'look and feel better'.
And now we pretend that this also applies to experienced lifters, that's important!"
That's science journalism for you.
It's more like a curve and it's not just one thing. So you can be super fit training for marathons, but honestly you need some excess muscle mass because you're going to start losing it when you are 50-60 years old. You need to make sure that you are flexible because when you get older, if you aren't flexible you won't be able to balance and walk, etc. It's best to start training early so that it's easier to maintain that flexibility. Even if you are running marathons and staying trim, if you eat junk you can die of lots of different conditions. So endurance training, strength training, flexibility training, and diet all work together to help your health.
At the same time, there are lots of ranges of activity where you will be just fine as you age and there are ranges of activity at both ends (sedentary and over training) where you won't be fine (although it's a heck of a lot harder to over train that to be sedentary ;-) ). Finally, there is something to be said for not overdoing things at a start. So while you might want to have this amazing training regimen someday, it would be a bad idea to start out tomorrow and do it -- you want to slowly work your way up to it.
So the answer you are probably looking for is "No, it's probably not sufficient to keep you fit and healthy for your whole life". But it's certainly a great start -- especially if it gets you doing other things that you might not have tried before. And it doesn't have to be training -- it can be playing soccer with a local league, or cycling with your friends or any number of social and pleasant activities.
How much is enough? Try to keep your weight, muscle mass, endurance and flexibility a fair bit more than what you actually need so that you can afford to lose some. Eat a diet that makes you feel good and consult with doctors when you have health problems. It's hard to say exactly what that will entail, because it is different for everybody.
By contrast very simple things like mostly cutting sugar out of your diet, intermittent fasting, etc can have huge results and are very sustainable since they take practically 0 effort. It's important to do what you can realistically see yourself doing for the rest of your life.
Push ups aren't bad, but training your pecs and anterior delts only is a bad idea to do, especially for someone who sits at a computer all day. Get a band and at least do some pull aparts with it, 200 or so every week.
It's just at the start you're doing strength-training if you've never done upper body exercises, because your upper body is atrophied.
Also note I said ~maxreps, the tilde was intentional, it was meant to communicate "around your maximum" to express the importance of increasing it as your endurance improves.
Strength training is often advised to prevent running injuries, eg. https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a20788889/fix-m... which is particularly related
Bodyweight training on the other hand, is a great option for people who want to train at home with little-to-no equipment. Bodyweight training includes but is not limited to push-ups, pull-ups, and other similar movements that rely mostly on your own bodyweight (as the name implies).
Doing only pushups is a pretty bad idea if you care about your overall fitness.
This statement definitely needs to be qualified with "depends on genetics".
Obviously though, the body's response to diet is in no small measure a function of genetic factors as well.
Honestly I think this is way over stated in relation to weight loss. It applies more accurately to what variation of macro and micro nutrients constitute a healthy diet for a given individual.
Generally speaking, a consistent daily, and increasing pushup regime gets you most of the way towards the most visible differentiating feature of a soldier vs. random person.
There are exceptions, it's not really worth fixating on. You, the reader, are by definition probably not an exception.
You can create a more balanced body by doing pulling exercises like pullups or body rows in the same quantity as your pushups.
And don’t forget the cardio.
I do > 160 in a regular set after over a decade of daily pushups, it's not really an issue.
Eventually I ended up adding handstand pushups to my daily routine to bring back something strenuous.
Both of my wrists have been broken in the past. When I started this regimen it wasn't even possible to do 20 pushups without agonizing wrist pain. Those pains are a distant memory, they vanished completely around the one year mark. Thank you daily pushups.
And, a single exercise is not likely to produce that outcome in the average person. Genetic factors greatly influence specifics like fat-distribution and leg musculature (or lack thereof), hormone levels, etc.
So, the effects of one-set-to-failure will vary wildly among people, even when considering solely the targeted muscles. But, if you're lucky enough to benefit from it, it's still reasonably likely that you'll wind up looking decidedly unsoldier-like from the nipples down.
All soldiers go through basic training. Basic training achieves pretty much just "above-average" fitness.
Sure, the military has PT studs, but so does your local gym. Those aren't really representative of the average soldier.
The point is you can make your general appearance comparable to the average soldier's with a very minimal investment of time and effort, and zero additional equipment. A developed upper body and solid core does wonders for a man's posture and overall appearance.
I'm confident that prospect appeals to a significant portion of the male keyboard jockey population.
I live in a military town, most soldiers just look like guys forced to do pushups every day wearing well-fitting clothes. And I'm regularly mistaken for one, even though I spend all my time at a computer.
So, your statement was actually "most soldiers look like guys who do a bunch of push-ups, so do a bunch of push-ups and you'll look like a soldier"? Hmm.
Sure, I get that most soldiers don't technically look like Rambo, but if you weren't using that phrase as a figure of speech to convey "extremely fit", then it's kind of meaningless right? Like saying a "professional boxer's physique", then saying you were thinking of Butterbean.
So, yes, if we lower the bar to say "slightly above average", then your point is "more valid" though a good bit less revelatory. You're essentially saying "exercise will help you", which I think we can all agree on.
But, the broader point you're now making that doing anything is much better than doing nothing is certainly valid and worth emphasizing--especially for us in the HN crowd.
I'm operating under the assumption that this is of value to the average young sedentary male computer geek I presume the HN crowd is largely composed of. Most people seem to be under the impression it requires hours of workouts and access to special equipment to see any results. The law of diminishing returns applies very strongly here, meaning you can see a significant portion of what's on the table with very little investment.
Using a soldier as reference was more intended to illustrate that doing the thing consistently every day is the important part, and is a major component of what the military forces onto its soldiers. You don't need a gym membership, you need a barrier to getting on with your day that shouts in your face "get down and give me $number", every, single, day, indefinitely.
Doesn’t this qualification end up nullifying your original comment?
The reality for most people is that genetics have only a tiny impact on fitness and body composition. Unless you're trying to compete at an elite level it just doesn't matter.
Maxreps means do pushups until you can't do another, despite digging really deep.
I'm not suggesting you destroy yourself every day. Just that you continuously increase the number as your endurance improves over time. It levels off at some point, in my experience this never becomes a session taking more than three minutes. You can add more sets if you feel like it, or you can add other exercises, this doesn't exclude any other activities you wish to add.
It's just an excellent minimum hygiene-level of physical activity to maintain every day. The more burdensome you make your routine, the more likely you are to say fuck it.
Right, and if that's how you train you're doing it wrong.
Consistent resistance is the worst idea based on the science.
You actually want a much higher weight in your strongest range and lower in the weakest. Much better gains and safer.