Expert Q&A: Strength Training in 15 Minutes a Week
Q: I keep hearing about the benefits of weight lifing, but is 15 minutes of strength training a week enough?
A: Yes! According to Pete Cerqua, author of The 90-Second Fitness Solution, strength training is the most important component in your exercise program and as little as 15 minutes a week can yield great results. If you are a runner, a little strength training each week will add years to your running. If you are trying to shed a few pounds, strength training will boost your metabolism. The key is to increase the intensity of your strength training so it works more efficiently for you and takes less time.
In my book, the first workout I recommend takes only three minutes to complete and can be done 5 times a week for a total of 15 weekly minutes. The workout consists of only two exercises that can be done anywhere and you don't have to change your clothes because you won't break a sweat. Exercise #1 is the wall sit. Most of you know this or have tried it before. Put your back against a wall, walk you feet forward about 18 inches and slide down the wall to a 90 degree position. It will look like you are sitting in a chair without the chair under you. Hold that position for up to 90 seconds.
If you can't make 90 seconds on the first try, write your time down and try to beat it tomorrow. The second exercise is the Plank. The Plank is the top part of the push up. I know a lot of you right now are saying "but, I can't do push ups"... it's ok, you don't have to, just get into the top part of the push up position (yes, knees off the floor) and hold it. Again, your goal is 90 seconds and if you don't make it, add a few seconds each workout until you do. Not moving during an exercise is called a static contraction which is more intense than a regular set of reps. The increase in intensity is what will give you the results you desire. And for those of you who are afraid that you muscles will get bigger with increased intensity workouts... fear not. No movement exercises do not generate a pump like your regular 3 sets of 12 routine so you will get smaller, tighter and stronger.
More information about Pete Cerqua and 90-Second Fitness can be found at
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