Let me tell you a little secret to improving your fitness and skills on the trail when things get busy. This secret is so simple and easy that most people can’t believe it and look for some way to screw up the process.
So yes, you can see results in as little as 30 minutes per day…BUT only if you know how to most efficiently use that 30 minutes.
Are you ready? Here it is – getting results doesn’t have to take hours and hours in the gym and/ or on the trainer. It doesn’t require that you devote every spare second you have. And it doesn’t require that you exhaust yourself every time you workout.
But this is hard for most of us to really buy in to. We get nervous watching other riders training like mad and thinking that surely we have to train like that to.
Even though we don’t have the time and motivation for more we still try to dive into long, complex programs and just end up frustrated and burned out.
The real problem stems from unrealistic ideas about what it takes to see results. We’ve been told that it takes hours and hours each week to improve your endurance, strength and skills on the trail but it isn’t true.
In fact, you can see pretty significant results in just 20-30 minutes a day, 3-6 a week.
But how can this be? Can you see really see results in as few as 1.5-2 hours a week?
The short answer is yes but before I explain how this is let me tell you something about myself. One of the reasons I know so much about making maximum use of minimum time is because it is the way I usually train when things get busy, which is more often than not.
Between work, riding, and family I often find myself trying to squeeze workouts in when I can. Through this experience what I’ve found is that while it may not be optimal, you can improve your mobility, strength, power and cardio in only 30 minutes by applying a couple of little used principles to your training program.
The first one you need to know is the 80/20 Rule (also called the Parreto Principle) which tells us that 80% of our possible results in an area come from 20% of the possible things we can do. If you can drill down to that 20% you can maximize your training time, seeing the best results possible in the least amount of time and effort. What’s more, if you have a workout that misses the all-important 20% you can spend more total time training but see fewer results than someone who is focused exclusively on the most important things.
With strength training this means that we need exercises that work a lot of muscles at once and train the major movement patterns. Some examples include:
- Chin Up
- Turkish Get Up
- Goblet Squat/ Kettlebell Front Squat
- Shoulder Press
While we could debate about adding a couple more exercises to this list, the core group of exercises listed here will deliver the more “bang for the buck”, so to speak. Every rep you do of one of these exercises is worth 1.5-2 reps of any other exercise in terms of benefits to your strength and fitness. By focusing your workouts on these exercise and filling things out with a few others to inject some variety you have the “secret” recipe for results.
Another principle that ties in with this is the idea of mastering the basics. Put another way – do fewer things but do them better. Time and again it has been shown that the best at anything don’t know something everyone else doesn’t, they have just mastered the basics to a much higher level.
This mindset and ties in well with a famous Bruce Lee quote…
“Don’t fear the man who has done 10,000 techniques once, fear the man who has done 1 technique 10,000 times.”
Focusing on the basics isn’t about “fun”, it is about getting results. The fun comes from kicking ass on the trail, which you’ll be able to do since you’ll have more time and energy. By focusing on the basics you can cut your total training time by over half and still see the bulk of the results you would if you trained for a full hour or more.
But this approach does have one caveat – you have to train 3-6 days per week. If you can only train 1-2 days per week you will have to find a different approach because this one won’t work.
However, a lot of people actually find it easier to fit in more 30 minute workouts than a few 1+ hour workouts. Wake up a bit earlier or go to bed a bit later and anyone can find 30 minutes in their day but carving out more can be a challenge, not to mention shorter workouts aren’t as taxing on the body so you don’t get as sore and tired.
So yes, you can see results in as little as 30 minutes per day…BUT only if you know how to most efficiently use that 30 minutes. Waste your time on the wrong exercises and you’ll end up frustrated no matter how long your workouts. Focus like a laser on the most important things and you’ll end up riding faster, longer and with more confidence on the trail.
Speaking of efficient 30 minute workouts that get you results where they matter the most – on the trail – I am about to launch my new Dumbbell version of the popular Time Crunched Trail Rider Solution. This 90 day program will give you 11 different follow-along routines that require just a few dumbbells/ adjustable dumbbell. You’ll also give you the nutrition tips, skills drills and mental prep strategies you need to improve your riding in bite sized pieces.
Like the original kettlebell version, this program is for the rider who is so busy they don’t even have time to read a manual to get started .
On Friday I’ll be giving you a chance to win a free copy of this new program so keep an eye out for my next blog post where I’ll tell you how.
If you have any questions about how to apply these principles to your training or about the upcoming dumbbell version of the Time Crunched Trail Rider just post a comment below. And if you liked this post please help spread the word by clicking one of the Like or Share buttons below.
Until next time…