Could Working Out for Less Time Increase Your Results?

If you think you need to spend hours in the gym to get results, you might want to think again – there’s some evidence that shorter workouts might actually get better results. Here’s why…


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The Evidence For Shorter Workouts

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have found that people doing 30 minutes of exercise a day lost more weight than those doing an hour – 3.6kg compared to 2.7kg over 3 months.

The researchers have a few theories as to why.

The first one was that 30-minute exercisers actually worked harder during their allotted session as psychologically they felt it would be easier – they also moved around more afterwards in their day to day life.

The team also think that those doing a 60-minute workout possibly ate more afterwards.

This is one of the really annoying things about exercise – it can stimulate appetite but it also creates something called ‘moral licensing effect’ which is where because you think you’ve done one healthy thing that day, all bets are off when it comes to stuff like watching calories.

I know when I was doing a recent 30-minute a day exercise challenge, I did work harder during my gym workouts, plus I did workout every single day – unlike now, when I’m back to hitting the gym for longer but go 3-5 times a week and often, especially if I workout at the end of the day, slack off during sessions because I’m tired and 60 minutes seems too long.

Ricky Gervais – Fitness Guru?

If 30 minutes seems a bit too short to achieve your workout aims – but, you still get put off by the idea of 60-minute workouts, I also once read a great tip from comedian Ricky Gervais. 

You might not think of him as a fitness guru, but some time ago he chatted to Men’s Health magazine about his weight loss and one of the tips in it is just brilliant.

He says he keeps his workouts to 55 minutes a time. Not because this means he reaches some secret fat burning sweet spot but because ‘if it’s under an hour you don’t feel it’s taking up your day.’ This makes him more likely to go more often.

It’s such a simple idea but I know absolutely that it would work for me. I enjoy my workout and put in more far effort when I tell myself I’m going to the gym for 45 minutes than if I say I must go for an hour- even if I end up staying longer. 

So, what timing tricks do you use to make your workout go faster? I’ve also talked about how music can play a role, but I’d love to hear what else you do. 


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