The five minute workout-worth it or a joke?
I critiqued a diet book that you can find posted on October 13th on this site. In the book titled, “Inches off! Your Tummy. The Super-Simple 5-minute Plan to Firm Up Flab & Sculpt a Flat Belly” the author, Jorge Cruise, states that his specific exercises can burn 400 calories with only five minutes each day, which equals 12,000 calories over 30 days. He writes, “And 5 minutes is a good period because it’s long enough and intense enough to give you real results…” Dividing 12,000 by 3500 (which is how many calories it takes to burn 1 pound) equals 3.43 pounds. If his theory is correct, people should lose 3 pounds in 1 month.
So I decided to test it out myself even though logic and experience proves his math faulty. Since I already exercise in the mornings and I know that metabolism slows down at night, I decided to do these 5 minute workouts right before I went to sleep. A study of one is really no study at all so I roped my husband into joining me. I told him the rules:
- Don’t eat more and don’t eat less than usual, just eat like you normally do
- Don’t change your typical exercise habits, other than this additional five minute workout
Here’s what we did: Every evening, usually around 8:00 pm, my husband and I went into our home gym. I turned on the radio nice and loud since I prefer to exercise to music. He would find the two workouts in the book scheduled for that day and we would do those particular exercises. A sampling of the exercises were planks, burpees, mountain climbers and lunges. I picked light weights, and focused on form instead of speed. My husband, a true warrior, would lift extremely heavy weights and do as many repetitions as possible. When we did all the exercises in the book (there are 56), we just improvised, which was dancing around like idiots and super fun. We did this routine every night* for 30 days from October 1st to October 30th. *My husband took two nights off since he wasn’t feeling too good on those evenings.
You want the results, right? I lost a half a pound and a ¼ inch off my waist. My husband didn’t lose any inches, but gained a half a pound! Here’s the thing, I did change my workouts without thinking about it at the time; I added 1 session of sprints each week. Sprints are huge calorie burners. I didn’t mean to mess with the findings, honest! My husband may have eaten extra calories since Halloween candy is abundant in the month we did our study in October.
Our conclusion: Everyone’s body weight fluctuates a few pounds every day, so a few pounds is not a good indicator of fat loss. A five minute workout is better than no workout at all, but if you want results, you need to eat better, throw in some cardio, and spend at least 30 minutes three times a week weight-training.