One Minute of Intensity
When I’m trying to explain the benefits of high intensity, short interval training, I often ask myself this question: if you only had 10 minutes to get a workout in, what would it look like? (Yes, this question goes out to all you mileage junkies who have to get in your 5-10 miles each day.) What would you do if you only had 10 minutes, but you wanted something that left you feeling exhausted, and exhilarated? Is it even possible?
Let's put it this way, if you did a three-minute warm-up, then three rounds of one minute of maximum-rep burpees with one minute of rest in between, and then took two minutes to cool down, that would be ok. Or maybe you'd do five one-minute all-out sprints at a 10% incline on a treadmill with one minute rest in between? If these efforts were all honestly maximum efforts, then the science supports what you are doing as having more health benefits (or at least the same) than working at a moderate intensity for a much longer time.
In this article in the New York Times, based on the recent study published on PLOS.org, the findings showed that one minute of high intensity intervals performed just once a day can have the same benefits as 45 minutes of moderate intensity training.
Check out the article and the study -- pretty interesting. High intensity doesn't mean you're lifting 1,000 pounds, running four-minute miles or doing one-armed push-ups. It means you're putting everything you have into the time you have to work out.