Be more fit in 5-minutes per day. Really!

“The first wealth is health.”Β -Ralph Waldo Emerson


To piggyback on last week’s post, I’m going to talk about something that benefits everyone in every aspect of life, and it’s something everyone can do!

It has to do with fitness, and is actually weight training. Many people go straight cardio when they want to “get fit” but they’re not realizing the benefits of working out with weights and increasing muscle mass – increased caloric burn, increased metabolism, less aches and pains from atrophy, makes bones stronger (listening ladies??) and honestly I can do on for a long time about this!

I call them mini-sets. They are mini repetition sets of weight/working out repetitions.

They only take five minutes, and they go like this: choose two areas of your body you want to work on. The only requirement is that they need to be unrelated to each other. Like arms and legs, abs and legs, etc. Then switch off doing a set of repetitions with those two body parts, no rest in between!

An example would be:

  • A set of 15 reps of military presses (pushing weights from shoulder height till they touch each other above your head)
  • A set of 15 squats
  • Repeat the military presses
  • Squats
  • Military presses
  • Squats
  • Done!

This process takes 5 minutes or less. Do this once every other day (to give those muscles time to heal) and you will see improvements!

For the other days, you can pick two other muscle groups. Say biceps and abs. To maximize effort and time, try to use whole body movements.

Even with a routine as simple as this, you are still working out your entire body every week!

Crazy, right???


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  1. I am impressed by the simplicity of your suggestions! Even I could follow this guide. Simple, compact, a little capsule of inspiration and instruction. Great post!

    • Thank you Katherine! My goal is to make everything simple! I find if something isn’t simple, I won’t do it myself!

  2. What a great suggestion! Pick 2 unrelated muscle groups and work on them alternately for 5 minutes. It might be an intense 5 minutes, but certainly doable.

    Have you though of making videos with examples of exercises for different muscle groups? I’m not very knowledgeable about exercises targeting different areas, and not imaginative about that either. Having something to guide me would help a lot, even though I know I can figure enough of this out on my own.

    Great post!

    • Thank you for the input Susan! I almost put up some links to some excercises and how-to’s, but I find that if I let myself get carried away, I never finish an article! But I’ll be sure to cover it in the future and link back to here!

      Thanks again!

  3. Wendy – I love how you make things so simple and easy! It seems that so many people try to overcomplicate things but you have a knack for explaining things in a really understandable way. I do a lot of body weight exercises that are similar to this. It’s great because I can take a quick break and get in a mini-workout that shows results.

    I agree with Susan above that short videos may be something in your future. Great stuff!

    • Thank you Michael!

      Yes body weight exercises are a great way to go about doing these exercises. So you can work out anywhere, anytime!

  4. Agreed!! I do this during my days πŸ™‚ I don’t pay for a gym membership at the current moment and don’t have the funds to do so right now. Doing push ups, squats, and abs throughout my week (plus anything else I feel like doing) is such a great way to work my muscles. I have actually had sore muscles as a result of doing squats at my house (I did 300 – a variation of squats) but it works! I also find this is a great way to relive any stress that I may have been feeling as a result of my work day. Awesome advice!!!

    • Sounds like you’ve got a great routine going Khrystle!

      And yes exercise relieves stress and has many other life benefits. The key is to find a way to keep it up!

  5. Hi Wendy, that’s really simple! You keep forgetting how much you can achieve within a couple of minutes if you only do it consistently. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Easy, simple ideas for a quick workout! Even I can’t make up an excuse not to find 5 minutes πŸ˜‰

  7. 5 minutes isn’t much time in our days! Especially considering how much time we do spend on other things! And out health is one of the most important!

  8. I’m terrible at exercising but I really have no excuse for not finding five minutes! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the time!! Thanks for these tips, I am going to try these out πŸ™‚

  9. Thanks for this! I’ve heard this before but then I never do it… I get it in my head that I don’t have time to work out, but with this approach, there’s no excuse!

  10. This inspires me to go grab some weights at the nearby discount warehouse and start mini-working it out! I love doing yoga but my yoga takes 90 minutes… nowhere near as convenient as 5 minutes… but what to do with the weights when you’re traveling all the time…? πŸ™‚

    • Weights are great, I love weights. But you can also always use body weight workouts, no weights necessary!

      Squats, lunges, mountain climbers, burpees, push-ups, planks, tricep dips… Body weight routines is going to be in one of my future posts and I’ll be linking it back to this one. There’s so many options, I just try to find the simplest πŸ™‚

  11. OK! That told me! I exercise loads as I walk my dog about 1.5 to 2 hours a day – however it’s not the toned up kind of exercise! I do need to do this because it always makes me feel good after! OK from tomorrow I will try this. Thanks for your great post and kick up the bum!

    • Walking is great and anything that makes you feel good is great!

      Any way to get in exercise is wonderful for your health and well being. Though strength training is important as well for other health benefits too! You’ll feel it in the morning πŸ˜‰

  12. Awesome- you can’t make an excuse for 5 minutes! It’s amazing what a difference it can make πŸ™‚ Way to lay it out in a way that everyone can understand and implement!

    • Thank you Kate! I love simple and easy. If something isn’t simple and easy, I find that I just don’t do it!

  13. Hey Wendy, I actually perform a similar routine which is actually 11 minutes a day. Three times longer than your version πŸ™ So I am going to try this out for sure.

    The daily regime I use is 2 minutes warm up stretching (standing up with hands on hips, lifting chest and arching back and then keeping knees bent whilst reaching down towards the toes), then 1 minute of Sit-ups, 1 minute raising legs whilst laying on belly, 1 minute of press-ups followed by 6 minute Stationary run (whist lifting legs high and holding the abdominals). This certainly works although I love walking and cycling even more πŸ™‚

    • Well actually your routine is only twice as long Paul πŸ˜‰ And it sounds like a great routing and hits most of your body which is great! And if it works for you and you like doing it, that’s great too!

      One of my next posts will actually be about stringing together these mini-sets (for those that get ambitious) which turns the routine into not just strength training but cardio as well! (10-15 minutes)

      Also always remember the key to not plateauing is to change up your routine. Our bodies get used to doing the same thing over and over and gets very efficient about it. Which doesn’t help our progress!! With mini-sets it’s easy to change it up because there’s so many options of what to do. I’ll have to gather together a good list of exercises and pair up some for examples. With sample pictures and videos.

      Thanks for sharing Paul and keep at it! πŸ™‚

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