Here are the three exercise components of the Convenient Weight Loss Plan. There are two quick workouts as well as some stretching.
1) The Convenient Workout - a quick way to build muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so having some muscle on you acts as a 24/7 fat-burning machine. The Convenient workout is perhaps the easiest way to build muscle in the world. Only 4 exercises are involved: squats, push-ups, pull-ups and planks. It is ridiculously easy to fit into your day.
2) Sprints - a quick way to do cardio. You can do these running or on a bike, stationary bike, elliptical trainer, rowing machine, etc. People who sprint often get not only the usual anaerobic benefits, but also the same amount of aerobic fitness as those who go for longer, more time-consuming runs. They get both the anaerobic and the aerobic benefits in a significantly shorter time frame.
3) Stretching - at the very least touch your toes every now and then. Touching your toes is one of the first things we think about when we think about flexibility. One of the things it does is stretch out your hamstrings. Also stretch out your chest.
The hamstrings and the chest are the two most commonly tight areas in people due to the way our bodies are designed. As a minimum try to do these two stretches.
Ideally a full-body stretching routine would be better to work into your day. Or something like yoga.
Many weight loss plans rely on physical activity, not just dietary changes, to help shed the pounds. The secret to the Convenient Weight Loss Plan actually relies on the physical activity part more than dietary changes. Don't get me wrong - diet is very important to losing weight and I've included a section on diet on this website. But I've discovered a quick and easy way to burn more calories - what I call the "Convenient Workout".
The Convenient Workout is at the heart of the exercise component of the Convenient Weight Loss Plan. Basically it's a very easy way to get some muscle on you. One pound of muscle burns more calories than one pound of fat. So having some muscle on you will act as a 24/7 fat-burning machine.
If you don't want to gain too much muscle, you can still do the Convenient Workout, but do the exercises twice a week instead of three times. Generally three times a week of strength training will build muscle, two times will maintain it.
I don't want to deter you from getting in shape. So in case the Convenient Workout and sprinting aren't for you, I've included some other ways to build muscle and do cardiovascular exercise on this website. Check them out in the sidebar under "Other Ways to Build Muscle" and "Other Cardio Exercises".
The Convenient Workout is very easy to fit into your day. Having more muscle on you means that you will burn more calories, even while you sleep. Muscle burns more calories than fat. A lot of people don't have the motivation to go the gym. They want to, but they just can't seem to go.
Sprints are also very easy to fit into your day. By doing some sprinting you will work both your anaerobic and aerobic capacities. By doing slower, steady-state cardio, like going for a run or doing some biking, you will work just your aerobic capacity. Sprinting works both.
Tim Ferriss in his book "The 4-Hour Body" describes this process very well. Gray Cook in "Athletic body in Balance" is also an advocate for doing sprints to work both your aerobic capacity and your anaerobic capacity.
People are struggling to do exercise. They are struggling to lose weight. They are struggling to eat better. Approximately 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese (World Health Organization, 2016).
The two quick workouts that the Convenient Weight Loss Plan relies upon (the Convenient Workout and sprinting) are easy to fit into your day. They will help you to build some muscle and work your cardiovascular system. Stretching is the other main component of physical fitness. Together they make up the Big Three of exercise.
Where the Convenient Weight Loss Plan differs from other fitness plans is how easy it is to get the exercises done. Many people go to the gym and work out with weights for 45-60 minutes and then go on the treadmill or bike for another 15-20 minutes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. If you can do this, great! I wholeheartedly recommend it. But a lot of people don't have the motivation or the time to do this.
Sprinting only takes a few minutes at least. Ideally, if you can do some sprints a few times a week for 10-15 minutes, you will be doing your body a great service. A sprint is over very quickly and then you get to rest. In 10 minutes you could do about 8-10 50-meter sprints. Just mere seconds for each sprint and then a longer break.
The Convenient Workout takes even less time. This is where you build some muscle. Did you know that the average 45-60 minute workout with weights at the gym has only about 5 minutes of actual work in it?
If you do 8-10 exercises with weights, 2 sets each, that is 16-20 exercises. One set of 8 bicep curls only takes about 15 seconds. If most of the other exercises take roughly this long as well, 15 seconds times 16-20 exercises is 4-5 minutes of actual work. The other 40-55 minutes spent at the gym is spent resting in between sets.
Also, of that 4-5 minutes of actual work, half that time is spent lowering the weight and half is spent raising the weight.
The Convenient Workout takes advantage of this small amount of exercise that it actually takes to build muscle. By doing just 4 exercises you will work out the major muscle groups of your body. These 4 exercises are compound (or multi-joint) exercises. This means they work out more than one muscle group at a time. Instead of doing 8-10 exercises with weights at the gym, you only have to do 4 exercises.
You also only have to do one of them at a time. You don't have to do all of them at the same time, which would take about 20 minutes. You can do them back to back in 20 minutes, if you want. Don't let me stop you. By doing two one day and two the next, that means you only have to do two every day - one in the morning and one in the evening for example.
Each one only takes a few minutes each. Again, most of that time will be the rest break in between the 2 sets. Say it's the morning. Before you head out the door you drop and do some push-ups - as many as you can. Say you do 25. That should probably only take about 30 seconds. You take a break for 1-3 minutes and then you drop and do another set, as many as you can. Say another 30 seconds. That's it. Your done.
You probably didn't work up a sweat. You probably didn't have to change into gym clothes, which is one less thing for you to do. This makes it easier for you and more likely you'll actually do the exercises. It is more...convenient.
It only took about a minute of actual work and you're ready to head out the door. It was so easy to fit into your day. You actually got the exercise done. Do the same thing with some squats tonight when you get home and the day's workout is done.
That's the muscle-building component. The cardio component, the sprinting, will probably involve changing into gym clothes and working up a sweat. They only have to be done every other day. Even two days a week will be a lot better than nothing.
There. That's the exercise component of the Convenient Weight Loss Plan. Again, you can check out the sidebar under "Other Ways to Build Muscle" and "Other Cardio Exercises" if the Convenient Workout and sprinting aren't for you.
Bonus: Click here for a quick overview of some of the basics on how to lose weight. This will give you "everything in a nutshell" about the weight loss process and overall health. It includes information that comes up quite often as you read through literature on weight loss and fitness. It is by no means exhaustive, but it is a good place to start if you want some quick information tips.