Get Bigger, Stronger and Fitter by Working out Twenty Minutes a Day, Five Days a Week

At some point in time ‘about an hour’ seems to have become locked into our collective consciousness as the de-facto length of an effective workout. Far from being cast in stone, what you do in a workout is often far more important than how long you workout for.

If you’ve been put off from striving to achieve your fitness goals by the idea of sacrificing 6-7 hours each week to the God of Gains, our five-day plan offers up the perfect solution. Clocking in at under two hours per week including warm-ups, each 20-minute session alternates between building strong, functional muscle, boosting your metabolism and sky-rocketing your fitness levels.

Stick to the plan for six weeks, pushing hard and aiming to eek out improvements in your performance from session to session, and there’s no doubt that you’ll see huge changes in your body.

The Format

Your three-day weights plan (days one, three and five) requires just two dumbbells and your bodyweight. Simply warm-up and work your way through the three move, full-body circuit as many times as possible in twenty minutes. Keep a track of the total reps you manage to perform before the buzzer sounds and aim to beat your ‘score’ when you repeat the same session the following week.

On your conditioning days (days two and four) pick a ‘cardio’ modality or movement such as running, riding a stationary bike or air bike, rowing, skipping or even burpees, set yourself a running clock and perform a 30-second sprint followed by 30 seconds of slow paced work or complete rest. Repeat in this fashion for 20 minutes. Make a note of your total distance, calories or reps. Again, aim to beat your ‘score’ when you repeat the same session the following week.

Feel

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Notable MLB free agents are signing in Japan and South Korea during lockout; will bigger names follow?

Back in 1987, with Major League Baseball’s owners colluding against the players to suppress salaries, Bob Horner took matters into his own hands. Horner, a former All-Star and Rookie of the Year Award recipient, had homered 54 times and posted a 121 OPS+ for the Atlanta Braves in the 1985 and 1986 seasons, making it all the more jarring when he agreed to a one-year contract with the Yakult Swallows. The Swallows, part of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, were willing to do what no MLB club would deign itself to do: pay Horner what he believed he was worth, or nearly $2 million. 

“The Japanese called and made a good offer,” he said, according to a Los Angeles Times article. “I was at the point of thinking I was going to sit out the whole year.”

Horner didn’t enjoy his time in Japan. He later turned down a multi-year offer from the Swallows to return to the majors, where he suffered a career-ending shoulder injury a year later. Still, fans of a certain age might have thought about Horner once or twice already this offseason. With MLB’s franchise owners locking out the players on Dec. 2, the hot stove has been snuffed out. (“Any contact with major league players or agents on any topic is prohibited,” is the league’s instruction to front-office personnel.) The only transaction news to devour in the time since has been the steady drumbeat of MLB players pushing off America’s shores for more certainty in Japan’s NPB or the Korean Baseball Organization, the world’s No. 2 and 3 leagues.

The holiday weekend alone saw third baseman Rio Ruiz, a veteran of parts of six big-league seasons, and Chris Gittens, who appeared in 16 games with the New York Yankees, sign with Asian league teams.

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