Quick workout better than no workout?

Is a quick workout better than no workout?

My situation today reminded me of a frequently asked question. Is a short, crudy workout better than no workout? Today we were getting ready to head to a college friends house for New Years. I know I might not be able to work out for the next two days and I have not had time to workout today either.  Its 15 minutes before we are scheduled to leave and I still have to pack, if I’m late, its divorce court.   I have 15 minutes of free time before we leave , what is best:

  1. Do a quickie 15 minute home workout while packing for the trip
  2. Don’t waste a workout if it cant be done properly, skip working out today and hope I can find a gym open tomorrow so I can do a full and proper workout.

So whats best?  It depends on your goals!  For me, the answer is #1, for someone wanting to compete in bodybuilding,  the answer would probably be #2.  For busy people like me who have no visions of competing,  one in the hand is worth two in the bush. Yes, just doing a 15 minute pullup workout for lats isn’t optimal and I will still have to wait 5 days before doing it again so its “wasting” a workout in a sense. But its also possible that our departure will be delayed and I will get more than 15 minutes and I would be pretty mad had it turned out that I actually had 45 minutes and I skipped the workout. What if I cant find a time and place to workout the next two days, that would mean three unplanned days off.

Its a dangerous habit to get into, skipping workout if everything is not optimal. There are always reasons to skip workouts, if you only workout when everything is optimal you wont be working out much. I know I preach the importance of focus in bodybuilding and giving your 100% undivided attention to your workout even between sets.  This is very important if you are working hard to maximize gains in strength and mass, those are not my current goals. As I hinted at in the sleep and bodybuilding page, getting enough sleep and still accomplishing all your life goals requires some serious time management skills. My fitness goals now are more focused on triathlon and bodybuilding is a tool to help me. Between my two jobs, family, my triathlon training, doing videos, working on my website, and answering peoples questions daily, the demands on my time are great.  Its a rare and delightful treat when I can focus 100% on a workout, most times I have to multiplex.  If my goals were to compete seriously in natural bodybuilding contests, I would need to be a lot more focused in my workouts and the “right” answer for me would have been #2.   In one of my 60 minute “workouts” at home between sets I am packing for a trip, working on a video script for an upcoming video, doing a work email, and answering peoples questions on the AskScooby forum. If I waited till I had 60 minutes I could completely dedicate to working out, I would rarely ever workout.

Quite a complicated answer for a simple question!  So as it turns out, my 15 minute workout had a happy ending.  I actually had 45 min to workout rather than the 15 minutes expected before we had to leave so my crudy workout wasn’t so bad after all!!



16 thoughts on “Quick workout better than no workout?”

  1. I just wanted to say that YOU ROCK scooby! I’ve been training for all my life but not been too serious about bodybuilding and now Iäve been watching A LOT of videos online and trying different stuff and you are by far the best inspiration! I love that I can do all your stuff at home with my own limited equipment. Cheers!

    /The Swede

  2. I don’t have much time on my hands either, so what I tend to do is use supersets, you feel great afterwars and save time. I am usi g yr advanced program and it takes me about 20-30 mins to finish each one (Without compromising form or anything if course)

  3. I am often forced to do quick workouts due to busy schedules in my professional life…but I was always skeptical about the benefits..but now its clear that.. it is always better to do some quick workouts if you miss your regular workout than doing nothing at all.

  4. New to Scooby’s site here. But I kept going back to your videos on youtube and have come to the conclusion that I’d like to follow our advise as it seems the best for me and honest for all!

  5. Scooby,
    Much appreciated advise.
    My take is, I make it a challenge to do my workouts anywhere if possible. Even at the airports waiting for my flight I find a quiet out of the way area and do push-up or sit-ups, whatever. If I’m at work I use private rooms to do my workouts. After lunch walks are great too. I may not do a straight hour of exercises but by the end of the day I know it’s made difference .

    Frohes neues Jahr meine Freund!

  6. Hi Scooby,

    I’ve often been in the same quandary, but having to do with my energy level, rather than time. Sometimes I get home from work and I’m so tired I don’t feel like working out. Would I be better off doing a lesser workout, or just making sure I get a good night’s sleep and coming back the next day when I have more energy? I usually opt for the latter, although sometimes I’ll just go for a walk or stretch, things that don’t require a lot of energy. Keep up the good work.

  7. Hi Scooby.
    I’d like to thank you all the passion and time you dedicate on this project. I’ve been following your videos, reading the books you advise and trying to improve my physic. It’s been hard, but I’ll never give up.
    I wish you a year full of happiness and accomplishments.
    Greatings from Brazil.


  8. Thank you for all that you do. I would do the short workout. That has happened to me before and sometimes it turns out that once I got started I just kept going and finished my workout anyhow.

  9. I read somewhere that the reason children are so fidgety is because it burns a lot of extra calories! If they can burn so many extra calories a day just by being fidgety, I don’t see why we shouldn’t do little workouts if that’s all we have the chance for.

  10. Hello scooby.
    I want to Play a Game. The Rules are simple…
    I’m kidding :D.I wish you all the best for 2012 and wanted to thank you for your great videos. They helped me a lot.


  11. I agree with u..in non holiday situation. work sometimes already wasted my energy…and always have reason to skip workout. if i follow my mind…of course no workout after work. but…i try to keep workout and go to gym after workout. and the result is good, still can control my weight also shape my body.

  12. Best words of wisdom I’ve heard all year Scooby!. My friends all seem to think that they can only work out if it is in an optimal situation and frankly they are about as small as some of the guys I went to high school with but they still their their hot stuff. Like you I am busy also between college, studying, doing landscaping for the complex I live at, and trying to have a social life let alone working out and having proper nutrition. This really brightened my day because even if it is a crap workout at least you did something instead of just dismissing it. This shows that you still have the ability and want to do it. Thank you Scooby.

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