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:
- Do a quickie 15 minute home workout while packing for the trip
- 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!!