Thursday, February 10, 2011

Only 15 minutes!...or the missing Intensity Factor (part 1)

So you would like to be in shape but you do not have time to train?
Good news and bad news for you.

Good news first.
You only need 15 minutes a day to be in good shape.

And if you say you do not have 15 minutes for yourself, please (!) go look for help. Now. You might not need a Superfit Project, but a Life-Changing Project. 

Anyways, most probably you are not in such a critical condition, and you just need to find the 15 minutes by cutting time spent on the internet or watching TV. But I leave the time management to you.

Now the bad news.
It is hard training. More than you can imagine now.
Trust me when I say that these 15 minutes – if done right - will seem very long and almost too hard.

But, after all, it is only 15 minutes. So I am sure you can handle them.
You’ll think you’ll die, but you won’t. Promised!

(caution note: if you have a heart condition, please don’t go full intensity in your training, as I might not be able to keep my previous promise! Seriously speaking, always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.)

Let me now try to explain why this works.
As many of you probably already know, to improve your fitness levels, you need to stress your body a bit and then let it rest and recover. Only after rest and full recovery take place, the body can become fitter and stronger.

The body actually adapts to the stress by becoming stronger, so it can handle it much better the next time. As a result, you end up running faster, jumping higher, and lifting heavier weights. Or as the Olympic motto says: "Citius, Altius, Fortius".

Got the idea? Cool machine we have, eh?

I love the simplicity of formulas to summarize things, so this is the first one for you:

Improved fitness levels = Stress (from training) + Recovery
Keep it in mind. I will return to this many times in future posts.

In part 2 of this post I will write about a few more principles on training with intensity (bear with me), and then on part 3 (finally) I will give you some concrete examples on how to put the workouts together.

Stay tuned!


  1. I really like your blog and I think I'll follow your adventure... Great great idea!!! Love the spirit, the style, the content... Ironic and fun, but also incredibly true... I think the spirit and the advice can be applied in many other fields other than training and SUPERFIT. However, being an incredible lazy person, I am really interested to your superfit project... And if you'll manage to make me acquire new healthy habits and drive me to stick to those 15 mins training, well I assure u that it will be a great success! :-)

  2. Ciao, vorrei chiederti come fare x ritrovare la forma fisica dopo due gravidanze..ravvicinate.
    Il problema più grosso è il grasso accumulato nel girovita (la classica salsiccia :D) e sopra ai glutei.
    Può essere sufficiente eliminare dalla dieta i dolci e andare a correre? O serve un aiuto anche esterno???

  3. Hi CG,
    Thanks for the kind comments. Glad you like it!
    But do me a favor, don't just read it, put it into practice! ;)
    You are not lazy. You just think you are. Change that thought and it is solved!
    Even if I am not coaching you directly, I will try to give concrete and simple tips in later posts, so try them and if you have questions just ask!

  4. Ciao SS,
    Grazie del commento. Let me just answer back in English for the benefit of most readers, but let me know if you need clarifications in Italian.

    So, for your question about how to get back in shape (lose body fat) after two close pregnancies, I can tell you that the best thing you can do is to control your blood sugar levels (glycemia). If you keep the glycemia down during the whole day, everyday, your body will start melting the extra fat rapidly.
    This is a subject I will write about in great detail, but to be more concrete with you now here are a few tips you can put already into practice:
    1. Cut completely sugars, sweets, breads, pasta, rice, potatos and also carots from your diet for at least 3 weeks (eat instead lots of fruit, vegetables and proteins - meats/fish, eggs, yogurt - olive oil, nuts). Then you can start eating them again, but always in low quantities and avoid them completely at dinner.
    2. Do short and intense exercise that makes you gasp for air. Don't just walk, run!...Don't just walk up the stairs, run up! squats until you are breathless...and so on. 15 minutes! you do not need more if you are eating right, too.
    3. Increase the consumption of protein in all meals (it makes you feel less hungry)
    4. Drink lots of water

    Hope this helps!

    Fammi sapere se ti serve la traduzione ;)

  5. Thanks Coach...Let's go!!!
    SS :)