11 Minutes of Exercise Daily Could Be Enough to Build Long-Term Fitness, Trials Suggest

Edward Cooper
·2-min read
Photo credit: Letizia Le Fur
Photo credit: Letizia Le Fur

From Men's Health

Good news for fitness enthusiasts short on time — a first-of-its-kind trial has found that just eleven minutes of bodyweight exercise can offer long-term health benefits.

According to the randomised and controlled trials, five minutes of burpees, jump squats and other bodyweight movements were enough to improve aerobic endurance in test participants.

Published in the International Journal of Exercise Science, the study saw a team of researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester develop a rudimentary bodyweight routine, based on the remote training principles of Royal Canadian Air Force's 5BX programme.

The trial recruited 20 healthy but "out-of-shape" young men and women and measured their fitness, leg power and grip strength. One half began the programme, exercising three times a week, while the other half continued their lives as normal.

Each participant was pushed to "challenge" themselves in completing as many reps as possible within each minute. The programme used in the trial consisted of the following:

  • One minute of easy jumping jacks, to warm up

  • One minute of burpees (no push-ups)

  • One minute of walking in place

  • One minute of high-knee running in place

  • One minute of walking in place

  • One minute of split squat jumps (starting and ending in the lunge position, while alternating which leg lands forward)

  • One minute of walking in place

  • One minute of high-knee running in place

  • One minute of walking in place

  • One minute of squat jumps

  • One minute of walking in place, to cool down

After six weeks, the exercise group had improved their endurance capacity by seven per cent, with increased growth in their legs.

“It was good to see our expectations confirmed,” said Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University, who oversaw the study. For Gibala, the benefits of this training "seemed obvious", but "we now have evidence" that short workouts have a welcome place in any smart training plan.

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