We were road-tripping from Winston-Salem, NC to Washington DC for a fitness conference.
Along the way, we made plenty of pit stops. But these were not ordinary pit stops. Whereas a typical road trip stop includes a bathroom break and a bag of Cheetos, ours included stretching and something called a “blitz.”
The idea comes from Dr. Jade Teta, founder of Metabolic Effect.
A blitz is a one-minute burst with “a focus on one particular body part with the goal of achieving complete failure. It is extremely brief, intense, and can be applied literally anywhere.”
In other words: the longest minute ever.
Remember when you were a kid, watching the clock at the end of the school day, and the second hand moved slower than it did for all of the other minutes combined? Welcome to a blitz. It’s one minute of any exercise you choose. Yep, just one minute and you’re done.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Turns out, your body can produce a hormonal response from exercise in as little as one minute. “[T]he European Journal of Applied Physiology (vol 67) printed a study showing that sixty seconds is an optimal time for high-intensity activity to elicit an oxygen debt that, in turn, can elevate fat burning at rest.”
That oxygen debt Dr. Jade is referring to is something we call EPOC in the health and fitness world. It’s the same effect that occurs when you reach the top of the stairs, and you’re as winded as if you just ran a sprint. EPOC is the body playing “catch-up” after you finish exercising.
Even after you hit the top of the stairs, and you’re punching in “A6” for Lays Potato Chips at the vending machine, your body is burning calories and fat.
Even better, the more you do these bursts, the more the effects compound on top of one another.
On this road trip, we ended up stopping 4-5 times, for 4 or 5 different blitzes. The next morning I was sore from head-to-toe. All from about 5 minutes of exercise.. total.
Exercise doesn’t have to be this long, pain-in-the-ass event. It doesnt have to take hours, and you don’t even need a gym membership. It can be a natural part of our day.
Wake up, do a push up blitz.
After a morning work meeting, do a squat jump blitz.
Before lunch, do an all out sprint in the parking lot.
While you’re watching TV, do 1 minute of sit-ups.
Sure, you’ll look like a crazy person. Check me out in Times Square..
Does it really work? Think about a sprinter. Let’s say a 100m sprint takes him 10 seconds. If he does 20, he only trains for about three and a half minutes total.. But looks like this:
The thing trainers and health professionals miss is that most people don’t think fitness is that cool. It’s hard. You get all sweaty. It can take up hours of your day if you include driving and shower time.
A blitz is “good enough” exercise for the busy person. The person who doesn’t wear t-shirts and basketball shorts to work. The person whose office isn’t packed with cable machines and squat racks.
Here are some Blitz ideas:
- Squat jumps
- Sprint (run, bike, stairs)
- Switch jumps
- Mountain Climbers
- You get it.. I could drop bullet points all day. The point is that if you can do it anywhere, and it’s intense, it counts.