Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Are you a grunter?
Perhaps you’re just a groaner, with a little talking-to-yourself thrown in.
You can do it, Phelony! Three more!
Push it, Jethro! Push it!
Me, I’d keep quiet about having names like that. But some people believe that you have to address yourself, as you cause yourself real anguish in order to feel good about enjoying the evening’s steak, fries and lashings of ketchup.
This is the gym obsession that’s been sold to us for so many years.
You have to work out hard. You have to strain, endure the pain and come out at least a quarter-pound lighter.
Now along comes the University of Stirling and says: “Och, we’re not sure you’re being too wise.”
This Scottish university has just published research that offers a tantalizing tease of a headline: “Workouts With Fewer Reps Could Yield Better Results.”
Now that I’ve got you at least vaguely interested, I’m going in for the true joy. The researchers say that, to offer the dry words of Dr. Niels Vollaard : “The optimal number of repetitions appears to be just two, so workouts based on supramaximal sprints can be kept very short without compromising on the results.”
Please allow me to translate from the Scottish: Two all-out sprints of 20 seconds each, plus a 10-minute walk can make the laziest of bones 12 percent fitter, if done three times a week.
This particular research specifically refers to sprints on high-intensity bikes.
The underlying premise is, though, enticing. The marginally nutsoid individuals you see (and hear) at the gym doing thousands of reps may not be helping themselves too much at all.
Or, at least, not as much as they’re shouting.
Indeed, the university’s press release offers marginal schadenfreude towards these rattiest of gym rats: “Scientists found that after performing two maximal sprints, each additional sprint in a training session reduced the overall improvement in fitness by around 5% on average.”
Of course this research, like any research, needs more research.
But we’ve fallen into either conventional forms of working out or fads that involve ropes and machines and strange belts that hang from the roof.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if something as simple as is being suggested here could be a marvelous — and quick — way of becoming a lot healthier?
Now, can we do something about people who bring their phones to the gym, play a show on them at full volume and don’t even bother to wear headphones?