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Is 15 Minutes Enough Time for a Full Body Workout?

Should you spend more time in the gym?

Is 15 minutes enough time for a full body workout? Or do you necessarily need more time to train to get results, regardless of what you are aiming at?

If you go online, you will see countless workout videos for people who want to get leaner, stronger, fitter, more athletic or simply healthier. Those videos can vary from as little as 5 minutes to as long as more than an hour.

In any case, is 15 minutes enough time for a full body workout? Should it be longer? Or perhaps shorter? To help answer that, we turn to the expertise of the guys from the Mind Pump Podcast.

The Mind Pump Podcast is an online radio show that talks all fitness related and, usually, is provocative. Its hosts are Sal Di StefanoAdam SchaferJustin Andrews, and Doug Egge. They also have a YouTube channel with more than 700k subscribers.

If you are wondering if the workout you are doing at the moment is long enough, this is the ultimate answer you were looking for.

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Is 15 Minutes Enough Time for a Full Body Workout?

Sal Di Stefano poses the question to the other hosts, but immediately changes the framing of the question. According to him, “Is 15 minutes enough time for a full body workout” wrong.

“The question really is can you send the right signal for adaptation in just 15 minutes,” he says. Why is that the correct way to question? Because, provided you are challenging your body enough, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as you challenge it so that it tries to adapt to the new exercise/movement/workout.

And according to him, when the question is framed correctly, the answer is yes!

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Source: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Schafer goes a bit further and says it is all about understanding training instead of just doing exercises. “Something that is programmed really well can be extremely effective and it is not about the time that you spend in the gym as it is how effective is the few movements you are doing in that short period of time.”

The hosts of the show go on to explain that when total volume is equated, the results are equal. For example, if you training your chest 4 times a week doing 3 sets of 10 reps each time, you are training your chest weekly 120 reps. If you go to the gym twice and do 6 sets of 10 reps, you are still doing the same amount of weekly volume and the result will be very similar.

However, exercise selection is also crucial when it comes to training for only 15 minutes for a full body workout session. Some exercises are better than others depending on your goals. If you want to burn more calories, you are better with full body movements that challenge your heart rate and lung capacity. If you want to build muscle, you are better with heavy lifts with compound movements.

Regardless of all that, you still need to pay attention to your diet and know how to eat, how to use calculate your macros and be consistent and diligent with it.

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For a full explanation from the hosts of the podcast, watch the video below.

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As short as possible, here are the basics of building muscle, in case you don’t know yet:

  1. Resistance Training: Engaging in regular strength training exercises is crucial for stimulating muscle growth. Resistance exercises include weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance machine workouts.
  2. Progressive Overload: To promote muscle growth, progressively challenge your muscles by gradually increasing the intensity, volume, or difficulty of your workouts over time. This can be achieved by lifting heavier weights, performing more repetitions, or reducing rest periods between sets.
  3. Proper Nutrition: A balanced and nutrient-rich diet is essential for muscle growth. Ensure you consume enough protein to support muscle repair and synthesis.
  4. Caloric Surplus: To build muscle, you generally need to consume more calories than you burn (caloric surplus). This provides the necessary energy and nutrients for muscle growth.
  5. Sufficient Rest and Recovery: Muscles grow and repair during periods of rest, so allow adequate time for recovery between workouts. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support optimal recovery. Additionally, consider incorporating rest days into your training program to avoid overtraining and prevent injuries.
  6. Consistency and Patience: Building muscle takes time and dedication. Consistency in your training and nutrition is key. Stick to a well-designed workout program and maintain a balanced diet over the long term.

How to Increase Your Metabolism

lean athlete running

To burn fat, you need to create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume. Here are some strategies that can help you burn fat:

  1. Exercise regularly: Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling, or swimming, can help you burn calories and increase your metabolism. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  2. Add strength training: Building muscle can help you burn more calories at rest, as muscle tissue requires more energy to maintain than fat tissue. Incorporate strength training exercises, such as weight lifting or bodyweight exercises, into your routine.
  3. Increase physical activity: Look for ways to increase your overall physical activity throughout the day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from your destination, or taking a walk during your lunch break.
  4. Eat a balanced, low-calorie diet: Focus on whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid sugary, high-fat, and processed foods.
  5. Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated can help you feel fuller and prevent overeating.
  6. Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism, leading to weight gain. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

Remember that sustainable fat loss takes time and effort. Focus on making healthy lifestyle changes that you can stick to long-term rather than quick-fix solutions.

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