Is Less Exercise Better Than More?

Certain kinds of "reduced volume" training may actually be more effective than lengthy, super-rigorous workouts. Get-Fit Guy has the details.

Ben Greenfield
1-minute read

Is Less Exercise Better Than More?

In a recent Get-Fit Guy episode, I asked the question “Is Running Bad For You?” One topic that I brought up was that some running is good, while too much may be bad. A recent study just published in the Journal of Applied of Physiology delved more deeply into this exact concept.

Over 7 weeks, runners in the study improved performance on a 1500m run by 23 seconds and improved performance on a 5K by almost by a minute - despite a 50 percent reduction in their total volume of training. The runners also experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

So what type of “reduced volume” training were the runners doing? They were using something called the 10-20-30 training concept. This regimen consisted of a 1k warm-up at a low intensity, followed by 3-4 intervals of 5 minutes of running with 2 minutes of rest after each 5-minute effort. The 5-minute intervals were divided into 5 consecutive 1-minute intervals of 30, 20, and 10 seconds of running at a low, moderate, and near maximal intensity.

If you do the math, that’s a quick 25-30 minute session that just about anybody can do, whether on a treadmill or outdoors – and it appears to be just as good as training more!

If you have questions about whether less exercise is better than more, then ask away at the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page.

Related Content:

Should You Run Every Day?

How to Do High Intensity Interval Training

Stop watch photo from Shutterstock

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.