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Get ready to hit the gym with a short burst of exercise programme

We can’t wait to reopen our gyms and welcome you all back as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we hope that you are staying safe, happy and healthy.

Getting back into the swing of things after a long time away from the gym can be quite a daunting prospect, especially knowing that it may take some time to regain your previous level of fitness. 

Additionally, it can feel frustrating not being able to perform as well as you used to. The critical thing to remember is to be kind to yourself and know that you will soon be back on track.

With that said, there are things you can do to prepare for when our gyms are operational again. Whether you are furloughed or working from home, a short burst of exercise programme is an excellent way of getting back into a routine without spending hours and hours exercising. 

What is short burst exercise?

Rather than exercising for an extended period, these programmes involve short bursts of intense exercise, like HIIT, either twice a day or scheduled throughout the day. Interval training like this is perfect if you are working from home and is a fantastic method of getting back into a training routine while also breaking up the day. 

Do short bursts of exercise work?

The British Journal of Sports Medicine reviewed 36 studies and concluded that participants who opted for HIIT training lost 28.5% more weight than the other participants. These results could be due to increased energy expenditure, or it could be because their appetite was curbed following this type of workout.

Short bursts of high-intensity exercises

These short burst exercise programmes aim to increase your EPOC (exercise oxygen consumption), which causes more calorie-burning while your body is returning to ‘normal’.

Snacking exercise routine

Exercise snacking should occur twice a day and include one minute of training followed by one minute of rest. Overall, this routine takes ten minutes while you perform five different types of exercise. No equipment is required (except for a chair), and you don’t even need to get changed, just jump up from your desk, exercise, then go back to work feeling energised.

A rundown of the routine


One minute break

Standing knee bends

One minute break

March on the spot

One minute break

Seated leg kicks

One minute break

Standing calf raises

One minute break

Don’t forget to record how many of each exercise you can perform within the minute. This way, you can monitor your performance and enjoy watching the numbers increase.

On the hour workout

Alternatively, you could opt for a workout that has you up and active every hour throughout the working day. The idea is to set an alarm every hour over eight hours and perform 30-60 seconds of high-intensity training. Feel free to switch up the type of exercise you do each hour to keep things interesting and prevent a plateau. Choose from:

  • Push-ups

  • Lunges

  • Planks

  • Squats

  • Front raises

  • Sit-ups

  • Jumping jacks

Or something similar. 

Up your game, so you can dominate the gym

Whether you are choosing short bursts of exercise throughout the day or two ten-minute workout sessions, these methods are a superb way of keeping active and preparing yourself for the anticipated day when gyms can reopen.

The NHS does recommend that everybody invests in 150 minutes of exercise each week that is of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes if your exercise is vigorously intense. So, although short burst exercise may not be a full-time solution, it is a brilliant way to prepare yourself for the day when you can hit the gym again.

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