One of the worst things about exercise is you just can't make time for it. If you don't have the right equipment and space to lose weight at home, you have to go to the gym.
Let’s say you work out for an hour at the gym. If you add that hour to the time it takes to get all your stuff ready, leave the house, travel to and back from the gym, get changed, have your shower… you’re easily looking at 2 hours.
With everyone being as busy as we are, who on earth has 2 hours a day to spare for exercise?
I mean it’s easy for athletes, sportspeople and celebrities to tone up – these people can dedicate their whole DAY to exercise. But for everyday folk like you and me with a busy life and hectic schedule, doing regular effective exercise and sculpting a chiseled body we can be proud of, can seem like nothing more than a pipe dream.
Yet new research by the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Japan, suggests that pipe dream may not be as unattainable as we previously thought.
The study took 94 adolescent boys and pided them into one control group, who went about life as usual, and one training group. The training group did 100 bodyweight squats a day, 4-5 days per week for 8 weeks. Each session took less than 10 minutes.
By the end of the study, the training group had reduced their body fat count by 4.2%, increased lean body mass by 2.7%, increased the thickness of their thigh muscles by 3.2%, increased knee extension strength by 16%, and increased jump height by 3.4%.
Because the subjects were adolescents, the control group saw some improvements too, but only a mere 2.0% increase in lean body mass, 8% increase in knee extension strength, and 1.8% increase in jump height. Body fat percentage and thigh muscle thickness in this group stayed the same.
“…body mass based squat training for 8 weeks is a feasible and effective method for improving body composition, the strength capability of the knee extensors, and jump performance…” says lead scientist, Dr Yohei Takai. “As a practical application, the body mass-based squat exercise training (100 repetitions/day, <10 min/day) can be conducted easily with large populations in terms of no special equipment and facilities.”
Transform Your Body In 10 Minutes A Day? How Does It Work?
Don’t you have to jog in the “fat burning zone” for at least 20 minutes before you start to burn fat?
Well the latest studies suggest spending an hour on the treadmill or jogging in the park isn’t the best way to burn body fat.
If you’ve tried doing 100 bodyweight squats, or even just 50 squats, you’ll find it can get pretty intense. High intensity exercise involving the largest muscle groups in your body (i.e. the legs), releases fat-burning hormones like growth hormone and testosterone, which signal your body to burn fat and grow muscle for many hours after the workout.
We’ve known for a while now that training with weights can have that effect. But until now the exact benefits of bodyweight squats were uncertain.
Though the science has been slow to catch on, bodyweight squats have been used for centuries by athletes to get in shape and increase strength, endurance and flexibility.
The Great Gama of India (1880-1963) for example, was 5'7" and 260 pounds of muscle, with thighs like tree stumps. Legend has it he did 500 bodyweight squats a day, and never lost once in 5,000 matches.
What Are The Benefits Of Bodyweight Squats VS Other Exercises?
Well the list here is endless, here are a few.
- You don’t need any equipment.
- You can do them anywhere, making it easy for you to lose weight in the comfort of your own home. Unlike running, you don’t need any big space. You can do squats in your bedroom as soon as you get out of bed, or in the restaurant washroom to make up for a heavy meal.
- You don’t work up a sweat. When you can do 100 squats in one go, you can get ‘em done in just two and a half minutes. Your thighs will burn, you’ll be breathing like a hard-run horse, and those fat-burning hormones will be sent into overdrive. But it’s over so quick, there’s no sweat, which means no need to change clothes and no need to take a shower. Perfect for when you’re short on time.
- Minimal injury risk and great for your knees.
- Develop lungpower and strength at the same time.
- Give you great results in a short space of time.
How Do You Get Started?
Few people can do a hundred squats when they first get started. Start out by doing however many you can, and don’t push yourself too hard. Pushing yourself too hard is a surefire way of putting you off a perfectly good and effective exercise.
Do however many you can without too much strain and increase your reps over time. Try to get to the point where you’re doing 100 squats a day over however many sessions it takes. Maybe you can do 25 at a time, so do 4 sessions of 25 squats, to reach your goal of 100 squats a day. As time goes by, increase the length of those sessions until you can do 100 squats in one go.
Now you can stay at 100 squats a day for as long as you like, you’ll get great results. But why not challenge yourself and take things further?
My friends, colleagues, clients and myself included, find the first 100 are always the hardest. Beyond that point you get your second wind and it gets easier. You develop a sort of rhythm that will find you pushing toward two hundred, then three, four, and eventually into the thousands.
Those higher numbers will take your body into an elite athletic status, but if you’re happy to build a trim, toned, slender physique, then a hundred a day just 4-5 days a week will get the job done – the science confirms it.
So what are you waiting for? Get started on your squats right now. Wherever you’re seated, I’ll bet there’s enough space to do a quick set of squats. Do a set right now and tell me how many you can do in the comments field below. Do a set every morning for the next few weeks and hit me back right here with your results.
Garry Davidson is an unusual fitness professional. He helps men lose fat and grow muscle in unusually short lengths of time with unusually small amounts of effort. Although he focuses on the chest, his clients end up losing fat and growing muscle all over. You can learn about Garry’s unusual ways over at ChestSculpting.com.
Takai Y. et al. Effects of body mass-based squat training in adolescent boys. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 12, 60 – 65 (2013).