The Value Of Abbreviated Training

Long time, no talk. Hope you all have been well. Briefly, an abbreviated post (see what I did there?).

Sarah and I recently had our second child and I cannot begin to tell you the value that I now derive from that which I have been a proponent of for 16+ years. Rationally, I understood the value of brief, basic work, and have more or less adhered to this type of training over my career. Now, with 2 children at or under 2 years, I find even more value. Knowing that I can get a great strength workout in 12 minutes (full Body By Science-type) or less (using the ARX) is not just appealing but also essential. While I might like to train more, the truth is that I’ve been more or less the same weight and body fat percentage for 5+ years now. If I can maintain the leanness and muscle on such a small amount of training, why do it more?

But I have been adding 1 other “session” per week: a running workout. This is also low volume, typically mile or half mile repeats,with the odd time trial, in preparation of a 5k race, something I’ve never done. Again, this is done in less than 25 minutes (including rest intervals). I’m using the structure of Aaron Olsen’s Low Mileage Running, but only his first key workouts. We’ll see how I do.

You might notice this is akin to how Clarence Bass has returned to training: high effort, but modest volume. Don’t misunderstand: my day is filled with lots of physical activity, hours and hours of it, but formal intense exercise is short and brief. It works for me, and is even more valuable than I had ever understood.

6 thoughts on “The Value Of Abbreviated Training

  1. I’ll be interested to see the process and the 5k time. But as we learn from the Bhagavad Gita, I’m more interested in the process – “You are only entitled to the action, never to its fruits. Do not let the fruits of action be your motive, but do not attach yourself to nonaction.” 😉

    1. There you are..!! Skyler, was wondering where you went, good to see you are back. Can’t wait for yor next article.


  2. Having kids turns the average guy into an Olympic athlete, at least in the sense that you are now operating on the razor’s edge of recovery and time-management.

    My kids are 21 months apart. When they were very young, time and recovery-efficient exercise became ultra important. The cool thing was that honing in on the essentials actually improved my results, and my understanding of the process at a time when I expected things to really slide.

    I am certain that you will excel in your efforts and will do great in your 5K. The coolest thing is that as your kids grow and watch you, you will be providing them the best sermon….a good example.

    1. Hey Doug,

      Thanks for the feedback. It’s funny how you start to frame everything you do (or at least I have) in the context of your children after you have them. Being a good example takes on a much higher priority for sure!

  3. “…the truth is that I’ve been more or less the same weight and body fat percentage for 5+ years now. ”

    I can see it now–It starts with stagnation: Discover abbreviated training and keep your life the same in unexpected ways. I’m joking, though. In reality I’ve been utilizing abbreviated training efforts to improve my energy levels by using the rower in my house for 10-15 minutes every day before work. I’m pretty sure 10-15 minutes is manageable for just about anyone and gives you a significant boost without always having to muster up enough motivation for a traditional workout.


  4. Hi Skyler, great to see you on here and I am getting caught up on your blog, really enjoying it and the CED it sends me way…….My caretaking duties for my folks who both passed away last yr at the grand age of 90 are now no more….So I just started making the hour and a half trek into New Orleans to train and learn with” MASTER “Ryan Hall once a week, loving it. We have some great laughs together with our “Coach” stories…..Have my Body By Science on my nite stand, truly want to get back to training folks again one day…So very happy for what you have accomplished in life, your family and your profession…..FYI, still have my antique Playboy Pinball machine sitting in my living room, its been moved several more times since you moved it….Onward!

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