None of us have enough time. We’re always going on about it. How busy we are, how we don’t even have time to see our friends, or rest, let alone workout.
The good news is that workouts are getting shorter. Most of us now know that you can have a more efficient session with 20-minutes of HIIT than by plodding on the treadmill for an hour or more.
But what if it was possible to take it to the next level and get your daily fitness requirement done in less than a minute?
A new AI-powered exercise bike promises just that.
CAR.O.L (which stands for CARdiovascular Optimization Logic) is a stationary bike that boasts a 40-second workout which, they say, is clinically proven to give you the same cardio benefits of a 45-minute jog.
It sounds too good to be true. But they have science to back it up.
The American Council on Exercise did an independent trial on the CAR.O.L bike and found that the effects on the body of 2 x 20-second sprints, three times a week, are the same as the recommended 5 x 30 minutes of exercise a week, or a 45-minute jog.
We were still skeptical. Can you really push your aerobic fitness and build and tone your muscles in just 40-seconds of hard work? We went to try it out for ourselves.
The bikes are located on the top floor of Harvey Nichols, you can rock up in your work clothes, no need for kit of trainers – because you’re not going to break a sweat in 40 seconds.
But before we hopped on the bike, we were given an eye mask and headphones for 10-minutes of meditation on a reclining chair, to help us get in the zone. Which was nice.
Then it was ride time. The full workout actually takes nine minutes, but you’re only working hard for 40 seconds of that. You start with a two-minute warm up, sprint as hard as you physically can for 20 seconds, recover for three minutes, sprint for another 20 seconds, and then cool down for three minutes.
We were also given a full-body scan which measured everything about us from our height, weight and age to our muscle-mass composition – so the bike knows you inside out before you even start riding.
This means that when you hit your sprint, the resistance automatically adjusts to make sure you’re working at maximum intensity – and you don’t have to press any buttons or even think about it.
The more sessions you do, the more the bike learns about you, and the smarter your ride will become.
You’ve heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), but this is MIIT (Maximum Intensity Interval Training) – which means the intervals are even shorter, and even harder.
The point of this is to rapidly deplete your glycogen stores. To cope with the sudden demand for energy, your body will then burn large amounts of long-chain carbohydrates stored in the muscle – within 10 seconds.
This means you’re not only burning fat quickly, it also triggers molecular changes that signal to the body to improve your fitness, fat metabolism and remodel muscles. It means you’ll be better prepared to cope with similar stress in future.
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