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8 Minutes in the Morning…Is NOT Enough!

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8 minutes

” I don’t have time to workout.”

Let me tell you, as a former personal trainer this is my biggest pet peeve in the world. I work full time, attend online school full time, take care of a 4 year old full time and still find time to workout 6 days a week. I’m not saying this to “toot my own horn” but to show that where there’s a will there’s a way. If you have time to play Candy Crush on Facebook or watch every episode of the Real Housewives of (insert city), you have more than enough time to workout. However, since a perceived lack of time continues to be one of the top excuses people give for not exercising Jorge Cruise’s “8 Minutes in the Morning” idea does have some merit.

Weight Loss in 8 Minutes

If you’re not familiar with the 8 Minutes in the Morning program here’s a little background on it. The program was developed by a man named Jorge Cruise. His idea is that weight loss can be achieved with only 8 minutes of exercise done each morning.

But Does it Work?

I have a personal motto that goes “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is” and I think this motto can be applied to Jorge Cruise’s 8 Minutes in the Morning program. I will give him a little credit though–he is the first to admit that this program is meant strictly for weight loss–he himself says that the program is not designed for overall fitness. Cruise’s program consists of doing 2 strength training exercises, 4 sets a day for 6 days a week. In his program you’d do 12 repetitions of the first exercise then 12 repetitions of the second exercise four times total.

Is this better than nothing? Absolutely. Cruise’s program is targeted towards women and research has proven the benefits of strength training for women. No doubt that those who added this 8 minutes in the morning would have more energy and may even have slightly improved strength. However, there are a few things that Cruise suggests that I don’t agree with.

  1. Cruise recommends using weight ranging from 5-12 pounds. Some women will start to feel fatigued when they get to the 12th repetition using this weight. However, it irritates me that Cruise seems to suggest that women are not capable of lifting heavy weight. There are a lot of women who lift and can probably lift more weight than the average man.
  2. There are certain genetic factors that can influence weight loss but the overall equation for weight loss is calories in versus calories out. Exercising for only 8 minutes a day will not burn enough calories for significant weight loss. In order to lose one pound a person must create a 3500 calorie deficit. In 8 minutes a person may burn 100 calories–it’s unlikely they’ll burn more no matter how hard they are working. This means it would take 35 days to lose one pound. Not exactly what I’d call efficient weight loss!
  3. There is no balance in this program. Like I said, I am a huge supporter of strength training but don’t believe that it is the end all. Aerobic training should also be included in a fitness program to achieve cardiovascular and other health benefits. Plus, aerobic exercise can help burn additional calories and can help with weight loss.

A Good Addition

I’ve pointed out that I don’t think 8 minutes a day is enough but I do think 8 Minutes in the Morning can be an excellent addition to an a regular exercise program. For example, if you’re already exercising regularly try waking up 15 minutes earlier and doing 8 minutes of exercises before getting ready in the morning. This could be strength training, HIIT, yoga, or even an abdominal workout. 8 Minutes in the Morning will not help you lose the 10 pounds you’re looking to shed before Christmas but it can help you feel energized for your day and ready to face the stress of work, family and every day life.

After pointing out the pros and cons of this workout idea I’d like to leave you with my final recommendation. Do I recommend using 8 Minutes in the Morning as your only exercise program? No. Do I recommend it as an addition to an already regular exercise program? Absolutely! If you’re new to exercise to this could be a great place to start. You could gradually build up to 10, 15, 20, and eventually even 30 minutes of exercise. However, if you’re looking to lose weight I don’t believe you will experience weight loss only exercising 8 minutes a day.

Perceived Lack of Time

Because I mentioned that a perceived lack of time is one of the top excuses for not exercising I want to offer you a challenge. If you’re sitting here thinking “okay good for you, you workout but I really don’t have time” I want you print out a 24 hour calendar for yourself and track what you are doing every hour of the day for one full day. You may spend 6-10 hours a night sleeping, 8-10 hours at work, and “X” amount of hours doing other activities. If you find that you have multiple hours of screen time (computer games, television, video games) then you definitely have time to exercise.

I’d also like to point out that if you don’t have 30 minutes for an exercise session you can break that up into 3 ten minute sessions. If you’d like to walk 30 minutes a day but can’t, try doing 3 ten minute walks a day. You’ll get the same health benefits and the “lack of time” excuse will no longer apply to you.

How do you find time for your workouts? What tips do you have for busy individuals?

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5 Responses to 8 Minutes in the Morning…Is NOT Enough!

  1. Weight Loss Diet For Women November 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Laura,
    I wish I knew much about what you learned earlier in life. I gained a lot of weight and needed a diet program to teach me how to eat. Thank you for your advice. I hope everyone reads it.
    The good thing is that now I am a trainer after having lost the weight and gotten motivated!

    • Laura Miller November 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      Congratulations on your weight loss! A healthy lifestyle is extremely rewarding so good for you for taking the steps to get healthy. Thanks for reading!

  2. Barry February 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    I believe that 8 minutes is intended to be entry level to strength training as well as diet and fitness. He gives quite a bit of dietary basics (again entry level), suggests walking as a necessity, and enough weight to tire you out. The calories burnt are not based on the actual movements, but based largely on the premise that it ups your metabolism for the day which multiplies your effort. It is definitely not the end all, but it is a great beginning.

  3. AJ Jackson February 12, 2016 at 7:46 am #

    8 Minutes in the Morning is a terrific start !!! When I started on it years ago at 55, I lost 45 pounds in 6 months. This was weight I had gained when I quit smoking in 2000 by eating lots of chocolate. But I can now breathe and jog and taste food. lol Did just the 8 Minutes routine do that.. of course not. I was born with a healthy athletic body and was already into good nutrition. I also started eating about half portions. But the simple, easy, quick 8 Minutes got me focused. Got me energetic. Started the morning, started the evening walks, started my metabolism, started me walking up stairs. I hate a gym. But I was sitting at a computer all day and was no longer playing tennis much or even golf. Just as many middle aged men and women, I had slowed down, could not get any initiative to work out.
    Want to get started to better fitness and feeling healthier and lose some wieght… Try it.

  4. Maxine February 8, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

    I have been struggling with my weight my entire life. Now at 50 years of age, I am obese and have many health challenges (including thyroid trouble). I was born with joint deformities and have had to work hard to stay positive and work through daily pain which at times is extreme and debilitating. Most days I’m just happy to be able to get the house work done, groceries, laundry, errands, etc… Needless to say I’m terribly out of shape. Through a long series of failed attempts to lose weight I’ve learned much about what I should and shouldn’t be doing, eating, thinking … Regardless, I seemed to lack what it took to put it all into action. The 8 minutes in the morning is the first program that has not OVERWHELMED me as I work towards a healthy lifestyle. The plan is very SIMPLE. And to echo the other comments posted here it’s a great starting point. I think Jorge Cruise understood the concept of getting past the first hurdle. It’s only natural that one would continue to learn more about nutrition and fitness once they outgrew this wonderful first step!
    Is 8 minutes of lifting weights in the morning enough? Technically no…
    Is the concept of the 8 minutes in the morning program enough? Absolutely!

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