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Get Fit For SUP In Just 12 Mins a Week?

Have you ever pondered the possibility of reaching the pinnacle of fitness with a minimal investment of time? “Body by Science” by Doug McGuff M.D. and John Little might just hold the key you’ve been searching for. It’s designed for those of you who are new to paddle boarding and are looking to get fit despite a time-crunched schedule. It controversially challenges established workout notions and proposes a scientifically-supported, efficient method for strength training and holistic health.

The Fundamental Approach: The “Big Five” Workout

“Body by Science” introduces the “Big Five” workout routine, a strategy which combines compound exercises with the principle of time under tension—perfect for beginners who wish to lay a robust fitness foundation for paddle boarding.

Scientific Grounding: Maximising Time and Results

The book seeks to validate the idea that short, intense strength-training sessions can have more impactful benefits than prolonged traditional gym workouts. The evidence drawn parallels with the benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This is of immense value to you if you’re aiming to boost your fitness level for paddle boarding but have limited time to dedicate to exercise. The methods described are adapted for strength training, aiming to reap similar rewards.

The “Big Five” Workout Explained

Compound Exercises for All-Encompassing Action

  • The “Big Five” consists of compound exercises targeting multiple muscle groups and joints, such as the leg press, pulldown, chest press, overhead press, and seated row. This ensures even novices can progress with proper technique.
  • These exercises are easy to master, making sure that even those at the start of their fitness journey can perform them efficiently and safely.

Understanding Time Under Tension

  • Of particular interest is ‘time under tension’, a concept where muscles are engaged constantly for about 2 minutes, inducing muscle fibre recruitment—very relevant for building the endurance needed in stand-up paddle boarding.
  • Each of the “Big Five” muscles is worked exhaustively for balanced development, aiming at promoting muscle fatigue and growth.

Spotlight on Specific Exercises:

  • The overhead press is a fundamental part of the “Big Five”, targeting crucial upper body muscles and designed to cultivate muscle engagement without injury risk.
  • For the lower half, the leg press is a vital feature of the “Big Five”, addressing nearly every lower body muscle and supporting overall strength vital for effectively manoeuvring your paddleboard.

Efficient and Safe Practice

  • The focus of the “Big Five” extends beyond just the exercises; it’s also about how they’re performed. Proper form and control maximise safety and efficacy.
  • This is particularly beneficial for those among you who may have been inactive during your day but still wish to have an intense workout within a limited span.

The crux of the time under tension principle is its diverging approach from conventional workouts, with tangible differences based in scientific understanding of muscle physiology and training effectiveness.

  • Continuous muscle engagement: Unlike regular weightlifting, where muscles are sometimes at rest, this approach ensures they’re always active, elevating session intensity.
  • Time under tension leads to an efficient workout experience, ensuring muscle engagement throughout, decreasing the overall time required for a workout session.

Benefits Over Standard Reps and Sets

  • Further muscle growth and strength: Research indicates muscle growth connects more with total tension time rather than the load or number of repetitions.
  • Enhanced muscle endurance: Continuous muscle engagement increases the endurance of muscles, particularly beneficial for stand-up paddle boarding demands.
  • Reduced injury risk: The emphasis on slow, controlled motions minimizes chances of injury typically associated with heavy or rapid lifting.
  • Accessible workouts: This approach suits individuals who might struggle with heavyweights, offering an effective alternative workout.

Essential Takeaways for SUP Beginners

  • Efficiency: The “Big Five” delivers a potent full-body workout in a brief timeframe, perfect if you’re constrained for training hours.
  • Safety and Simplicity: The exercises are safe and simple, greatly reducing the chance of injury, ensuring a safe introduction to fitness for new paddle boarders.
  • Complete Muscle Involvement: The routine ensures all major muscle groups are worked, paving the way for balanced development which complements your paddling adventures.

Conclusion: More Than a Workout, It’s a Shift in Lifestyle

Body by Science” champions a routine which honours your busy schedule while providing meaningful health rewards. If you’re seeking to revolutionise your fitness approach and enhance your paddle boarding experience, this regime could be very instrumental.

And to ensure you’re fully prepared to make the most of your time on the water, don’t forget to download our FREE “Get Fit To SUP” Guide at for further tailored fitness advice.

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