Micro-dosing Workouts

When it comes to training athletes, we are always looking for new ways to push the envelope and create the best athletes while being as efficient with our time and energy as possible. Athletes are busy, and under high stress which can make progress tough. When stress is too high, fatigue builds up and we see either lack or performance or an increase in injuries, both are incredibly detrimental to an aspiring or current athlete.


Micro dosing is just a fun way to describe small workouts. Disclaimer, this can only be effective if you are training many times per week. We often feel that in order to get a quality training session in, we need to spend 45 minutes to an hour training. This isn’t always the case. When training athletes, our only goal is to apply a stimulus that will create an adaptation once they recover. If the stimulus I need to create is lower body power, I can do that in 10-15 minutes. I can use contrast training to do a back squat for 3 sets of 3 @ 60% of 1RM, superset with box jumps or band assisted jumps. In a matter of 15 minutes, we have created enough stimulus for one session.


When we micro dose workouts, we still need to get enough training volume in to keep our fitness high. I would suggest a minimum of 6 to 8 micro sessions per week. If each session is 15 minutes, and we do 2 sessions per day, we can accrue 2 hours’ worth of training time. This ensures that we are being as efficient as possible with our time without adding too much extra stress onto our athletes.


With Micro dosing, we can account for school, travel, and practice to balance out fitness and fatigue to ensure that we can hit a performance peak on the right weeks, and the right times of season. We need to make sure to prioritize exercises that carry over well to the court or field, and make use of supersets, circuits, and giant sets.


As long as we keep in mind that each session has 1 direct stimulus we are trying to target, we will be successful with this training target. If you are just a busy person in general and do not have time to spend at a gym, micro dosing your workouts into 2 sessions, 4 days per week could be great for you. In order to keep fitness high, use circuits or supersets. If I need an upper body push workout, I can do 4 rounds of 10 reps with bench press, shoulder press, and skull crushers. At that point, if my intensity is high enough, I should have created a high enough stimulus to create a change.


Chris Still

BS Exercise Science

CSCS, USAW

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