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I'm using Pomodoro Technique (working on some tasks for 25 minutes, then taking 5 minutes break, and so on). In those 5 minutes breaks I like to do some training - like 3 sets of push-up and 3 sets of chin-ups. So I end up doing these training sessions about a dozen times a day.

Is it good for my health and fitness, or can it cause overtraining and injuries?

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Isn't the purpose of the 5 minute break to give your muscles a chance to recover from the more intense activities you were doing? I don't know the principles behind the pomodoro technique, but the rest between exercises is just as important as the exercise itself. – Berin Loritsch May 3 '11 at 14:07
@Berin Loritsch - no, that technique is not about physical exercising! It is about doing any types of work - from reading books to doing housework. – Rogach May 3 '11 at 15:08
Ok, I think I get what the Pomodoro Technique is about. – Berin Loritsch May 3 '11 at 16:03
up vote 5 down vote accepted

To answer your question about overtraining and injury separately:

Overtraining is putting your body through greater stress than it is equipped to handle. If you were talking about adding external weights to your pushups and chin-ups then you might hit that threshold. You can do pushups daily and not put your body through enough stress to overtrain it. However, if you are talking about hundreds of pushups throughout the day you might be pushing it.

Injury is caused by bad technique and muscle imbalance (which causes the former). It's important to make sure you exercise the whole body. You get the most bang for your buck with complex exercises that get a large number of muscle groups at the same time. So you may have a routine that you alternate each day. 5 minutes is enough to squeeze out a rep of 10 "whatevers" easily. You run the risk of letting your muscles get "cold" so be sure to warm up before you do your rep each time.

So as long as you are talking body weight, and you have specific goals of what you want to do throughout the day in your five minute breaks, it could work. You'll want your 5 minute routine to be something like this:

  • Warm up for a minute
  • Push out a rep of one or two exercises for three minutes
  • Stretch (cooldown) for a minute.

You may want to pair a set of ab workouts (crunches, iso-ab plank, etc.) with your pushups/chin-ups.

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+1 Very good overall answer to this question. The 3 bullets are spot on. – pixelbobby May 3 '11 at 20:11
+1 for warmups. working out with cold muscles isn't very effective. – Evan Plaice May 10 '11 at 6:08

I don't think there's anything wrong with doing mini workouts throughout the day, especially if you wouldn't do them otherwise. Unless you're specifically trying to improve your pushups and chinups, you may want to include some other simple body weight exercises as well. Some I could think of off the top of my head:

  • Squats
  • Planks
  • Sit-ups
  • Lunges
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don't you mean planks? planches are a little extreme and may take a very long period of practice just to achieve one. – Evan Plaice May 10 '11 at 6:10
You are correct, sorry about that. – Sparafusile May 12 '11 at 12:12

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