By Carla M. Dubis Tedeschi

More isn’t always better—and that’s even true when it comes to your workouts. According to science, squeezing in 20 minutes of effective exercise can not only give you cardio benefits but boost your immunity and positively impact your overall health, too.

Conveniently located in the heart of Carrollwood and operated by business partners Virginia Phillips, Al Roach, and Angela Begin, 20 Minutes to Fitness helps you achieve in one weekly 20-minute session what might take three or more hours a week in a traditional gym.

“We are the anti-gym. We do not want to be lopped in with the big box gyms because we’re not. We’re health and fitness studios. It’s always one-on-one, and everything is by appointment. Clients move weights very slowly to force their muscles to do the work versus momentum and gravity; therefore, it is much safer than traditional strength training. So safe that doctors refer their patients because they know we will take good care of them,” explained Virginia. “We chose Carrollwood because it’s a beautiful area with a lot of people, the right demographics for what we do.” 

Doctors now believe that, next to quitting smoking, strength training is the single most crucial thing adults need to do to live longer, healthier lives. After age 30, we lose an average of 8 to 10 pounds of muscle per decade. The key to fitness after 40 is replacing this lost muscle. And muscle is what you’ll build at 20 Minutes to Fitness.

In her forties, Virginia regularly competed in body-building. She knew the danger of overexertion working in a gym. When she and her husband researched the proven science behind the strength-building methods employed by exercising following a specific protocol for 20 minutes, they knew this was a niche they could fill. 

“We realized people no longer have to spend hours at a gym to get the same or better results. We wanted to create this fitness company that could fit into anyone’s lifestyle that’s safe for any age,” Virginia explained.  

20 Minutes to Fitness scientifically-based approach called slow cadence resistance training involves working out on specially designed post-rehab medical grade equipment in ultra-slow motion.

Each session, you work out on high-end specialized equipment specially calibrated to work specific muscle groups to your level of strength and fitness — without putting stress on joints, tendons, and ligaments.

Your fitness coach stays with you the entire time, setting the equipment for you and encouraging you as you reach muscle peak performance. Without your coach, you’d quit long before you ought to!

This is where the benefit of this approach kicks in. It typically only takes a minute and a half to three minutes per exercise to reach the point of muscle fatigue.

During your “time off” during the week, your muscle is rebuilding and growing stronger.

The studio is kept at 68 degrees, so the workout is sweatless. This is perfect for the busy professional who wants to do an effective, efficient workout on a lunch break and return to work.

Research shows that the 20 Minutes to Fitness slow cadence strength training protocol quickly sets off a cascade of positive physiological changes building the strong lean muscles that provide numerous health benefits – the most significant of which is the slowing down and even preventing the complications commonly associated with the process of aging.  

20 Minutes to Fitness slow cadence also results in numerous other proven benefits (not limited to):

• Reduces the risk of exercise-related injuries.

• Provides anti-inflammatory effects that boost your immune system.

• Increases your bone density, which helps prevent and reverse osteoporosis 

• Burns calories by increasing the body’s metabolic rate, controlling weight, and 

                       improving body tone.

• Controls arthritis by inducing the manufacture of synovial fluid and forcing it to 

                        circulate throughout the joint spaces.

• Improves emotional well-being by increasing the flow of oxygen and the release 

                        of positive mood-altering chemicals in the brain.

During a complimentary one-hour orientation appointment, guests can experience several pieces of equipment to understand what it is like to work out on the specialized equipment and why it is so effective.

Virginia encourages her clients to have a substantial breakfast, not just coffee, before working out.

“When you don’t have fuel, it doesn’t work very well. We talk about nutrition because we want them to have a great workout, get more energy, and get the results that they are looking for.”

For Angela Begin, helping her clients achieve their fitness goals is a rewarding experience. 

“We have clients come in our doors all the time telling us how they can do things that they couldn’t do before, that their bone density scan came back and it’s improved, or just someone who says, ‘I have to tell you how amazing this place is, how it’s changed my life.’ That makes us want to come to work every day,” says Angela. “For people who say that they don’t have the time, my initial reaction is, do you have time to be sick or not have energy? This really helps. I tell people all the time come in and experience the workout. You never know what you can achieve until you come in, talk with us, and see for yourself,” she added.

Unlike a gym, where CDC guidelines may not be as easy to enforce, at 20 Minutes to Fitness, staggered appointments ensure the staff has time to disinfect between clients.

“Every one of our team members is compassionate and dedicated and wants to help our clients improve their quality of life. They are extremely qualified, or they wouldn’t be with us, says Virginia. “We’re all a family, and that’s something I never want to lose. We have each other’s back. We are so passionate about what we do and how we change people’s lives. Our clients talk to us about it all the time, and we’re just grateful for it.”

20 Minutes to Fitness is located at 11610 North Dale Mabry Highway. The studio has no contracts or membership fees. Clients can purchase sessions in quantities of 1, 6, 12, 24, and 48. The studio is open by appointment Monday through Friday, from 7 am to 7 pm and 8 am to 2 pm on Saturday. To learn more, visit or call the studio at 813.664.8888.