Short On Time To Workout? Here’s 5 Tips To Get More From Your Workout In Less Time
If you feel like you don’t have time to workout, you’re not alone. This is the biggest barrier to consistent exercise I hear from clients. And it makes sense—between kids, careers, and enjoying a social life we don’t all have an hour a day to devote to exercise. But limited time doesn’t have to be a death sentence for your results.
Now let’s be clear, if you’re significantly time constrained you likely won’t get your best results. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do in 1 hour per week that will give you as much benefit as 4 hours per week. But don’t let this discourage you; you can still get great results even with limited time.
And the best news is, if you’re brand new to training you don’t need hours in the gym, as little as30 minutes twice per week is enough to start making progress. Let’s look at some tips you can incorporate to ensure you’re maximizing the time you have.
Have A Plan
When you’re crunched on time as it is, the last thing you want is to show up to the gym and spend the first ten minutes thinking of what you’re going to do for a workout. Having a workout plan to follow takes all the guesswork out so you know exactly what to do the moment you step into the gym. Whether it’s a plan you found on the internet, made yourself, or got custom made for you from a coach, having a clear plan is the first step to ensuring you’re maximizing your workout time.
Streamline You Warm Up
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see, spending too much time warming up when you’re already short on time. Warming up is important, but keep in mind that it’s the workout that’s getting you the results so you want to have as much time as possible for that.
The simplest and easiest way to warm up when you’re short on time is a specific warm up. This means doing the movements or exercises you plan to do for the workout at a lower intensity and then ramping them up to working sets. Let’s say you’re planning to do lunges with twenty pound dumbbells for your first working set. A specific warm up would be doing one or two sets of bodyweight lunges, then one set with the ten pound dumbbells, and then you’re ready for your first working set with the twenties. Don’t over complicate your warm up—get in, get moving, and get to work.
Focus On Compound Exercises
Compound exercises are the ultimate return on your time invested. These are exercises that train multiple muscle groups at the same time. Instead of doing a skull crusher that isolates only your tricep muscle, you could do bench press or push ups that target your triceps as well as your chest and shoulder muscles. By sticking to compound exercises like squats, lunges, rows, push ups, etc. you can hit all the major muscle groups in the body in less time and with fewer total exercises.
Supersize Your Results With Supersets
Supersets allow you to get a ton of work done in a short amount of time. A superset is just pairing two exercises together with short rest in between. A great example of an effective superset would be doing a set of push ups, then going straight into a set of rows, resting about30 seconds, and then starting back with push ups. This is called an antagonist superset, which means you’re training opposite muscle groups. In this example you’re training your pressing muscles with push ups and your pulling muscles with rows. These are great because they allow one muscle group to rest while training the opposite muscle group, leading to more work insignificantly less time.
And if you’re using supersets with relatively short rest periods, this ends up acting as a cardio workout too. Don’t believe me? Try supersetting high rep lunges to push ups with 20-30seconds rest in between. Let me know what your heart rate is at after a few rounds.
Prioritize What’s Most Important To You
There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s just a matter of personal preference. If health is your number one priority, no problem. Do a few supersets of compound exercises that cover all the major muscle groups and you’re golden. But if you’re interested in developing specific body parts, like your thighs or the back of your arms, you may have to reduce or eliminate training other body parts so you can devote more time to the areas you care most about. If you are interested in specific body parts, consider including more exercises that target those muscles and doing those exercises earlier in the workout when you have more energy to devote to them.
Extra time is hard to find, but by incorporating some of the tips outlined in this article you can ensure you’re maximizing what time you do have to get the results you deserve. For more fitness and diet related content, connect with me on Facebook and let me know if you found this article helpful.
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