A solid workout is about quality and not quantity of time.Some of my most effective workouts are when I'm in a time crunch. If you spend an hour in the gym, but only do 25 minutes of intense exercise, then you only did 25 minutes of intense exercise. Instead why not spend 30 minutes in the gym and do those same 25 minutes of intense exercise? What about the occasions when you're short on time and have to choose between a full workout and taking care of obligations? Learning to make your workouts more efficient means you can more easily fit them into your lifestyle.
I'm often able to condense entire strength training workouts down to less than 40 minutes, and you will too, by following the tips below.
Plan Your Workout in Advance
Planning your workouts in advance means that each of your workouts contributes to a larger overall strategy for your body transformation. It also means you spend less time walking the gym and thinking up exercises on the fly. Instead, take a couple minutes before your workout and take note of what exercises you intend to do, for how many reps, and how many sets. Now that you have your plan you can move through your workouts more quickly because you’re not spending time deciding what to do next.
Reduce Your Rest Periods to Burn More Calories
As tempting as it is, avoid checking your Twitter timeline in between sets. Instead, shorten your rest periods and move from set to set more quickly. The advantages of shorter rest periods are abundant. The main two advantages are that you will be able to condense more of your workout into a shorter amount of time and your heart rate will stay elevated throughout your workout. An elevated heart rate throughout the duration of your workout means you will be burning more calories than if you just strength trained alone. Remember, we’re focused on a quick and effective workout. You are essentially combining your cardio into your strength training, rather than tacking it on at the end of your workout. Typical rest periods between sets can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
Other times, understand that rest periods directly relate to how much energy your muscles will have before the next set of exercise begins. It takes on average about 3 minutes between sets before your muscles can recover to full capacity. However, this duration largely depends on the exercise and the person. Rest period changes should align with your goal for the workout, and should cater to how much energy each of your exercises requires of you. For example, you may only need a 45 second rest period between bicep curl sets, but 2 minutes between deadlift sets. As long as you’re not binge watching Netflix between sets and are staying conscious of your rest periods you should be in good shape.
Try Circuit Training
Circuit training is when you complete one set of each of the exercises in your plan. Once you’ve performed one set of each of the exercises in your plan, you take a rest, then do it again. If you can nail down planning your workout in advance and reduced rest periods, then circuit training is a breeze. This form of training has been shown to burn 30 percent more calories and is fast paced so it’s perfect for an intense workout when you have limited time.
Circuit training is also a good way to shake up your workout routine if you ever become bored with it. Here's an example of a lower body circuit workout that's absolutely killer.