Decrease Your Workout Time With These Tips
Typical question, how long should a workout last to get the most effective results in the shortest amount of time?
Well, that question can be difficult to answer because everyone approaches their workout differently, but it’s what you do and the effort you put into your workout that would give you the most benefits. Not having a plan before your workout can add extra minutes to your already busy schedule.
What if you combined your efforts and made better use of time during your workout to achieve maximum benefits in a shorter amount of workout time?
Here are a few tips that can get you started in the right direction and help you avoid distractions. Simple yes but effective!
OK, we all do it, we bring our phones with us everywhere, including our workouts. Before you begin your workout, make sure you have your music, audio book, etc. that you are going to listen to ready to go – set it and leave it. Don’t worry about your social media life. It will still be there when you get done with your workout. Avoid talking, texting or scrolling through pointless feeds on your phone during your training.
Lastly, don’t stop and talk with others during your workout as that will only sabotage your workout time. This will leave you frustrated because you didn’t get a good quality workout in which leads to minimal gains.
Jump Right In
Jumping jacks have long been the go-to of P.E. teachers for a reason: Research in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that lengthy warm-ups can actually trigger fatigue which is the exact opposite of what you’re attempting to achieve (energy).
Change slow exercises for dynamic exercises that will loosen up your muscles and get your heart rate up.
Complete these three exercises for 2-3 sets
- high knees
- walking lungs
- Free Form Squats
Resting Time – Stretch Time
While you are resting between sets, instead of just sitting on a bench or machine waiting to get going again, get up and stretch the muscles you just worked. You’ll not only decrease your workout time but increase your stamina too. The idea is to keep moving but being smart about it.
Shorten Your Breaks
It may seem sort of obvious, but if you take shorter rest breaks…you’ll finish your workout sooner. But it has other perks too: Studies show that recovering for 20 to 60 seconds between strength-training sets can pump up muscle growth and endurance more than longer breathers will. And as you get stronger, you can shrink your rest period more and more, so you’ll keep trimming time every few weeks.
Go Hard (But Make It Feel Easy)
When you do cardio, don’t just set the machine to 30 minutes but rather do interval times where the time is elapsed into smaller increments of 5 minutes and because you are doing intervals, you can cut down the time to 25 minutes. The benefit, you will likely burn the same calorie totals but in less time.
You could do a laundry list of moves that isolate one muscle group (e.g., biceps curls, calf raises). Or you could do compound exercises—squat-to-overhead-press, pushup rows, reverse lunges with dumbbell press—that utilize multiple joints and muscles at once. Do a circuit where you select 5-8 exercises that you do 12-15 reps; move from one exercise to the next without rest. The key here is to work both upper and lower body switching from an upper body exercise to a lower body exercise. Keep a variety with your workout, keep moving and make it fun!
Let’s face it, counting reps is boring!
Instead of just counting reps 1, 2, 3, etc. try reverse counting to make your sets a bit easier; you’ll feel that you’re moving faster in your sets. The idea is get out of the old mindset and do something different and challenge your brain.
You can also count in shorter increments say in 3’s or 5’s which again will trick your brain that achieving a shorter count is far better than a larger one. You’ll be amazed by counting small increments and how quickly you achieve that goal that you’ll push yourself to the next 3 or 5 vs. just 1.
So there you go, simple reminders to break old habits exchanged for more efficient workouts!