Maximize Your Time in the Gym

You have a hectic schedule.  It could be due to work, kids, family life, social engagements, whatever.  While we all know the benefits of exercise, there are times where we just don’t have enough time in the day to fit in everything and unfortunately, our workouts sometimes tend to suffer.  This could be due to rushing in and out of the gym without having a solid plan for the time spent there, or it could be that you skipped the gym altogether.  Well, in order to save yourself some time and help you maximize your time in the gym, I’ve created some great strategies that you can start implementing immediately to cut back on your time spent in the gym while still capitalizing on your results.

1. Lift heavy to build muscle and burn fat

Lifting heavy helps you add quality lean muscle mass.  The more muscle mass you have, the more calories and fat you have the ability of burning.  Muscle, even while at rest, is constantly using up energy in the body.  It’s taking the things we eat or even our own body fat stores and using them as an energy and fuel source.  A great way to ensure you are putting yourself in a position to add lean muscle mass would be to utilize compound movements such as the squat, deadlift, military press, and bench press.  These exercises use multiple muscle groups and allow you to get the most out of your workouts in the least amount of time. 

2. Utilize pre and post-workout nutrition

Supplements should be used as just that, supplements to your nutrition.  But, there are two areas that many people find the most benefits from their use – pre and post-workout.  Some of us need an extra little boost when we head to the gym in order to energize our workouts.  For that reason, some tend to utilize a pre-workout that contains some type of stimulant such as caffeine.  Then, following their workout, they tend to grab a protein shake to kickstart the recovery process.  The body can more easily break down, absorb, and utilize a liquid form of protein over a solid, so for that reason, a protein shake can come in handy to refuel the muscles and replenish lost nutrients from the workout. 

3. Focus on each movement

If you are rushing through your workouts, you’re most likely not using perfect form and could be simply tossing the weight around and using momentum.  This is counterproductive when you are trying to work a specific muscle group, but in actuality, you are using another and minimizing the stress on the muscle group you want to activate.  You will get a better contraction and result from using a slow and controlled eccentric and concentric movement.  If you are truly focusing on the movement in a controlled manner, you should have a fantastic mind-muscle connection where you are feeling the muscle contract and elongate with each repetition.  If you don’t, you are probably moving the weight too quickly or are using a weight that is too heavy and engaging other muscle groups to assist with the movement.  Lower the weight a little if you have to in order to get the most from your set. 

4. Use HIIT cardio to your advantage

HIIT cardio is a fantastic way to blow through your cardio session and get more benefits from less time spent in the gym.  So many people think that low-intensity cardio is the way to go.  However, what they fail to realize is that research has shown that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is the way of the future.  You can complete a workout in 15-30 minutes and get benefits similar to if you spent 60 minutes doing cardio.  Additionally, HIIT cardio allows you to continue burning calories and fat hours after you’ve completed your workout.  With so many variations available for HIIT workouts, there’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy and benefit from while maximizing your time in the gym.

5. Consider super-setting your workout

If you want to cut down your time hitting the weights dramatically, then consider using a technique called super-setting.  What this does is takes two or more exercises and has you complete them back to back.  For instance, if you were hitting arms at the gym you could do a triceps rope pushdown and follow it up immediately with a dumbbell biceps curl.  Or if you were working chest and back, you could complete a bench press and then jump right over to the lat pulldown machine and complete a set.  Obviously, if the gym is busy when you are there, it might not work trying to superset due to how many people are using up equipment.  But, if it’s fairly quiet at the gym, get in and out by utilizing supersets. 

 

Article Courtesy Of Matt Weik