By Jeremey DuVall, M.S., CPT Men's Fitness
Between work, family time and miscellaneous life challenges that seem to arise (oh, and potentially sleep), there doesn’t seem to be much time available to hit the gym. In fact, lack of time is a primary reason that keeps guys out of the gym and away from their fitness goals. Unfortunately, it isn’t likely that more hours will be added to the day. Here are some ways to get in and out of the gym in record time while still getting an awesome workout.
Have a Plan
Heading into the gym without a firm plan in mind is a surefire way to waste time. Spend some time beforehand to pencil out a routine to follow including exercises, reps, sets, and weight. That way, you’ll spend less time thinking and more time doing when you’re on the gym floor.
Prioritize Your Lifts
Choose 2-3 exercises to focus on for each workout and perform them first. Everything afterwards should be an accessory exercise that compliments the main lifts. This way, if you run out of time on your accessory lifts, you’ll know that at least you were able to get the main lifts (and the hard work) in before time ran out.
Do More Standing Exercises
Seated exercises are typically easier on the body than standing variations because there is a firm platform to rest on and hence less stabilization required. Your main lifts should be total body, standing exercises to get the most bang for your buck.
Supersets are probably one of the most often used and obvious methods for getting in an efficient workout. Pairing two exercises back to back not only saves time, but it also mimics a cardiovascular workout on the weight room floor.
Time Your Rest Periods
For a few workouts, wear a watch and time your rest periods in between sets. If your goal is fat loss, only allow yourself 60-75 seconds before the next set. For strength, rest two minutes before attacking the weights again. As soon as the timer goes off, get back to work. You’ll notice that time goes by faster than you think. By limiting the time you’re sitting around between exercises, you’ll get a better workout and get out of the gym faster.
Work During Your Rest
There is always something you could be doing in the gym. Use your rest periods to work on weak points or to add in often-neglected exercises like foam rolling and stretching. To counteract forward shoulders and a tight chest, do some band pull-aparts or face pulls during rest times, or fix your posture by stretching tight muscles like the hip flexors and foam rolling your calves and lats.