Exercise is on your list of priorities…just maybe a little further down than it needs to be. You have so many things to do in a day how can you possibly fit exercise in? Once your schedule gets a little lighter you’ll be laughing you way to good health, right?
Lack of time is one of the biggest reasons people cite for not participating in exercise. Besides the fact that there are a million things you can do at home or at work, there are a few ways to cut your workout time down in the gym, but still get the benefits of your long workout.
Cut Down Cardio
What if you could do 45 minutes of work on the treadmill/ bike, or 15 minutes, and burn more calories? Sounds wonderful eh. It’s called Interval Training. Interval training can help you improve your cardiovascular fitness, increase your speed, improve your overall power, reach new exercise levels, and burn many more calories. There are so many examples of ways you can do Interval Training; I’m going to leave that for another post.
What is Interval Training?
Basically it means you do a period of hard work, and a period of easy work, and repeat. For example, you could do a 10 minute workout on the bike. Start with 2 minutes of spinning on an easy level, but reasonably fast, and then up the level, still spinning fast but also pushing hard for 1 minute. Alternate this a few times, and you will find you are left with a pretty hard workout and a lot more calories burnt. This is only one small example of interval training, you can change the level, incline, speed, time…everything. It allows you to work a lot harder in a smaller amount of time. Because you are pushing hard during the intense phase, you will burn more calories from that workout, get more fitness benefits, and have a raised metabolism for longer after the workout. Look out for a more detailed post on Interval Training in the near future for some more examples.
Slash Your Strength Training
A simple way to cut down strength training time is supersets. Supersetting allows you to do the same workout, work the same muscles and get exactly the same benefits as a normal workout. It also allows you to burn a few more calories, as you will be working more and resting less.
What is a Superset?
A superset is when one exercise is done directly after another, without a rest break. Wait, my trainer tells me I need to rest to get the benefits? Yes, you do. The trick is to superset different muscle groups. For example, you could superset an upper body exercise with a lower body exercise. Do a set of Bench, and then do a set of Leg Press. When you do your set of Leg Press, you are resting for the Bench, and vice versa. Another example, and probably an easier way to organize your program is alternating opposing muscle groups. For example, Bench, with Seated Row. Bench uses your Pecs, Triceps and Anterior Deltoids. Seated Row uses your upper back muscles (Rhomboids, Traps, Posterior Deltoids, etc). You will be resting the chest group when you do your Seated Row, and vice verca.
Supersetting your exercises is a way to basically cut your exercise time in half, but still get the same benefits from strength training. You need to take care that your are not exercising any muscles groups that are the same in your superset, this will lead to over training and over development of that muscles, and it will be way too fatigued to actually lift as much as it can. Check with your trainer to make sure you aren’t doubling up.
Now that you have no excuse for a lack of time at the gym, go and get to it, try some intervals training and supersetting.