It’s not the amount of time we spend in the gym but rather the quality of the program. Often times we feel like more is better. In reality we could be utilizing our time more efficiently and reaching our goals faster with less gym time. I witness many gym goers “going through the motions”. They come in day after day, hop on their cardio equipment and work at the same intensity. Some of these people come to me for advice and wonder why they haven’t seen any progress. If weight loss is the goal, cardio should not be your only focus. We need to focus on building lean muscle tissue through weight training. This will help shape our body and give us the definition we desire. The more muscle we have the more calories we burn.
Having a program with proper intensity will not only save time but will keep your heart rate elevated and get the results you are after. You don’t need to spend endless hours doing weights. The trick is to get an effective workout in utilizing less time. You can see amazing results in 45-60 minutes of weight training
3 times per week. I typically recommend lifting “heavy” and keeping rest time at minimum; 30-60 seconds between sets depending on the program and conditioning of the individual. As your overall condition improves you will recover faster and be able to take less rest between sets or circuits.
There are many types of programs and training methods a person could follow to add high intensity. As you get more experienced you can play around with intensity and mix things up. I recommend changing your program every 4-6 weeks to keep things fresh and your body from hitting a plateau.
One of my favorite high intensity training methods is supersets. A type of training where you alternate back and forth between two moves until your desired amount of reps and sets are complete. There are many ways to incorporate supersets into your workouts. You can train same muscle groups, opposing muscle groups or add a cardio move to a strength move. It all depends on your training goals. The basic idea is to do two moves back to back without rest.
Same Muscle Groups: (biceps)
Opposing Muscle Groups: (biceps/triceps)
- Bicep Curl
- Triceps Press Down
Strength Move followed by Cardio:
- 30 Seconds Cardio (jump rope, mountain climber, jump squats)
Below is an example of a full body workout utilizing supersets to save time and increase training intensity. Make sure you are familiar with the exercises and form prior to starting this or any other exercise program. If you are fairly new to fitness, you may want to start with 1-2 sets of each super set. I recommend 3 sets of 10-12 reps each with a weight that is challenging and you can still complete using proper form. Rest is 30-60 seconds between sets. Finish all sets in the super set prior to moving onto your next set of exercises.
FULL BODY WORKOUT:
- Pull-Ups (assisted pull ups or could do a pull-down if you can’t lift yourself up)
- Narrow Stance Squat
- Biceps Curl
If you train at the proper intensity this is going to keep your heart rate elevated and you’re going to feel like it was a cardio workout as well. We don’t need to live in the gym. Utilize your time wisely and step into the gym with a plan. Get focused about making some gains, save the chit-chatting for after your workout. If you want results, don’t be the person just going through the motions.