There are way to make a workout short, but still effective
If you want to make the most of your time in the gym and become stronger, leaner, more fit, or just plain look and feel great, it is possible to get super-effective workouts in 30-40 minutes a few times per week.
If you have been working out for awhile and already have some level of conditioning and strength, and just want to see faster results, these are some ideas you can incorporate into your workouts for better results.
First, start with your mind and body connection.
Get into your workout, focus, hit it hard, and move on with your day. By limiting your workouts to 30-40 minutes, you can keep a higher intensity the entire time, rather than an easier workout that is long and drawn out.
High intensity workouts can apply to strength or cardiovascular exercise. For strength training, a higher intensity can include heavier weights, a different pace of lifting, number of sets, compound moves that challenge more muscles at one time, while cardiovascular can include high intensity intervals, hill, circuits, or challenging yourself with new exercises.
Going heavier with the weights means decreasing your rep range and pushing yourself with heavier weights while maintaining good form. Bad form not only puts you at risk for injury, but also is ineffective for muscle development.
Heavier weights are not just for those wanting to bulk up, but are also an effective strategy to develop muscle in a hurry.
Performing movements with a five-second count in each direction can also help maximize your results. Most people raise the weight slowly, only to release at a much faster pace. Control the weight, and focus on the muscle being worked.
Instead of doing the usual two and three sets, try performing one heavier set to complete failure. Discontinue lifting when you are unable to maintain proper form.
Try adding compound movements for efficiency. Instead of isolating your muscles with exercises such as a bicep curl, try performing movements that work several muscle groups all at once.
Pull-ups work the back, shoulders, arms, and core. Walking lunges work every muscle in your lower body, along with balance and cardiovascular.
Incorporate balance into your routine by adding a stability ball or standing. All of your core muscles are activated and over time will become stronger, and allow you to lift even more.
Change things up frequently. Sticking with the same routine will not cause your body to respond with enough change.
For strength training, you can change your routine every few weeks, but cardio it’s better to cross train rather than run every time.
If you don’t enjoy cardio, you may have a tough time sticking with it. Find a buddy to share it with, or choose something that’s fun such as hiking, swimming or running. You can also add hills into your running or biking to add some intensity for a more effective workout.
Make sure to build up your endurance on a flat surface before incorporating hills in your workouts.
One mistake to avoid is doing multiple sets of the same exercise without adequate rest between sets. Recovery is needed after an exercise, but if you have multiple exercises all in a row, you can keep moving through them without spending any time just sitting to rest.
This will also give you a cardio workout while you strength train.
Remember to rehydrate throughout your workout and refuel post workout for better recovery. A good source of protein and carbs is necessary to replace glycogen in the muscles within that 60- minute time frame.