Tips for Keeping Your Gym Workouts Under 30 Minutes

Experts share fitness tips that will help keep your gym workouts short and sweet


So, you want to get healthy and fit, but you have a busy schedule and not much time to spend at the gym.

Welcome to the club.

The above scenario applies to about 90 percent of the population, and, unfortunately, a large majority of that group uses “not having time” as an excuse to completely skip out on exercising.

But not you. You’re finished with using this excuse and you’re ready to learn how you can work out effectively, even if you only have a short amount of time.

“Getting a workout in 30 minutes and walking away satisfied with the work you've done is a function of having a plan and increasing the intensity of the work you do during the time that you have,” says Jeana Anderson Cohen, an ACE certified personal trainer and founder of

Essentially, it’s all about heading to the gym with a well-thought-out plan and working at a higher level of intensity.

But just because you’re cutting down on time, doesn’t mean you can skimp on safety.

“Since you are going to be in the zone and moving quickly, make sure that you aren't doing exercises that are very dangerous,” says certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach Henry Halse. “Your heart will be racing and you will be breathing hard, this is not the time to work on your deadlift technique because you will not be able to focus very well. Save those big exercises for when you have more time.”

And another piece of advice that will increase not only the safety, but also the effectiveness of your short and sweet sweat sessions: don’t skip the warm-up.

“While we may be tempted to skip it, warming our muscles and joints is critical to improving performance and limiting injury,” explains Arial Friedman, a New York City based personal trainer and creator of”

Once you’ve got these fundamentals in check, you’ll be ready to get in and out of the gym faster than you can say “But I don’t have enough time.”

OK, maybe not that quickly. But with the following expert tips, you'll certainly learn how to keep your gym time under 30 minutes.

Plan It Out

The easiest way to ensure you’ll keep your workout within your limited time frame is to make sure you head into the gym with a plan. “This doesn't mean that you have to write your own workouts,” says Anderson Cohen. “This simply means that with an understanding of the resources available to you, you can achieve an efficient workout in the time that you have. Tools like Nike's N+TC app have plenty of guided workouts with video tutorials for each move that will ensure you’ll make your 30 minutes count. Or on,, there are dozens of bodyweight workouts that you can use to ensure you make the most of every minute of your workout time, with or without a gym.”

And Plan Strategically

Think about what spaces and equipment you’ll be using while at the gym. “Select exercises that are in the same general area to avoid going all the way across the gym between sets,” says John Papp, a sports performance coach and ACE certified personal trainer at Xceleration Sports in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Click here to see more tips for keeping your workouts under 30 minutes.

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