Whether you’re short on precious time or you’re on the hunt for a new way to take your workouts to the next level, there are a variety of different things you can do to cut down on your exercise time without having to sacrifice any fitness gains.
In fact, a large body of research has shown that by exercising more intensely for shorter amounts of time (compared to spending more time working out at a moderate level) we can likely burn more calories and gain benefits like improved heart health, increased muscle mass and improved metabolic functions.
Of course, there’s more to an effective workout than ramping up the intensity (see tip number one). And actually, you’ll only want to do that just once or twice per week since your body will need time to recoup from the hard work.
Below, Shannon Fable, director of exercise programming at Anytime Fitness, explains three of the best ways that you can make your workouts shorter without having to forego efficiency.
1. Increase intensity.
As mentioned, you can increase the intensity of your workout to get the same effect in a shorter amount of time. “For cardio, try short intervals of breathless work with quick recovery periods a few days a week and for strength, increase the weights and lower the reps,” Fable said.
2. Get specific.
“Instead of doing full-body workouts, try zoning in on one body part, or complementary body parts (like back and bicep muscles), and doing more targeted exercises,” Fable explained.
“Combine cardio and strength together,” Fable said. "This will increase your heart rate and burn more calories, plus kill two birds with one stone.”
Check out our high-intensity circuit training workout for an example of how to combine strength and cardio in a single session.