Cut Your Gym Time in Half with these Smart Workout Strategies

Too busy to exercise? These workouts will have you in and out of the gym in a jiffy

Maurice Williams—People who work in real estate often say, “time is of the essence.” But in today’s world, mostly anyone can relate to this saying.

We are simply too busy nowadays, but luckily we have conveniences that can help make our schedules a little less hectic. For example, when we don’t have time to go to the grocery store, we can have food delivered. Or when we don’t have time to go to the cleaners, we can have our laundry picked up and returned.

But what about our workouts? If there was a way to pay someone to do it for us, but still get the benefits ourselves, I’m sure we would. Until someone figures out how to do that, we have to settle for the alternative, which is to work out more effectively in a shorter amount of time.  

The follwing training strategies will amp up workout intensity so you can spend less time exercising, but still reap all the essential health and fitness benefits associated with physical activity.

Circuit Training
Circuit training is an effective way to burn fat and build muscle. It simply consists of performing a group of exercises, one after the other, with minimal rest between each exercise.

If you have limited time, but want to change your body composition for the better, then this type of training is for you. An example circuit workout could include the following:

Perform 8 to 20 reps of each exercise with 15 to 60 seconds of rest between each set of exercises. Repeat the entire circuit two to three times, with about one minute of rest between each circuit. (For regular circuit training you can experiment with different exercise orders.)

Exercises: Dumbbell Step-Ups, Push-Ups, Dumbbell Squats, and Pull-Ups.

You could do this kind of workout three times per week.

Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) Training
PHA training is a version of circuit training that offers similar benefits, however, unlike regular circuit training, PHA is performed alternating between upper and lower body exercises.

By doing this, you can improve your blood circulation, increase your heart rate and improve your body composition. An example of PHA training could include the following:

Exercises: Ball Squats, Cable Rows, Dumbbell Lunges, Ball Chest Press

The advantage of this type of circuit (compared to a typical circuit) is that it’s more goal-specific.

For example, if your goal is to add muscle, size and definition you would perform 8 to 12 reps of each exercise with no rest between exercises, repeating the circuit 3 to 4 times with about 60 seconds of rest between each circuit.

You could do this kind of workout three times per week.

Yes, we are all busy people, however, we should not use that as an excuse to neglect our health. Our bodies were made to move, so always incorporate movement into your daily routine, and when you’re strapped for time, remember that even a short workout—especially if it’s an intense one—is better than no workout at all.  

Maurice Williams is a NASM and NSCA certified personal trainer and the owner of Move Well Fitness in Bethesda, Md.