Many of us have been lead to believe that we need to spend at least an hour sweating up a storm if we want our workouts to actually count for anything. That simply isn’t true.
But let’s get straight to the point: the best way to keep your workouts within a limited time frame — whether that be 30, 20 or even just 10 minutes — is to always head into the gym (or wherever it is you work out) 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,” said Jeana Anderson Cohen, an ACE certified personal trainer and founder of aSweatLife.com.
In other words, even if you don’t have your workout routine planned out down to a tee, at least have a general idea of what you want to accomplish and what tools you’ll use to do so.
That said, at the very least, definitely know the amount of time you can afford to spend exercising each day. And if you can, plan the specifics of your workout — taking this step will help to absolutely ensure you’re sweat session will fit into the designated time frame.
Not sure where to start when it comes to planning succinct but sweat-inducing workout sessions? Use the following tips to find out how you can cut down on time without sacrificing quality and progress.
There’s no need to target every single muscle every time you work out. In fact, that’s a great way to increase your risk for injury. “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,” said Shannon Fable, director of exercise programming at Anytime Fitness. By implementing this strategy you can keep your workouts quick and simple (think a 25-minute circuit with six to eight muscle-specific exercises), but still highly effective.
“Combine cardio and strength together,” Fable said. Following a workout that incorporates plyometric moves — like squat jumps, mountain climbers, box jumps and push-up variations — will increase your heart rate and challenge your muscles at the same time. Essentially, you can kill two birds (both your cardio and strength workouts) with one stone. Check out our high-intensity circuit training workout for an example of how to combine strength and cardio in a single workout session.