One of the most common reasons cited for not going exercising is the shortage of time. As much as we would like to spend a solid couple of hours in the gym to fit in a good workout every day, with the daily hustle and bustle of life, it almost seems like an unattainable feat.
On a busy work day, the most of amount of time you can manage to squeeze in an exercise session is around 30 to 45 minutes. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? But once you factor in the time it takes to change, warm up, find your workout playlist and scroll on Instagram and social media, you’re barely left with a few good minutes to spare on a sweat session.
Making the Most out of a Short Workout
It can be difficult to get the most out of a short workout session, but by budgeting your time properly and prioritizing the workouts that are the most important – instead of spending the first 15 minutes on social media – you can increase your efficiency in the gym, burning maximum calories in the shortest amount of time.
Nutrition and fitness coach Adam Son, says that short workouts are all about time management and efficiency; and like all other aspects in life, an efficient workout requires great planning. Son told Elite Daily that even as a fitness instructor, he often struggles to find time for his own training, and has to resort to short, explosive workout sessions which are high in, both, intensity and resistance.
Before starting a workout, it’s important to ask yourself questions which can mentally prepare you for the task ahead: What do you want to achieve from the workout and what is your plan of execution?
Based on the answers to these questions, you can organize your workout routine in a way to achieve the most out of the limited time. The best way to do that, according to Son, is by performing high-intensity full-body circuits that require minimal rest time, therefore maximizing the calorie-burning and endurance-building process.
Why Circuit Training?
Son explains in his interview that circuit training entails several exercises performed back to back with almost no rest period in between. Only after the completion of one full round of a circuit, are you allowed to take a few minutes’ break to catch your breath before it repeating it all over again.
It’s important to keep your rest time between the circuits to a minimal to prevent your body from cooling down. This ensures that you challenge you body to the max and burn as many calories as you can during the short session.
Son says that the goal of circuit training is to squeeze as many exercises into your short routine as possible so that you’re working your entire body even if you have no more than 20 minutes to spare in the gym. Circuits are often structured around compound movements which recruit more than one muscle group at a time.
Squats and lunges are a great example of lower-body compound movements which put most of the emphasis on your quadriceps while recruiting your glutes, hamstrings and core as secondary muscles. These movements when performed with lower weights and higher reps can elevate the heart rate and burn more fat, so you get the benefit of weight-loss and strength-building all at once.
For people who want to make their short workout sessions as efficient as possible, Son recommends adding full-body movements like burpees, push-ups, squats, jumping lunges, jumping jacks, rope skipping and mountain climbers to your workout routine.
But what matters the most in a short workout is intensity. As long as you’re giving your hundred percent to each circuit and pushing yourself the entire time you’re in the gym, it doesn’t matter which movements you perform or how many reps you do. Make the exercises as challenging as you can for yourself by reducing the rest time, increasing the rep range or performing additional sets of each circuit.
However, sometimes you’re just not motivated enough to give your hundred per cent to the workout in which case, Son recommends listening to upbeat music that excites you and makes you want to work out. If you’re playing music from your phone, put your device on airplane mode so that you aren’t distracted by calls, texts or social media notifications.