In today’s fast paced world, it seems as though everyone is short on time. Whether you’re over scheduled, over worked or just can’t seem to get caught up on your to-do list, there are days when the idea of dedicating a 60+ minute block of time to a workout seems impossible. This lack of time can often lead to a lack of motivation, and before you know it, your week is over and you’ve yet to log a single workout. Well, what if I told you it’s not about the amount of time you spend working out – it’s the way you exercise that makes the difference?
Although long workouts can results in high calorie burn and certainly have their place in your workout schedule, shorter, more intense workouts can actually be more effective for losing fat and shaping your body.
Here are a few exercises you can incorporate to get maximum results even when you have minimal time.
- HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) – By now you’ve probably heard of HIIT workouts, but if you’ve yet to try one you may be surprised at how much it completely kicks your butt! HIIT is a form of cardiovascular training that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. The cycle of intensity is repeated for 15-20 minutes. Below is a fast and easy HIIT workout that you can do just about anywhere:
- Jumping jacks – 45 seconds
- Burpees – 45 seconds
- Jump squats – 45 seconds
- Mountain climbers – 45 seconds
- High knees – 45 seconds
- Pushups – 45 seconds
- Plank – 30 seconds
Repeat this circuit 3-5 times and I promise you, you’ll never long for those long runs on the treadmill again!
- Drop sets – A drop set is a workout technique where you perform a set of any exercise to failure, and then drop (or reduce) the weight and continue to perform more repetitions. Drop sets are amazing for increasing size, strength and muscular endurance. When you’re in a rush, select one exercise per body part and perform drop sets. Doing so will allow you to knock out an amazing burn in about 30 minutes or less! An example of a drop set is below:
- Dumbbell row (3 sets of 12 reps) – perform first set with the heaviest weight you can lift
- Drop the weight by 5 lbs. for every set after the first set, performing 10-12 reps without any rest
- Supersets – a superset is a workout that involves alternating sets of two different exercises with no rest in between. For example, complete a set of squats followed immediately by a set of lunges. You would then continue to alternate between sets of squats and lunges until you’ve completed all of your sets for both exercises. An example of a quick superset workout for legs and abs is as follows:
- Squats (4 sets of 8-10 reps)/lunges (4 sets of 8-10 reps)
- Deadlift (4 sets of 8-10 reps)/leg curls (4 sets of 8-10 reps)
- Crunches (3 sets of 20 reps)/russian twist (3 sets or 20 reps)
- Limit your rest time – Sure, for a longer workout, taking a 30-60 second rest between sets is necessary. However, when you’re trying to get pumped up on a tight schedule, eliminating those lengthy rests can save you some serious time. Try completing all sets before you take a break and move on to the next body part. You can also switch to more of a circuit training style workout, performing 60 – 120 seconds of cardio followed by a set of a weighted exercise. Continue this cycle without rest for 20-40 minutes and you’ll find yourself with a crazy calorie burn and plenty of time to spare.
At the end of the day, whatever workout you choose, just rock it! The fact that you took those 15, 20 or 30 minutes and dedicated them to improving yourself is enough to be proud of. So when your day is slipping through your fingers and you’re feeling overwhelmed about your workout, focus on quality, not quantity for absolutely amazing results!
Grab one of my training programs here and take the guess work out of what to do the next time you want to workout!